Mixing Hi-Hats

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    • #15970
      ,SGAG
      Participant

      Anyone have mixing tips for hi-hats/rides/crashes/etc.? Wondering how people bus them, areas of frequencies they usually look to cut/keep/emphasize, and other rules of thumb.

    • #15972
      ,Collider
      Participant

      such a hard thing to get right ae. It can definitely make or break a mix in some cases. totally depends on the tune. Some things to try: limit yourself to two main hat sounds get them working its all a real drummer would really be capable of doing if you cant get them working maybe different samples are needed.

      Dont have them the driving force ie too loud in the mix just a little sizzle on top of the drums, or the total opposite have them very direct and clear need to be very nice samples and complement everything else for this, in this case they can sometimes help the whole transient of the kick/snare providing the top end and sharpness to them. Removing the attack of them can help them sound smoother in the mix and not jump out or hurt your ears so much. side chaining them can help them groove with the drums so much better most of the time.

      changing the samples pitch ever so slightly threw out the sequence. sending to a buss and also some kind of sub bass to the same buss distorting until the sub makes the hihat break up then eqing out the sub sound is a cool effect to get that broken up hihat sound some of pspn2o distortions work well for this.

      Some ideas hope that might help but yea something i struggle with too.

      cheers mate

      • #15973
        ,SGAG
        Participant

        I really like that last idea, which is creative as hell and I will definitely try out.

        My particular issue is trying to find the sweet spot for layering breaks without them becoming complicated to the point of chaos. I’ve found it helps to cut the low end AND high end (e.g., slightly cutting like 7000-22000) of one splashy break and layering it with another break that has more crisp hi-hats and then keeping both the mid range and high range of frequencies intact so it also breaks through the splashier break. Thus the splashier break occupies some space in the higher areas, along with the more crisp break, without creating too much brightness in the mix. If you have experience with layering breaks, I’d love to hear if you have a general way of going about it so as to balance everything out.

      • #18415
        ,Basi
        Participant

        Hey Collider, If you use a distorted sub to crush the hi hats do you need to make it into hits the same length as the hats? otherwise you are left with the distorted sub in between hat hits or is this the desired effect?
        In the signal tutorial I saw he did this with white noise which made more sense to me, can remember he mentioned hats but not sure if he demonstrated or not. Will have to give it another watch.

        Cheers

      • #18425
        ,Collider
        Participant

        Hey Basi, what i meant was to not use a distorted sub but a clean sine sub note and route that to a buss with a hat loop of some sort then distort them as a group and then highpass to remove the bass. I usually just use one sub note for a 2bar hat/ride/noise loop and then bounce and play around with it in audio. If you do it with a distorted bass and then highpass you will still have the tops of the distorted bass with the hats which you generally wouldn’t want, yup signal explains it perfectly he also shows another way of doing it with camelphat. you can do it with pretty much any distortion. i quite like doing it with ozone limiter on the first setting and set to as fast as possible and crank the threshold. Also once you have the distortion and highpass set up play around with the levels of sub and hats going into that group and even the pitch of the sub to get it just how you want it. hope that cleared things up dude.

      • #18860
        ,Basi
        Participant

        Cheers for the clarification on that one mate!

    • #15974
      ,Collider
      Participant

      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 🙂

      • #15986
        ,SGAG
        Participant

        Totally get it. I am a particular fan of how Billain puts it, that these sounds are really the “glue.” I usually bus them all to a channel that has some sort of compression/limiting going on so that when the transients of one break are greater than the transients of the other break, it sort of “swaps out,” so to speak, and so you have this effect of things coming in and out while maintaining a balanced high end. I’m currently working with a label to get a few tunes released, so I’d rather keep them under wraps for the time being, but thanks for the curiosity! If you have anything you’d like to share, I’d be down to hear it

    • #15985
      ,Collider
      Participant

      You should post some stuff you working on mate would love to check it out.

    • #15987
      ,Collider
      Participant

      awesome man! cant wait to hear it. I am still working towards that stage of sending some stuff out not quite there yet. been working on getting my mixes to translate how i want them too. just need a bit more work on getting phrases and buildups flowing properly and keeping it interesting. you have any good tips for that? i find keeping things interesting for a full song really difficult.

      • #16001
        ,SGAG
        Participant

        It really depends on your workflow. I spend a lot of time bouncing samples before I even go into a track, and then a lot of my progressions are based on chopping/distorting/stretching/rearranging those samples, so for me progression is usually a matter of finding the sounds that sound like they fit both logically and aesthetically. If you’re more melody based, I’d say the progression should be a bit easier, in the sense that you have music theory as a general guideline. I definitely recommend taking tracks you like and loading them into your DAW, then outlining how the progression works, and spend some time making practice tracks like that, and eventually you’ll pick up some tricks and nuance. It’s difficult to prescribe advice without an idea of your workflow, but if you ever hit a wall with creativity I recommend taking some time off away from making that tune and come back to it a bit later; often times (I find that) creativity can be pretty spontaneous and things seem to unravel themselves. Also, try to give the track what it needs (rather than imposing your will on a track, if that is what your posture is with regards to producing)–sometimes things sound much better when I try to do what would be best for the tune even if it’s not the direction I intended to go; at least for me, it’s easy to fall into the frame of trying to impose my will on a track where what I intended to do really just isn’t a good fit for the tune in particular.

      • #16009
        ,Collider
        Participant

        well said man! definitely is an easy thing to fall into. thanks for that got me thinking from a different perspective. Big ups

    • #15988
      ,Collider
      Participant

      ive uploaded a couple of wips you can check them in my thread on the first page. cheers bro

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