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  #1  
Old 11-09-2013, 03:04 PM
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Default Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

What's the theory here?
My ride cymbal is always quite tight as I use it A LOT (almost always...90%+ of the time for sure) and I need the control but my crash cymbals are lose as I want them to sing, plus I can damp them if circumstances dictate.

I went to see Marillion last night...Ian Mosley had ALL his cymbals tightened it seemed to the max such that the crashes hardly moved at all when he struck them. It made his crash cymbals sound almost like splash cymbals.

This isn't criticism....just something I notes with interest.

Also noticed another drummer I enjoy, and find interesting, Thomas Hedlund, had posted some pics of late and spotted this one with interest :-



Really interested in how flat, and horizontal his ENTIRE set up is....including cymbals very low, very flat and how high he sits in comparison to the kit.

Thoughts anyone ?
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

not a fan of tight cymbals at all

I don't use top felts or wing nuts ....but different strokes for different folks

how bland would this world be if we were all the same....... spit !

....and I dig this cats set up.....looks cherry sweet

I always find those completely flat rack toms very difficult to reach for .....but they sure look butter

but I'm a shorter dude

if this man is comfortable then rock it

when I play more rock or hip hop type ishh I definitely have my cymbals flat ....and mostly everything flat quite similar to his set up ... but my very rack slightly tilted
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I started sitting higher myself. I don't know why I went real low/low really. It just seemed comfortable, and I could really groove on the bass drum--I was using a 28 at that time (20 years ago).

Now I feel better, and have a lot more of a "free" feeling sitting higher. It's been a recent change. My legs aren't quite as angled as TH in the pics (BTW, there's a good article with him in the Portnoy MD).

I have my ride/crash set fairly medium with the felts.
I don't care for it swinging all around, but I don't like it clamped and dampened because of how much I crash it.

The drums are set to where my hands fall naturally, and where the hands feel good playing the drum. They just happen to be low this way.
The tom is pretty flat, snare is angled away from me a touch, floor toms are flat and so are the cymbals.
I've tried to be "normal", with more angle on the tom, but it just doesn't work for me.

The cymbals are low, not as low as the pic though. This way, I can play all parts of each cymbal.
I didn't do any of this for looks, and I don't really care much for how "I" look in pics sitting high on the kit.
It feels good though, and for my hard rock band that plays bigger places, I am more visual (than I was), which is appropriate for that band.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

The guy that runs the local drum shop around here sets all the kits up with the really low rack toms as well, I can't enjoy it, you have to reach alot further, and the angle your stick hits it at would only dent the head more often. It does look cool though.

That guy in the picture is sitting very high and I don't know if an effective double kick/double bass drum player could sit that high. I would love to jump on some of these different angled/height setups and see how they work for me though, I'm not very adventurous in the way I set things up.

Re: the cymbals... I have noticed Matt Halpern and a few other heavy hitters setup their cymbals very flat (not over tightened) and when they're hit they move alot more freely, like they almost spin around the stand. Something tells me it's not just for show, like maybe that's how these guys make their cymbals last.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I use or avoid, and tighten or loosen felts based on the specific needs for the room or venue. Selective dampening, if you will. (Not one size fits all.)

Snare(s) and floor tom pretty much "flat", rack tom angled slightly back as to create the same angle of attack on the stick tips as the other drums.

The cymbals too are ever so slightly angled back, but nearly horizontal. I can access the entire playing surface from straight on edge shot to the bell. Sort of like driving a stick shift car and using all of the gears.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2013, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
Re: the cymbals... I have noticed Matt Halpern and a few other heavy hitters setup their cymbals very flat (not over tightened) and when they're hit they move alot more freely, like they almost spin around the stand. Something tells me it's not just for show, like maybe that's how these guys make their cymbals last.
It is one method of making cymbals last longer. A very effective method. For players that utilize higher dynamics, it's really great.

If you play low volume stuff, then sure, tighten your cymbals all you want, but if you're laying into the cymbals, then it's to your benefit to loosen them up so they dissipate their vibrations more effectively.
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2013, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Tightened cymbal stands on cymbals = upcoming bell cracks, especially if they are angled steeply.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I tighten my splashes and bells in order to get a short, quick sound; ditto with my chinas. The rest are loose and floppy, including my top hi-hat cymbal. I wouldn't tighten my crashes that tight for any reason.
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2013, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

His set up sure does look great and it works for him but it sure seems he would crack cymbals a lot. My dad always told me to put the drums low, the cymbals high and shine as many lights as you can on yourself so the audience sees you! Hahaha
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2013, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

i just set up my rockstar kit in my bedroom like this with all the drums flat. i must say the stick rebounce is fabulous this way. only difference is that my cymbals are a bit more of an angle. i just have to get use to the distance from my 12" tom to my 14" floor tom. long way there but ill get use to it. i like the low-ness of this kind of set up
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2013, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I don't mind a tight ride but hate tight crashes. I used to sit quite high in the 90s but brought my throne down quite a bit later on. My legs have a downward tilt but nothing drastic. I'm not very tall at 5' 6".

I hate flat rack toms and never understood the appeal besides the visual. It seems impossible to me to play comfortably without some sort of angle unless the tom is really low which I don't like either. I set my crashes flat though.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

With the exception of chinas mounted inverted, I don't use wing nuts or top felts at all on my cymbals - they're free to move about as much as they want.

http://youtu.be/ML2u7w0_cdk

Personally I feel they resonate best when there is no top felt and nut to restrict them, and they definitely are at no risk of damage via bell cracks/keyholing etc.

However, I've never been able to get to grips with flat toms!
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2013, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
Really interested in how flat, and horizontal his ENTIRE set up is....including cymbals very low, very flat and how high he sits in comparison to the kit.
Very similar to Jack White's kit (The Dead Weather), low setting, flat...



I kinda like this type of setup, I had to revise my setup about 3 years ago due to back pain, now everything's pretty low, cymbals included, and almost flat except the china which is upside down in an angle.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2013, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Mine's like this. The tom looks flat, but it has some angle. My hats are very loose--forgot to mention that--like anyone cares haha!, but it goes along with the topic.



The cymbals are a bit lower now than this pic, by an inch or so. Wouldn't actually look like much, but it made a big difference in my hand and arm positions.
I use Moller mainly, and I play off the drums/cymbals to draw the sound out.
Gripping the sticks with the last two fingers a lot too.
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2013, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Couple of years ago I sat in on a guys kit where everything was flat and low and the throne was fairly high up. I was surprised at how easy it was to get around on. Everything is right there in front of you instead of having to reach up for the searchlights. I've been migrating in that direction with my own kit although I'm still working on my posture. Slouching makes for wanting the snare to be further away. Which puts the shell tom at a bit of a reach. Although I agree that the stick rebound seems better with it flatter.

I don't play that loudly and so having flatter crash cymbals isn't a problem. Both are about 14-15" above the snare and maybe a couple of degrees inward. That lets me easily hit the edge or shoulder for a quick response. And it's fairly easy to get up over them to get a full crash sound. Since I found a crashable ride, I've been moving it up a bit so I can play more of it.
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  #16  
Old 11-12-2013, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I have a DW 9000 Airlift throne ,set at its lowest point. The airlift isn't used at all. I guess that means that I sit low. Most of my friends sit a lot lower than me. My rack tom and cymbals are higher than most of theirs,even though I have lowered the cymbals over the years. They used to be really high. I recently stopped using top felts. My china is the only cymbal tightened down. My snare is high and slightly tilted toward me. My floor toms a are flat(ish).

I play metal/rock.If I sit any higher I lose power and control of the kick.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2013, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I've had to tighten up my cymbals before. The idea is, when felted down like that, the cymbals have a more controlled sound. I used to play for a jam session, and I had to ratchet my pies down pretty tight because if I didn't, even without mics, they'd drown out everything else on stage and wash over it. Not sure why someone would do this at a rock show with a mic'd kit, but maybe that's the sound he likes. I play my cymbals with no top felts or wing nuts. I just leave them wide open, and after a good bashing they do pretty much whatever they want..
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2013, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I love the look of low / flat drums.................but I like rack tom(s) with slight angles back towards me.............snare and FT's are flat

The only cymbal I keep tightened down is my china......................just feels wrong when it wobbles around.

All of the other cymbals are free to swing, even the splash..................I've never broken a cymbal (Knock on Wood)..................but I've always heard they break easier when they have no "give"
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I've tried flat traps but it just never seems to work for me, despite looking good. I like every drum slightly angled towards me and the (1) rack tom sitting just over the left lug on my BD. Means I have to sit quite high, now that I have a 24x14 kick :D

On tight cymbals... Not for me. Cymbals are expensive and I like hitting 'em.
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  #20  
Old 11-15-2013, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Quote:
Originally Posted by longgun View Post
The only cymbal I keep tightened down is my china......................just feels wrong when it wobbles around.
Yeah, I have to keep mine at least a little tightened because otherwise I wouldn't be able to hit it in the right position continuously. Luckily it has a raw bell so I'm less worried about it cracking (and I still don't ratchet it down until stationary).
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I picked up a cheap B8 Pro Ozone thing the other day for fun and stuck an extra stand up with it at last weekend's gig. This may be one to cinch down a bit but the Gibraltar clamp on stand I grabbed with it has a bad thread and wouldn't tighten down all the way and the cymbal swung all over the place. Trying to do china like rides on it was tough. Plus, it could use a bit less sustain. I sat in on a kit with a good one once and it was really quick.
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  #22  
Old 04-26-2014, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I like using my cymbals very low. To me, the fact that they are closer, helps me to move easier/faster in the drums. And when they are low you kinda need to position they flat to be able to hit the border of the cymbal.

And about the tightness, I learn that they can break easier if the wingnuts are too tight... It's music man! They need to dance!


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  #23  
Old 04-26-2014, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

When I started, about 18 months ago, I set up my drums to look the same as I saw online when I checked out drum kit manufacturer's sites and other pictures of drummers. Quite high (or it seems to me now) and angled.

But, my teacher plays in a metal band and has all of his cymbals completely flat and very low. I've seen him play live a few times, and some of the bands of his friends. They're all young (early 20's) in metal or thrash bands, and all play with low flat cymbals.

In drum magazines now the new bands, and British rock/metal/thrash in particular all seem to follow this setup.

Over the last 18 months my cymbals and toms have got lower and flatter - just shows how influential a teacher is!
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  #24  
Old 04-26-2014, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
Mine's like this. The tom looks flat, but it has some angle. My hats are very loose--forgot to mention that--like anyone cares haha!, but it goes along with the topic.
Kool looking kit, Karl! I love the look of that Jack White kit, too.
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  #25  
Old 04-27-2014, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I keep my cymbals pretty tight, but a lot of that has to do with the setup and the way I use them. Since it's a Bozzio-style Radia setup, it's really designed for lower volume melodic playing and not so much for "digging in". On a more traditional setup, I keep them flattish and pretty loose, sort of like Neil Peart does. I did that in high school and never had any problems, even though some of them were quite high in the setup. As was mentioned earlier, keeping them flat and loose seems to make them "wobble" in a circle, which I imagine absorbs the stick impact a bit better.

Other cymbals don't really change from one kind of setup to another; my hats are usually tight, but my ride is almost always loose. Bells and effects tend to be tight since their thickness keeps the tone from being affected, and you don't have to hit them very hard to get full volume out of them.
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  #26  
Old 04-27-2014, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

All my cymbals are fairly loose, only my ride is completely free. I just find it easier to hit the bell, really. Flat cymbals are uncomfortable to me. They do make setting up super easy, tho.
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  #27  
Old 04-27-2014, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Tight Cymbals and odd setups...

I used to just about sit on the floor when younger. I began to sit higher as I noticed it was a lot easier on my legs and feet and it increased ability there for me.

Flat drums are just too far away for me. Flat cymbals ... any time I tried it I always end up quickly chewing through or breaking sticks.

But I have to say, when I see Chris Coleman whipping around, all his instruments set pretty low and flat, I begin to wonder that the efficiency of movement must be increased.
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