Hi-hats have been topping off grooves in almost every musical genre since their invention in the 1920s. Most of the time, a drummer 'rides' the hi-hats with a drumstick, applying pressure to the pedal to generate the 'open' and 'closed' hat sounds that give the instrument its expressive character. Open hits have a long sustain, with both cymbals ringing out; closed hits decay quickly.
The sequencing of closed and open hi-hat sounds forms a metallic pattern that drives a rhythm along. Synthesised 'electronic' hi-hats are usually created using white noise and filtering to replicate the sound and tone of the real thing.
In this tutorial, we'll show you how to inject life, width, depth, dynamics and realism into your hi-hat parts, whether you're working with synth-based drum machines or realistic samples. Hold on to your hats!