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Good hats shouldn't be underestimated 
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Pendulous
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Post Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Really though.

I had a recent NHHD recently and geez, it's true.

I've been hitting some Sabian B8 hats for ten years and while they got the job done okay, I realize now that I was fighting them the entire time. Like in recordings my snare would have too much hat. I couldn't get the overheads or rooms as loud as I like because then the hats would get out of hand. Live vids, they'd be all you can hear when I'd play a beat with them.

So I got AAX X-Celerator hats which sound really swishy and interesting and yes, loud, but they had this overtone to them, a ring like when you trace your finger around the rim of a crystal champagne glass, like 'ONGG ONGG' and I had to return them. Of course in the store it was much less pronounced than in my practice room so they salesperson probably thought I was full of shit, but anyway...

Try Zild Mastersound hats, they were nice, kind of subdued in the hi mids but glassy and airy on top. Tried Sabian AAX Stage hats, which were a little brash and clangy like a nicer version of my B8s so I skipped on them. Then I tried Zild New Beats and damn, they sounded great. They had this rich depth to them and a lower harmonic that sounded great to me. A vibe like I've heard them before, like a classic sound that I'd realize I've grown up hearing, and that kind of thing often clicks with me. So I got them.

Put them on my kit and then it occurs to me that they are sooo much quieter than my B8s. Which is a good thing, I think. So I'm looking forward to recordings.

So yeah a hi hat rant, happy NHHD to me.

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Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:57 pm
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Simethicone
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Interesting on the B8s- I've heard a few engineer-types say they actually like them for recording because of a particular sonic trashiness. I'm a bit surprised that they're so loud; I would have expected the opposite given they're on the cheap side, and I would have thought that woud tie in with the above. I've spent too much time around drumsnob drums and brass for the past ten years or so to remember what they actually sound like in context. (Club shows don't count, not for brass at least. Can't gauge that unless it sounds like a trashcan lid.)

New Beats are great if I'm remebering their sound right. I think that's what our ex-drummer in Garda used- from your description, they are on the darker side, low pitched for a hat? Kinda... Smooth, sound like something an old school guy would use, pair nicely with an old Ludwig snare, that sort of deal? His, of course, were ancient with the logo long wore off, but what I know of 'em sounds right and fits his taste (and what I remember about his gear). The "not that loud" sounds familiar- part of it's just control on the drummer's part, yeah, but the darker, less brash sound lets the kick and snare do their thing. Mastersounds are nice, used to play in a couple bands with a dude who used those- he actually does session work in LA now, lucky bastard- and he managed to crack a pair using those Ahead aluminium sticks. :lol: Who the fuck cracks their hats? :hypno: His sound was brighter, more modern. Anyhow, either is a good choice in my experience. The classic Zildjian stuff never fails. I suppose it runs the risk of being a little old-school; from what I can tell Sabian tends toward a more "modern" sound, brighter, more aggressive. One of my friends has their Hand Hammered hats and they're pretty great, if, well, bright and loud. Nice and articulate for quick stuff though.

As much as it seems nostalgic, or conservative to the point of being reactionary, there is genuinely something about a lot of those "classic" sounds, things you hear and then realize you've heard countless times. They work in a number of contexts and it's really the playing that defines the context more than a sound or tone. Workmanlike sonic backbone of rock and related forms, that stuff is.

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Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:00 am
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Magnitogorsk
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Yarr, i have been wanting to do a hihat update for a while now on my kit but they are so many dollars.

Kind of came to the same conclusion that you did, as far as fighting them in recordings with the snare bleed. Was initially thinking of going for something in 13", but eventually sort of determined that i probably just want a basic classic thinner zildjian 14" pair.

Once i get my fucking taxes paid, i am starting my newsnare + cymbalrefresh fund.

The main ones i am looking at are basically all proper zildjians. Probably going to start haunting used stores and craigslist to put a set of vintage ones together.

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Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:30 am
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Snaxocaster wrote:
Who the fuck cracks their hats? :hypno:


:red: I have destroyed more pairs than i would like to admit. Back in my days of badmetal. :red:

Snaxocaster wrote:
As much as it seems nostalgic, or conservative to the point of being reactionary, there is genuinely something about a lot of those "classic" sounds, things you hear and then realize you've heard countless times. They work in a number of contexts and it's really the playing that defines the context more than a sound or tone. Workmanlike sonic backbone of rock and related forms, that stuff is.


Aye, it is the same thing basically, IMO, as the Les Paul into a Superlead into a marshall 4x12 into an SM57 thing. It is just one of those noises that has become a Sound. It exists outside of the specific recordings/uses that have made it. It has gone standalone. Become a synth preset. Click it on and it makes the Sound.

I think that discovering all of those sounds as one goes about goes a long way towards getting folks who record, to understand perhaps, how much less there is to recording than it seems when one is trying to make these Sounds with the 'wrong' bits for years prior. We try to make what we have, sound like what our brain wants, and indeed we can potentially even sometimes come up with/invent new Sounds this way, but then you stumble across a Classic Sound and realize there isn't anything else that you need to do than press record. I love that.

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Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:01 am
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Pendulous
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Snaxocaster wrote:
Interesting on the B8s- I've heard a few engineer-types say they actually like them for recording because of a particular sonic trashiness. I'm a bit surprised that they're so loud; I would have expected the opposite given they're on the cheap side, and I would have thought that woud tie in with the above. I've spent too much time around drumsnob drums and brass for the past ten years or so to remember what they actually sound like in context. (Club shows don't count, not for brass at least. Can't gauge that unless it sounds like a trashcan lid.)

As much as it seems nostalgic, or conservative to the point of being reactionary, there is genuinely something about a lot of those "classic" sounds, things you hear and then realize you've heard countless times. They work in a number of contexts and it's really the playing that defines the context more than a sound or tone. Workmanlike sonic backbone of rock and related forms, that stuff is.


I've found cheap hats are actually really loud. They lack restraint. Like, the budget Zildjians, they're called ZBT I think? Holy fuck, it's the only thing you can hear when they are being played. Maybe it's not so much actual amplitude as it is the dominating frequencies, ie cheap hats scream in the high mids.

The cheapest hats I've ever played though, 'Solar' hats (same stamping as B8s since it's by Sabian, but they are made of yellow-ass brass) were real quiet. Different beast, brass. Not worth smacking in serious settings.

And yeah you nail it with the classic sounds. Like I just gravitate towards them, but I don't play classic shit.

chris_d wrote:
Snaxocaster wrote:
Who the fuck cracks their hats? :hypno:


:red: I have destroyed more pairs than i would like to admit. Back in my days of badmetal. :red:


lolwut





Quote:
We try to make what we have, sound like what our brain wants, and indeed we can potentially even sometimes come up with/invent new Sounds this way, but then you stumble across a Classic Sound and realize there isn't anything else that you need to do than press record. I love that.


:huzzah:

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Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:04 pm
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Simethicone
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Unstrung wrote:
I've found cheap hats are actually really loud. They lack restraint. Like, the budget Zildjians, they're called ZBT I think? Holy fuck, it's the only thing you can hear when they are being played. Maybe it's not so much actual amplitude as it is the dominating frequencies, ie cheap hats scream in the high mids.

The cheapest hats I've ever played though, 'Solar' hats (same stamping as B8s since it's by Sabian, but they are made of yellow-ass brass) were real quiet. Different beast, brass. Not worth smacking in serious settings.

And yeah you nail it with the classic sounds. Like I just gravitate towards them, but I don't play classic shit.


Makes sense. That's where "cut" lives, after all. They're also what we percieve as "trashy" frequencies. 3k, anyone? :snax: Hats are inherently strong there to begin with, and the sounds I associate with classier hats are either much darker (a la the New Beats) and have a surprising amount of low end content, or... Crisper, I suppose, in the top end. Bright, with less of a focus on that 2-3k area.

Tin > zinc, I suppose. How "brass" became colorful slang for cymbals (largely among engineer types, from the usage I've observed. I've appropriated it for personal use despite its inaccuracy) I don't know, when bronze is the proper alloy. I've seen metal picks that claim to be "recycled cymbal brass", which, if they're made from ex-cymbals, are probably not brass at all.

Ditto, re: classic sounds, at least when I want conventionally "good" sounds. Chris's Les Paul --> Superlead + cab --> 57 example is a great one: on some level that is distorted rock guitar. It might raise the occasional eyebrow from other players if that's what you roll in with playing a set of Beatles tunes, or a death metal gig (seen it done), but it's never so far out of its element it won't work. Supraphonic or Black Beauty snare, P-bass into an SVT, etc- those are about the safest choices in the history of safe choices, but for a reason. They work.

Quote:
We try to make what we have, sound like what our brain wants, and indeed we can potentially even sometimes come up with/invent new Sounds this way, but then you stumble across a Classic Sound and realize there isn't anything else that you need to do than press record. I love that.


Quote:
:huzzah:


:huzzah: as well. It's great. It's as if you rediscovered the Wisdom of the Ancients.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:23 am
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Considering that hi-hats are indeed, the motherfucking devil, the right ones are crucial. I know some cat who just recorded an EP with 16" hats, can't wait to hear how fucked up that recording sounds.

I had very good luck inheriting the cymbals I did, and I particularly love the Paragon hats. Still loud, but not in the bad brass-y ways that have been mentioned. Them Paragons sound so silky and smooth closed and jangly but aggressive in a very pleasant way when played open.

A Series hats are garbage, IMO. :red:

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:24 pm
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Broseidon wrote:
Considering that hi-hats are indeed, the motherfucking devil, the right ones are crucial.

A Series hats are garbage, IMO. :red:


Okay, brain picking time: what's your beef with Zildjian A hats? Considering they're general-porpoise rock hardware as mentioned above, what are they doing or not doing that doesn't fit with your way of doing things, or yer ears in general? Where are they inadequate or where do they fall short, in your estimation? What is it they suck at or aren't providing? :snax: Seriously, contrarian views on this stuff are interesting, so I'm curious.

I think anyone who's recorded a drum kit knows what trouble hats can get up to. If not Satan, at least Loki. If I were to guess at a reason for disliking 'em (besides busting Geoff's balls), the darker, lower pitched hats could fight the snare not in volume but in frequency range. It's come up for me when mixing. Makes it harder to achieve separation and can make the hat work less articulate. Also more difficult to EQ the snare.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:14 pm
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
My particular beef with A series hats is the fact that they bleed like all hell and I find them to be quite harsh sounding. Lots of very intrustive "jongle" and then the super high nasty shit. I like them closed actually for those reasons, but open with a raging drummer is the last thing I want to record. Hi-hat bleed in the snare mic is one of those things that I have tried to make a conscience effort of eliminating as much as possible. And that is really not so much about getting a snare to not get eaten as much maybe as it wanting to be able to bring up the cymbals in the overhead without killing the whole mix with hi-hat. I'm at a point now where I have more or less got where I want to be, using the i5 on top of the snare probably along with something on the bottom these days. I will probably start experimenting with sample replacement stuff for certain styles as well, and I think that could get very fun.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:53 pm
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Pendulous
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
Dude, you should try recording some B8s and then we'll talk about intrusive frequencies. :fag:

I can't wait to record these and experience the EASE these new hats introduce to my recordings! Compared to what it has been, what it shall be looks so good.

FWIW also the new New Beats are apparently lighter than the previous versions, so maybe our experiences will differ based on that.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:36 pm
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
I should have also elaborated, I'm talking particularly about the A Custom. I've not any experience with other A series hats (which I have just recalled have models within), and it is indeed the thickness that most likely was responsible for the volume and brashness. Top hats should be pretty thin, IMO. People's tendency to lighten up on snare hits on hi-hat D-beat stuff really messes with drums.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Good hats shouldn't be underestimated
A Customs, on the whole, are a different animal than As, and generally exhibit the characteristics you've mentioned: they're loud, bright, aggressive cymbals, and this doesn't pair well with cymbal bashers. I'd go so far as to say hats in general don't pair well with cymbal bashers. :lol:

I wonder how something like Zildjian Ks would pair with someone who beats on the hats a little too much?

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:59 pm
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