My cymbals are too loud.

Paisleyman

Junior Member
Istanbul Xist brilliant.

I find it almost impossible to play them at low volumes. There seems to be a significant difference in the volume of cymbals v drums (Gretsch Renown / Pearl Midtown) for the same power applied with sticks.

Any thoughts?

(Just don't give me an excuse to go and buy another set.)

(Or do!)
 

Paisleyman

Junior Member
I should say:-

1. I set up with my cymbals low.
2. The only cymbals I strike with the tip are ride and (sometimes) hi-hat.
3. I'm 63 so ought to be less sensitive to the upper registers than I used to be.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Unfortunately self balancing is one of the skills we should develop. So play your cymbals more lightly than your drums, not the 'same power'.
I play my bass drum the hardest, then snare and toms. Hi-hats and cymbals are played much more lightly.
I DO buy lower volume cymbals, usually 'jazz, or 'dark' labelled cymbals.
In Istanbul I use Traditional, plus OM, Mantra and Signature.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You can put a piece of tape on cymbal bottom to tone it down a bit.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I use Xist rides mainly. Mine are no louder than a different same sized cymbal. Cymbals and drums...require different touches for sure.

It's not the cymbal, it's your "inner kit dynamics" that need attention IMO. Develop a lighter touch on your cymbals. I only use a max of 60% of my cymbals volume 95% of the time, (splash excepted). I far prefer to hear my cymbal crashes bloom out nicely than go from zero to 100 in a split second. A whisper is just as effective as a shout. I like keeping all my cymbal volumes tightly controlled and never overpowering except in those certain circumstances when it's preferable.

Cymbals are women that must be finessed, drums are guys you can beat up on is my approach
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I have some loud cymbals also. I just hit them softer.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
You can get lighter sticks and hit them softer; and/or get lighter, smaller cymbals. And adjust your ears to the sound-- anything sounds loud in a quiet room. If you're tapping the cymbal from 1" and it sounds loud to you, the problem is your ears. Play LOUD for awhile, if you dare, until your ears adjust, and your normal comfortable volume sounds normal.

Do what you can to balance your drums to the cymbals, so it takes the same touch to get the sound you want on either thing. Sounds like your drums need a heavier touch than your cymbals, so possibly tuning the drums higher will help with that, using Ambassadors on top.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
How heavy are your sticks? What others have said is spot on around manual volume control. The Xist are by design on the brighter side, so maybe that's what you don't like? Not too long ago, I had a chance to play my kit without pads and L80 low volume cymbals. I can't get the L80s to respond to hits nearly as well as my HHX Evolutions, so at first I was like "bloody hell, the cymbal volume is off the charts"! Those cymbals are far from the loudest on the spectrum. A day or so later, I was able to control them again.

Having said that, I've stuck with HHX Evos exclusively, because trying to mix with that line and you have to exercise manual volume control across the brands/lines. Didn't have that problem with my older heavier/brighter cymbals, but just adding in my Wuhan China and I have to whack that one super hard and back way off on the Evos. The Evos open up super fast. Most take a good whacking. Didn't really feel like adding a slew of lines so I'd have to remember which is which amidst everything else. There are most certainly differences. Fairly easy to adjust if they behave similarly though.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
One of my favorite cymbal techniques is when I "crash" (but not really) lightly and just enough to give a little wash without the initial punch/impact (or very little). Like others have said, it's about technique between the different instruments in your set.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I'll trade you straight across for my low volume cymbals. When the guitar players turn it up, I could use some loud cymbals.

Cymbals are women that must be finessed, drums are guys you can beat up on is my approach
Perfect Larry........ LOL


.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Play LOUD for awhile, if you dare, until your ears adjust, and your normal comfortable volume sounds normal.
With all due respect, DON'T do that! Your hearing is way too important to try anything that reckless.

Unfortunately the cymbals you chose are pretty bright, and bright cymbals tend to sound a lot louder than darker cymbals. Not sure what to do about it except to sell yours and buy something darker like Zildjian Ks, Sabian HH, Meinl Byzance, or even the non-brilliant versions of the Xist cymbals (the brilliant finish adds a lot of shimmery high frequencies, which is why they sound so loud).
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
With all due respect, DON'T do that! Your hearing is way too important to try anything that reckless.
It's an instrument capable of a full range of dynamics, I'm not suggesting he hurt himself or do anything stupid. A lot of people are scared of making any sound on it at all, and need to adjust their sense of what loud is. What will be extremely loud to him is probably mf to a professional.

It's probably the wrong instrument for people who are terrified of playing performance volume on it.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
If you're dissatisfied with your cymbals, you can send them to me. I will take good care of them.
This applies to any member that has drum equipment they're not happy with, just send it on over. :D
 
It's an instrument capable of a full range of dynamics, I'm not suggesting he hurt himself or do anything stupid. A lot of people are scared of making any sound on it at all, and need to adjust their sense of what loud is. What will be extremely loud to him is probably mf to a professional.

It's probably the wrong instrument for people who are terrified of playing performance volume on it.
Do you use any kind of hearing protection when playing or teaching for several hours? I mean, some kids hit pretty hard and the high frequency attack of cymbals and the snare can be pretty piercing. I get the point of playing at the correct volume for the room, so that the "mix" of the band sounds good. But as the drummer you're the one closest to the set, so you get even more of the high frequencies. I played without ear plugs for quite a while because they mainly filter out high frequencies and that made me play cymbals too hard in comparison to toms and bass drum. Nowadays, I like them again.
 

BGDurham

Well-known member
You can put a piece of tape on cymbal bottom to tone it down a bit.
I agree with this. Tape or gels or the like can absorb some of the overtone wash and thus reduce the cymbals' overall volume impact. And of course you can remove the tape as you wish depending on the situation. Some folks here have different sets to accommodate different playing environments (I have one set myself) and tape can be enough or get you by until you buy a different or second darker set.

Or you may just need good earplugs, like Earasers.

Adding sound dampening (e.g., thick blankets) around your practice area can help by absorbing the cymbal sound waves that might be bouncing all around you.
 
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