Electronic Music other: Why do we use cymbals?
Written February 19 2007
Cymbals... I've wondered about this for a while, this "instrument" without a cohesive frequency that we use in most of our tracks.
I had a minor epiphany today... which is probably something that you all already knew... but thought I'd voice my ignorance anyway...
Cymbals by their nature have all frequencies (or many anyway), so we likely enjoy cymbals in a mix because chances are at least one of their frequency bands will cut through the others... therefore it's the easiest instrument to mix, and the easiest to hear in a mix.
What think you?
Well, in rock, the sound of the cymbal meshes with the distorted guitar in a unique way...I can't really describe it.
Yeah, must be because a distorted guitar has tons of different bands of frequencies, so it's hard to cut through it, but a cymbal has even more bands, so it of all sounds can make it through.
A distorted guitar is kind of like an inefficient cymbal in a way.
I think cymbals can be a bitch to mic!
yet I love them too.
i really like the range of sounds you can create with a cymbal.....i mean even by varying how you hard you hit gives you a huge range of sounds and then of course theres all kinds of muting techiniques and modifications you can do to them.
a crashing sound is such a great accent.
i like cymbals. squarepusher and vibert do some nice programming w/the symbals.. nice accents. makes a track sort of explode sometimes.
cymbals are the exclamation point of music
Yeah fredo, why the hell are they so "loud"?
When I record a tambourine (i know, not a cymbal, but a variation of) I can turn the volume down so much further then any other instrument and still hear it... what's going on? is it possessed with unmixable supernatural heebeejeebees?
Symbols are sweet.
cymbals crash.. they have those all at once freq's that pile up on the transients or something so they just come thru... plus if you aren't careful micing things all the other mics pic up the cymbals. usually you can just use overhead mics over a drum kit for cymbals and that's good enough depending your drummer. mic the snare kick toms hat separately and you''re golden..
of course you can mic a whole kit w/one or two mics in the right place in the right room w/the right mic but most of us don't have access to such things. one of the best snare sounds i've ever heard was recorded w/a neuman U67 about 4 ft over a drum kit dead center. he wouldn't let me sample it though.
I'm not an anthropologist or anything (though I did take one course in college, if that counts) , but I think humans inherently crave some sort of irregularity. Whether it be visual, rhythmic, sonic, etc., etc.
That and the fact that Jungle just ain't Jungle with out the king of all cymbals, the Amen crash...
Dude hihats are so freakin expressive it's sickening. I love em, hell all drums for that matter.
1) White noise is natural and soothing (eg waterfalls, wind through trees);
2) Cymbals are just about the only sound with sustain that can be interpreted solely as percussion. Drums that ring (timpanis, kettles, 808 toms) resonate at a frequency and become part of the melodic/harmonic content.
Plus I too like the variation. Is there anything harder to fake than a ride?
ok all that is true, but when my drummer comes in to record I run for my headphones just to softenn the crashing which can hurt physical pain ouch!
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