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Is it really necessary to mic the highhat?


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I recently recorded a drummer with seven mics, 2 ambient mics facing the kit about 4-5 feet away from the outmost cymbal (perhaps too close); anad everything else recorded close mic'ed with dynamic mics (SM57ish) on the snare, highhat, floor tom1, floor tom2, and kick drum). The kick had a Sennheiser which was capable of handling higher SLP.


The end result was a mix that was heavy on the cymbals (which we controlled by bringing those mics down) and everything else okay except the highhat. The highhat sounded terrible, and I attibute that to my inexperience at using compression, but one thing I noticed, if I brought up the highhat, the snare came with it. This wreaked the sound I was getting out of the snare mic. The was enough of the highhat in the outside ambient mics, so I just eliminated the highhat from the mix.


So why record the highhat if it brings in a really big snare? Or, how do you eliminate the snare from the highhat mic? I had placed the mic over the highhat's outside edge, perhaps 4 inches away from the cymbal.

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57's sound like total shit on hats


get a little condenser- I like the Neumann K84's or newer series 184 i think


those shure bg4.0 series are not too bad for cheap for hats


take it out and see if your overheads alone can do the job...most of the time they can...do you have decent overheads? I would not use a dynamic mic for an overhead.



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Using a mic on the hi-hat is to give more control over the mix, which you found out.


You can mic the hi-hat in such a way as to not pick up more of the snare drum, and vice versa. If you are micing the snare with something like a SM-57 (a dynamic mic), which has a great cardiod polar pattern, you should have no problem picking up hi-hat if you make sure the 57 is pointing AWAY (180 degrees) from the hi-hat, not off to the side.


Use a condensor mic on the hi-hat and make sure that it too is not pointing towards the snare drum. You should have a problem with a lot bleed when doing this. Let the overheads pick up the overall drumkit sound as well as the cymbals.


I've played on some albums where we only used a kick mic and two overheads; very cool sound.


I'd like to recommend an article I wrote which appears on my web site. I think it's informative (of course, LOL) and it might shed some light on some of your questions.


Go to http://bartelliott.com/lessons/ and click on the link for Tips for Drummers and Percussionists. You'll see several articles; one on mic choices and another on recording drums. The methods I share are general approaches and can definitely be expanded on.


Good luck!





Bart Elliott


Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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If micing the hihat is deemed necessary mic placement is the first concern as well as mic type.If using a 57 on snare make sure you mic close and have the hats at exactly to the rear of the mic.Use a super or hypercardioid condenser mic on the hats for isolation.Place the condenser pointing at the top hat about 1-2" above.

You may still have some snare in the hat mic.Remove it by notching out snare frequencies with an outboard parametric EQ on the hat channel.


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