Drum things have names such as Flam, or Paradiddle.

dave11222

New Member

The tail end of Kid Charlemagne has always bugged me.​


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10:20 PM (1 hour ago)

to any drummer

During Larry Carlton's ending solo in the song by Steely Dan, Kid Charlemagne the drummer hits the cymbal and kick drum at the same time, twice in succession each time. I love that sound!!!! Does it have a name? Paradiddles and flams have a name.

Anyone have an idea? It's quite common in many songs.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Hitting the hi hat with the stick while opening the top cymbal (i.e so the top hat cymbal rises) gives a 'pea soup'.... and sounds awesome with bass drum on same stroke
somebody on here called it that once ...say the word "pea ssssoupp" and that is the sound it makes.
A colloquial term, not a cool rudiment name lile flam...
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Other than ride or crash there aren't many terms for cymbal techniques. My suspicion is its due to the variation in cymbals, and cymbals tend to be one of kind. For example, I can get a number of different notes out of my 24in ride from a shoulder stick hit on the bow near the bell, to a ride on the rim.
 

dave11222

New Member
The key is to listen the song Kid Charlemagne, Steely Dan. It's at the end of the song it's very distinctive. The cymbal stops exactly when the kick drum stops. You have to listen to it, I can't explain it any better. I am sure it is performed on many other songs, I just can only remember this one.
 

jda

Well-known Member
it's two off-beat cymbal crashes in the ending guitar Solo. That's Pretty Purdie
hitting four E an DA i think;
bookmarked
 

jda

Well-known Member
here's a good practice similar hits..


Sixteenth-note hits
 
Last edited:

dcrigger

Senior Member
The key is to listen the song Kid Charlemagne, Steely Dan. It's at the end of the song it's very distinctive. The cymbal stops exactly when the kick drum stops. You have to listen to it, I can't explain it any better. I am sure it is performed on many other songs, I just can only remember this one.
Actually listen closely to those syncopated BD/Cym hits - that JDA so kindly bookmarked in the YouTube video - and you'll find those crashes (on two different cymbals) all ring out - as in they are not actually joked. There does seem to be a fair amount compression on that track. So the overhead mics might be allowing might be allow the full attack to come through, then pulling the sound down a bit after about a dotted 1/8th note... This, I think, explains why the first hit of each pair seems to ring out longer than the second - as the second hit keeps the mic fully open while the first hit is decaying.

All of which to say - not a drumming technique effecting this at all. Trying to choke the cymbals to emulate would be like using a chainsaw to trim your fingernails. It would be way too blatant - as the effect as-is is pretty subtle. Though I would suspect that Purdie, iike a lot of session guys, would be using smallish size cymbals and ones that spoke rapidly. Cymbals that just ring and ring are generally considered problematic in the studio (now, but probably even more so in that era)

To the OP, as JDA described - what it's called is - accents played with cymbal crashes with bass drum on the E and Ah of beat 4. And in the grand tradition of "catching figures" he preceding each group with a "set-up" on beat 4. And of course, plays nothing on beat 1 of the next bar, so that the syncopation created by the "ah of 4" is able to act as an anticipation of that beat 1. Basically old school Big Band Drumming 101. :)
 
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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Actually listen closely to those syncopated BD/Cym hits - that JDA so kindly bookmarked in the YouTube video - and you'll find those crashes (on two different cymbals) all ring out - as in they are not actually joked. There does seem to be a fair amount compression on that track. So the overhead mics might be allowing might be allow the full attack to come through, then pulling the sound down a bit after about a dotted 1/8th note... This, I think, explains why the first hit of each pair seems to ring out longer than the second - as the second hit keeps the mic fully open while the first hit is decaying.
Nice point. I've been thinking about posting a thread to this effect, as I have been recording often. My thread title was going to be something to the effect, how do you drum knowing your sound is going to get processed like involving compression.

The thing about compression IMO is it compensating for the fact that the drums are going to get squashed. The effect of cutting the cymbal off using compression is basically preventing the wash of the cymbal from overwhelming a weakly reproduced bass drum, which isn't an issue live, as you have plenty of headroom, the wash of the cymbal may not even be heard. That being said a compressed sound is going to bring out certain characteristics of the drums that you might not be aware of. For example, the decay on the snare is going to be much longer, you may get more detail out of the hihats, and they may sound completely different depending on the sound engineers interpretation, there may even be additional rhythmic complexity there due to compression timings.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
The key is to listen the song Kid Charlemagne, Steely Dan. It's at the end of the song it's very distinctive. The cymbal stops exactly when the kick drum stops. You have to listen to it, I can't explain it any better. I am sure it is performed on many other songs, I just can only remember this one.

I'm not sure what that means. I thought maybe you meant he was choking the crash but it doesn't sound like chokes to me, just quick decaying crashes.

I don't believe there's a name for that particular "one two" he's playing, it's just note placement. The obvious term for those two notes would be synchronization. But that's not specific to how they're played, just their placement in general.
 

dcrigger

Senior Member
Nice point. I've been thinking about posting a thread to this effect, as I have been recording often. My thread title was going to be something to the effect, how do you drum knowing your sound is going to get processed like involving compression.
Well to a great degree, you don't know what's going to happen downstream in the production process. You might have an idea... and you might be involved through the whole process... but you very likely won't be. And that even holds true for recordings where you are a member of a band... it all varies. But again to a great degree, you don't know.

As for how can you play... IMO just like always, you make decisions and play based on what you are hearing and what is being communicated to you by the artist, the producer, other players... you just do your best with what's in front of you.

And then for me, after that... I pretty much let it go. (Again, unless I'm engineering or producing, as those "hats" of course keep me involved all the way through.) Making music is typically a collaborative effort - and making recordings are even more so.

I always just focus on what my contribution is supposed to be - do the best I can - and then wait and hope, I'm pleased with the end result. And usually I have been.

The thing about compression IMO is it compensating for the fact that the drums are going to get squashed. The effect of cutting the cymbal off using compression is basically preventing the wash of the cymbal from overwhelming a weakly reproduced bass drum, which isn't an issue live, as you have plenty of headroom, the wash of the cymbal may not even be heard.
I don't know that (like in this case) compensating for a weak anything is the point. I think it was more more creating punch. The beginning of a cymbal crash is already a lot louder than the after ring - compressing for punch in the attack can make this even more so. In order for the crash to make its statement, then get out of the way, so other parts of the music can be better heard.

That being said a compressed sound is going to bring out certain characteristics of the drums that you might not be aware of. For example, the decay on the snare is going to be much longer, you may get more detail out of the hihats, and they may sound completely different depending on the sound engineers interpretation, there may even be additional rhythmic complexity there due to compression timings.
What you are describe is one way to use a compressor - and that is to even out a sound - which will lower the volume of the attacks to create a more consistent, more constant sound. This will bring out the sustain - at the expense of the attack. But the end result can make a sound seem more present - more in-your-face.

To get this effect, the compressor is set with a very fast attack time - this makes the compressor clamp down quickly on the peaks of the sound - and making them closer to the same volume of the average sound. This reduces the overall dynamic range - which allows the whole sound to be turned up (without running out of headroom).

But there's another way to use a compressor that is almost opposite of that - and that is with a slower attack setting. This means at the beginning of that loud note - crash, snare hit, bass drum hit - nothing happens, the full loud attack is heard. Then depending on the attack time setting - very shortly after that initial attack, the compressor kicks in and turns the sound way down. Do this to extremes - and you can reduce a snare drum to a strap TACK with nearly zero decay or after ring. Of course, extreme settings aren't the only choice - so just a little nudging of the attack is possible as well.

The reality is people have been using and usually combining both of these approaches on recordings for decades.

It might seem that the two techniques would cancel each other out - and if done exactly the same by the same amount that might be the case. But it very common to use different processing for different purposing and then blend them together to create end results that are quite spectacular.

It is a very very deep art. One that as an engineer-by-necessity, I struggle with and do the best I can. All the more reason for me, when I'm involved in a project as just a drummer, I focus pretty much entirely on that - producing good sounds at the kit and then musically figuring out and executing the best parts I can come up with. And try to literally not even think about what the engineer is doing.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I don't know that (like in this case) compensating for a weak anything is the point. I think it was more more creating punch. The beginning of a cymbal crash is already a lot louder than the after ring - compressing for punch in the attack can make this even more so. In order for the crash to make its statement, then get out of the way, so other parts of the music can be better heard.

The comparison I was making was between a live bass drum related to the other instruments, where you might have 10db over and above the other instruments, as compared to commercial recordings where even at 16lufs you are going to have at most a couple of decibels between the bass drum and other instruments.

I agree compression in recordings can bring out more attack (treble in the transients) as compared to other dynamics processing techniques, and part of that is using compression, to keep the bass drum from being overwhelmed by other instruments and their washy tails, which can become substantially louder, relative to the bass, especially with multiband compression equalization for example.

Just wanted to clarify what I was saying, comparing live to recording, vs comparing one processing technique to another.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I wonder if anyone has made a pedal like a piano damper for cymbals, that would be neat. Something like a remote hihat pedal, that chokes the cymbal by dropping it on a damper, that could be connected to the bass drum pedal with a clutch. Or even just set next to the bass drum pedal so you could play both at once closing the damper and hitting the bass drum at the same time.

Using a hihat remote would be an easy idea, but cymbals can be heavy, so you would probably want to lift the lighter damper, I suppose you could just put the damper on top, but that would probably be ugly. I'd probably try it on my 15in crash first.

Now if I could just afford a remote pedal.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I wonder if anyone has made a pedal like a piano damper for cymbals, that would be neat. Something like a remote hihat pedal, that chokes the cymbal by dropping it on a damper, that could be connected to the bass drum pedal with a clutch. Or even just set next to the bass drum pedal so you could play both at once closing the damper and hitting the bass drum at the same time.

Using a hihat remote would be an easy idea, but cymbals can be heavy, so you would probably want to lift the lighter damper, I suppose you could just put the damper on top, but that would probably be ugly. I'd probably try it on my 15in crash first.

Now if I could just afford a remote pedal.
How many pedals do you want? I struggle with the three I already have. I ain't Thomas Lang here :D
 
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