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hi hat mic

Hi everyone,

what do you use as a hi hat mic.

This is my current mic closet:

AT4033 (2)
AKG C414 (1)
AKG C1000(2)
SM58 (1)
MD421 (2)

I use the 4033 as OH, D112 BDRUM, 57's for Snare top &bottom, md421's for toms. This leaves me with C414, C1000's (I don't really like these) and an Sm58 for hi-hat. However I dont agree that much in using any of these for picking up the hi-hat.

What would you recommend. what mic do you use for this purpose?



JWL Sat, 05/06/2006 - 18:05
I never mic the HH, but then I usually record drums with only 5 or 6 mics. I use 2 overheads, and a room mic (the Glyn Johns method or a variation like recorderman's) and that gives me 80-90% of my sound most of the time.

The high hat is usually dominant enough in these mics that I never need to mic it separately.

RemyRAD Sat, 05/06/2006 - 22:57
I generally don't mic the high hat either but when I do want to augment it more, I'm like most everybody else here. My first choice is an AKG451 with pad, SM 81 and sometimes my Beyer M160 ribbon. Although I have been known on occasion to use an SM57! A little equalization on that is quite helpful.

My motorcycle helmet is a low hat!
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 05/07/2006 - 12:14
Thanks for your replies, like most of you, I don´t usually mic the hats, however sometimes there are some exceptions. I did use a 57 once and was ok, but it´s not what you should consider as for hats mic. I guess a 451 should be the most suitable for this use, ive heard they´re great as OH as well, however Im quite happy with my 4033´s.

if you don't mike the hats, how do you pick 'em up, with the snar mike? how do you guy's do it?

The OH´s are usually enough to pick up the hats, however sometimes you just need to mic the hats separately depending on what sound you want to get.

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 05/08/2006 - 07:50
Not the sm58, its top end frequency response is inaproriate for hats... leaving u with the C1000 and 414. Given this choice it'd have to be the 414, if only becuase its 6 times the price. But the smart choice is C1000, and then the 414 elsewhere- probably in the room, (set to omni?), but outside kick also good. If the song has lots of delicate snare work, i'd get it under there insterad of the 57.

Hopefully a lot of your hi hat sound comes thru the overheads (nice stereo), you may even want to carefully tape a styrofoam cup around the top snare mic to keep the hat out of it.

have fun, experiment

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 05/08/2006 - 12:00
Regarding the paper cup method: Wouldn't there be a minor phase issue? I'm thinking of when you put your ear to the mouth of a cup or a shell and you "hear the ocean" due to crazy phasing of the sounds within the cup/shell. Would a similar effect take place with the cupped microphone? I mean it would probably be minor due to the fact that the mic trim would be pretty low because of the high transience and SPL of the snare, so leakage from other parts of the kit would be minimal but it would exist nevertheless, non? c'est vrai ou faux?

RemyRAD Wed, 05/10/2006 - 10:01
cheatingatmath, the only difference between a 57 and a 58 IS the additional pop filter. And the 58/57 is a totally appropriate mic to use on a high hat. What makes it inappropriate? What, you don't think it has enough high frequency response? Too much coloration? Not directional enough? Only goes up to 18,000 cycles per second? If they were so inappropriate we wouldn't use them at all and neither would the President of the United States but what does he know any how, after all he got us into a war like Vietnam? (the microphones were not of his choosing, he didn't want anything that could provide an abortion as they do so often on this site)

Those microphones are always a Shure bet
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 05/10/2006 - 10:07
use the c1000 and do a little eq. works like a champ. that mic sucks, but it has it's uses. make sure to point it AWAY from the snare though as it's response is not very tight at all.

also, use the 414 as a room directly in front of the kit about 6' high or as a close room about 3' behind and to the right of the drummer pointed at the kick and about 12" off the ground. compress it to all hell going in, and you get a really snappy kick and snare sound when blended correctly.

if you had 2 i would say use them as overheads over the 4033's any day. some people hate them, but i think they are great overhead mics.


Pro Audio Guest Mon, 07/31/2006 - 19:54
I skimmed through a lot of the replies here and was shocked at all the people NOT mic'ing their hats. I think I even read one where the person said he "only" used 5-6 mic's and thats why he didn't mic the hats. Mic'ing the hats IMHO are really important for a good balance.

To answer the original poster's question first though I would use the SM81 without a doubt.

I change mic's, pre's, and placements all the time but this is the basic template (with alternatives) that I start with. If you guys would like I could post some audio demos.

Kick: 18x22 Pearl Masters Custom; front head does not have a hole. Heavy piano cover type blanket tunnel for cymbal rejection etc.
Usually a combination of two of the mics below. One for boom and one for attack. Most of the time it's the D112 or Beta 52 3" from front head slightly off center and MD421 or ifet7 about 1 foot back dead center also on the front head. * note nothing on the beater side.

AKG D112 or Shure Beta 52 into a Neve 5012

Soundelux ifet7 or Sennheiser MD421 into a Great River MP-2NV w/Impedance "in"

Snare: main: 4x14 Yamaha Maple Custom, piccolo: 3x13 Ludwig Black Beauty

This changes probably more than anything in the kit but here goes.

AKG C418's top and bottom (phase invert on btm) into Crane Song Flamingo

Brauner Phantom AE 6-10" above into GML 2020 or Crane Song Flamingo

Shure SM81 6-8" above into GML 2020 or Crane Song Flamingo


Combination of either the Phantom AE or SM81 on top and the C418 on bottom.

Hi-Hats: 14" Zildjian Custom Dark Session hats

Shure SM81 3" above pointing slightly down into a Great River MP-2NV


Soundelux ifet7 (in "I" mode) 6" above pointing slightly down intoa DW Fearn VT-1


Pretty straight forward.

AKG C418's on all toms (mounted on bottom to keep out other drums/cym's)

Overheads: I use a pair in front and a pair behind the player a couple of feet above the players head for a dif. perspective if needed).

Of course I switch these around as well from time to time.

Front overheads: DPA 4006's

Rear overheads: Royer SF12

If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. I'll try to post some demos tom. if time permits.