Tickle your ears with flanging Hi-hats.

Flanging Hihats

Are you bored with your hi-hats? Here’s a quick tip to make them a bit more “fancy”. I remember noticing this technique listening to Kraftwerk’s epic song Trans-Europe Express. Simply send your hi-hats to their own Channel, add a flanger and set it’s wet/dry knob to at least 70% wet. Play with your flanger’s settings to control how much movement takes place.

I wouldn’t use this method on every song but it adds some nice spice once and a while. Remember you don’t have to have your hats flanging through out the entire song. Often I will only put my “flange hats” during a drums break or to add tension to only the last verse. Here’s some examples on how it can sound:

Are there any songs you know of off hand that use this technique? Do you have a favorite flange plug-in or hardware box?


  1. I like to chuck hi-hats into the UAD CS-1 that has some great delay sounds which also cut off any abrasiveness to hi-hats I find.


  2. Try some phaser and swing on your hats as well…


  3. Reason has an excellent thing – the Comb filter (original component of chorus\flange pedals). It works by adding the delayed signal or subtracting it from the dry sound (positive\negative mode). In flangers the delay is modulated by an LFO, but some EHX pedals (Polychorus, Electric Mistress) have the ‘Filter Matrix’ mode switching to the raw comb filter sound (actually ‘Wet’ effect), so you can tweak the delay manually.

    And with maximum feedback you can emulate some crazy banjo-like solo!


  4. You like rhythms with much shuffle, don’t you? ;)


  5. Masters at Work and early Deep Dish records had phazers and flangers all over the hi-hats in the mid 90’s.


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