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R.I.P. Hi-Hats

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  • R.I.P. Hi-Hats

    Has anyone noticed that a lot of modern music these days lacks hi-hats? Whether it's pop, hip-hop or even indie/alt rock, is it a 2010s thing to not have hi-hats in songs? Actually, you'll hear a hi-hat or similar rhythm mechanism, but in the chorus only. The verses will be without them. Who started this?

    Yes, it's mostly due to drums being programmed, but drums were programmed in the '80s, '90s and '00s and they still used a hi-hat sound.

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Elson Trinidad</b><br><br><i>Singer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Bassist</i><br><br>Elson and the Soul Barkada<br><br><br><br><b>Web:</b> <a href="http://www.elsongs.com" target="_blank">www.elsongs.com</a><br><br><b>MySpace:</b> <a href="http://www.myspace.com/elsongs" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/elsongs</a><br><br><b>Facebook:</b> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/?ref=sb#/pages/Elson-and-the-Soul-Barkada/17610745066" target="_blank">Facebook Page</a><br><br><b>Twitter:</b> <a href="http://twitter.com/elsongs" target="_blank">twitter.com/elsongs</a></div>

  • #2

    elsongs wrote:

    Has anyone noticed that a lot of modern music these days lacks hi-hats? Whether it's pop, hip-hop or even indie/alt rock, is it a 2010s thing to not have hi-hats in songs? Actually, you'll hear a hi-hat or similar rhythm mechanism, but in the chorus only. The verses will be without them. Who started this?


    Keith Moon didn't use a HiHat.


    "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

    Comment


    • Porkchop
      Porkchop commented
      Editing a comment
      He didn't use a ride cymbal either for that matter. He just rode the crash all night long. Ringo was the king of the hi-hat.

  • #3

    elsongs wrote:

    Has anyone noticed that a lot of modern music these days lacks hi-hats? Whether it's pop, hip-hop or even indie/alt rock, is it a 2010s thing to not have hi-hats in songs? Actually, you'll hear a hi-hat or similar rhythm mechanism, but in the chorus only. The verses will be without them. Who started this?

    Yes, it's mostly due to drums being programmed, but drums were programmed in the '80s, '90s and '00s and they still used a hi-hat sound.


    I hear less hi-hats, but I also hear a lot of awkward unnatural sounding hi-hat patterns in a lot of today's pop and hip-hop. I started noticing this about ten years ago. Fast bursts of staccato notes that don't seem to mesh with the over all groove of the record. I think this is a stylistic trend that started with hip-hop producers that have never worked with real drummers before. To them I think the hi-hat may just be another sound in their sample libraries.

    In the eighties some producers would program the bass and snare drums, then have real drummers overdub the hi-hats. The hi-hats are really where the swing comes from. I've never really been able to program totally convincing hi-hat patterns and the hi-hats are the first thing I listen for when trying to determine if a song has sequenced drum tracks.

    Comment


    • blue2blue
      blue2blue commented
      Editing a comment

      I think a lot of today's engineers get frustrated by 'hats and cymbals in general. 


      In essence, a lot of them just don't seem to like the sound of a real drum kit played by a real drummer so they go out of their way to suppress the sound of the 'hat and thin out the cymbals, not to mention gridifyin' and homodulatin' everying...  grin 


       


      YES... you are here at the birth of a new term of recording art: homodulation.


      Homodulation noun - In modern recording studio practice, the practice of removing any sort of idiosyncrasies, character, individuality, or other perceived 'imperfection' from the recorded product.

      Attached Files

  • #4

    I think the transition has been happening for longer than that.

     

    Before "rock" music back in the days of "swing" the timekeeper in the band was the bass players with their walking quarter note lines.  Drummers in those days used more of a "top down" method, depending on the Ride cymbal and the HiHats and then lightly filling in on the other drums to compliment the bass pattern.  When rock took over drummers went to a  more "bottom up" style where kick and snare drive the beat and metal serves as a garnish. 

    I'm always amused when I see a dozen mics on a drum kit but can pretty much only hear the kick and snare in the mix

    Don Boomer

    Comment


    • Folder
      Folder commented
      Editing a comment

      dboomer wrote:

      Before "rock" music back in the days of "swing" the timekeeper in the band was the bass players with their walking quarter note lines.  Drummers in those days used more of a "top down" method, depending on the Ride cymbal and the HiHats and then lightly filling in on the other drums to compliment the bass pattern.  When rock took over drummers went to a  more "bottom up" style where kick and snare drive the beat and metal serves as a garnish. 

      Yeah, I can hear that. 

      When I was a kid I was taught that rock bands were supposed to play to the drummer and you always recorded the drums first and then everybody played to the drum tracks and you built up from there.  Like you said the "kick and snare drive the beat and metal serves as a garnish."  But when I listen to a lot of jazz and even classic rock from the sixties and early seventies I hear a lot of drummers playing around the beat. The beat and the feel seem to be somewhat independent from the drummer. Keith Moon is an example of this kind of playing I think. He doesn't really sound so much like he's keeping a beat as he sounds like he's  embellishing the beat that's already inherent in the music.


  • #5
    Folder
    I never quantize any more. I just do takes till I get it right. Once I do I commit it to audio right away; drum patches vary a lot on how they react to hihat velocities. So I don't have to worry about losing the feel of the take.

    Comment


    • Lee Knight
      Lee Knight commented
      Editing a comment

      I like my mixes to have high-hat!, lots of noisy drums and cymbals! Drums! Here, I've tucked a mandolin behind the hat to create a little sort of high-hat section for subdivided support of the groove...


       


       


  • #6

    Here's an example of a contemporary rock song without any hi-hats - "Madness" by Muse (though they do come in after 3:30):

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Elson Trinidad</b><br><br><i>Singer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Bassist</i><br><br>Elson and the Soul Barkada<br><br><br><br><b>Web:</b> <a href="http://www.elsongs.com" target="_blank">www.elsongs.com</a><br><br><b>MySpace:</b> <a href="http://www.myspace.com/elsongs" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/elsongs</a><br><br><b>Facebook:</b> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/?ref=sb#/pages/Elson-and-the-Soul-Barkada/17610745066" target="_blank">Facebook Page</a><br><br><b>Twitter:</b> <a href="http://twitter.com/elsongs" target="_blank">twitter.com/elsongs</a></div>

    Comment



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