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Are there Cymbals just too harsh too tame?
Old 22nd August 2016
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Are there Cymbals just too harsh too tame?

I have a pretty decent amount of outboard gear .. compressors with every kind of topology .. FET, Opto, Diode Bridge, PWM, VCA .. FATSOs ... etc. etc.

I have some Overheads that are just so damn nasty ... and then when I use the fatso there still is a bunch of stuff killing you around 1Khz.

Any Tricks?
Old 22nd August 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Choose the right cymbals for a song. Also, some cymbals sound better in some rooms. If you are using the Zildjian K, you might be getting a lot 1K frequency. 1K is always nasty sounding for everything except snare. If it's harshness that is bothering you, you might want to go with a darker mic, like a 67, or even a ribbon. Off axis rejection might be your friend, too.

Last edited by jjblair; 24th August 2016 at 05:15 AM..
Old 23rd August 2016
  #3
No, there are just drummers to harsh to tame...
Old 23rd August 2016
  #4
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gutr2's Avatar
 

From my experience - yes some cymbals are just horrible to record.
BUT.. way more important is choosing the right cymbals for the song - there's not 1 set that will work every time, just like guitars or any other instrument for that matter.
A good / sensitive player can make most cymbals work also. I'm sure if Matt Chamberlain were playing your drums they would sound fantastic :o)

So, the right cymbals, the right player - if that's not taken care of, it really doesn't matter what gear you're using.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Juliano View Post
I have a pretty decent amount of outboard gear .. compressors with every kind of topology .. FET, Opto, Diode Bridge, PWM, VCA .. FATSOs ... etc. etc.

I have some Overheads that are just so damn nasty ... and then when I use the fatso there still is a bunch of stuff killing you around 1Khz.

Any Tricks?
Look to the source first (rather than the gear), drummer (can you use a different one), cymbals (can you use a different set that is less harsh), room (is there a place in the room they sound better) then gear in it's order in the chain (mic and placement: have you tried ribbons, try them as underheads with the problem cymbal in the null), only then start thinking about your hardware.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #6
1k sounds low to me. Most cymbals pierce around 3-5k to my ears. You may be making them too dark then having to use too much overheads to get the presence you need. Try just a little compression with fast attack and release. Maybe 3db, then push the fader up where the cymbals feel right. While listening to the whole track listen for harsh frequencies and eq those out. Also experiment with boosting between 100 and 200 hz to give support. Sometimes things sound harsh cause there's no low content to balance it. Still filter the bass rumble out.
Old 23rd August 2016
  #7
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
I have found that a great drummer can make most any cymbal sound good - or at least OK. Whereas a bad drummer can make any set of cymbals suck. I'd look to the player first.
Old 24th August 2016
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Are there Cymbals just too harsh too tame?
yes, there is one. They call him El Diablo.
Old 24th August 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Hamburg58's Avatar
 

Im lucky that a drummer with a former Paiste endorsement and a now Zildjian endorsement parks his bags. I replace clients cymbals often For song and for harshness. But usually I find it really hurts around 2-3K, you can get by with pulling that out over pulling out 1K. But I usually pull it out of everything if its an issue as in rooms overheads etc. Sometimes I find it easier to just do it on the drum bus with the Fab Filter Q2 and then go back and compensate where I lost it on the snare and I hate 3k on a kick anyway and usually a snare. That takes less time.
Old 24th August 2016
  #10
Quote:
Any Tricks?
A very high ceiling.
or more acoustic dampening .
Old 26th August 2016
  #11
Lives for gear
John Hardy preamps can help after all the above has been worked out.
Old 26th August 2016
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flanagan View Post
A very high ceiling.
or more acoustic dampening .
I agree ... these were tracks given to me to mix ... and the room was terrible because the cymbals were slicing my ears off. Anyway, tried Eq'ing it out.
But what worked best was : Reamp'ing the cymbals through my monitors with a DARK pre and a Ribbon mic off axis (also using a Gobo for isolation) . I taped over the tweeter. Then I used a pultec to bring back the highs ...
Of all the things I tried ... this sounded the best
Old 26th August 2016
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Another thing to try is a versatile de-esser. Used lightly it can work miracles.
Old 27th August 2016
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
This is what I posted in the other version of this thread:
Are there room tracks as well? Maybe rely on them more on them and back the OHs off? In the future use different cymbals, and different mics in a different position. Move the drums around the space as well.
Old 27th August 2016
  #15
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BillSimpkins's Avatar
Some cymbals sound a lot harsher with the mics above (it is where the pure tones travel). Try moving the overheads so they more perpendicular to the plane of the cymbal. Or you can rely on the room mics more which are already "edge on" to the cymbals.

And yeah, drummer, cymbals and room matter too.
Old 27th August 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
If they drummer has any cymbals 1/2 step off pitch....yuck.
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