#1
A long time ago I used to go to open mic jams to play out. I used to place my amp as far from the drum kit as possible to avoid the loudness. One night I'm doing that and the drummer waved me over and suggested I push my amp right into his kit under the hi-hat. I said I didn't want to stand so close to the drums, and he said oh you can stand way over there but putting your amp into the kit will make for better timing... and he was right.

There are a lot of R&B songs that have a thing where the guitar and the hi-hat play together - for example the songs where the beat goes:

1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6...

...where the drummer taps the closed hi-hat on "4" and the guitarist plays a fast little stab chord on the thin strings with a kind of "chuck" sound.

For this to sound right, both the tap and the chord need to be instant and simultaneous. By putting the sources of both those sounds in the same location, everyone on stage (and in the audience) will hear those sounds at the same time.

If the guitarist's amp is off some distance from the kit, the guitarist hears the tap late compared to the chuck from his amp, and the drummer hears the chuck late compared to the tap from his hi-hat, and any attempt by either to correct it can't work because the problem is the separation distance between the amp and kit.

The idea of setting the sound sources together to allow everyone to hear the sounds from the same distance generalizes to all music forms and styles, it is just more noticeable with R&B, funk, and some other more precision oriented styles.

Of course, when playing an arena, festival, or large stage where everyone is mic'ed and provided monitors, this synchronization happens no matter how equipment is placed, but for playing regular clubs and venues where the drums and guitar are not mic'ed it makes a big positive difference.

Try it and see if you don't notice how much easier it becomes to lock in the timing on any tune.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#2
Good advice. I've always known about a similar rule for bass amp and bass drum being as close as possible. Hadn't thought about guitar and hi-hat before. It would make sense for proximity of the snare too, because that often has to coincide with rhythm guitar.
#4
Quote by cdgraves
How big of stages are you playing on where the sound is audibly delayed? Even 10 feet from the drummer, it'd be a delay of 0.0088 seconds, less than one millisecond.
Technically, 0.0088 s is 8.8 ms, but that's not that much, unless the effect is cumulative
#5
I agree with the above about the distance from the drums not making a noticeable difference in timing.

I think it's more likely that you actually decided to listen to and play with the drums. Or were forced to by being closer. It's a good thing to learn and will make you a better muso in the long run. Always play with the drummer - they set the time.
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#6
If that is the case, why not stare at the drummer all evening? Light travels faster than sound so there is less lag by looking than listening.
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#7
Well, it is cumulative...

When the sound sources are placed together, the delay from standing away is small and does not effect the synchrony because the delay for both sounds is the same - you play to hear the sounds synch and it will sound like that to everyone on stage and in the audience.

When the sound sources are separated by distance, that one distance direction is not the only one causing a slip in synchrony. Without the natural synchrony of placement (which allows everyone to play to hear the sounds synch), the drum tap travels to the guitarist, then the guitarist's chuck travels back to the drummer, so the delay of the guitarist's chuck for the drummer with respect to his tap is for both directions of travel . Same double delay is in effect for the guitarist hearing the tap with respect to his chuck.

There are other aspects - the echos, reflections, and general acoustics of the stage. The degree to which all these are sourced from a single location is going to be the "least smeared" sound, from both an ease of playing and quality of listening perspective.

There are probably some other factors going on as well. I'm just suggesting to try it and feel the clarity and confidence that comes from this simple strategy of equalizing the travel distance for the sounds on stage.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#8
I have a lot of trouble believing such minute differences in amp placement would result in better timing or sound for the audience. The latency in hearing the high hat would be so minuscule on a small stage, as mentioned above - it would be imperceptible and would be perceived as immediate by anyone. Cumulative or not, you're well below any perceivable latency regardless.

I've actually never heard of anyone jamming an amp under the high hat, which to me would create more problems than it solves - snare/drum rattle for example, monitoring issues for the drummer, who should be focusing on the bass more so than guitar etc.
#9
idk, as a bass player i'm far more paranoid about stuff like this than you guitar folks and it made sense to me.
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#10
Quote by Hail
idk, as a bass player i'm far more paranoid about stuff like this than you guitar folks and it made sense to me.

how much are you syncing to the hi hat though? Most kicks aren't so succinct that you'd be able to tell any difference across stage vs up in the drummer's junk.
#11
Quote by cdgraves
how much are you syncing to the hi hat though? Most kicks aren't so succinct that you'd be able to tell any difference across stage vs up in the drummer's junk.

yeah i don't think he's right i just wanted to make him feel like he wasn't attacked 

as we all know i'm the reasonable, level-headed one here
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Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


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#12
It's not just about the hi-hat; it's about the whole kit.
If 8ms is the delay time for ten feet, the actual round trip figure is twice that because the drummer is hearing an 8ms delay from the amp from which the guitarist already has heard an 8ms delay from the drum kit. So 16ms, which happens about 60 times per second... so what resolution of time is meaningful to a drummer.
Dream Theatre drummer Mike Mangini recorded over 20 single stokes per second. I suspect drummers can hear faster than they can play and something three times faster might be distinguishable. I'm not a drummer, I don't know; I just know this suggestion came from a drummer and all the drummers with which I have employed liked it. I still encourage trying it... for all I know its effectiveness stems from a totally different principle. 
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.