Hi-Hats for Soul, Funk, and hip-hop (boom bap) [with occasional alt-rock thrown in]

chillybase

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So I am slowly cycling through hi-hats. I have owned 15" Dream Bliss (early run), 15" New Beats (redesigned), and now 14" Avedis (recent). I felt the Dream Bliss hats got me there the most but sometimes sounded mushy. The 15" New Beats sound just a tad harsh. My new-to-me 14" Avedis hats seem mushy and not much sizzle.

I also use a Tama Classic hi-hat stand. This doesn't seem to take heavier cymbals very well without being a bit sluggish.

Does anyone have recommendations for hi-hats that would most fit the genre but still be able to grab some rock music here and there?

I was about to grab some 13" K hi-hats from a forum member but then I found the 14" for a fair price. I may have made a mistake. :)
 

Topsy Turvy

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use your knowledge you'll figure it out
Seriously? Why even post this kind of thing? You don't like his question, move on.

To the OP: What are you looking for out of these hats? A crisp bark? A soft, smoky sound?

My first thought was vintage Zildjians, but those do the smoky thing well, not the bark. A Customs will definitely get you the bark, but they are not smoky. What are you looking for, specifically?
 

JDA

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Seriously? Why even post this kind of thing? You don't like his question, move on.
because as drummers we figure these things Best on our own;
That's a fact, Build your knowledge base by your own self-exploration.
Just how I think it is.
 

JDA

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chillybase

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I’d say my knowledge and resources are limited. I’ve only been playing for a few years but I still don’t consider myself as talented as other drummers I know. I don’t have a drum shop nearby to test cymbals.

I kind of know what I’m after but I’m not sure what hats out there will provide the sound. YouTube videos aren’t always helpful if you can’t buy the exact cymbals.

I’ll will try to get some more examples together.
 

chillybase

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Drummers I like:

Hip-Hop: Karriem Riggins, Chris Dave, Questlove, Mike D.

Old School: Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks, G.C. Coleman (Amen Break)

Groove: Billy Martin, Ash Soan, DJ Johnson, and Carter McLean

Programmed/Sampled by: J Dilla, Madlib, Adlib Swayze, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist + DJ Numark (Jurassic 5), A Tribe Called Quest

I know Billy Martin is using the newer Avedis line in some current work/sponsorships. I also know Karriem and Questlove use Zildjian. I'd imagine that the old James Brown stuff used vintage Zildjian. Ash Soan also uses Zildjian. So lots of Zildjian users on the list. I figured New Beats or New Beat weights would be what I'm after but I still haven't arrived there yet.

While my cymbals are pretty much Zildjian, I am not totally locked into using Zildjian. My OCD-type tendencies may argue that though.

I am selling a bunch of stuff, so I will have a bit of wiggle room on the budget.
 

jaymandude

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You like those guys. I get that. So do I. I like their sound. I want that sound.

Then my alarm goes off and I have to wake up and face reality. Can I play like that ? If I buy what they play will I sound like that ?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Don't know what to tell you. If the Zildjians dont have enough sizzle you need somethig brighter. But your favorite guys don't play bright hats. Kind of a dilemma there...

JDA's point is only you can match what your hear with how you play. Maybe they way you play combined with Paiste 2002 sound edge hats get's you to that place. Maybe it's 16 K lights. It's hard to know..
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Something old:
14” or 13” Vintage A’s, medium-thin/medium set. 70’s hollow logo are nice, and reasonable. 50’s or 60’s are a bit more money, not necessarily better (although few things are prettier than some clean, patinated 50’s or 60’s A hats) Smooth, smoky, sexy.

Something new:
13” K’s could be very good too for what you’re wanting. 13” K’s are more funky/hip-hoppy than 14” Avedis for sure. Maybe the guy with the K’s will trade! Pay attention to weights - I agree with you that New Beats are a bit harsh and for me that’s because they’re just too heavy. Hard rock/metal centric. 15” must be what, 1200/1500 or something like that? That’s gonna sound harsh. Two manhole covers fighting. Even a 13” pair of K’s can vary a lot in weight, a lighter pair would probably sound great, or at least a lighter top for a mellower, sizzlier sound.

Something newer:
13.25” K Custom Hybrid is a cool choice for the genres you describe, they have a distinct sound and feel (and look). Plenty of chick, not too light, thinned out at the edges so you get a nice sizzle. Thinner top than bottom. They’re smooth, but they project. I can easily picture them doing soul/hip-hop/funk/alt-rock without any compromise.

Something weird:
WWCDD? What would Chris Dave do? 13” Agop Xist Dry Dark hats. Very...,ummm, dark and dry. Not a do-it-all pair of hats by any means, but they’re weird, and Chris Dave would urge you to consider the path less traveled.
 

JDA

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you forgot the most important consideration.

Something Affordable.
 

Phantomlimb777

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You should find some nice, medium thin to thin As.
They’ll cover the things you need, as they were what was used on the classic records from the genres you listed, anyway. A nice old pair of new beats will take you far, you can use stick placement and different strokes to make different sounds. Use tape, experiment, make sounds. Boom bap stuff all sounds different, because the sound sources on the samples are either layered or put through a mix. It is what you make it.
 

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Yes, too much varierty to have one "set it and forget it" Hi Hat. Also try cheaper things: different sticks (maple is a bit softer, different tips), ching ring or other doodads and of course technique / where you play the Hi Hat / with how much pressure on the pedal...
How about a thin 15" Avedis Crash to pair with your current 15"? I use one on top of a thick Orchestra Avedis (I think that's what they are called - basically a thick Avedis). Then you can flip top and bottom to have two different sounds.
 

Old PIT Guy

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Take the middle ground (14" medium weight) and spend a lot of time focusing on what you're doing with the hi-hat. Spend time with dynamic levels and various foot pressure for tight, no sizzle / med. slight sizzle / loose sloshy and integrate those sounds musically into grooves. Foot chicks as stick substitution etc. After some time you'll develop preferences for certain things and consider what hardware might work best to facilitate which parts of your hi-hat technique you want to feature. If you like really tight barks, you'll want smaller cymbals. If you want more variety of the sounds foot pressure provides, you'll want larger cymbals. More foot chick, heavier hats. I'm a mostly funk drummer and I like med-light 15s lately. That could change because there are always compromises. But by thinking and experimenting you'll know what particular cymbals do what for your technique.
 

deegeebee

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You should find some nice, medium thin to thin As.
They’ll cover the things you need, as they were what was used on the classic records from the genres you listed, anyway. A nice old pair of new beats will take you far...
I second (third, fourth...?) this. Thin 70s New Beats (13-14") sound surprisingly sampled when played tight closed. A different sample up there near the bell. They are affordable and can ringo-sizzle with the best of them.
In my experience, go too thin and you might sacrifice overall cut and foot chick, but still get a nice mix of modern and vintage sounds out of the stick.
 

funkypoodle

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I've been using a pair of very middle weight, average late 60's New Beats for everything for a while now. They'd cover any of the aforementioned Jabo/Starks/Amen Break, most of the sampling on ATCQ, Madlib, Shadow/CChemist or anything Old School really. Billy Martin is Billy Martin and often makes the worst, beat up old "crap" sound like gold.

A few weeks ago I snagged a pair of HHX Stage hats & I've really been enjoying the contrast between them and the NBs. There's a bigger difference in weight between top & bottom. The top is light, but probably because of it's tapered profile and large bell it's really less "mushy" than you'd think. The bottom is surprisingly heavy. The result is more"cut" than you'd think from dark cymbals, lots of crispness. Great foot chick too. Then when you open them they are quite dark in contrast, almost like using a bright sample for closed hats and dropping the same sample an octave down for the open sound. These would be great for a more "hybrid" hip hop thing.

I think though that getting one pair to sound like old A's, a 707/909 & an 8-bit sample of Alphonse Mouzon has its' limits :-D
 

jaymandude

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If we’re contributing model suggestions, something I’m always hesitant to do, I would consider the Zay Starkey approach and not use any hi hats at all.
 

jsp210

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So I am slowly cycling through hi-hats. I have owned 15" Dream Bliss (early run), 15" New Beats (redesigned), and now 14" Avedis (recent). I felt the Dream Bliss hats got me there the most but sometimes sounded mushy. The 15" New Beats sound just a tad harsh. My new-to-me 14" Avedis hats seem mushy and not much sizzle.

I also use a Tama Classic hi-hat stand. This doesn't seem to take heavier cymbals very well without being a bit sluggish.

Does anyone have recommendations for hi-hats that would most fit the genre but still be able to grab some rock music here and there?

I was about to grab some 13" K hi-hats from a forum member but then I found the 14" for a fair price. I may have made a mistake. :)
It seems that from what you are describing with your impressions of the various sets you have owned you might want to experiment with mixing weights with your tops and bottoms more rather than jumping across brands/lines/sizes. Grab some bargains in the used market and get a feel for how the weights impact the sound and feel. 14" should cover all styles and vintage A Zildjian are affordable options as others have suggested, will be a good versatile choice. Your "mushy" might have been a case of too light and "harsh" maybe too heavy for your taste. I like at least a 200 gram difference between top and bottom, regardless of brand/line/size. You may like matched weights. As JDA suggested, accumulate the experience and data points by experimentation. That's the only way.
 

chillybase

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I'm not upset at JDA's original comment. I get what he's saying. Of course, I think I would be in a better position to use my knowledge if there was a drum shop nearby. At least to some degree. My only option is to buy online based on descriptions and occasional sound samples.

The only music stores in my area are guitar shops and shops that sell band instruments. These shops only carry some drum sticks and some heads. No drum sets and no cymbals. Back in the 90s, our area had full shops. We don't really have a record store anymore unless you count the FYE at the mall.

I appreciate everyone's input. It is nice to have some guidance from more experienced players.

I will go through the kind suggestions to see what I can find.
 


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