"Dark" When, where, and why?


Senior Member
I'm always interested in exploring cymbal sounds/ applications.

Is there a specific or typical use for "Dark" cymbals? Are they common in any particular musical style, or just another general dimension to explore when filling out the ordinary kit?

Have you heard any stand-outs/favorites of this variety?

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I like the smaller 16" dark crashes. For me it's a good contrast to the bright 19" crash. Not too dark, not too bright. I like it in slower jams and the softer parts of the songs. I don't always crash it though, it sounds good with just a tap.

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I have two rides, an A Zildjian "Light Ride" and a K Custom Dark Ride. Both the same size, and I think they're both the same cymbal. The thinner it is, the lower pitch it seems to be, with my A Zildjian Light Ride being just a tad brighter than my K Custom Dark.

The reason I like dark rides is the wash, it stays more underneath the music and doesn't obliterate other instruments by being in the same frequency range (I obviously don't use the 'I play jazz' excuse for liking and using dark rides). And my pings tend to be more 'tah' and again, it lays just a bit more underneath everything else. I figure since I'm the glue for all the members, being under them just sounds better.

But it's all relative. If you're playing arenas and the band is really loud, that Z Custom ride might be as dark as you want to go!


Silver Member
It's a preference thing, and yes it is prevalent in some styles more than others. I like to have a versatile set up, so I have a bright set of hats (my A Customs) and my dark set (Byzance Dark). I also have a bright ride (AA Metal-X) and a dark one (K Crash/Ride). It rounds out the arsenal nicely and it also gives me a choice when I am playing with different bands on what suits the situation better.