Blog post

How To Improve Your Hi Hat Grooves

March 15, 2018Misc Inc

Programming HiHats in a DAW is a quick and easy way to get your ideas down. But with more and more time spent on a project you may realize that  your hats sound too mechanical, too robotic.
The problem with that is, that a real human drummer will always have a slight variation each time he hits the hat. You can recreate this to a certrain degree.

1. Veloctiy

Varation of hat velocities for each hit.

Make some hats played louder and some played more quite. Try to focus on the the rhythm. I like to prefer the off-beat hat and keep those the loudest.

You can also let the velocity trigger certain parameters of your sample. For example you can modulate the pitch and the sample offset. Each time the velocity changes, the pitch changes and the hat will sound slightly different.
Less is more in this. You’ll have to aim for a subtle but important difference.

2. Offsetting

To add even more human feeling you can simple offset your hats from the grid.

By delaying the hits a few milliseconds you get a cool laidback feeling.

Set your Hat slighlty off the grid to create perfect imperfection
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