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You might think that because there's normally so much hi-hat leakage into the snare mic, that a separate hat mic isn't necessary. But it's really nice to have when you need just a little more hat sparkle or when you need just a bit more hat level during the section of the song. Once again, there are a number of ways to mic the hat, but the method I'll show you in this video will not only sound good, but provide some isolation from the rest of the drums as well. Most drummers use relatively heavy hi-hats, especially if they use them for live gigging. Heavy hats are generally dull sounding, so we want to use a mic that favors a high-end and responds well to the transient nature of the cymbals.
That's why a small diaphragm condenser mic is usually used, although the type or make of the mic doesn't matter as much as the placement. First of all, make sure that the mic is placed towards the rear of the kit as far away from the crash cymbal as possible. Place it about halfway between the bell and the edge of the top cymbal, pointing directly down. Then position the mic, so it's about six inches over the top cymbal, when the hat is in the open position. (music playing) Move the mic closer to the bell if you want a thicker sound.
(music playing) And to the edge of the cymbal if you want it to sound thinner. (music playing) None of these placements are better than another. Since it all depends upon the song, the cymbals, the player, and the arrangement. The one thing that you don't want to do is place the mic right on the edge, looking in at the hat.
That's because you'll hear a huge puff of air whenever the hi-hats are closed. (music playing) To sum it up, to mic the hi-hat, make sure that the mic is placed towards the rear of the hat, as far away from the crash cymbals as possible. Then place it about halfway between the bell and the edge of the top cymbal, pointing directly down. Move the mic more towards the outside edge of the cymbal for a thinner sound, and more towards the bell for a thicker sound with more overtones.
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