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'Studio' cymbals
Old 8th November 2002
Lives for gear
Knox's Avatar

'Studio' cymbals

I'm looking for some more 'even' cymbals for our recording kit (almost all rock bands here) and was curious what most of you have found is not over bearing in the studio. Seems 'live type' cymbals are too loud and not 'even' in the studio, especially the ride. I like a nice brassy hat, not too thin (so any suggestions on hats would be great as well). Curious what you have found.
Old 8th November 2002
Gear Head

Zildjian A Custom Fast Crashes

Hey, Zildjian A Custom Fast Crashes Are GREAT For studio use. They have a really sweet sound and die out fast. Take it easy. Lates

Old 8th November 2002
Custom A Fast Crashes are good. I only have Zildjian experience so I don't want to start a flame war between the different cymbal makes.
I gave up using 'rock' cymbals or anything remotely heavy years ago. I've found the Zildjian K series to work for me.
K Dark Crashes. K Hats.
Hats are difficult. The size and thickness really effects the sound. You do need at least 13", probably 14" for rock IMHO. Try and get the drummers to lay off them a bit. There are a lot of 'recording' hats by various companies. They are usually good.
Old 8th November 2002
Here for the gear
The Specialist's Avatar

I agree on the fast crashes, Zildjian really built some controllable cymbals here.

To pick cymbals you have to realize that every single Zildjian sounds different. Sabians are a bit more consistent. Paiste cymbals are VERY consistent. They are the easiest to match size and series wise if you need to replace them.

If you choose Zild or Sabs you have to be much more selective. I find the A custom line to be the most consistant cymbal in the Zildjian line, with the K's being the least. There are some really bad sounding K's shipped out. My personal feeling is that Zildjian still offers the best cymbals out there, but you have to find them. If you find one that sounds awesome, don't worry about the price, buy it. Also, buying Zildjian mail order is worthless, you could get crap. Sabian is easier to pick. You can find a specific series, then fool around with sizes. The consistancy is close enough to be able to order another example of said cymbal without too much deviation. There are duds, so you have to be careful. I would also like to add that I think their B8/B8Pro series sees to record better than any other budget gear.

Paiste is super consistant. If I had to pick a set of die-hard studio cymbals, I would find a dealer with a large assortment of Paiste's and set out to find the best ones and buy those. If, I mean when one breaks, you just order another one. Also I think the signature line is great. As a player, I am Zildjian all the way, but Paiste is so much easier to deal with.

As far as trying out cymbals, if you are not a drummer, just listen for annoying overtones, and imagine them amplified through 45-60dB of pre amp gain in your recording room. Trust your instincts. If you think it's slightly crappy sounding, you'll hate it in a month. This is ESPECIALLY true for Zildjians, which seem to make their worst qualities more apparent the more they are beat on (there's a really bad joke there, I'll stop).

**** Cymbals, buy amps.
Old 8th November 2002
Here for the gear
The Specialist's Avatar

I forgot to mention. I play really hard rock.

Thin cymbals sound much better in heavy rock situations on tape. The pitch is lower and the sustain is much more musical.

A lot of rock kooks come in with trash can lids and clobber them.

Remind them they have plenty of mic amplication on them and that thinner cymbals are lower in pitch.

It's also easier to overdub a missed cymbal hit than to keep ****ing up a take for a hit.

Back to thin cymbals, the pro drummer should have a "recording set" for sessions. Cymbals she trusts and can fell free on. Gig sets should be considered disposable. Once I did that, my life was so much stressful.

Old 8th November 2002
Gear Head
heylow's Avatar

Originally posted by The Specialist
**** Cymbals, buy amps.


Old 8th November 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I prefer smaller & thinner cymbals in the studio. I have a bunch of crashes in the 14" to 16" range, nothing thicker then a medium thin. My one 18" crash is a Zildjian 18" thin that someone left here because they cracked it. I polished it up and had my local drum shop (that I have a great relationship with) do a warrenty replacement on it. It hardly ever gets used unless someone knows how to play it.
Old 8th November 2002
Here for the gear

For what it's worth, the drummer I work with has always preferred smaller crashes in general...for performing as well. He's a pretty heavy handed player too. He simply finds that the smaller crash cymbals get a better 'exploding' sort of crash, while the bigger ones tend to have too much deep ring to them.

Old 8th November 2002
Lives for gear
cajonezzz's Avatar

I own and play em all depending on the situation.But to address the question I'd have to say Piste Signature, thin's . They don't have the complexity( some folks would say musicality) of a K Zil or custom A but on tape they are very focused, shimmery, quick decay, ( I think the term even could be applied) Not alot of character IMO but record really consistently.

Also very easy to replace with an identical if cracked.

The Paiste Traditional line is their version of a K in their lind) beautiful cymbals. Freakin expensive. Super personal choices of course whatever you use. Bottem line is when listening just ignore the ink on the cymbal. I've got a super low level Zil amir) that works great on certain things. 30 bucks in a pawn shop.

Go to a shop, set up a bunch of cymbals and turn your back and have a friend start wacking 'em.
Even better if you can shoot 'em out in your studio.
Old 8th November 2002
Gear Maniac

I have really like Zildjian Medium Thin Crashes and the Dark K Crashes. They both record excellent and aren't overbearing. For a ride, I have been using a 21" Zildjian Rock Ride. Nice ping, a bit of wash and a great bell. I also have a Sabian 22" Rock Ride that is great.

For hats, try either the Quickbeats or the new Mastersounds from Zildjian for the more brassy sound.
Old 8th November 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
For a general purpose ride it's really really tough to beat a 20" medium. Either Zildjian or Sabian are fine, look for a used one. I scored a 20" K Heavy in September for $99 and it sounds great but it's not quite as washy and out of control as a medium can get. My other ride is a 20" K Custom which is cast, not lathed. I had a Paiste 20" Traditonal which I sold. It was just too thin and got too washy and out of control too fast. But, the friend I sold it to loves it for jazz and be-bop. If I could only have one set of hats I'd look for 13"s. Everyone comes in with 14" hats and having the option is nice. I have 13" Sabian AAX Fusions and a pair of 14" Zildjian New Beats with an '70s (maybe?) 14" top as another option. I sometimes use it as a crash because it's about a medium, maybe medium thin weight.
Old 9th November 2002
Lives for gear

The Zildjian A Custom Projection Crashes are my favorite right now. Especially the 16" and 17". The 18" gets out of hand with volume too easily. They work in almost every situation I play in.

The most verstaile all around ride I've ever used is my 20" K medium. Very controllable. Works for rock, jazz, and everything in between, but not that great for extremely heavy rock.

Hi hats are hard to get right, IMO. I'm currently using a 14" K Dark Custom top with a Paiste signature bottom (which is heavy and doesn't look at all like the Paiste signature top, looks more like the old RUDE's but doesn't sound like them). I have a lot of hats, and try to fit the right combination of them to the song. The most crisp hats I've ever heard, I also have: 13" UFIP's, the ones with 4 holes drilled in the bottom hat to prevent air lock. Very ****ing loud, though. A gentle touch is required to make them sit right in a tune.

As for Sabian, if you find one you like, go for it, because I agree with other posts that the Sabe's are very consistent from cymbal to cymbal. This might have something to do with their cymbals being machine made, except for the high end line (which still doesn't sound good to me). Personally, I never found a Sabe I liked at all, but that's not to say someone else hasn't.

I like Paiste crashes a lot, but they seem to have only a lot of high shimmer to them. Not much in the compex overtones to them compared to Zildjian.

BTW, I see the name "Zildjian" misspelled to the point of slaughtering it. Look in classified drum ads for some goofy misspellings of it ("Zeldgeean").
Old 9th November 2002
I would love a creamy dull vintage Zildjian New Beat hi hats.

A friend of mine has about 60 cymbals, he can have a DW kit delivered to any venue in the western world for free if he wants.

He's also a snare addict... Has about 30 +

Old 9th November 2002
lflier's Avatar

I'll join all the choruses calling for thinner cymbals in the studio. I really like the Zildjian K "thin dark" crashes, particularly the 16" ones. They really you give that John Bonham "sploosh" without having to necessarily compress the crap out of them.

Ride cymbals are indeed tricky, especially nowadays. Most "modern rock/fusion" type rides are made to emphasize the bell and not the body of the cymbal. They also tend to be very thick. This often means that the bell ends up taking your head off and that transient then leaves very little room for the resonance. It sucks, especially on digital recordings.

IMO the best recording rides tend to be the "crash ride" types as they are thinner and a bit more like the old jazz rides. You can get a wide range of tones out of them depending on where the cymbal is hit. The drummer in my band has probably the best sounding ride I've ever heard, a 20" Zildjian which of course is 30 years old - probably has something to do with why it sounds so good!

Hats, I do like old New Beats, although the Paiste hats sound great too for a really bright crisp sound. My New Beats are 15" actually - I was all set to get a 14" pair but these just happened to sound better by a considerable margin. Cymbal shopping - always an adventure!

Knox, if you want to hear any of my cymbals I can always bring some over. Not to mention a great drummer to bash on 'em - our drummer lives very close to your place and is always up for studio experimentation (and he's a fabulous drummer!).

Old 10th November 2002
Lives for gear
tommyd's Avatar

Thought I might chime in from a drummers veiwpoint. For the contemporary stuff I definitely vote for the A Customs. Great tone. fast decay, kind of ....crash and out of the way. But to a point.........
When I'm called for a sesion my cymbal case is loaded with 2 rides, crashes ranging in size from 15" to 19" (A's, A Customs, K's 8 total) 2 sets of hats, 2 splashes and 3 chinas. Generaly I pick cymbals by this criteria;
sound in the room
sound mic 'ed up ( and this in itself is another topic)
and the song being recorded AT THE MOMENT

As I stated earlier, on upbeat stuff I prefer to have crashes that "blast fast and get out of the way".
Grandios balad, you can use big 18" and 19" crashes, let em ring ...

It just depends on the music........
So the point of my rambling, if the drummer on your project hasn't collected a variety of cymbals to choose from, spend the money and rent a few to try out. As with drums, just because they sound good live we all know the studio is a differant animal.

if I were buying a "catch all set" for a studio, I would contact the biggest drum shop, music store around and bring in as many to demo as your credit card will allowheh heh All flavors of rides, crashes, hats,etc. Find the ones that sound the best in YOUR room, the way you most often mike your house kit. You'll be happy. Just my long winded .02 TommyD
Old 10th November 2002
Lives for gear
tommyd's Avatar

Oh, and regarding snare drums Jules......
From where I sit as a drummer you can NEVER have too many snare drums!!heh But I must admit your friend has me beat as I only have 10 TommyD
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