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Cymbal Muting - Any drummers here that can help me out?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CrispyDelicious, Mar 17, 2009.


  1. I've poked around on the web looking for info on this, but I was hoping to find something a little more specifc from someone who plays drums - I know there are many people here who do play drums as well as bass, and starting a new account on a drum forum 2% as large as this one didn't seem like it was going to be productive.

    I bought my drummer an 18" Wuhan china for his birthday - he says he absolutely loves them - but I went to our studio last night to put it on his kit as a surprise when he walks into practice tonight, and MAN is it LOUD!!! I'm talking 2-3 times the volume of his other cymbals.

    I've read you can buy cymbal mutes, but you can also use gaffer's tape, duct tape, masking tape, or even blue-tack/sticky-tack to mute the cymbal slightly (and also cut down on sustain). Do any of you have experience with this? What method do you use (or, what method does your drummer use)? Any advice?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I use sections of yoga mats. :) No really, it's a foamed-vinyl flexible material which is fairly dense and makes an excellent mute. You can get scraps of it from chicks who have given up yoga, or from the places that make the mats for sale. You can also use the similar material sold for putting underneath carpets.

    That said, he won't like how it sounds when muted. The "real" solution is he has to learn not to hit that one so hard. :)
     
  3. Hah! Yes, he CLAIMS to not be a hard hitter... But, we all know the truth. Yoga mat material eh? I'll see if I can get my hads on some. Does it cut volume, sustain, or both?
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Both.
     
  5. SPEC-TACULAR!

    Thanks!
     
  6. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Unfortunately it's too late since he's already heard it unmuted. He needs to work on the dynamic of that particular cymbal.

    My china days are over. Have been since '91.

    Funny story if I may on topic: I was doing a gig with a local artist and our friend Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley's drummer) walks in and hands me a vintage Zildgian 22" rivet china. I was excited and immediately hooked it up. It was freaking loud. I still have it. Love it but it really needs to be tracked by itself because of how loud it is.

    The guys in the band were pissed. The guitarists comment was, "It's like giving a kid a BB gun". I fired it quite often that night.:)

    The best thing that can happen is A: he learns to play it dynamically or B: it cracks and he can't use it any more.

    You REALLY need to protect your hearing with a china. Especially in a small rehearsal room. Those frequencies are basically white noise.

    When I have to hire blues drummers I tell them to bring a small pocket kit w/preferably 2 washy rides, NO CHINAS, NO SPLASHES and no DOUBLE PEDAL. No Z rock rides either.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    A couple years ago here on TB somebody posted a story of their (or somebody's) band auditioning drummers. They set all kinds of drums and hardware and cymbals over in one corner and told each auditioning drummer to pick out whichever pieces they wanted to use for the session. They automatically rejected any drummer who picked the big China, without ever letting him play. :eek:
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    This is so true. I used to play in an oldies rock band. Our drummer left, and we replaced him with a guy our singer knew who was into metal. He had about a 24" china that he used the way sane drummers use a crash. I have permanent hearing loss in my right ear from standing to the left of that thing for about 6 months worth of gigs.:(
     
  9. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    That is an awesome story.
     
  10. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I can't stress enough how important it is to protect your ears from that white noise. It's literally an occupational hazard.

    You ALWAYS need to protect the ear that faces the china, ALWAYS. Listen to Embellisher, once that ear is killed there's no gettin' it back. You might end up like one of those deaf bassists who comes across as a treble rebel to you, but to him it sounds smooth and warm.
     
  11. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    That sort of reminds me of a story from my past:

    in 1980 we were auditioning drummers for a newly forming band, and the ad we put in the local paper happened to use the phrase "progressive rock". Every single drummer who showed up to audition had these huge kits with 4 or 5 toms, double kicks, and a couple of china, swish, or pang cymbals. A week later we re-posted the exact same want-ad, only we changed the phrase "progressive rock" to "post-punk progressive rock". Every single drummer who showed up to audition that 2nd week had a 4-pice kit with one crash cymbal!


    Actually, I must confess that for my undergraduate recital I insisted that any drummer auditioning for the gig had to at least have a china cymbal and a couple roto-toms. (Hey man, it was prog/fusion circa 1982, what can I say?)
     
  12. What are you guys talking about? High pitched noises don't make you go deaf (normally). It's almost ALWAYS low frequencies that ruin cause tennitus and hearing loss, and more specifically, almost ALWAYS the frequencies that are so low that they are inaudible. Your bass playing is going to be a lot harder on your ears than a china crashing in your ear 200 times a week.
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I'm not sure where you got that from, but it runs counter to everything I've ever read on the subject or been told by an ear doc. Link to something supporting your statement?
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I'm doing some Googling of my own. So far most sites just describe general amplitude to be the problem, without reference to pitch. This site:
    http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/gesundheit-e/laerm/gehoer.htm
    says "Loss of hearing due to noise occurs especially through exposure to high-pitched sounds (with frequencies of around 4,000 Hertz)"
     
  15. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    This is what I've experienced. Cymbals will always kill your ears period.

    Embellisher has 1st hand knowledge of what we're talking about too.
     
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    My right ear strongly disagrees with you. I am sure that I had some hearing loss in both ears before playing with this guy, because I played loud live music in a closed garage a lot when I was a teenager, and used to attend live rock shows without hearing protection. But the fact of the matter is, my hearing was pretty equal in both ears until I played with this guy. After each gig, my hearing was noticeably 'duller' in my right ear than my left, but it seemed to get better after a day or two. After six months of this cumulative damage, I could tell a difference. If somebody is standing to my right and talking to me, unless the room is pretty quiet, I have difficulty understanding what they are saying. Don't have the problem when somebody is speaking to me from my left side.
     
  17. Vetchking

    Vetchking Banned

    Mar 17, 2008
    President G.P.G. Co. "acoustic" USA
    Vetchking Here:

    I'm a seasoned drummer record producera , A china cymbal is nothing more than a color pallet for the drummer.

    Your question does not tell the kind of music you play.

    Lounge, dinner music, wedding, or Death Metal. Huge difference.

    Lounge music.......... DUCK TAPE.

    Death Metal......... Mike it....... LOL.

    If the drummer has skill he can always glance it and not slaughter it.

    Taste and wisdom come into play.

    The band that didn't hire a guy that picked out the China is stupid.

    He may have hit it once........

    Oh, well I'm gone....have a Great Have One......
     
  18. Joey3313

    Joey3313

    Nov 28, 2003
    Don't worry about it.


    Wuhan cymbals are notoriously thin and fragile. If he goes all out on it for a week or two, the thing will crack. That'll quiet it down.
     

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