Gigging Cymbals vs. Studio Cymbals

?uesto

Silver Member
Hey all, just need your take on this.

Basically, I'm scared to use certain cymbals live with my rock band. I love the sound and features I get out of certain cymbals, like my Constantinople ride or K Istanbul hats, but I'm terrified to crack them while while playing harder and keeping that live energy going. Especially since I play/practice unmic'd.

But when I record, I can play more gently, but with the same feel and without running the risk of cracking the cymbals or anything.

So I just use different cymbals live, and I feel like the sound suffers a bit. I could always just bring my sub-mixer and do a kick drum mic and overhead so my cymbals can be heard, but that's more EQ'ing and set-up and gear to bring, etc. I'm wondering what you all can suggest to get around this.

Thanks!
 

porter

Platinum Member
If you're unmiced, I'm guessing that they're plenty loud. I think the only situation you have to worry about is if one is particularly quieter than the others. For example, Matt Halpern uses a 22" Byzance Vintage Sand Crash/Ride which is fairly low volume as a crash, and when I saw him live, you could barely hear it because of all his other, louder cymbals (mic'd snare, tom and kick, but I don't think his cymbals were). Just play with good technique and you shouldn't have a problem.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
To each his own, but unless you record more than you play out live, I'd just play them out live. That's what they're for. Zildjians are pretty durable regardless if they're A's or K's. I would think having your best cymbals on a gig would mean you didn't have to bash them so hard to get them to sound good. I've been using the same 20" K Custom Dark Ride for 20 years and although it looks used, it's taken all the abuse I can dish out and then some. Chances are it's not the playing, but the transport and possible dropping that would harm them.
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Smash 'em! What's the worst that can happen? You'll break one, (probably from an really unlucky blow), and have to find yourself shopping for another complimentary sound for your set-up. Permanence is a belief held by those who lack wisdom.

As a side note, has anyone on here ever broken a high-hat cymbal? If so I want to see photos of your arms, cause you gotta be one Arnold Shwarzenegger lookin' dude.
 

brady

Platinum Member
As a side note, has anyone on here ever broken a high-hat cymbal? If so I want to see photos of your arms, cause you gotta be one Arnold Shwarzenegger lookin' dude.
Exactly.

The only broken hi-hat I've ever seen is the one that a bass player in one of my old bands dropped when he was trying to help me pack up. It ended up with a small crack right on the edge of the top hat. I still haven't gotten over it...

And for the record, he had pretty small arms.
 

?uesto

Silver Member
If you're unmiced, I'm guessing that they're plenty loud. I think the only situation you have to worry about is if one is particularly quieter than the others.
Well the ride and the hi-hats are significantly lower pitched than the crash cymbals. We just recorded, and before mixing and mastering, I could really hear the difference. The ride cymbal (when crashing or riding) was totally inaudible in the mix, with an overhead directly over it.


Smash 'em! What's the worst that can happen? You'll break one, (probably from an really unlucky blow), and have to find yourself shopping for another complimentary sound for your set-up. Permanence is a belief held by those who lack wisdom.

As a side note, has anyone on here ever broken a high-hat cymbal? If so I want to see photos of your arms, cause you gotta be one Arnold Shwarzenegger lookin' dude.
I'll smash most of my cymbals, but I'd hate to crack either of these. Not so much the hats, I don't think there will be a problem, but that ride cymbal is so thin but it's the absolute perfect jazz ride for my trio. I'd really hate to lose it in my rock band...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well the ride and the hi-hats are significantly lower pitched than the crash cymbals. We just recorded, and before mixing and mastering, I could really hear the difference. The ride cymbal (when crashing or riding) was totally inaudible in the mix, with an overhead directly over it.




I'll smash most of my cymbals, but I'd hate to crack either of these. Not so much the hats, I don't think there will be a problem, but that ride cymbal is so thin but it's the absolute perfect jazz ride for my trio. I'd really hate to lose it in my rock band...
Well, then get some Zildjian A's and you'll be golden. Personally I don't think it matters. I'm gigging my new 24" K Light Ride now and. It sounds fantastic with a rock band - and I'm not bashing it to death. All cymbals I think fall into that frequency range where they can be heard. I'd like to hear this recorded mix you have, maybe your engineer has mixing issues?
 

Bull

Gold Member
As a side note, has anyone on here ever broken a high-hat cymbal? If so I want to see photos of your arms, cause you gotta be one Arnold Shwarzenegger lookin' dude.
I have sent countless crashes and chinas to the afterlife but I have never broken a set of hats. I have several friends who have. One friend breaks them regularly.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I'm terrified to crack them while while playing harder and keeping that live energy going. Especially since I play/practice unmic'd.

But when I record, I can play more gently, but with the same feel and without running the risk of cracking the cymbals or anything.
!
I think this should be your focus instead of your gear. You can play with plenty of "live energy" without playing harder. The two factors are independent of each other, and it sounds like you need to train your brain to accept this as true. You can play with the same amount of "showmanship" while playing more gently.

As for "studio cymbals", I typically bring cymbals to recording sessions that have a faster decay. It can muddy up a recording if your cymbals are ringing long after you strike them, especially when you're tracking live in a room with the rest of the ensemble. Mostly, though, the main issue is making sure you balance your kit, drums and cymbals, in your playing, so that it sounds good when played back.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The context of the gig is important.

Playing blues in a small bar, I wouldn't worry.

Playing in a loud rock band at a night club, I wouldn't think the K Constantinople would cut through anyway, so I'd leave something like that at home.

I don't own a ton of cymbals, but I do keep in mind the music and room for which ones I will bring.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Maybe you should just bring a heavier hi-hat top and ride cymbal, then? That might solve your issues.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Well the ride and the hi-hats are significantly lower pitched than the crash cymbals. We just recorded, and before mixing and mastering, I could really hear the difference. The ride cymbal (when crashing or riding) was totally inaudible in the mix, with an overhead directly over it.
This is totally a rookie mistake. It should have never gone to mastering if everything was not point on during mixing. Absolutely no excuse.

Dennis
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
The only broken hi-hat I've ever seen is the one that a bass player in one of my old bands dropped when he was trying to help me pack up. It ended up with a small crack right on the edge of the top hat. I still haven't gotten over it...

And for the record, he had pretty small arms.
And that made it easier to beat him senseless for cracking your cymbal. KIDDING!...KIDDING! :)

I actually have a set of cymbals I play on my louder gigs and a set for my lower, jazzier, organic gigs.

I too love my darker, lighter cymbals but they just don't cut when the guitars and synths start to roar. When I started to notice I made the change. I especially noticed it on my ride. That said, I haven't ever broken any cymbal.

It's similar to tuning your drums more open and higher than it sounds to you right behind your kit. Out front they sound tonal and punchy. We have to handle the battle between what sounds better to our ears and what sounds better to the audience. Always trying to be aware of that and working on it.

Jim
 

?uesto

Silver Member
This is totally a rookie mistake. It should have never gone to mastering if everything was not point on during mixing. Absolutely no excuse.

Dennis
Well the engineers are two fellow music students, and we were really their first test subjects out of school, so I'm not sure their level of expertise. But they did assure me it'd all be balanced in mix/master.

If anyone wants to hear what I mean, here are the raw recordings: (They don't have names yet, nor do we, as a band)

Song 1
Song 2
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
I have a pair of used K Hybrid hats that cracked within a year of my purchase. For comparison, I used B8's for 4 years before getting these.

I swear, the previous owner must have run them over with their car or something.
 
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