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  1. Registered User

    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Default How much do you agonize over cymbal placement?

    I have a reasonable-size kit and space is at a premium (two bass, 4 up, 2 down, airspace above drums for cymbals is maxed out). As I've transitioned from one style of music to another (I play rock as well as jazz) I'm finding the home-kit is a hybrid. Cymbals also tend to be split into bright and dark in the same kit.

    Consequently I find myself "stuck in the weeds" with cymbals. I might do a rock fill that takes me down to the floor toms and I need a certain crash on that end of the kit. However, for jazz the ride takes up that space more effectively.


    I'm a bit stuck on how much a guy adjusts the layout versus forcing himself to adapt to the physical changes to make it work.

    How do you folks deal with setup? Where do you feel "make yourself adjust to the kit" becomes the answer?

  2. Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Default

    I have multiple kits and I recommend you try the same.

  3. The Hardware Guy

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    Jan 2004
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    Default

    I agonise over it a lot, but not for the same reasons you are talking about. I agonise over it because I'm super anal when it comes to placement, down to the point I can't use gear tilters because they don't give me the exact angle of the cymbal I want, so I use Unilock tilters (which I've loved since 1994!). My placement has to be millimetre-perfect, otherwise I'm annoyed. And I still maintain I'm not OCD (because I'm not, I'm just particular)

    PEARL CZX "CUSTOM Z" ALL MAPLE
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  4. Purple Crazed

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default

    I am constantly swapping out cymbals for the music that I want to play. However, it is only on the right side of my kit and limited to 4 cymbals at most. I don't mind doing it since the alternative would be to limit myself to having fewer cymbals.

    One of the things that helped was recording each cymbal being played on the same cymbal stand with the same mic and settings. If I am looking for a certain sound I can select the cymbal track and replay it to hear how it sounds with a song/genre.

    On a side note, I have a cymbal that I was going to sell until I heard how it recorded. I could barely believe my ears, it was unique among all of my cymbals with an outstanding timbre. Needless to say, I kept it.

    Pearl Purple Craze Reference Series
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  5. Drumming Since 1943

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    NJ
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    17,594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrush View Post
    I agonise over it a lot, but not for the same reasons you are talking about. I agonise over it because I'm super anal when it comes to placement, down to the point I can't use gear tilters because they don't give me the exact angle of the cymbal I want, so I use Unilock tilters (which I've loved since 1994!). My placement has to be millimetre-perfect, otherwise I'm annoyed. And I still maintain I'm not OCD (because I'm not, I'm just particular)
    No, you're OCD.
    Way Too Much Crap

  6. Registered User

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    354

    Default

    I'm CDO, its like OCD but with the letters in the right bloomin order.

    I'm very finicky with ride cymbal placement as its the one cymbal that gets used a lot, by one hand, for prolonged periods of time. This gets setup first, then the crashes around it. Cymbal placement Is also the main reason I converted to a rack setup, so that toms and cymbals are positioned in the correct place, quickly and consistently.
    Pearl Prestige Session Select SRX 1998 in black mist
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  7. The Hardware Guy

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    Jan 2004
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    London-ish
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    Quote Originally Posted by JY Kelly View Post
    No, you're OCD.
    I'd agree with you if I was to measure them with a ruler, but it's all eye-balled. I'm just fussy, but it's not like I can't handle or choke the cymbals without wearing gloves or anything

    PEARL CZX "CUSTOM Z" ALL MAPLE
    22", 22", 8", 10", 12", 13", 14", 16", 18"
    PICSPICS 2
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    Click Here To Help My Next Epic Search Quest

  8. Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrush View Post
    I'd agree with you if I was to measure them with a ruler, but it's all eye-balled. I'm just fussy, but it's not like I can't handle or choke the cymbals without wearing gloves or anything
    Hey! I resemble that remark...

  9. Drumming Since 1943

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    Jun 2005
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    NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy_D View Post
    Hey! I resemble that remark...
    So does someone else...
    Way Too Much Crap

  10. Registered User

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    I'll spend hours (sometimes days) positioning everything when I change my setup, but it all follows a very similar guideline regardless. Usually I use three crashes and a ride with two or three toms, and I like all my cymbals at a certain height, angle and spacing whenever possible. I play many different styles and have played with many different bands, but my cymbal setup remains the same because it works for me and every situation I've ever been in. The only reason I would make a drastic change is if I somehow landed a huge professional rock gig and wanted a double bass kit with four or more crashes and two china's, but it would still follow the same basic blueprint.
    For me, a relatively small setup works the best because even if I have to drop pieces due to space limitations/stage dimensions, the core of it will still be the same.
    Don't pick a fight with a drummer... we beat things for a living.

  11. Miles Gibbons

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Toronto
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    I use to agonize over cymbal heights and angles, but after years of playing on backline kits with less than "optimal" placements, I've realized that my playing doesn't suffer or benefit in any discernible way, according to cymbal placement. I can get a usable placement on just about any kit. I don't use many cymbals at one time though, so maybe I'd be a bit more specific and deliberate if I had more cymbals to set up. I definitely bring different cymbals for different gigs.

  12. Comrade Tim

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Russian Annex, North America
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    Default

    I only agonize over it to the point where things are where they always are....

    I want to be able to hit any cymbal on my kit with my eyes closed....so to maintain that, I just keep them where they always are....or try to...

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    Pearl | Aquarian | Zildjian | Vater | Yamaha

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