Reply To: Mixing Hi-Hats
nice man sounds like you are paying a lot of attention and a lot of thought is going into it. generally how i go about it is get the most out of as little as possible. I find layering breaks to be very dangerous territory as overlapping transients/cymbals/hats/percussion lose their clarity very fast. I would usually find a break and listen to the groove/cymbals/ambience/transients and beef up parts that need it layering kicks and snares under it.
my main idea is using the break as kind of like the overhead sound which is like the overall capture of the drums then for that splashy tops end i would either as you said bring in a splashy loop under what i have or build some washy ride or hat loops and sidechain them to the kick and snare.
If you have two breaks you want to layer i would be a lot of attention to the lengths of the hits and also the transients maybe one doesnt have great transients and is just messing with the other break that does have good ones. so i would load up ozone or maybe alloy and compress the transients on the not so good one to level out the sound removing any spikes that can help move it out of the way of the other break.
excuse my rambling hope you get what im saying 🙂