Drum Terms That Make No Sense...

JustJames

Platinum Member
I do not understand what "focused" means. Sure, diecast hoops sound more focused. So triple flange hoops sound...fuzzy?

Pretty much any term used to describe the sound of a cymbal. These are dry, but those are smokey, while others are glassy, but with a buttery feel.

Over to you, my imaginary friends.
 

Dutch

Senior Member
I do not understand what "focused" means. Sure, diecast hoops sound more focused. So triple flange hoops sound...fuzzy?

Pretty much any term used to describe the sound of a cymbal. These are dry, but those are smokey, while others are glassy, but with a buttery feel.

Over to you, my imaginary friends.

I think it's an agreed vocabulary, much like the wine industry. Ever tasted a "leathery after taste with hints of dried bark and decomposing fungus" and thought you'd like another glass?
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
The adjective that is used the most in any audio situation (drums, guitars, audio recording, etc.) is “warm”. And it’s used without any other descriptors to indicate what it could possibly imply.

Then, there’s “cool”, and everyone knows what this means.
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
...

Pretty much any term used to describe the sound of a cymbal. These are dry, but those are smokey, while others are glassy, but with a buttery feel.

Over to you, my imaginary friends.

dry: with little or no overtones

smokey: not clear

glassy: very high and crisp

buttery feel: cymbals that react easily dinamically to any nuance you make in grip, playing, etc., nornally the term is used for low volume cymbals that have the previous characteristic.

Then, there’s “cool”, and everyone knows what this means.

Actually cool is a MUCH MORE a pretty subjective term, I bet most cool music for most is really UNcool for me... (Well, I say subjective because I don´t want to be really unpopular I could bring "scientific" music evidence of it, hahaha)
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
glassy: very high and crisp




Actually cool is a MUCH MORE a pretty subjective term, I bet most cool music for most is really UNcool for me... (Well, I say subjective because I don´t want to be really unpopular I could bring "scientific" music evidence of it, hahaha)

Sometimes I will hear a nice, glassy sounding cymbal and it almost has a hollowness to it. It's kinda hard to describe.


Cool should be removed as a description all together. It is so over used by everybody. Like you said, what's cool to you might not be cool to others, and visa versa.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I think it's an agreed vocabulary, much like the wine industry. Ever tasted a "leathery after taste with hints of dried bark and decomposing fungus" and thought you'd like another glass?

Maybe not wine, but I see people ordering up similar tasting stuff from the health bar every day. Some even pay more than a glass of wine! Now where’s my old sneaker?...

Are crack and bite the same thing when describing snare sounds? How about round and tubby? Is sustain the same as standing wave?

That’s all I can think of before more coffee!
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Signature drums or cymbals.

Virgin bass drums.

Any process that's call 'revolutionary' that has been around for donkeys years.

Vintage sounding

Dry cymbals, can anyone tell me what happened to the wet ones? (cue the wash jokes)
 

opentune

Platinum Member
These terms all make great sense to me.
The problem is, what one person hears as 'dry' may be rather 'washy' to another.
Also 'throaty bark' is a hilarious one. That would vary with type of dog.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I don't get it.
Descriptions of sounds are like the names of colors.
it's all as clear as well, something that's clear, because if I use an analogy, it might not be understood as anything.
It's as if you folks have never enjoyed a sunset.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
I don't get it.
Descriptions of sounds are like the names of colors.

The trouble is, that is absolutely not true.

If I tell you I am wearing a red shirt, you have a pretty good idea of the colour of my shirt.

But if I tell you my drums sound flabby but my cymbals sound warm and dry the sounds that you imagine may be wildly different from what I am actually describing.

Much like the puerile mind game of "what if red to you looks like what blue looks like to me"?

Describing sounds is like trying to describe the colours of a sunset viewed in monochrome.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Well, there has to be a way to describe sound, so we use the best words we can. Most are the same words audiophiles use to discribe speakers. I’m yet to hear someone describe their cymbals as “too polite” though! Those would be cymbals that are so perfect that they raise no excitement.

Anyway, while we all hear things differently and one person’s wet is another’s dry, it’s way easier to describe sounds in that way, say, across Zildjian lines. Try that across different brands and things get more challenging. I was going to use the term muddy, but someone may liken that to a chocolate shake! LOL!

Easier for someone to thumb through the Zildjian catalog and read How one line gives a darker, dryer sound than maybe the A series. It’s tougher when one of us says my Meinl are darker and dryer than my Zildjians. Too many other variables enter into play, but still, how would we describe them?

My Meinl have a dirtier look - check. Their logo looks like two A’s or the backside of an elephant - um...check. They sound darker and dryer - well.....
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
The problem is that people can interpret these terms in their own way. There was a thread on here a while back that spoke about the the term 'tubby' for toms. It turned out that people had their own ideas of what it meant and there was no consensus of its meaning. Some said it was like a plastic box with no sustain or resonance while others said that the sound was like a large empty container with a boomy sound with a lot of sustain.
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
Subjective descriptors for sound are often a point of contention and, unfortunately, don't do anything but lead to confusion for newer players that don't have the experience with a variety of products in order to be able to translate these terms for themselves. At the same time, more specific references like "a roll-off of high frequency response" or "enhanced fundament frequency rumble" often confuse people that don't have more of scientific grasp on sound.

The terms that make my eyes roll are things like "professional sound" or "stage/studio-ready sound". Those don't mean anything at all in my opinion and are really just used to lead a consumer down the sales funnel.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
unfortunately, don't do anything but lead to confusion for newer players that don't have the experience with a variety of products in order to be able to translate these terms for themselves.

IMO, confusion, from a salesperson's POV, works to their favor. I know I've bought something in error because I was confused about something or other. It's good for business.

My impression is that Sabian is/was somehow insecure with their standing. I'm not saying they are, that's just my impression. It's like doing a wacky out of place fill because the music feels boring, when it's really not boring at all.

This had to cost them is my guess. It was a colossal industry fail judging from the hoo ha it raised ha ha.

I have to wonder if they are redesigning the logo as we speak...or if they are plowing ahead with it. I imagine Sabian execs wanting to jump ship in embarrassment. What an unnecessary tragedy.

Absolutely fascinating.
 

J-Boogie

Gold Member
I do not understand what "focused" means. Sure, diecast hoops sound more focused. So triple flange hoops sound...fuzzy?

Pretty much any term used to describe the sound of a cymbal. These are dry, but those are smokey, while others are glassy, but with a buttery feel.

Over to you, my imaginary friends.

Focused, perhaps a stronger fundamental with a shorter decay. Good lord Im helpful, sometimes feel I should get paid around here. I enjoy cymbals that sound like a salty flavoring.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Focused, perhaps a stronger fundamental with a shorter decay. Good lord Im helpful, sometimes feel I should get paid around here. I enjoy cymbals that sound like a salty flavoring.

By shorter decay do you mean less resonance or less sustain?
 
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