Best option for mic'ing hi-hats (Live) Cardioid or Condenser?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by SinglecutGuy, Feb 2, 2017.


  1. SinglecutGuy

    SinglecutGuy Supporting Member

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    What are you guys using for mic'ing your hi-hats in a live situation? I've seen some folks using a 57 attached to the hi-hat stand aiming upward undearth the hats, and also plenty of folks using a small pencil condenser on a separate stand aimed above. I play 2 rock cover bands, in medium to large size bars and venues.

    Suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  2. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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  3. loudboy

    loudboy Supporting Member

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    SM-81 from the top is pretty standard. Keep it away from the snare drum.
     
  4. sants

    sants Member

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    Sm81 or ksm137 is what I've been using. Used to use an sm57. Night and day difference in using a condenser on hat imo.

    I'd look for a decent SDC for cymbal use.
     
  5. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I don't like an under hi hat mic, it's got to be on top. 57 can be really nice, a meaty and thuddy hi hat tone. SDC sounds much silkier.
     
  6. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    You'd use a condenser, but I find that high hat almost never needs a mic. If you have overheads or even a snare mic, you get plenty of high hat.
     
  7. JCM 800

    JCM 800 Silver Supporting Member

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    Unless you have a drummer who is an extremely light player, skip the mic on the hats. Overheads will pick up more than you need.
     
  8. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    The answer to this also depends a lot on the drummer. If He is heavy handed on the snare, then the snare mic won't pickup enough hat. Unfortunately you will have this same problem if using an overhead. However I have found a 57 or even better an Audix I5 on the hat will pick up enough snare and enough hat if you primarily mic the hat. If the drummer has really good technique then you can use both a snare and hat mic. or catch it with the overheads.
     
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  9. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    IMO, the high hat is the time keeper. Learned that decades ago by an R&B drummer who told me to primarily listen to his high hat to keep my rhythm guitar playing tight with him.

    So, it does depend on the type of music to a degree. But I like to clearly hear the hat. If the drummer is heavy handed, you may not need a mic on it. But if the drummer has any finesse on the hat, it's better to mic it. SDC mics work good, and I prefer placement above the hat, and angled away from the snare and kick for better isolation. Also, consider high passing the mic fairly high, as much as 800-1000 Hz. No need to have a bunch of low end garbage in that mic.
     
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  10. SinglecutGuy

    SinglecutGuy Supporting Member

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    I should add that we don't have overhead mics. The sound seems to travel just fine on the cymbals in the rooms in which we play. So I'm focusing more on the hi-hat.
     
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  11. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe Member

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    I really like the Shure Beta 181/C on hats. Not the cheapest option though.
     
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  12. sants

    sants Member

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    Love the i5. It's my go to snare mic. A lethal combo is an i5 on top and a 57 on bottom.
     
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  13. sants

    sants Member

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    This^

    I always mic the hat for this reason (time keeper). You can always pull it out if the drummer is heavy handed but I usually add enough to get some sizzle.
     
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  14. Scatabrain

    Scatabrain Supporting Member

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    The closer you go, the hotter the signal, then you need something like a 57. BTW 58 is the same inside.

    Pull back and go for large diaphragm condenser.

    The number and types of mics, available preamps, and what you want to prioritize will help sort this out.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    seems like good condensers go "sss, sss" while typical dynamics go "shh, shh", the fidelity on the highs isn't the same.
     
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  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    that's the hard part isn't it, keeping the hat mic from just being another snare mic.

    one trick i was shown is to mount it above, set so the the hat itself was between the mic and the snare, such the the mic couldn't "see" the snare.
     
  17. Cb

    Cb Member

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    Be sure to get enough bottom hi-hat...
     
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I've always used a 57 or an i5 on top, pointed away from the snare. Maybe it's not the proper mic, but it always sounds good when I use it so.....
     
  19. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    It seems rather easy to me. Use a boom, and place the mic above the hat, on the outside of the hat, angled away from the drum kit. It also helps to prevent the drummer from hitting the mic with the sticks. Many will place the mic facing straight down, and in doing so, it may pick up some of the snare and perhaps a bit of the kick, depending on how loud the drummer plays. It also depends on the mic and it's pickup pattern. Cardioid is best for rejection.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. sants

    sants Member

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    So true. This may be the best expample I've heard on the topic.
     

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