5 quick tips to make your Hihats alive

1. Flanger
Adding a flanger to your hihats will give it some movement. Instead of just staying in one place all the time it will give you the feel they’re moving around you a bit. Don’t overdo it unless you do it on purpose to create a certain effect.

Hihats Pic001

2. Reverb
This is a super standard tip but I always use it on my hihats to create some ambience. If I don’t add a little reverb to my hihats I feel they sound kinda dead. I never try to overdo it tho. I just add it slightly so you rather feel it than really hear it.

Hihats Pic002

3. Different samples
Use two or three slightly different hihat samples (not layered but back to back) to give it more of a “Live” feel. When a drummer plays the hihat everytimes he hits it it sound slightly different. So to re-create that drummer feel I like to use a few different hihat samples.

4. Cut lows. Boost highs
Depending on the sound of the hihats I like to roll off a lot of the lower frequencies (below 200-500hz) and boost the top end a bit. The reason I like to do this is cause I like my hihats pretty clean and cut thru the mix. But like with everything it also depends what sound I’m goin for and what fits the record.

Hihats Pic003

5. Program Hihats off-grid
A drummer never hits the notes exactly ON the click track. That’s why I always program my hihats slightly off-grid to create some bounce. Also make sure you play around with the velocity/volume of your hihats for the same reason.

Hihats Pic004

by Shroom


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