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  #1  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:57 PM
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Default Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

I admit it. I'm an old fart. When I started playing 7As were the sticks used by experienced players and everything bigger was considered something to be used by beginners until they got better fine muscle control. Even now, 55 years later, I pretty much use 7As for everything.

Last night, tho, I figured what the hell and brought 5Bs to a gig. A big gig, where I used my PDP X7 double bass kit. The drums sounded great; no complaints from me, the band, or the venue. But the cymbals - a whole 'nuther thing.

To my ear, my newish (less than a year old) A Custom 20" ride and A Custom Rezo hats sounded much different with the thicker sticks. Clangy, sour, flat in the genuinely musical sense that their tone was way off in the opposite direction from a musical sharp.

Hated 'em. Worried that traveling had done something weird to the cymbals. Or that it was the room. I dug a pair of plastic-tipped 7As out of the bottom of my equipment case, played the next song with them, and this time, again to my ear, everything changed. Ride and hats became brighter, more musical, kind of lovely.

Why do I keep saying, "to my ears?" Because when I asked the rest of the band - and some friends in the audience - if they heard the difference, they looked at me like I was crazy.

Am I (okay, make that "was I") crazy? Or did the sticks make that much difference only because I was so close to the source? Has anyone out there had this kind of experience?

Freaked out minds want to know.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

The audience can't hear the nuances that you hear.
I like 5a and 7a wood tips best on my pies.
I use both maple and hickory depending on the music that I am playing.
I never use anything larger than a 5a.
I do use nylon sometimes when I want a brighter sound.
Each stick that I use makes a totally different sound that mostly only I notice.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

Sticks make a huge difference. I own a 20'' A custom ride also, i tried playing it with my 5AL sticks, and then with my 7A's, and it sounds very different.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
The audience can't hear the nuances that you hear.
I like 5a and 7a wood tips best on my pies.
I use both maple and hickory depending on the music that I am playing.
I never use anything larger than a 5a.
I do use nylon sometimes when I want a brighter sound.
Each stick that I use makes a totally different sound that mostly only I notice.
Figured that, but what DOES the audience hear? The sound I consider the GOOD one? Or the Bad? Or something entirely different?

I asked the sound techs about it, and they looked at me like they had no idea what I was talking about. Which didn't help me but didn't bother me much either because I've learned over the years that the sound techs always look at me like they have no idea what I'm talking about.

(So did my first two wives...but you can't divorce a venue's sound techs.)
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

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Originally Posted by SergiuM View Post
Sticks make a huge difference. I own a 20'' A custom ride also, i tried playing it with my 5AL sticks, and then with my 7A's, and it sounds very different.
That's music to my ears, SergiuM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

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Originally Posted by HipshotPercussion View Post
That's music to my ears, SergiuM.
And i also agree with what you said earlier about 7A's sounding more musical in a sense. They sound more delicate, and sweet.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

You play the cymbals frequently with the 7a sticks so you have a mental reference in your mind of what the cymbal is supposed to sound like.
The sound tech and the audience have no such preconceived mental sound immage so they accept the sound that they hear.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
You play the cymbals frequently with the 7a sticks so you have a mental reference in your mind of what the cymbal is supposed to sound like.
The sound tech and the audience have no such preconceived mental sound immage so they accept the sound that they hear.
I like to think of myself as Mr. Subjective, or even Mr. Everything Is Relative, but when you put it this way - and I understand/accept/agree with how you put it - I start to feel like I've trapped myself in expectations, and that's directly contradictory to everything I believe in.

My world is crumbling.

Help meeeeeeeeeee....

Wait, I know what to do. Replace the ride with a 24" Giant Beat and the hi-hats with 15" Giant beats. I've only heard the Giant Beat sound AS the audience and love it, so I'll be on par with everyone else when I play 'em.

Anyone have an opening bid on my A Customs?
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

My K Custom ride, which is now on a journey up north, sounded so much different with Acorn, round, nylon, different sizes and all that I actually like it. Many cymbals for the price of one.
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Last edited by GRUNTERSDAD; 03-03-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

Sticks make a hugh difference on the cymbal's sound. When I'm auditioning cymbals, I always use the same make and model sticks I use for playing and they're either a 7A or a 5A. The wood, tips and weight among other factors will make a cymbal sound a bit differently.

Dennis
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
My K Custom ride, which is now on a journey up north, sounded so much different with Acorn, round, nylon, different sizes and all that I actually like it. Many cymbals for there price of one.
Liking this perspective. I can get into it.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

Last night I was playing another drummers kit with a set of A Customs.
I was playing with a band that I used to play with so I was wanting to hear a certain sound when I played.
Without my K Custom Hybrids I was lost.
The cymbals that were on the kit didn't sound bad but they didn't sound like what I am used to, so it felt weird to me when I played with my old band.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Stick Effect on Cymbal Sound

Sticks can make a big difference in cymbal sound. If you check out some of the more recent demo clips on mycymbal.com, they've started playing the cymbal with two different types of stick; one with a nylon tip and one with a wood tip. The big shocker for me is how often I expect the opposite of what I hear. There are times when the nylon tip produces what I would consider the more "woody" sound of the two.
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