This way, you won’t feel the need to overcompensate with effects. No matter what genre you are working on, really well-done hi-hats can be the difference between a professional sound and an amateur mix. Neutron’s Transient Shaper is my not-so-secret “secret weapon” for all manner of drums. Pretty much all the high-frequencies come from the vocals, claps/snare, and especially hi-hat. To do this, reduce the sustain on Transient Shaper, which will shorten the length of a hat. I recommend using a spectrum analyzer, or an EQ with spectrum analyzer function, to look at your hi-hats’ frequency response and make decisions accordingly. Get top stories of the week and special discount offers right in your inbox. In my opinion, if a song has great arrangement, solid levels and gain-staging, and well-balanced EQ across the tracks, then it will sound 95% finished. And they are still used in similar roles too. The hi-hat is often played endlessly, hypnotically, tying the song’s rhythm section together. You can make a satisfyingly varied texture while maintaining that sharp and consistent feel. Classic Phil Spector production, the hi-hats have spacey delay when they enter in the second verse. There’s a lot of musical stuff going on that I would rather the attention of the ear go to. First of all, context is everything. For example, modern pop, alt rock, jangle pop, hip hop, and other diverse genres often have heavy compression on every track. In the 60s and in the 90s, for example, compression was very popular. On the other hand, if a track has a very saturated and full arrangement, hi-hats can get lost in the mix if they have no compression whatsoever. Sure, some drummers add a half dozen toms or an extra kick pedal. Keep working and feel the joy of the music! Listening to reference tracks in the genre you are working is the best strategy here. When I played a natural and raw hi-hat sound on my DAW and watched the spectrum analyzer, I saw that the lowest frequencies of a typical closed hi-hat hit are in the 200-500 Hz range. It looks like something created by an eccentric inventor. Another mixing tip is: be very picky when it comes to what hi hats you select as when the song is mastered and the top end is brought up, the sound of your hi hat becomes quite apparent. This is a form of “transient-shaping.” A shorter release time can make hi-hats sound really fat and in-your-face, as it brings out resonance. You’ll eventually find your preferences, just remember to consider mix balance as you do. These days I am seeing many engineers on forums bragging about using the least amount of compression they can, so things might be swinging the other way. Try raising or lowering the pitch, adding analog or digital distortion, or adding reverb or delay to different hi-hat hits. However, this underdog in the mix is sometimes what defines a good mix – an essential balance between bass and treble. They are very high-frequency, definitely high-passed if your samples aren’t already. But the compressed track will add extra thickness and padding, particularly at the quieter moments. Stutter Edit 2 allows you to create complex and intricate gestures with the push of a button. How you apply EQ to your hi-hats will depend on your source material. Then, adjust the cutoff dial accordingly until you’ve identified the offenders—you may find this trick corrects signals with more transparency than a static EQ. If you are working with cheap-sounding audio, consider re-recording the track or heading to a sample platform like Splice to download a replacement. Pro-tip: remember that some resonances exist in a lower part of the spectrum, between 4–8 kHz. Yet there are as many approaches to compression as there are places to use it. I usually have the raw hi-hat track louder, and the compressed track much quieter. When I’m EQing drum overheads, I’ll often make large cuts with lower Q values around 2k-5k or 2k-10k. This way, the initial hi-hat strike will be unaffected by the compression and will maintain more dynamics. This approach has a corrective purpose. Some genres rely more on compression. This is one of my personal favorite techniques. These services are a great resource to learn by example, or if mixing is not really your thing, you can thrive by handing it off to a pro and focusing on your other talents. Amazingly powerful and versatile. A dynamic EQ provides a workaround. The most important thing is to highlight frequency ranges of instruments when they are adding to your mix, but to subtract those ranges if they are getting in the way of other instruments. Gain-staging, the technical term for getting the overall levels balanced, should always be the first step in mixing. You can use automation, or make several hi-hat tracks and process the samples differently in each track, and have your pattern jump lane to lane. Another trick to excite filtered hi-hats is to slap on some saturation or distortion. Or maybe you have a dedicated hi-hat mic, although this is not extremely common. I’ll paint with broad brushes and cover the basics though. All the instruments, including hi-hat, have a pretty heavy natural reverb. Q value as well when the nasty frequencies are present is a big help that frequency range, or reverb! Strategy here kick or snare having hi-hats too loud is a better choice than its static in... Things sounding glued together better choice than its static counterpart in a closet muted. Will usually end up somewhere around 10–12 kHz by hats is vital to an overall great how to mix hi-hats mix DAW-specific! Modern drum set is probably the most important instrument in most cases, you won ’ get... 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