Thread: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

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  1. #1
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    Default Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    When I get a song to mix, I have sometimes addressed this problem by triggering samples, but I view that as a last resort.

    So if fixing the problem during tracking isn't an option, and you really do want to use that snare track, how do you all deal with it?
  2. #2
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    Duplicate the track, cut out a ton of highs to taste, bus to a distortion effect, mix back in with original track.

    Sometimes this can make it worse, though.

    How much is too much? Is there too much in the overheads, too?
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  3. #3
    Highway to Hell is for Children Allen Bean to the Moon
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    So if fixing the problem during tracking isn't an option, and you really do want to use that snare track, how do you all deal with it?
    Depends on what the part is. The real clusterf*ck is when there's plenty of ghosts, syncopation all with uneven dynamics etc. In this unfortunate case keying samples on hard hits and maybe using bottom snare track to get some details and life back is the way that works for me. However, if the dynamics is controlled and the snare pattern is not too busy I can just gate the snare and adjust release so that the part sounds like the drummer puts accent on the hat on every snare hit. It actually sounds cool to me if the hat bleed is good.

    PS, sometimes a dull snare track (if it has good ring) may work surprisingly well. On some records that Andy Wallace mixed the snare is rather dull.
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  4. #4
    wardrobe malfunction investigator 329 M/S Hen=Mock Chicken!
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    This is absolutely my pet peeve. I mention this all-too-common problem in my book about 6 or 7 times because I think it' is too often overlooked while tracking…which is the time to fix it! With some drummers it's more difficult than with others but in your case, the damage is already done.

    I feel your pain.

    To try and solve the problem I prefer to duplicate the snare to several tracks so I can selectively EQ and gate each component of the snare sound to effectively remix the snare sound with some control.

    You will almost certainly have to leave one, unprocessed snare track open to start, but try rolling off some top end on that one to minimize the hi-hat presence in the overall ambience that's bleeding through the snare mic.

    Under that, I start by gating/comping one snare split for brightness and hardness. Gate it very tightly with as short a release as you can get away with, and balance it against the unprocessed snare. That should give you your brightness back without all the high-hat, though sometimes you still hear the hi-hat jump up and down with the action of the gate. Play with the release time until it's as natural sounding as possible; if that's possible.

    Under that I then take a split for the body of the drum and do a significant boost at a resonant low-mid frequency that is complementary to the tone of the snare. Roll off all of the top end on that one. You may not need to gate it at all but if you do it won't be as noticeable as the full-bandwidth or bright snare.

    At that point it's a matter of rebalancing and combining those faders to see if you made it better.

    Other times you're stuck.

    Sometimes less snare mic and more OHs can do the trick too, though I bet if it's already a problem, then the balance in the OHs ain't so stellar either!
  5. #5
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    This is never easy, and I always try my damndest to avoid the bleed in tracking. This means paying attention to the selection, angle and placement of the mic, and if possible, goboing off the mic with foam or fabrics. Last time I used a padded stick bag with some success.

    In mix, however, the true life saver for me has been the Airwindows Gatelope. It is incredibly transparent in that it gates the highs and lows separately (with individual release times), and offers a dry/wet mix control so that you can attenuate the leakage without killing it entirely - resulting in a sound which is far less "choppy" and conspicuous than a regular gate.


    otek
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  6. #6
    wardrobe malfunction investigator 329 M/S Hen=Mock Chicken!
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    That looks like a cool plug, though not a ProTools plug? Bummer.

    I guess you could almost do the same thing by splitting the channels and dividing the frequency ranges for each channel and then gating them individually. Almost like using a crossover network. Not unlike what I normally do anyway!

    Yeah, the bleed thing is always a concern when tracking. I usually tell clients (who bother to ask before tracking) that I would gladly have the tone suffer slightly to keep some of the hi-hat out of the snare mic.
  7. #7
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    I made a handy little hi hat rejecter out of pvc pipe and (alleged) sound proofing material (made of hard rubber and foam). It's an elbow bend so it supports itself on the mic stand clutch, and the mic end has half the pipe cut away, shielding the back of my Josephson e22s from the hi hat AND errant drum sticks. The acoustical material is glued to the pipe...

    I am grateful for it every time I record drums; it really does work.
  8. #8
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    I made a handy little hi hat rejecter out of pvc pipe and (alleged) sound proofing material (made of hard rubber and foam). It's an elbow bend so it supports itself on the mic stand clutch, and the mic end has half the pipe cut away, shielding the back of my Josephson e22s from the hi hat AND errant drum sticks. The acoustical material is glued to the pipe...

    I am grateful for it every time I record drums; it really does work.
    Awesome - can you post a photo?

    Cheers,
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    Others have mentioned some of these. This is assuming it can't be re tracked.

    Use more of the snare bottom mic

    Shelve and or notch above around 5k a little bit.

    I 2nd Otek's use of the "Gatelope" gate. Lets the resonant ring out while clamping down on the higher frequencies. while not sounding choppy. On the insert before the "Gatelope" a traditional gate only just closing when the snare isn't hit and with a relatively long release will make the "Gatelope"'s job a lot easier.

    key a fast attack compressor on the overheads with the hi hat track. or a single band of a multi band compressor in the hihat frequency range.

    never found a one trick pony. (aside from recording it with less hihat bleed) Usually find a little bit of all of the above gets you across the line. Then you are not distracted from the things that actually sound good. Anything that is too dramatic is going to stick out like dogs balls. a few db hear a few db there is the the key.
  10. #10
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    duplicate track
    replace one track with samples you probably should have made from the kit at the beginning of the session for just such an occasion.
    mix in to taste.


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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    On the insert before the "Gatelope" a traditional gate only just closing when the snare isn't hit and with a relatively long release will make the "Gatelope"'s job a lot easier.
    I often go one step further.

    I strip silence a copy of the snare track and go through the edits using the "slice at flex marker" feature in Logic. A gate is first keyed by the strip silenced track and set to a relatively small amount of reduction/long release. The Gatelope follows and smooths out the dynamic envelope. If done right, it's sometimes very hard to tell it's been gated, even in solo.

    The resulting track can also be used to trigger samples with great accuracy.


    otek
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  12. #12
    In a world of ones and zeros...this one's the latter. Ron Jeremy's fluffer
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    So if fixing the problem during tracking isn't an option, and you really do want to use that snare track, how do you all deal with it?
    Beside edditing one of the best tools I've used so far is the Brainworx dyneq.
  13. #13
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    I used to make all sorts of contraptions to shade the snare mic from the hi hat - styrofoam cups with a hole in the bottom and padded with foam, cardboard fans with foam glued on, even whole pieces of eggshell foam with a simple hole through it where the mic would go (with the room for the ports to breath, of course). But lately I've just been making sure the rejection angle is good and it hasn't really been a problem for a long time.

    But yeah, I like having the bleed down to a minimum in the snare track just because it makes compression less ugly if you push it and gives the snare that sucking smacky sound when you really dig in. Sometimes I'll do a similar thing to otek where I'll duplicate the track, strip silence and use a transient designer. I'll boost the attack all the way, bring the release all the way down and then mix in the resulting high-attack signal with the original. This kind of supplies the snap I'm looking for without compressing too hard (thus bringing the hi hat up) and using EQ.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    Sometimes I'll do a similar thing to otek where I'll duplicate the track, strip silence and use a transient designer.
    I do that too sometimes. In the description above, however, the strip silenced track is used to key the gate only. It's not being routed to the output.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  15. #15
    Highway to Hell is for Children Allen Bean to the Moon
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    As far as gates go, the best one currently there is for drums IMO is the gate in Slate Trigger2 Platinum. It is driven by the same detection algo which is the core of Trigger2 replacer (also IMO the best on the market, though I stopped trying since I bought Trigger, and Trigger2 is improvement over that), so it doesn't chatter at all.
    Only drawback is that it can't be set to a variable reduction. It must be set on a parallel track if you want some bleed to come thru.
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  16. #16
    Frustrated Chick Rock singer...now doing jazz standards poorly! Yknee cnut
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    This


    and this


    and maybe this


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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    This


    and this


    and maybe this


    Thanks. I've been scouting for a flabbergasted dude for years. How is the build quality?
  18. #18
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    As far as gates go, the best one currently there is for drums IMO is the gate in Slate Trigger2 Platinum.
    That's an incredible gate, in as much as it discerns where the actual snare hits are, even in ultra-complex source material.

    But I still feel the Airwindows Gatelope has the edge in one way, given that you can retain much more of the natural ring of the snare while still getting rid of the hihat bleed.

    I often use a side-chained gate in front of the Gatelope, as it will open with loud leakage just like most other gates; the difference is in how it closes.

    I'd like to think that the reason it sounds good to retain a little bit of the leakage, is kind of like the reason we use dither - If the gate closes 100%, the gating effect becomes more noticeable than if we leave a little "noise" in there.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  19. #19
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    Thanks for all the great suggestions, everybody!
  20. #20
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    Default Re: Too much hi-hat in the snare track

    This is never easy, and I always try my damndest to avoid the bleed in tracking. This means paying attention to the selection, angle and placement of the mic, and if possible, goboing off the mic with foam or fabrics. Last time I used a padded stick bag with some success.
    If your drums aren't in a large space, a bit of absorbtive material on the wall facing the hat may help with that, also may help with phase issues.
    In mix, however, the true life saver for me has been the Airwindows Gatelope. It is incredibly transparent in that it gates the highs and lows separately (with individual release times), and offers a dry/wet mix control so that you can attenuate the leakage without killing it entirely - resulting in a sound which is far less "choppy" and conspicuous than a regular gate.


    otek
    That's an incredible gate, in as much as it discerns where the actual snare hits are, even in ultra-complex source material.

    But I still feel the Airwindows Gatelope has the edge in one way, given that you can retain much more of the natural ring of the snare while still getting rid of the hihat bleed.

    I often use a side-chained gate in front of the Gatelope, as it will open with loud leakage just like most other gates; the difference is in how it closes.

    I'd like to think that the reason it sounds good to retain a little bit of the leakage, is kind of like the reason we use dither - If the gate closes 100%, the gating effect becomes more noticeable than if we leave a little "noise" in there.

    otek
    I don't use a mac so I haven't used any Air Windows stuff.

    I have used MacGregor's MCR Dual Gate to deal with a ringing/bleeding rack tom.

    http://thewombforums.com/showthread.php?t=15901
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