Taming cymbals

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Humble piece of masking tape. I had an engineer stick a piece about 6 inches long to the top side, then looped it loosely over the sound edge (didn't touch the actual edge) and stick it to the bottom. Worked a treat.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Shoe polish would be messy wouldn't it? And if it dries, wouldn't it flake off?

If you completely and thickly covered a cymbal with black boot polish you'd probably end up with something that looked and sounded like the Zil Pitch Black series :)

Messing with the coating / chemical structure of the cymbal's surface is for braver souls than me.
I did flake off but only because I smartly put it on the business end and not on the underside. I used my main ride, a 24" APX and it sounded just beautiful. Nice low pitch, great stick definition and not too many overtones. I've since removed the shoe polish and cleaned the cymbal thoroughly, now I just have to wait for some nice patina to develop. I fear the salt approach may be too drastic for this beauty.

I wouldn't call it brave... really more reckless. I have this insatiable drive to modify my gear. Like I've said before, that boring gray kick drum is just one bored weekend away from getting chopped down to a 14" depth and covered in glitter.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I don't know why, but it seems like a lot of us start out liking really quick decay in drum and cymbal sounds but then grow to like the sustain and wash as we get older. That's certainly true in my case.

I have bright and wet cymbals and I have dry and dark ones. I haven't ever applied anything to tame them but I generally find that the sound in front of me is "tamed" quite a bit by the room, the music and the distance between me and the audience. I didn't always appreciate just how much so.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
if you are playing jazz I would recommend steering away from this cymbal

much more of a rock to metal cymbal in my opinion
I thought as much- it's been awhile since I've hit one. I had the impression that they weren't as heavy as current rock cymbals. I don't know why, I'm on a Paiste kick right now... and the price for funky old 80's Rudes is certainly right...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Humble piece of masking tape. I had an engineer stick a piece about 6 inches long to the top side, then looped it loosely over the sound edge (didn't touch the actual edge) and stick it to the bottom. Worked a treat.
Hmm, interesting ... "loosely over the sound edge" ... to clarify, you're still dampening the outer regions of the pie, just not quite the edge. And masking tape being gentler than gaffa.


I did flake off but only because I smartly put it on the business end and not on the underside. I used my main ride, a 24" APX and it sounded just beautiful. Nice low pitch, great stick definition and not too many overtones. I've since removed the shoe polish and cleaned the cymbal thoroughly, now I just have to wait for some nice patina to develop.
Did you apply the polish to the whole cymbal? When the polish gets dry and brittle I can't see how it can stay put: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=osFBNLA7woY#t=31s

You're an ideal member - prepared to mess with your kit in ways that others aren't and report back with your results. You could be the forum's sacrificial lamb :)


I don't know why, but it seems like a lot of us start out liking really quick decay in drum and cymbal sounds but then grow to like the sustain and wash as we get older. That's certainly true in my case.

I have bright and wet cymbals and I have dry and dark ones. I haven't ever applied anything to tame them but I generally find that the sound in front of me is "tamed" quite a bit by the room, the music and the distance between me and the audience. I didn't always appreciate just how much so.
Seems that way - short and bright to long and dark.

I bought this cymbal specifically because it was good for riding, accents and crashing. So as a ride it was always going to be on the washy side. I'm hoping to pull it back just a teensy bit to get more clarity when riding ... it's a fine line. I've experimented a bit without great results.

Last night I forgot to bring my cymbals and had to the use the house pies. for the most part missed the tone and presence of my Zil but I enjoyed the extra clarity of the studio's 21" ride at times ... just hoping to make a small step towards an ideal compromise.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Hmm, interesting ... "loosely over the sound edge" ... to clarify, you're still dampening the outer regions of the pie, just not quite the edge. And masking tape being gentler than gaffa.
That's pretty much it, Pol. I never did ask for his exact reasons......I was relatively inexperienced in a recording studio on that session and I just let him do his thing. I can only imagine there were some overtones he didn't like on playback and this was a quick and easy fix for him. Certainly dulled the cymbal down a shade, but it didn't seem to completely change its dominant tones either.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Just thought I'd reply on behalf of Pollyanna ... I have a (surprise surprise) 20" Zild A medium, which (coincidentally) has exactly the same issue as Polly's.

After some experimenting I'm using a 2½" strip of gaffa tape, taped horizontally about ½" in from the edge. It's improved clarity and prevented some wash buildup and excess volume, while not losing dealbreaking amounts on the crash and lighter accents.

I pressed the tape on loosely to reduce tape muck but I guess a trip or two in the cymbal bag will sort that out.

Thanks everyone for your knowledge and experience - very helpful.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
I have an A ride that I feel the same way about- have been running a moongel with less than good results. My old ZHT had a full length of tape across the bottom that went right thru the mounting hole and it was a great cymbal (the horror, I know). Been thinking of taping the A but it seems like a cymbal crime.

I find that when I ride my A it just gets out of control (still figuring out if it s me or not) and the definition of each stick hit islost.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I have an A ride that I feel the same way about- have been running a moongel with less than good results. My old ZHT had a full length of tape across the bottom that went right thru the mounting hole and it was a great cymbal (the horror, I know). Been thinking of taping the A but it seems like a cymbal crime.

I find that when I ride my A it just gets out of control (still figuring out if it s me or not) and the definition of each stick hit islost.
Based on my band recordings the ping cuts through better out front than from behind the kit.

Given the number of quality players here who tape or moongel cymbals I don't think it's a crime. What I did is tap my way up the cymbal. The least pleasing sound came from about ½ inch from the edge. Knowing Zilds, that's no guarantee that your worst spot will be there ...
 
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