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The hi-hat is the timekeeper of the drum kit, and depending upon the player and the arrangement it can be a signature of a song. Let's look at how we can EQ the hat to make it sound clean and crisp. First thing to remember is that, all hi -hats don't sound the same and that's because of the thickness. Usually studio players tend to get really thin hi-hats. And those sound clean and crisp and usually really good under a microphone. But the problem is they never last if you play live with them because they break and that's why most players will have heavier cymbals.
Now the heavier cymbals will last a lot longer but they don't sound nearly as good under a microphone and tend to clang a little bit. So we can help that with a little bit of EQ. So let's listen to what that sounds like. Concentrate on the hi-hat because we'll hear the entire drum kit. (Music playing) Let's listen to the hi-hat soloed. (Music playing) So take notice of the leakage there.
We hear a lot of kick drum and we hear a lot of the snare drum. So let's go to our EQ plug-ins and once again we will go our trusty native 4-Band EQ. The first thing we are going to do is add a high-pass filter. And the high-pass filter is important because what it will do is it will get rid of a lot of frequencies that we don't need and usually those frequencies are down below 200, 400 cycles, even more. The hi-hat is mostly high frequencies. That's what the ear wants to hear there and anything that's kind of below 200 cycles or so just doesn't register and it just clutters up the mix.
So I want to get rid of that. A way to do that is we add the high- pass filter and near about 12 dB per octave or so and let's bring this up to 200 Hz or so, have a listen from there. (Music playing) Now let's listen with the Bypass and listen to the kick drum. (Music playing) Now let's listen with the filter in. (Music playing) The kick is really attenuated as soon as we get rid of those low frequencies and actually take a notice that we can go pretty drastic here with the high-pass filter and bring it up to even 1K.
And it doesn't affect the sound of the hi-hat all that much. (Music playing) Let's listen in the track, listen what happens. (Music playing) And now let me Bypass it, have a listen. (Music playing) And watch when we put the EQ in. (Music playing) Here, we get rid of a lot of leakage and it sounds pretty crisp as a result.
I wouldn't go quite up to 1K. I would probably put it at 400, 500 in a Hz there. It is about right. Let's have a listen. (Music playing) And you can hear that the Kick drum is pretty attenuated at that. Once again we are getting rid with a lot of frequencies that don't really add anything to the sound of the hi-hat to begin with. The next thing we are going to do is add a little crispness to it and the crispness and sparkle comes from somewhere between 8 to 12 K or so, and once again it really depends on the sound to begin with. We'll just start at 10K and we are going to exaggerate it here so you can hear it so, we will go to 6dB, have a listen.
(Music playing) Let's listen to some Bypass. (Music playing) I may even come down a little bit a K or so. (Music playing) Let's listen to the track.
(Music playing) And of course, the sound of the hat is filled in through the leakage of all the other drum mikes. So in fact, it never sounds as crisp and clean as when it's soloed, but even so, you can hear just what you need, you can increase definition and that's what we are looking for. So that's how to EQ the hi-hat. Remember that there is not a lot of low frequencies to the sound of the hi-hat, so you can get rid of a lot of the leakage by using a high-pass filter to filter out the bottom end.
Also remember that sparkle from the cymbal comes from around 8 to 10 K.
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