Ride and crash cymbals

for recording

OK drummers and others, if you could buy reasonably expensive (say, 250 USa dollars each) ride and crash for recording only, what would you buy?

I’m not a drummer, but it’s Paiste all the way. Yeah they’re more expensive. But you will hear the difference.

Well, I could go a few ways. I have mixed feelings on Paiste… I have owned my share. Crash wise, I don’t think there is a better crash than the Zildjian A Custom crashes. They are just perfect to my ear. I had a few Paiste Signature Full crashes and found them to not have as nice a response as the A Customs. Ride wise, ewww… well, I use a 22" Zildjian K Constantinople Medium ride. I just find it has a great mix of complexity, ping, and breaks up nice for splashy effects in certain rock contexts. Here is a clip of my stuff in action:

http://warsaw.innova-partners.com/~cburke/TheSlang/BigGetEvenDrums.mp3


Here is another example of a tune where at about 3:03 you can hear the cymbal “break up” as I mention.

http://warsaw.innova-partners.com/~cburke/TheSlang/MiracleSound.mp3

However I find the A Customs again to be a good bet in the ride world. I really really don’t like the Sabian sound. They have some AAs that are okay, but nothing bowls me over.

I know you didn’t ask this, but those are A Custom hats too. I am very tempted by a set of New Beats or Ks at the moment as they are quite a bit more “crispy” than the A Customs.

thanks for the recommendations, guys.
I have the quick beat high hats. They sound very good to me.
Especially when someone plays them who knows how to play.
Bubba, your smaller crash sounds about right to me - short decay, smooth.
What size is that?
Also, how were those tracks recorded?

Hey, Damage, what is music geek blog?

Quote: (TomS @ Aug. 30 2007, 1:38 PM)

thanks for the recommendations, guys. I have the quick beat high hats. They sound very good to me. Especially when someone plays them who knows how to play. Bubba, your smaller crash sounds about right to me - short decay, smooth. What size is that? Also, how were those tracks recorded?

The two crashes are A Custom 18" (panned R-ish) and 16" (panned L-ish).

Recording
Preamp: Universal Audio 4110 on OHs, kick, snare. Mackie 800R on toms
OHs: Pair of AT4050s in a spaced pair using a modified version of the Recorderman setup.
Snare: Audix i5 about 1" above the rim aimed near the center.
Kick: Audix D6 in the kick about 2-3" from the beater
Tom: Audix i5 positioned ~same as snare
Floor tom: Sennheiser MD421 positioned ~same as snare.

Done in my glorious living room. :)

A UA 4110.
Oh, my.
What was it set for?
Saturate?


It’s the 16 inch that I was hearing.
The 18 inch has a rather long decay and sounds a bit darker than I was looking for.
Do they make a 15 inch?

Love those audix mics.
Ever try an om-5 rather than the i5 on snare?



I’ve been putting my D6 inside the kick with no outside head, and then compressing the snot out of it with aq slowish attack, to get a bit of punch in front.
I actually like what I’ve been getting on that drum.
Only 6 other drum mics to figure out.

listen to "Plato Said:

Plato Said - click here

Quote: (TomS @ Aug. 30 2007, 2:06 PM)

Hey Tom!

I NEED more COWBELL!! :) :)

(cool song man!)

Jeff

I just got 2 - 16" and 2 - 18" A Zildjians today. ('bout time!)

I started out using Paiste a long time a go. I was using Paiste 602 all around. That was THE top line in the late 60’s of the Paistes. Shortly after that they came out with the 2002’s that Jon Bonham made famous. For some reason I couldn’t stand the way the sounded compared the the 602’s. The down side is that the 602’s wouldn’t hold up worth squat. I’d crack 'em and get new ones. The 2002’s would shatter and chunks would fall off, but they would last longer. Still the sound wasn’t there in the 2002’s.

I stitched to Zildjians when the 602’s became unavailable. I guess they stopped making them back then, but I don’t know. I do know the that the 602’s available these days aren’t the same thing, and are cheap.

Zildjian’s…I love the A’s and A Customs. (They may be one and the same? Or are Customs a bit brighter? If that’s the case then I prefer the non-Custom A’s.) That’s pretty much the ones that have been made for MANY years. I don’t particularly like any of the newer attempts at doing new rock things, like the Z line. I’ve tried them and think they sound like crap. They have their place, but not as replacements for standard run of the mill cymbals. They are great for making noise, and that’s all some drummers are.

My ride is a 20" Zildjian I bought around 1970. It’s still going strong and has a wonderful tone. For many years I used a 20" Zildjian that had a Brilliant finish. It was food on stage but didn’t record well. I ended up putting dict take under for stage use. That particular cymbal got lost in the move from NC to Washington State. Someone is probably very happy with it. All my cymbals for stage in the 80’s and 90’s were Brilliants. They were bright in sound as well.

When Robert Zildjian started making Sabian I gave them a try. I started using them exclusively for crashes. I could always find good ones at Atlanta Pro Percussion, so I’d get a few ever time I was in Atlanta. The reason I got 4 new Zildjians is because I cracked the last of them while in NC in April. (well, one doesn’t have a crack but it sounds like it’s got on – it’s missing it’s sound for some unseen reason). Anyway, Sabians ARE Zildjians.

My stage hi-hats are still the Brilliant 14" New Beat Zildjians. I love that pair. I have 2 other pair of New Beats that sound good, but there’s something about the Brilliant pair that makes them great for ANYTHING, including recording. The other two pairs are good on stage but don’t record nearly as well.

For recording I picked up a pair of 12" Zildjian Recording Hi-Hats. They sound really good, but I haven’t done enough recording with them to have an opinion. They are higher in pitch and aren’t NEARLY as loud as 14" hi-hats. That’s generally a good thing since I really want an anti-hi-hat mic. Ian Paice uses a 12" pair on almost all the old Deep Purple recordings.

So, I’m back to all Zildjians, but Sabians would be fine.

Just stay away from the cheap pie plate stamped metal things. Cymbals are expensive, but you get what you pay for…usually.

Well, your drums sound fantastic, phoo. So what exactly would you recommend for a crash and ride in my case?

BTW, I really like the typo “food for stage” rather than “good for stage” - that’s a great image. :agree:

Quote: (Jeff @ Aug. 30 2007, 9:09 PM)

Quote: (TomS @ Aug. 30 2007, 2:06 PM)

Hey Tom!

I NEED more COWBELL!!
:)
:)

(cool song man!)

Jeff

Thanks Jeff!
Quote: (TomS @ Aug. 30 2007, 3:06 PM)

A UA 4110. Oh, my. What was it set for? Saturate?

It's the 16 inch that I was hearing. The 18 inch has a rather long decay and sounds a bit darker than I was looking for. Do they make a 15 inch?

Love those audix mics. Ever try an om-5 rather than the i5 on snare?


I've been putting my D6 inside the kick with no outside head, and then compressing the snot out of it with aq slowish attack, to get a bit of punch in front. I actually like what I've been getting on that drum. Only 6 other drum mics to figure out.

listen to "Plato Said:

Plato Said - click here

No, I have it set to the vintage option (transformer in the circuit, no limiting) for dern near everything. I love that pre. I have an LA610 on its way and can't wait to start running drums through the compressor section.

They do indeed make a 15".

I have used the OM5 and it was okay. I prefer the low end punch of the i5 on snare though. That 125hz thump is so important in getting a good snare sound IMO.

The D6 is god's gift to kick drums. Also, try out Dominion from digital fish phones. There is an invaluable tool on drums.

Plato seems to be lacking some low end. Maybe bring the bass more into the mix? And err, less cow bell. :p However, cymbal wise, I personally think what you have now is too bright. Dark cymbals are where it is at IMO.

Did I actually say “food for stage”? I read that thing over again JUST NOW and didn’t see it. I must be getting wurst and wusrt…

Seriously, I had to read it about 10 times before I saw it. I need a good context checker. Spell checkers keel over laughing at me.

???

I didn’t answer you question, Tom. I’ll find the links to what I got an MF a little later. Heck, if I can get my stuff up and running I’ll record a bit this weekend…I don’t think I’m going to have time though. (interesting time in my personal life)

Yes, I ordered cymbals unheard from MF. I can’t recommend doing that, but I trust these Zildjians that much. I’m not that picky as long as they don’t sound alike and aren’t obviously bad. That’s why I stick to specific lines and brands. I’ve never had a bad one (except two that were defective, and identical – 20" thin crashs). They were replaced no questions asked (bought at Chuck Levin’s in DC --the replcement process is a story).

Anyway, it occurred to me that it’s REALLY hard to say what a great sounding cymbal is, but it’s incredibly easy to weed out the bad ones (sound like a pie-plate, or piece of tin, or it’s got a ping that sounds like a ringing bell). A good cymbal is what? Well, it’s not a bad cymbal. At that point any cymbal can be a good cymbal.

Thin cymbals have a deeper sound than medium-thin and medium. As a rule the heaver they higher in pitch for the same size. That’s because there is more tension in the thicker cymbals.

Anyway, for recording I like thin cymbals. They don’t cut through on stage as well, but buy are so bright that they overpower when recording. This is the main selling point for K Zildjians as well. That’s what most folks mean when they say K’s have a darker sound, and they do. I’d probably LOVE K’s, but I never tried them because they cost more and I was going through a few cymbals a month when I was on the road.

(…and add a bit of info about how the order was messed up…I need to do some day job stuff for a few minutes right now…)

Quote: (phoo @ Aug. 31 2007, 1:02 PM)

This is the main selling point for K Zildjians as well. That's what most folks mean when they say K's have a darker sound, and they do. I'd probably LOVE K's, but I never tried them because they cost more and I was going through a few cymbals a month when I was on the road.

Ks are great. Slightly too dark for my taste over all, but great cymbals none the less. As I said, a pair of K 14" hats have been beckoning me lately. (I played a gig where that is what was on the back line and loved them.) I find the A Customs to be the happy medium between K and A as I find regular As too splashy at times.

How in the world did you go through so many cymbals? I play 5 nights a week any more and haven't replaced a cymbal ever.
Quote:

How in the world did you go through so many cymbals?

We played almost every night for years. We were also very loud and I hit harder than it looks like I do. We were an AC/DC kind of band, so it was straight simple no-fills hard hitting for hours. (We also had a manager that liked the Corky Laing look of sticks flying off into the yonder.)

It didn't help any that my crashing technique wasn't that good. I got better at it, and was aware of the way I played back then. I used cymbal springs for a while, and those helped A LOT. They didn't help with the cracking as much as they forced me to play correctly. If I didn't crash with a good technique the cymbal would start circling around and it's hard to hit a cymbal when it angled the wrong way. If I crashed with good technique then the cymbal would fall right back in place. Technique is at the root of the issue. Glancing blows don't crack cymbals, put putting a stick straight down through a cymbal will take one out in a flash.

Sometimes that bad technique is good for stage, but terrible for playing. Watch Liberty DeVito and you'll see what I mean. When you're playing, use good technique, but when you're putting on a show...screw it...put on a show.

I was going through cases of sticks at that time also. I'd get them by the gross -- a gross every few months from Chuck Levin's. I think they were something like $2 a pair for a while when buying 144 pair, Regal 5B, wood tip hickory. (That's still what I use...kind of hard to find) Fortunately, the band was paying for all this off the top. Guitarists sometimes complain about string prices....HA!!!
:)

Cymbals can only take so much when playing that kind of music and putting on that kind of show.

By the way, Donn Bennett Drums has (or had) a BUNCH of Elvin Jones K's (and drums) on sale a few weeks ago. They were expensive because they are collector's items (museum pieces in my opinion), but just about all of them were cracked.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product…=443841
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product…=441279
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product…=443840

Bubba, there are folks here who keep telling me more cowbell. Well, it’s a new cowbell, so there it is. I dunno about the bass - on my home system and in the car it sounds about right to me. It has a lot of very low end in it; perhaps that’s a problem. I totally agree about the overly bright cymbals; this is the kit I have assembled from garage sales, and those are sabian b8 cheapo student specials. I think I need darker and shorter decays.

guys, what exactly is (are) the proper technique(s) for hitting cymbals?

A glancing swish off the edge is the way I’d describe the proper crashing technique. That’s probably over simplifying it though. When they are hit just right they seem to go right back in place without too much extra wobbling but will make just as much sound as clobbering them.

By the way, Sabian B8’s are the only ones of those cheapies that I’ve recorded with. Of the rolled sheet metal types they seemed to be the best of the bunch based on my limited experience with them (they have come a long way from year ago when they were all REAL CRAP). I wouldn’t get any for myself, but at the price I think they are well worth it when compared to how expensive cast cymbals have gotten. The recording was a commercial, and they sounded fine on the radio. They were a bit pingy/tinny to my ears in the room (typical for sheet cymbals) but they they did fine for the purpose at the time.