Drums or cymbals?

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I’m talking about the basic tone quality of drums versus cymbals. I couldn’t care less about cymbal sound, relatively. I enjoy a good cymbal roll or sizzle on the hats, but I don’t even begin to obsess about cymbal sounds. I own good ones, but my collection is very small.

Drums are a TOTALLY different story, especially toms. I obsess over every detail of drum sound and construction, and I own 5 HIGH-end, specialty sets plus plenty of extra toms. Including a hollow log set, a stave set, a copper set, and a spun fiberglass set. I am a giant weirdo about tom sound. I almost get emotional talking about how a well-tuned, well-made tom can sound to me. I remember the first time I ever heard a set of Yamaha’s with the new YESS mounts. I just wanted to sit underneath them for hours while someone else played them gently with soft mallets.

So what’s your sound obsession story?
 

danondrums

Well-known member
It’s the ride cymbal for me. You could put 1000 of the best ones on front of me. I could take my pick. And exactly 4.63 days later I will believe there’s a better one out there for me that I’m missing out on. I literally become so sad when this happens.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
“Drums”, and toms in particular...sound pretty one or possibly two dimensional to my ears. You have a low tuning open, and a low tuning ‘muffled’ a high tuning open and a high tuning muffled. There may be a middle tuning in there but not all drums can produce it. I just don’t have the sophistication or patience to go any deeper with them.

Cymbals on the other hand....? A thousand voices in every one if you take the time to get to know them....
 
Love love love toms, snares, kicks, hats, splashes, chinas...but crashes, man--those are what reach into my soul. (Or would if I had one.)
 
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Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
for me, it is cymbals...I have (what I feel) are great sounding drums, but I think my ears are a-tuned more to cymbal sounds. I own about 30 different cymbals - I liken then to guitar effect pedals for my drumset. A great cymbal sound to me is heavenly

for my drums, my snare is probably what I obsess over first, then the bass, then the floor tom, then the rack toms. I guess my experience has been that when it comes to a live show, the drums are always going to sound altered via the sound system and sound guys tweeking. Cymbals tend to stay less effected by that to me.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Drums for sure. Don't get me wrong, I love a beautiful sounding cymbal. I love the sound of drums so much though, I'm the guy who puts plastic wrap on a bowl of leftovers and stands there and taps on it to hear how it sounds. And yes, if it sounds dead I'll pull the plastic tighter to tune the bowl of leftovers.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Drums for sure. Don't get me wrong, I love a beautiful sounding cymbal. I love the sound of drums so much though, I'm the guy who puts plastic wrap on a bowl of leftovers and stands there and taps on it to hear how it sounds. And yes, if it sounds dead I'll pull the plastic tighter to tune the bowl of leftovers.
put some pesto in the leftovers....that always improves the sound!!! :p
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
I am moved by a nice ride cymbal. You know the ones. Those large 22" K Zildjians that just have that magical sound. And I really love a good sounding set of hi hats. The sound they make when you hold them open a bit and play them like a ride, allowing them to sizzle. That is pure magic. I also love a nice bass drum sound. The one that comes to mind as I type this is Tony William's bass drum sound. Absolutely killer and larger than life. It would ring and resonate beautifully. And as far as tom sounds Jack DeJohnette has some of the most amazing toms. There are plenty of others but this just gives you a taste of what I'm talking about.
 

Xeno

Member
Chinas. I am a china junkie. I think it goes back to when I first started playing, always wanted a good china but could never afford one.
 

Jazzim

Member
I can't personally understand how one can obsess over drum shells. Its about 80% head sound and 10-12% Shell(maybe not even that much, bearing edges, mounts and hoops affect more.

This is easily proven by science. If you have any knowledge of acoustics/physics and sound, you'll understand.

Cymbals are quite different tho, they sound shit or absolutely great, and nothing you can really do about it, unless you take a hammer and start hammering.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I can't personally understand how one can obsess over drum shells. Its about 80% head sound and 10-12% Shell(maybe not even that much, bearing edges, mounts and hoops affect more.

This is easily proven by science. If you have any knowledge of acoustics/physics and sound, you'll understand.

Cymbals are quite different tho, they sound shit or absolutely great, and nothing you can really do about it, unless you take a hammer and start hammering.
It's fine distinction but Science never "proves" anything (believe me I've tried)-it's a process. But I've read that too "scientifically proven" to be 80-90% of sound. Which is sort of silly proposition because the drum head is the main oscillatory we strike to produce the sound-so of course it will produce most of the sound wave. But that's the initial wave that can be altered as there are two vibrating heads and the shape of the drum determines the tone, sustain, and projection/volume of a drum . Just playing heads on a Trap kit sounds like crap so the drums contribute way more than that number appreciates it seems to me. I mean really if it was just heads then everyone would be playing just heads-who need to lug all that wood around. There wouldn't be drum companies just heads companies LOL. Anyways I find that posit odd in regard to heads at best. But I digress I like both drums and cymbals. I can "prove it" (LOL)-just strike a tuning fork and listen, now place on table and listen-the volume goes up as now the table is vibrating and contributing too.
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
I REALLY care about my tom sound, but a perfect sounding snare also makes me excited. That being said, I can make a pretty mid level kit sound fantastic. Crappy cymbals will always sound crappy. I think that is what people are getting at..

Yes a crash is a crash, but you can't tell me a Sabin B8 is in the same league as their HHX. (same goes for all companies) This is why I sink cash in to quality cymbals. but yes, I also care about toms. I just don't ever have to worry about cymbal sound when I have good ones. They just "are". Now I can tweak and tune snares and toms until the cows come home.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Oh man I don't put anything over another. ALL the pieces have to sound great by themselves and with the other components, period.

Even my cowbells are in octaves. It's the combined effect of great sounding and carefully played and tuned drums, and well chosen and carefully played cymbals that I'm shooting for. Total package. If I had to pick one or the other, in the past I would have chosen cymbals, but now I think the drums are far more important to the big picture, in my world at least.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Horses for courses. I would buy a dum for it's generally intended purpose knowing it can be tweaked, tuned and heads changed to alter the color a bit. Though I do love a strong drum sound for the style of music being played.

Cymbals I kinda hear a sound in my head before I go out searching for them, so I do obsess over them. They really can't be tweaked unless permanently altered. My collection over the past few decades of Swiss bronze does have me wondeing if I may have an issue.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I may be different, but these days I pretty much view all my gear as tools in a toolbox. In other words, I think about what I need in terms of the right tool for the right job. I don't really obsess over what sounds the best in general; I try to figure out what sounds the best in a given situation. I guess this comes from playing a lot of different genres in a lot of different bands.

With that said, I plan on ordering a kit this year that, for me, I throw caution to the wind and get what I think sounds the most like "me." It's probably going to be a little impractical, but I think it'll be fun.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
If drums are a bit off, tuning wise--I feel like I can deal with it. I mean, you know, it's a pretty easy fix.

But, if a cymbal sounds, out of place--that crap drives me nuts! At the same time, I'm not neglecting my drum tuning. For some reason, cymbals that don't play with others well, blecht :sick:
 
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