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Microphone Month

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

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High Hat Mics?


Hello All. I'm looking for a great HH mic, I've been looking at the Shure SM-81. Has anyone had experience with the adjustable angle diaphram mics? If so, what companies make the mics? Thanks
July 2, 2004 @04:40am

what kinda music?
July 2, 2004 @08:58am

Because much of the hi-hat sound comes from the overheads, typically the hi-hat mic is just adding presence and punch. The SM81 works just fine for this, but this is also one of those places where you could use a cheaper mic and get away with it. You'll want to avoid mics with a midrange (1-3k) boost to avoid a hard sound. Mics with a huge treble lift get obnoxious, too. This is one reason I'm not big fan of the KM184 on hat, although I've used it from time to time.
The AT 4041 is dynamite in this application, better than the SM81, even. And cheaper, too. Give Shure's KMS-137 a shot too. It's quieter and flatter than the 81, and less brittle-sounding. For all intents and purposes, I expect the 137 to replace the 81 at some point, as it's a better mic for similar money.
But if you've got an 81 already, it'll do a fine job.
I typically use the 4041 or the SM81. I've also used 4033's, Shure KMS-109s Neumann KM184s, and even SM57s.
July 2, 2004 @02:17pm

Sm 57's really are great on hi hats if you get a drummer who's hat are really "sizzly".
July 2, 2004 @03:09pm

Thanks Guys. BTW - I'm looking for a mic for basically any genre... Thanks again
July 2, 2004 @07:33pm

With cymbals you may find mic positioning more crucial than mic selection. (I did.)
July 3, 2004 @09:48am

I use a Rode NT5 on my hats in the studio. Very clean and easy to work with. I also use these on my drums whem I go out live. SD Condensers are the way to go with live sound, as they have a much more direct pick-up range. And when you close-mic everything else in the live world, then I typically (for control purposes) prefer small diaphragms for less toms in the OH's.
July 24, 2004 @04:32am

SM81, AT4051, EW SR77, DPA 4011, Neumann KM84/184, Rode NT5 all are great HH mic's and which one to use will depend on the sound your looking for.
At any account, any of these mic's should get the job done and won't sound "bad" at all.
July 24, 2004 @09:36pm

Yeah, it's kind of hard to screw up on a hi hat mic. It's also one of the few things I truely liked the KM184 on.
Man, I need to get over my anti-current-Neumann-model bias. This is getting just silly.
July 26, 2004 @04:48pm

Originally posted by michaelhoddy

Man, I need to get over my anti-current-Neumann-model bias. This is getting just silly.

Man, just call it as you see (hear) it. If it changes later that's fine.:)
July 27, 2004 @01:45pm

Keeping the snare and high hat separated is an ongoing battle, but I think I have found a trick. I have an AKG C418 that I clipped onto the high hat clutch, and to my surprize, there was no thumping noise when the high hat was closed, just pure cymbal sound. You do need to be mindful of the cable, though. It picks up a consistent level, and the mic is well suited to high frequency, high SPL, and has very little leakage. Given all this I still end up using only a little of it in the mix since the overheads seem to get quite a bit of it, but if you need it to stand out, it works well.
August 11, 2004 @03:07pm

Mic placement can mean a lot too.
August 13, 2004 @05:42am

SM81 and AT4041 are my faves. But, position is the big deal. Not only what portion of the cymbal it is over, but also what portion of the hat it is pointing at. Try the entire area of the cymbal, 360 degrees. And feel free to try micing the hat from the bottom. Some bottom hats even have rivets down there.
Hats have a problem with "air lock," so try not to place the mic in a position in the path of the puff of air coming out between the two cymbals on a pedaled stroke. Or use a pop filter. Cymbals radiate as a plate for the most part, so there is a unique sound in that location if you ever get bored.
August 13, 2004 @06:12am

well, I was using some Neumann SKM40's in cardiod (same thing as a KM184, except with switchable capsules and lots of accessories) and I dug them quite a bit as overheads.
I used a studio projects C4 on the hats. 2 for $320 can't really be beat on those.
Of course, the true test comes in a couple weeks once I get the guitars and stuff laid down and begin mixing.
August 23, 2004 @06:56am