Why ya' gotta be so dark?

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Can you have too many cymbals they ask?.......No, it would appear you cannot.[/QUOTE]as Bach beat said at worst extremely usable for all shows, at best absolutely perfect. Many cymbals to choose from but 602's would be the weapons of choice to me.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Hey here's a question for us to ponder: why is it that when we talk jazzy-sounding cymbals, we immediately think dark?

I understand variety is the spice of life, but the other day we had a big band playing at Plaza Gardens Stage here at Disneyland and I could tell the drummer had his K Constantinople ride just washing away with the band, and the more I listened, the more I thought, "this doesn't fit!"

For big band jazz? Dark and washy is not the deal. I don't think Buddy Rich ever played dark and washy, nor did Joe Morello with Dave Brubeck. Of course, most drummers only have one set of cymbals and even if they had more, I doubt they'd want to haul them all around (although I've heard some guys do that). I only have one set of cymbals too which I think straddles the line between dark and washy and bright and pingy rather well. I don't get gigs where people are asking for certain cymbal sounds, so I guess I've been lucky. But thanks to the marketing, I think it's a requirement that everybody own at least two ride cymbals (like we all own two snares). One to be bright and pingy, and another to be dark and washy. I suppose it's great for business.

I think we shouldn't assume that because you've got that wonderful dark ride, that it is right for everything. Some of you guys who already own a number of cymbals can say, "well duh, Bo, we already knew that!" to which I would say, "well, some of us obviously don't"....
My KCon is a wonderful ride for small group jazz. Sits nicely under the horns with enough stick to hear the rhythm out front.

Its the last cymbal I would pick for a big band gig. Thats not really my thing but I would want a brighter cymbal, likely an A series ride. The sweet ride is the closest I have in my collection for a gig like that
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Well, if you really go back and look at the history of Avedis Zildjian, one of the reasons he broke with the Black Sea hand hammered traditions was to get a brighter tone, which was more in demand with Big Band Jazz drummers in the USA. The acoustic jazz guys always went to the Kerope bin, and always have. So I think this sterotype of dark cymbals with jazz has really more to do with acoustic and quieter jazz styles. Buddy Rich and those famous big band drummers had a full sets of Avedis Zildjians, not K Zildjians. What baffles me is this latest fad that I see throughout all genres of music for darker cymbals. I'm an old guy and I just scratch my head when I see this. Back in my heyday, guys were scrapping their Avedis for Paiste 2002s to get more cut on stage and not crack so many cymbals. Anybody dragging a set of Ks onstage for a rock show would be looked at as touched. You might as well be hitting air next to those 100 Watt Marshall and 200 Watt Ampeg stacks. However, today, I see guys trying to throw in a set of Istanbuls into metal, rock and Big Band jazz. This makes no sense to me, and I have to wonder how much of it is pushed by the manufacturers themselves. But then, maybe it has to do with all the noise consciousness these days and the pressure all around for live music to be a lot quiter than it used to be.
Speaking from my experience, darker cymbals record better to my ear. They also tend to be quieter which is also helpful in the studio. I have a Sweet ride and a few Armand crashes but typically I use K Hats, K Dark Crashes and either a std K ride or a K Custom Dark ride. Its a pretty versitile setup. Probably not ideal for some ofthe more extreme genres but that is not my scene so no problem with that
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
my 2 cents

pingy high pitched As cut through a big band and blend well with the brass

the dark wash of a K or some of these Bosphorus and Istanbul cymbals just sonically mesh better with a small acoustic combo.... more of an earthy woody tone

... and no drummers started freaking out over the sound of a ride cymbal pretty much until Tony, Elvin set the bar so high with their Ks

that being said .... my all time favorite ride cymbal sound on a record is Roy Haynes on the Chick Corea record Now He Sings Now He Sobs.... where I am almost positive he is playing a Paiste Formula 602 flat.... always sounded like Roy was playing a piece of glass to me
That 602 Flat Ride is what did it for me. It was such a contrast to the "washy" rides that i was told i have to have to play Jazz. I also loved what Paul Wertico did with flats on the Pat Metheny records.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
... but some drummers gotta know their role. As you have guitarists who know how to get different tones out of their amps depending on the music,
This is what I was thinking too. Years ago we didn't have all the choices that are available so we learned how to "play" the instruments. We didn't expect the instrument to play for us. Like with cars (my other passion), and guitars and golf clubs :), more people today expect that if they purchase the top of the line or "best" that it will magically do the deed. Instead of learning to finesse a particular sound people look for the cymbal (car, clubs, guitar....) to perform the task, and when it fails, complain all over the internet about how the (choose your arena) is horrible or defective somehow. Drummers should learn their instruments. How to tune them, how to caress/finesse them, how to PLAY them. Then they can get just about any sound they want from what they have. Something as simple as different sticks can change the way a cymbal responds (or snare, or tom..).
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
I like dark cymbals simply for how they sound, plain and simple. Bright and cutting do nothing for my ear, and even my 20" K Ride is a little too close on the bright side. Now my K Con Bounce ride on the other hand... That is my holy grail of dark rides.
 

BachBeat

Senior Member
Case-in-point...

I just put my K Con 22" MT Low up for sale. A cymbal that I swore I'd never part with. Two reasons:

1) Relevant to this thread - it was too dark/low pitched for most styles of music to sit well in the mix. Thinking about frequencies, as has already been mentioned, there are 'better' cymbals to choose most of the time.

2) The styles of music that it did suit, it has been ably replaced by a 22" Kerope, which has a higher tone (though it would still be described as lower pitched).

The K Con sounds like magic on it's own, but once you add in other instruments, in some settings it just disappears, no matter what you do (Short of crash-riding the heck out of it...)

Sunrise, sunset.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This is what I was thinking too. Years ago we didn't have all the choices that are available so we learned how to "play" the instruments. We didn't expect the instrument to play for us. Like with cars (my other passion), and guitars and golf clubs :), more people today expect that if they purchase the top of the line or "best" that it will magically do the deed. Instead of learning to finesse a particular sound people look for the cymbal (car, clubs, guitar....) to perform the task, and when it fails, complain all over the internet about how the (choose your arena) is horrible or defective somehow. Drummers should learn their instruments. How to tune them, how to caress/finesse them, how to PLAY them. Then they can get just about any sound they want from what they have. Something as simple as different sticks can change the way a cymbal responds (or snare, or tom..).
Perhaps we're showing our age, eh? I know I should have stuff to satisfy a musical client, but I really like making do with what I show up with, or given, to play. It just reinforces that attitude of "I play the gear, and not vice versa" and should usually scare the pants off of lesser players (usually the under 13 crowd for me).

I also remembering when I picked up photography, I must've spent years just shooting with a regular old 35mm prime lens before I added another lens, or (gasp) got into zoom lenses ;)
 
Top