The Drummer’s Guide to the TD-50 – Making Your Hi-Hats Sound Solid

The hi-hat is arguably the most played part of any drum kit. As such, there are many types and sizes of hi-hats that are used by drummers.

Roland’s flagship TD-50 module gives you several vastly different hi-hat sounds that you can fully edit in order to cover all possible musical situations.

The TD-50 also offers the ability to assign hi-hat sounds anywhere on the kit. This includes the tom rims, cymbals, additional trigger inputs and the snare rim, while controlling the open and close from the hi-hat pedal as you’d normally do.

You can even layer hi-hat sounds of different sizes, or create interesting stacked sounds by adding china cymbals, tambourines or cowbells. You can then manipulate the curve shape, to determine how the layered sounds interact with one another.

 

 
 
1. INCREASE THE CYMBAL SIZE
 
The most popular size for hi-hats is 14”. 15” hi-hats give an even bigger sound for Rock playing, while 12”-13” hi-hats can sound great for up-tempo funk, or anywhere else bright and in-your-face hi-hats are needed.

You can adjust the TD-50 hi-hats from 1”-40” for a huge range of sound possibilities.

Button Presses & Values:
[INSTRUMENT] | F1 (INST) | R2 (Size) 1-40
Try: 16.

 
 
2. INCREASE THE CYMBAL THICKNESS
 
Dark and thin hi-hats are common in Jazz, whereas brighter, smaller hi-hats are often used in the studio for a ready-to-go, hi-fi sounding recording.

Thicker hi-hats give more stick attack and definition to cut through busy and guitar-heavy mixes.

Button Presses & Values:
[INSTRUMENT] | F1 (INST) | R3 (Thickness) THIN5-THICK+5
Try: THICK+5.

 
 
3. MOVE THE MICROPHONE PLACEMENT
 
Microphone positioning can be a challenge with acoustic hi-hats, as finding a position out of the way of the drummer’s feet and sticks that also doesn’t pick up too much of the snare or other drums often compromises the ultimate sound.

In the TD-50, you can move the microphone from the edge to the cup/bell to change the focus and tonal balance of the hi-hat for the right blend of stick definition and brightness, without worrying about microphone bleed from surrounding drums. You can even change the foot close and foot splash volume level too.

Moving the microphone away and towards the edge will yield a darker and thinner sound, with more apparent air as it escapes from the sides of the closing hats.

Moving the microphone on top and closer to the cup/bell will give a brighter sound, with more stick attack definition and an increase in overtones and sustain.

Button Presses & Values:
[INSTRUMENT] | PAGE DOWN | MIC POSITION | F1 (MIC POS) | R2 (Mic Position) OUTSIDE4-INSIDE4
Try: INSIDE3.

 
 
4. INCREASE THE ATTACK AND SUSTAIN
 
Unlike using a compressor, which can “pump” and “breathe” and sound unnatural, the transient tool works on each individual strike and is a much more effective solution to help improve stick definition, allowing the hi-hat to cut through a mix while maintaining its power for open hits.

Button Presses & Values:
[INSTRUMENT] | [PAGE DOWN X2] | TRANSIENT | R1 (TIME) | R2 (ATTACK) | R3 (RELEASE)
Try: Time 8 Attack 100 Release 100.

RELATED ARTICLES

THE DRUMMER’S GUIDE TO THE TD-50 – BEEF UP YOUR KICK
THE DRUMMER’S GUIDE TO THE TD-50 – MAKE YOUR CRASH CYMBALS SOUND BIGGER
THE DRUMMER’S GUIDE TO THE TD-50 – GIVE YOUR SNARE SOUND MORE PUNCH
THE DRUMMER’S GUIDE TO THE TD-50 – MAKING YOUR TOMS SOUND DEEPER
THE DRUMMER’S GUIDE TO THE TD-50 – TWEAKING THE RIDE CYMBAL

TD-50KV with KD-A22

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