Cymbals choices for Houses of Worship.

ChadCDrummer

New member
This is a info gathering question. As the drummer how are you choosing your Cymbal set up? How do they sit in the "mix" ? Does your sound guy (if you have one) agree with you and think your choices are right for the room? Thanks.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
A lot depends on the venue. Is it a 200 seat church with pews or a large auditorium setting or something in between? Volume control is crucial in smaller churches. I play in a 350 seat church with pews and relatively low ceiling. I've also played large churches with all the bells and whistles. Totally different. I control the volume with hot rods instead of sticks. I also know how to play softly when necessary. Trust your ears, if you have a good sound person all the better. Be sure to listen to the drums from the audience point of view.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
My recommendation is to stay away from bright cymbals. They are far too intrusive and loud, regardless of the size of the church. Your supposed to sit in the mix nicely and not draw attention to one thing or another. Darker cymbals (not too dark and trashy) will sit in nicely. We've had drummers bring their own cymbals and the Zildjian Ks and HHX Evolutions have mixed well, but the A Customs, while nice were too bright and up front. Also, not every drummer in a church knows how to control their volume, so if given loud, bright cymbals, prepare to be blown over.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
This is a info gathering question. As the drummer how are you choosing your Cymbal set up? How do they sit in the "mix" ? Does your sound guy (if you have one) agree with you and think your choices are right for the room? Thanks.
I'm thinking a lot has to do with your situation. I'm guessing one of these is dominant in your case:

1. The church is more traditional and is wants to add praise music to a service or services though not everyone is on board with the decision. Some may even be hostile toward the idea.
2. Praise music has been a part of the church for a while but the type of music and or the band is being reconsidered and/or reimagined.
3. The church has long been involved in praise music and desires to start a new service aimed toward seekers/youth/a new time slot/ etc.
4. The church is a brand new plant and you have a brand new start and carte blanc to go in the direction you feel led in.

I'm totally on board with AzHeat who wrote:
My recommendation is to stay away from bright cymbals. They are far too intrusive and loud, regardless of the size of the church. Your supposed to sit in the mix nicely and not draw attention to one thing or another. Darker cymbals (not too dark and trashy) will sit in nicely. . .
That's great advice and I couldn't have said it better.

Try these steps:

a. First talk to the music director/ praise team leader/minister of music to gauge what their vision for the music is.
b. In a more intimate setting, really thin cymbals sound fantastic (personally, I prefer dark sounding vintage cymbals at church). Problem is that thin cymbals don't carry as well without mics on the kit. So that will be a factor. Ideally, it would be best to get a hold of some to try out. If you know a drummer or two, see if they'll loan or demo some live. Your room and your situation will likely have a lot to do with what you finally decide.
c. Set up the band in the place and format you've finally decided on and hold a practice. Have pairs of trusted members to give you feedback from the front, middle and back of the church or room.

Pete
 

TipsusMagnus

Senior Member
Church drummer here. I'm fortunate enough to be in a worship team that embraces contemporary music, so I have fewer restrictions. We pretty much set up our cymbals based on the size of the venue, which is pretty big so we favor bigger sizes (18''-19" crashes). If I have time, I switch up cymbals based on the songs we'll be playing, so bright cymbals are not an issue either.

That said, if volume is an issue, stick to darker cymbals. If you guys tend to favor moody songs (i.e. Hillsong, Bethel), go dark. If you guys like jumpy songs (i.e. Lakewood), go bright.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
<--Church drummer with well over 20 years experience.

It doesn't matter b/c they are going to end up sticking you in a cage anyways.

My suggestion is Heartbeat Custom Dry. I use Heartbeat Custom Dry and Studio series in clubs, bars, etc. with my band; however, I was introduced to them at my church. Both series are really thin and dark, but not terribly trashy. I love the way they sound and play. Also, it's just as much about pitch as it is volume. Go big, dark, and thin.

Once again, it doesn't matter b/c they are going to end up sticking you in a cage anyways. Not today, not tomorrow, maybe not in a year; however, it will happen. I played at my church for 9 years before they stuck me in a cage, and I hate it.
 
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Drumolator

Platinum Member
I have played modern praise and worship for almost thirty years in churches with 250 people and now play in a small church that averages about 45 people. I prefer cymbals that sound good at soft and loud volumes. Sabian AAX cymbals work for me. Peace and goodwill.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I have played modern praise and worship for almost thirty years in churches with 250 people and now play in a small church that averages about 45 people. I prefer cymbals that sound good at soft and loud volumes. Sabian AAX cymbals work for me. Peace and goodwill.
You're the El Sabor guy, right? I would say those would be perfect... bright but not too bright, can cut when you need them to but aren't overbearing.

Otherwise I would say a set of Ks but those can actually get pretty loud.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I was the El Sabor guy, but I gave it to a church. The AAX X-plosion crashes work well in church because they sound good soft and loud. Peace and goodwill.
 

ChadCDrummer

New member
Thank you all for your input. This information is not for me specifically or advice for choosing cymbals for myself. As the original post asked, I am interested in what you all choose and why.
what your Worship Leader prefers and what the audio people like based on the room.
Thank you!!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I use the same cymbals I use everywhere else for pretty much everything: an A top and A Custom Mastersound bottom hat, 18" A Custom crash, 19" A medium thin crash, and 22" AAX Omni ride. I've got ten years of steady gigging with these cymbals from coffeehouses to country fairs and I know how to get my sound out of them in most rooms and at most volumes.
 

Mustion

Senior Member

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I wonder if those are made with the actual working church drummer in mind or if "worship" is merely marketing-talk aimed at dudes who try to sound Aaron Spears.
It's just marketing and packaging. None them are labeled "worship crash" or anything silly like that (doesn't someone have "gospel" cymbals or something? I think those are actually good.). Sabian has a worship pack too.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
It's just marketing and packaging. None them are labeled "worship crash" or anything silly like that (doesn't someone have "gospel" cymbals or something? I think those are actually good.). Sabian has a worship pack too.
They are basically cymbals ticking the checkboxes we've talked about above. Not too loud or intrusive = Fast Crash, not too pingy or loud of a ride = Manhattan Ride, etc. In my last church, we had 4 drummers. three of us did just fine with A Customs, but the 4th would blow down the church. We didn't play behind plexiglass, but if anyone was buying us into one, it was him. A set of standard Ks remedied his volume issues, at least as cymbals went...
 

moldmaker

Member
I'm a little late here, but I've been playing at our church about 6 years. The cymbals are all Dream: 15" Contact hats, 22" and 20" Vintage Bliss, and 22" Bliss ride. They are dark, slow, and trashy...just about perfect for a room of 300 people. No plexiglas.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Dark or bright, but thin. There are also lots of extra-dry options these days. Amazing sound for certain types of music.
 
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