I’m a cymbal enthusiast, modular synthesizer nerd, cassette tape tweaker, and all around gear hoarder. When I’m not patching or drumming you can find me in the ‘Patterned Button-Ups’ section at the thrift store, or relaxing with my cats.
From scholarly and avant-garde beginnings to ambient soundscapes of the 21st Century, there is something for virtually every listener and performer to be found in tape music. What we’re discussing here is not just a performance recorded to tape, but compositions, experiments, and live sets using tape as an instrument. The Beginning It would be […]
At the cynosure of your cymbal’s tone, the widely discussed, and wildly differentiating: alloy. The alloy is the blend of metals that makes up your cymbal and shapes its sound possibly more than any other factor. Generally speaking, most cymbals are made from any variety of copper-based alloys. I’m just going to go through some […]
The dreaded cymbal crack is an issue that plagues drummers of all sects, and also plagues their bank accounts. This article will cover some basic dos and don’ts as general guidelines (and not a rule book). Cymbal Stand Height and Angle One of the best things I ever did for my drumming was lowering my […]
Bells are an over-looked aural enveloper. Whether or not you’re riding them on a funk chorus, or blast-beating them straight into the abyss, this part of the cymbal really impacts your cymbal’s overall sound. Let’s look at how the size of a cymbal’s bell (or whether or not a cymbal has a bell) shapes your tone. Flat […]
So far, we’ve discussed attributes that affect your cymbals’ overall tone, namely its hammering and lathing. Here we’ll discuss one of the most important features that affects a cymbal’s aural envelope: thickness. The thickness of your cymbal shapes everything from strike feel to its attack, decay, sustain, and release (terms familiar to synthesists that might […]
The grooves that make the sound move: lathing. Lathing is the rarely mentioned cymbal spec you may not know about, but you’ve certainly seen. These record-like grooves allow the cymbal to resonate and send the resonant frequencies out into the world. Lathing is the process of removing surface material from the cymbal, while it is […]
Those small divots in your cymbals have a larger impact on tone than you might think. Hand hammered, machine hammered, what’s the difference and why should it matter? You’ve read it before, in the ambiguous, adjective-filled world of cymbal descriptions: hand hammered. What do they mean? How does this affect my cymbals’ sound? We’ll explore […]