Do cymbals sound different in different venues to player/audience?

DrummeRene

Junior Member
Can it be a night and day difference, how often does this happen, and what would make this a factor if true?
I'm just really trying to find the discernment when if you consider a more controlled scenario where everything else stays the same (PA system, mixing, etc.) Except the venue itself. On the same note does a PA system or can some other variable influence the sound just as much to create such a drastic difference?

Also is it true you can't hear certain cymbals based on size or drum or other instruments starting from a certain distance or how does this work in your experiences? Someone told me once that they wont even use cymbals unless they are bigger than 22" or so because nobody can hear smaller ones in a large venue. Does this sound legit?...
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Basically yes, they’ll sound different at every different venue. That’s just the way sound travels. It moves, bounces and is absorbed depending on whats around it.

Our small venue usually = 16in max size. Our main room gets my 18 + 18 + 20in. No mics for the drum and it holds 450 people.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
Drums moreso, but all acoustic instruments are affected. When I play open-air gigs, I have to mic the cymbals/overheads. Inside, the ceilings and vocal mics pick up more than enough.

Thank goodness we don't have to tune cymbals. That would be a nightmare.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Thre was a rep from UFIP cymbals at Drumcenter in Portsmouth. He was demonstrating to me the sound difference of the rotocast cymbals at a distance. The ufip cymbals did not lose their character at distance the way the wash was diminished from the Turkish cymbals at distance.

It may be why UFIP splashes sound so good.
 

DrummeRene

Junior Member
Basically yes, they’ll sound different at every different venue. That’s just the way sound travels. It moves, bounces and is absorbed depending on whats around it.

Our small venue usually = 16in max size. Our main room gets my 18 + 18 + 20in. No mics for the drum and it holds 450 people.
Okay but is that to say then that maybe the model of cymbal you get may not really be something so important in terms or accurate representation of what exact sound you want to always deliver to an audience (even unwanted sounds), or may sound like another model entirely given that you are playing in a different place every time? By logical means and on the same token it seems that the cymbal weight and size would carry more sound consistency here throughout comparatively right? All things considered of course.
 
Can it be a night and day difference, how often does this happen, and what would make this a factor if true?
I'm just really trying to find the discernment when if you consider a more controlled scenario where everything else stays the same (PA system, mixing, etc.) Except the venue itself. On the same note does a PA system or can some other variable influence the sound just as much to create such a drastic difference?

Also is it true you can't hear certain cymbals based on size or drum or other instruments starting from a certain distance or how does this work in your experiences? Someone told me once that they wont even use cymbals unless they are bigger than 22" or so because nobody can hear smaller ones in a large venue. Does this sound legit?...
Absolutely. I have an A. Zildjian 18" medium crash that I bought years ago, and I liked it when I played it in the store. Took it home and didn't like it, even after a break in period. Brought it out to play live with other musicians, in various venues, and found I loved the sound. Kept it all these years, and won't part with it. The musical contex makes a great difference. No different than drums...they sound different in different environments to you, and the audience. Just try moving your drumset to a different part of your practice space and record it, and you'll hear a difference.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Okay but is that to say then that maybe the model of cymbal you get may not really be something so important in terms or accurate representation of what exact sound you want to always deliver to an audience (even unwanted sounds), or may sound like another model entirely given that you are playing in a different place every time? By logical means and on the same token it seems that the cymbal weight and size would carry more sound consistency here throughout comparatively right? All things considered of course.

The thing is that you're talking about two different ideas - Sound (and how it travels) and manufacturing. Three examples below. . .

The Sound - Say your stage is where the sound starts. Without amplification, people closer hear it full on. Your distance to it will impact how it sounds to you. Pure physics and nothing you can do about it. You simply can't make the person furtherest away hear it the same as the person who's up close. However. . .

IMG_4801.jpg

A good way to overcome some of these limitations is to amplify the sound. In a large room such as a church or club, you'll find speakers in the front, middle and even back of the room - each set with progressively longer delays to deal with the speed that sound travels from the source. And as for the cymbals. . .

IMG_4802.jpg

For instance, I've got two trans stamp A Zildjian 15in crashes (one 1947 and one 1953) that are only 30 grams apart. They have very different profiles and produce sound very differently and at different volume levels. They were made to be that way. The bell shaped 53 would feel more at home in a small jazz club while the gradual slope of the 47 sings out loudly and quickly. The slopes and shapes make them vibrate differently. As such, they were made for different purposes at a time when a fully mic-ed kit was rare. Still, with amps and speakers, both of them are perfectly happy to play in the Rose Bowl with 70,000 screaming fans.

IMG_4803.jpg

Mea Culpa - I'm not an audiologist. However, a few years back I was in charge of a major sound system upgrade at a large Los Angeles area church and I got schooled on this stuff big time. Hope that helped.

And to your last question, yes, size usually matters. Bigger cymbals are generally louder (my bell shaped one not withstanding).

Pete
 
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Peedy

Senior Member
Video, ya gotta love it! Paper thin crash with gradual slope. Loud, quick and sustaining.

 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I concur w/ everyone saying, "Yes, cymbals can and do sound different in different rooms and environments."

I've learned to bring 2 sets of cymbals with me whenever I play a new venue or stage for the first time. Some places are just too bright and I need more subtle, darker sounding cymbals. Others are too dead and I need something brighter.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Yes, some rooms sound better than others. Some are horrible, but some are great. In addition, band placement has a lot to do with it too.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Yes and the reason I posted to someone asking, that he take his current cymbals to Guitar Center and hear them next to what he may buy.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Hand on heart I’ve never heard any major/noticeable difference between rooms other than when the whole kit is deafening due to being in a low ceilinged environment. I’m sure there are differences but never enough to register with me, and as for the audience generally speaking they’re hearing what they hear on the night so I suppose the cymbal sound “is what it is” to them.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
No mics? Wow I mic everything every gig no matter the size. I always figure if guitars and bass are in pa it just gives a better overall and fuller sound if drums are as well. Nothing sucks more then when I go see a band and hear instruments in pa and no drums coming through. Sure they’re loud enough but it’s not the same.
You are so totally right. But the old folks on the church board don’t see it that way. Still, we only play there 4 or 5 times a year at a combined service.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Sometimes the difference is due to how your cymbals sit in the mix and the mix varies...or the other musicians equipment is frequency weighted and the venue seems to absorb in that frequency range at a greater rate than other freqs....so your cymbals sound dominate where they usually are not so.(e.g.)
 
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