Hi-Hat Microphone

Discussion in 'Hi-Hats' started by fibes, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. fibes

    fibes Active Member

    I would like to know what would be a good microphone to use for recording hi-hat? Usually people will use their highest quality mic on the overheads. Since overheads pick up cymbals, wouldn't you use the same high quality mic on hi-hat too? I've heard people using less expensive mics on hi-hat and I don't understand if it is because that's all they have or if it just isn't as important to use the highest quality mic on this instrument. If it is not as important, why not? Aren't hi-hat cymbals the same as crash cymbals? Basically my question is why not use the same mic on hi-hat as you would for overheads. Thanks.
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by fibes:
    Basically my question is why not use the same mic on hi-hat as you would for overheads. Thanks.

    No reason you can't, if you have a spare. But not critical because it is doing a different job. Ideally, the overheads are NOT just capturing the cymbals, but the sound of the whole kit. As does the room mic(s), if you use them. The spot mics on individual pieces are then used to reinforce the basic sound of the overheads/room mics by close micing individual components of the kit - focusing on capturing each piece seperately. They are also going to be much closer to the drum, HH, etc. to maximize the signal from that particular kit component and minimize bleed from the rest of the kit. So the HH mic has a totally different function.

    Sometimes these tracks are just safety tracks - when it comes time to the mix, the HH track may not be used at all - often there is more than enough hat in the overheads.

    This all assumes that what you are going for is "natural" sounding drums, i.e. similar to what your ears would hear listening to a drummer from a reasonable distance. That is why the overheads and room mics are so important - the sound much more closely approximates the typical human listening experience than the close mics, since how many of us listen to drums by placing our ears two inches off the surface of the skins? Of course, a decent sounding room really helps things out too. ;)
     
  3. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    Ya know-- more often than not, my hat mic ends up not even getting USED in the final mix. By the time I am done squashing the snare, the OH's, and the room, along with everything else in sight... seems like there is PLENTY of hat to go around! (Don't you guys have enough of the famous "hat bleed in the snare mic" already??!? I sure do... 'specially after Distressors on "NUKE"....)

    Honestly, about 90% of the time I could probably just throw the hat track away and never miss it. If you're short on mics, why not just forget about the hat and see what happens?

    By the way, there was this one time when I had tracked some basics (with a good band, in a VERY EXPENSIVE room) and, due to a snafu with the track sheet (now there's a rant...), inadvertently PAVED OVER two tracks of drums while making room for some background vocals.... AAAARGH!! I thot my career was over, at least as far as these guys were concerned. Had visions of the band manager driving my corpse off of a pier with a sign hanging around my neck, "Didn't double check the @$%&ing track sheet!"

    The two tracks that got erased were the hi hat and the R side of the overheads! On EVERY song!!! With much fear and trembling, I stayed up late that nite doing rough mixes on a couple of songs to see if it was salvageable, and... it didn't sound that bad! The room trax still sounded beautiful, there was a good cymbal blend in the one remaining OH mic, and the hat track? Never missed it. Finished the mixes and everyone loved it, and in retrospect, the drum sound on that project is STILL one of my favorites out of everything I've worked on to date. Go figure.

    The moral of the story?

    1. Do not trust the stoned intern... ALWAYS write the friggin track sheet YOURSELF!

    2. When doing the dreaded "clean-up" erase, ALWAYS, ALWAYS triple check the tracks to be wiped clean, before they are irrevocably sacrificed to the God of Just One More Track!

    3. You probably don't need all the mics you THINK you need.

    4. Less is more.

    5. Black is white.

    6. Up is down.
     
  4. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    (gawd... can you tell I've been awake for the last 72 hours straight?!?? Sorry guys....)
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    7. You can't go 20,000 leagues under the sea!
     
  6. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Originally posted by fibes:
    Basically my question is why not use the same mic on hi-hat as you would for overheads. Thanks.[/QB]

    I do EXACTLY that. I achieve this by not using a mic on the hi-hat. It's already the loudest thing on the set and most drummers play hats to hard anyway. I constantly am asking drummers to not kill the Hi-Hats. I've spent many hours practicing to keep the hi-hat at a useful level in my own playing. Skip the hat mic, it saves time, track space and headaches. [end rant here]
     
  7. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    8. You can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals.
     
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Favorite ever used is the Calrec, which is now made by a company called Hebden Sound.

    Crispy, can handle the signal & also was always good on acc gtr..


    :)
     
  9. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    If I have to spot mic the hat in a rock band I'll probably use an SM57. Anything else including jazz and bebop get a condensor of some kind. Usually whatever I have leftover.
     
  10. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    I use copper tubing insulation to get rid of unwanted bleed (you can pick it up at any hardware store), and for the most part it's successful. My hat mic preference is:
    SM-81
    KM84
    SM57
    EM-8000
     
  11. pandamonkey

    pandamonkey Active Member

    hey.. I'm still a student so take my advice with a grain of salt...
    I too have found good results with the Shure-SM81 and the SM94 mics. I've also tried a 57 and found it worked pretty good too. (gotta love those 57's)
    I like to aim the mic at the outside edge of the hat angled towards the drummer, not too close to the side either so you don't record any air rushing when the hat opens and closes. Also, try boosting the top end of 8k to bring it out in the mix. I also experimented with cutting out freqs. around 1k and less and found that nice as well. I don't think you need those and it helps cut out that low freq. leakage. About recording the hat however, I would think that if you have the tools, one would be silly not to get as much down on tape as possible. you can always take it away but your ^#$%ed if you don't have it and you end up needing it.
    H New Y
     
  12. Hmmm. . . the session drummers I use treat the cymbals and hi-hat like they are made of glass and kill the snare, toms and kick. It really helps the drum sound and even means I can use the HH mic a bit. For that purpose my first choice is the AKG 460 with a CK-1 head. Not cheap but I have lined up many mics on the HH several times and the 460/CK1 wins for me.

    I was surprized by how good the NT-3 sounded in a shootout with the SM81 and AKG C1000. I thought the NT-3 was best amoungst those on both HH and acoustic.

    Howard
     
  13. gie

    gie Guest

    Originally posted by EJolson:
    Ya know-- more often than not, my hat mic ends up not even getting USED in the final mix. By the time I am done squashing the snare, the OH's, and the room, along with everything else in sight... seems like there is PLENTY of hat to go around

    Yep... most of the time that happens to me too...
    .... but I (almost) always record a HiHat track anyway... just in case. (and 1 out of 10 times I actually can use it..) :)

    Originally posted by Groove Jungle:
    I was surprized by how good the NT-3 sounded in a shootout with the SM81 and AKG C1000. I thought the NT-3 was best amoungst those on both HH and acoustic.
    Howard


    Yep.... NT3 is a great mike... and I like it alot on hihat....
    [but what do I know? I just told U that most of the times I don't use Hihat-tracks at mixdown]
    ;)
     
  14. E-Cue--- What exactly do you use the tubing insulation on, the capsule of the snare mic? If so, how far does it extend past the end?
     

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