The hi-hat is the glue that connects all the parts of your drum kit, but it’s often overlooked. Miking and recording the hi-hat properly will do wonders for your mix, nicely filling out the space in your drum track.
Follow these tips to capture the hi-hat’s complex sound.
5 Tips for Recording Your Hi-Hat
1. The ATM450 offers a unique side-address design, which allows for more placement options. The most important detail is to be sure the diaphragm is pointed at the source.
2. Positioning the mic on the outside edge of the hi-hat helps isolate the mic from the rest of the kit while keeping it out of the drummer’s way. Just be sure the mic is high enough not to obstruct the cymbal when it’s open.
3. Aiming the mic straight down or even off the edge of the cymbal maximizes the off-axis rejection provided by the mic’s cardioid pickup pattern. The ATM450’s low-frequency roll-off switch can be used to further reduce the bleed from the kick and the toms. This mic placement should produce a nice, full-sounding hi-hat.
4. For a tighter, more controlled sound, move the mic more towards the bell. For a real heavy hitter you may have to move the mic higher to keep the hi-hatsunder control.
5. Avoid positioning the mic parallel to the cymbals pointed directly at the edge. The large amount of air expelled when the cymbals close can overload and even damage the diaphragm of the small condenser.
With these tips and a little experimentation, you’ll be able to find exactly the hi-hat sound you’re looking for.
How are you miking your hi-hat? Tell us your techniques in the comments section below!