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ATV Product Focus: Hi-Hat

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

This article looks in-depth at the features and setup of ATV's hi-hats, the aD-H14 (14" Hi-hat) and aD-H12 (12" Hi-hat) that are used with aDrums artist and EXS series kits.

The hi-hat is an essential instrument in any acoustic or electronic drum set. During a performance, the hi-hat is controlled with the greatest precision using the foot to change the sound. A great range of sounds is possible, from tightly closed to fully open. The hi-hat can also be played using just the foot, to create closed 'chick' sounds and splash sounds.

1. Features & Specifications

Models: aD-H14, aD-H12 Sizes: 14", 12" Material: Silicone Rubber, Matt Black Zones: Bow/Edge/Foot Connections: 2 x TRS Phones Features: 360-degree sensitivity including choke.

The aD-H14 and aD-H12 hi-hats use a sophisticated optical system capable of high-precision sensing with no delay even when the pedal is opened and closed rapidly. The aD5 and xD3 modules have been optimized for this hi-hat system, delivering even greater expressive power and accuracy.

2. Hi-Hat Stand Setup

ATV's artist hi-hats are designed to move and respond just like a pair of acoustic hi-hats.

A further advantage of this optical sensor design is that the aD-H14 and aD-H12 hi-hats can be set up on a standard hi-hat stand and played using natural drumming techniques.

3. aD5 Module Setup

The aD5 module enables the user to finely adjust the trigger sensitivity and dynamic response of the aD-H14 hi-hat.

  1. Adjust Sensitivity (+ or -) to set the hi-hat pad's trigger sensitivity. Curve controls the pad's dynamic response, or how the strike strength is mapped to triggered sounds. The shot meter on the left of the screen shows the dynamic response in real-time

  2. Sensitivity can be separately adjusted for zones B, and C. Threshold adjusts the minimum strike level above which the pad responds.

  3. The HIHAT PEDAL ADJ screen has a simple visualization tool that corresponds to the hi-hat's optical sensor reading. The graphic displays a moving cursor that indicates the current open-close position of the hi-hat. The player uses this tool to set the close point of the hi-hat instrument by pressing the [Set Close] button. The setting Pedal HH Sens adjusts the foot-close and foot-splash volumes.

This video demonstrates the full step-by-step process of setting up and adjusting the hi-hat:

4. EXS Series xD3 Module Setup

The following EXS series models use artist series hi-hats:

  • aD-H14: EXS-5SK artist, EXS-5

  • aD-H12: EXS-3CY, EXS-3.

The hi-hat is quick and easy to set up using the xD3 module's simple trigger settings.

  1. Adjust Sensitivity (+ or -) to set the hi-hat pad's trigger sensitivity. All zones are adjusted using this one setting

  2. Pedal HH Sens adjusts the foot-close and foot-splash volume. HH Closed Adjust to set the close point of the hi-hat. Close the hi-hat with the foot and adjust this value until the hi-hat sounds fully closed. A higher value means it is easier to close the hi-hat.

For optimal hi-hat performance, please ensure the xD3 module is running the latest firmware, version 1.3.

Download the xD3 Version 1.3 Firmware:

Download ZIP • 1.95MB

Check out our previous blog article on the version 1.3 firmware release. The update includes enhancements to hi-hat sensitivity which make it easier to set the close point.

5. Troubleshooting

If you already own an aDrums artist or EXS Series kit there are some simple checks you can do to troubleshoot the following hi-hat problems:

  • The hi-hat always sounds open; Not able to set a closed sound

  • The hi-hat always sounds closed; Not able to get an open sound

  • The hi-hat open and close performance is not stable.

Check the Hi-Hat Power

The artist hi-hat has two main parts - the top cymbal with the attached clutch, and the powered aD-HHC (Hi-Hat Control) unit that houses the optical sensor.

The aD-HHC has its own power adapter. After making the connections, turn on the hi-hat's power using the switch. A white LED will be light if the hi-hat is receiving power. The LED light brightness should be consistent and not flicker.

Check the Hi-Hat Clutch

ATV's hi-hats are installed with a special clutch that has a plastic white reflector plate screwed on the bottom. This component is crucial for the hi-hat's optical sensor system to work.

If you have issues with your hi-hat open and close response, check that the clutch is assembled correctly by referring to our guide. Please note that only the factory-installed ATV clutch can be used.

Check the Hi-Hat Sensor

If the hi-hat open and close function is not working normally, check that the clutch reflector plate has not become detached and is covering the sensor.

Check that the sensor area is clean and not covered in any dust or fibers.

Check the Cable Connections

Check that the top cymbal cable is connected to the cymbal's EDGE trigger output.

Check the aD-HHC hi-hat control unit is connected to the module using the CTL jack.

Move the cable where it joins the jack and check for breaks in the trigger signal. This could indicate a cable fault and the need to replace the multi-trigger cable (aD5-TC).

If you have a problem or a question about your artist hi-hat, please get in touch using the form on our Contact Us page. You can refer to our Aftersales Service page to find the contact details of the ATV distributor in your region.

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