Overdubbed cymbals

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Post by vvv » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:02 pm

Really, it's bad Emo bands that are bad in so many other ways, but the cymbal-wash thing just compounds it ...

On the one hand GregJ, I get yer point, but lemme say, I think it's more akin to saying "no distortion". Or even, no leads, or only power-chords, etc.

That said, and I really gotta emphasize this, I play a lot of two-string bass.

With a slide, Mark Sandman low-rock stylee.
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Post by Jarvis » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:30 am

Gregg Juke wrote:Tony Williams had amazing control of the K Zildjians'. He could play it at any dynamic level and get wash, swish, ping, pang, whateva...
GJ
Yesss... Who will speak for the cymbalists?
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:02 am

Hrrmm. You guys are really opening a can of worms that probably would best remain sealed.

Space, you assume that the songwriter "knows best." That is certainly situational; I point to 50% of the threads here and ask that the readers make-up their own mind.

And while both of you have interesting (but I believe ultimately skewed) perspectives on the "no cymbals" topic, I don't believe it is in the spirit you are characterizing it at all, but to indulge your devil's-advocate position, here are some analogues to ponder:

* "I only want you to use two of the valves on your trumpet; NEVER three."

* "Please do not slide the slide on the slide trombone. It takes-up too many of my pitchy-pitches. Play first-position only; you'll make due and come up with something creative."

* To the singer-- "Only rap, please, or at best rhythmic chanting. I do not want any intoned pitches from the vocals... But, you'know man, do your own thing, be creative. Unless it's singing. Then don't do it at all."

* To the turntablist-- "Please only scratch forward, never back. And only use the cross-fader every third scratch. It's disorienting visually."

* (ok vvv, we'll use your examples)-- "To the Heavy Metal guitarist-- No distortion, please. I want a HEAVY sound, but you'll have to make it with a Joe Pass tone. Mind over matter, dude."

* Bassist-- "Only play one string please. The others are part of the instrument, but I want you to ignore them. They take up too much of the bass register that I want to reserve for other sounds."

And on and on and on. No, I think you are both mistaken here!

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Post by roscoenyc » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:29 am

I don't want my point to be construed as I'm anti-cymbals.

When used sparingly they can and should be exciting.

Yes they are part of the drum kit!

My late mentor/recording guru Lou Whitney would have the drummer bring in his favorite hit record. Sit the kid down with a legal pad and a pencil and have him make a hash mark every time a crash cymbal was hit.

It was almost always a really eye opening exersize for the drummer. Usually way way less crashes than the guy would have thought before actually counting them.

You don't have to bash a crash cymbal every time the lick comes in, every time it goes into the verse, every time it goes into the b-section, every time it goes into the chorus and the repeat chorus and the guitar solo and the outro.

Truly is a less is more thing. When you have an inexperienced guy in your studio it's tough. You have to pick your battles with him. Getting him to change one thing might be all you get.

Those recordings with near to no cymbals on them are good to play for drummers 'cause they start to hear how their instrument can bloom on a record if they aren't bashing the cymbals the whole time.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:13 am

Of course; I get you roscoe. But those things again are a matter of personal approach, consensus (or direction-- based on the personal approach of the song-writer, the producer, arranger, or engineer giving suggestions, etc., etc.), and they are also genre/style-based.

You will have more crashes in prog-rock drumming and big band (where different sections of tunes are set-up with fills that are punctuated with crashes) than you will in other styles. And, of course certain drummers are known for their "anti-busy-ness" (Charlie Watts and Al Jackson come to mind). Most everybody agrees that busy drumming is too distracting and, well, busy. But not everyone agrees what constitutes busy drumming, and what the exact ratio of variation-less groove to fill/crash is. That's part of the musicality I was talking about. It comes with experience. Which again, is different from over-dubbing crashes and fills as a recording/workflow process for getting "good" drum sounds without "cymbals messing things up."

OK, I've said enough :lol: . Thanks for indulging...

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Post by ashcat_lt » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:43 am

And what the hell is the deal with riding the open hi-hat?!? Seriously, dude, that pedal is there for a very important reason!

I personally have no problem telling whoever to stay within a given range or limit their inflections. I don't think it's the place of the engineer really, but as producer it's the kind of thing you might suggest, and it is actually exactly the job of the arranger with input from the songwriter.

When I was programming out whole sequences of drum parts for live performance, I usually did have a crash toward the end of every section as hint that we were about to change. I know, if everybody learned the song...but sometimes if you're really into it, you stop counting. :/

A few years back I was playing some pretty free form stuff with a groups of folks. We worked out the basic structures of what came when, but the actual timings changed on my whim. We would go off into uncharted territory for ten-fifteen minutes, but I really wanted the transitions to hit cleanly. My solution was to connect a pedal to my D4 so I could trigger a crash to signal folks that we were coming back or moving on or whatever. It's a lot easier than visual cues on a dark stage full of (literal) shoegazers.

For almost a decade, in a couple different bands, I declared a moritorium on snare drums. "I've heard a snare drum every two beats of my life. I'm done." Drummers don't know what to do! I'm pretty sure they just want to reach for their crotch a lot more often than the rest of us. ;)

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:57 am

Gregg Juke wrote: Space, you assume that the songwriter "knows best."
ok first of all, i'm just arguing for the sake of actually having something to talk about on here for a change! all in good fun.

clearly there are plenty of lousy songwriters in the world, but if i'm going to go to the trouble to actually get up out of my chair, leave the house and go play with someone, they're not gonna be a lousy songwriter. and therefore i will have a lot of respect for them, and if they have a really strong opinion about something drum-related, i'm gonna take them seriously.

songwriters are more important than drummers. without them we only have free jazz to play. i prefer playing songs. i've no problem taking direction, if it's given in a friendly, articulate manner. i'd have a tough time with ashcat_it's "no snare" rule, but if i dug his tunes i'd find a way.

i have a batch of rock songs i've written over the years, on most of them i have a pretty specific agenda for the drums, and that would be: more or less just boom bap, no syncopation and nothing faster than 1/8 notes. barely any crashes or fills. if you were playing with me i would want you to play them like that. is that me being a dick or is that me knowing what i want?

anyway,
And what the hell is the deal with riding the open hi-hat?!? Seriously, dude, that pedal is there for a very important reason!
ultimate pet peeve. close that fucking thing and keep it that way. i ask you good people, is there a lamer Rock Cliche than opening the hat halfway for the prechorus? part of me dies every time i hear that. there's only a little of me left.

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Post by vvv » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:12 pm

ashcat_lt wrote: "I've heard a snare drum every two beats of my life. I'm done." Drummers don't know what to do! I'm pretty sure they just want to reach for their crotch a lot more often than the rest of us.
:lol:
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Post by vvv » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:13 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
songwriters are more important than drummers. without them we only have free jazz to play.
:lol:
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:17 pm

Yes!!

AND-- No more C chords. No G or E either. That's always sounded lame to me. Plus, none of that rhythmic bass playing, or chunking of guitars. Utter nonsense...

Wait! Why does everything now sound like the Art Ensemble of Chicago playing the Stravinsky Songbook????


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Post by SpencerMartin » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:55 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
And what the hell is the deal with riding the open hi-hat?!? Seriously, dude, that pedal is there for a very important reason!
ultimate pet peeve. close that fucking thing and keep it that way. i ask you good people, is there a lamer Rock Cliche than opening the hat halfway for the prechorus? part of me dies every time i hear that. there's only a little of me left.
+1 no cymbals.

+Infinite amens.

Trust me, I'm a huge fan of analogies, but the comparisons to other instruments (i.e. two strings of a bass) are way off. The cymbals and drums from a sonic/stylistic/arrangement/instrument perspective are two totally different things. That's why there are two distinctly different words to identify them by: cymbals and drums. They can and do exist independantly. You never have a bassist (or trombonist!) asking to make their third string huge or to alter the sound of just the second string whereas in comparison parts of a drum kit are almost always referenced and treated individually.

Ultimately, it's about subjective taste. I'm sure there's someone out there making an album with 20 tracks of open, crashing high-hats. (There may even be a second person somewhere out there who likes it!) Personally, the production of stuff I really dig largely de-emphasizes the high hats and cymbals to the point of being almost inaudible. Exluding the cymbals or having them overdubbed makes a huge difference for the better, in my opinion. That particular drum sound is my favorite. Others here seem to agree.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:28 pm

Double-Post Deleted...

GJ
Last edited by Gregg Juke on Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:29 pm

Well....

++++Trust me, I'm a huge fan of analogies, but the comparisons to other instruments (i.e. two strings of a bass) are way off.++++

Speaking as a drummer, not someone just talking about drums, who also plays other instruments, and produces (and writes), I will reiterate-- NO, They Are NOT "way off." They are spot on. The drumset is an instrument, comprised of cymbals and drums. If you want more drums and less metal, play in a marching band, classical orchestra, or study West African music.

++++The cymbals and drums from a sonic/stylistic/arrangement/instrument perspective are two totally different things. That's why there are two distinctly different words to identify them by: cymbals and drums. They can and do exist independantly.++++

Yes. And there is such a thing as a Monochord (one string). Also such a thing as a diddley-bow. And of course, there's a harp. And guitars, and basses. What was your point again?

++++You never have a bassist (or trombonist!) asking to make their third string huge or to alter the sound of just the second string++++

But sometimes they want to play a double-neck, or a 5-string (or a 6-string!!) bass. Other times they want to add a hip-shot to the neck. And trombonists might use a totally different mouth-piece, a mute (or not), and a slide or valves. I think it's your analogy that's way off!

++++whereas in comparison parts of a drum kit are almost always referenced and treated individually.++++

Yes! When they are "cymbals" and "drums," respectively. But not when they are a "drumset." Differences in size of cymbals or toms have nothing to do with it. Just as a Hofner Beatle-bass is a bass, and so is a Warwick (different size bodies and semi-hollow and solid body). And a stand-up acoustic performs the same function, but is a different instrument.

++++Ultimately, it's about subjective taste.++++

NOW you've got it Spencer. True for drummers, true for other musicians, true for producers. But taking apart a century-plus old instrument and ditching the parts you don't like does not make your "drumset" the "correct" or "official" one. It just doesn't work that way...

OK, I see that we disagree on all of this, and y'all know where I'm coming from at this point, so I'll try to behave. But just as much as you all think cymbals and hi-hats (not played at the appropriate time in your subjective estimation) are poopy, I think your thoughts in this vein are preposterous...

GJ
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:31 pm

Gregg Juke wrote:Speaking as a drummer, not someone just talking about drums, who also plays other instruments, and produces (and writes)
that's me as well, and i don't have any problem with any of this no cymbals stuff. what's the big deal? limitations can be fun, and an interesting challenge.

a zillion years ago, my bass playing BFF told me, in stern terms: "don't hit so many damn crashes!" was he being a dick or giving me really excellent advice?

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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:32 pm

Musicality!!!! An ounce of Musicality will prevent a pound of Nonsensical Dogma.

Limitations can be fun; just don't make them a "rule," or I'll take some of your strings.

And, lastly-- I don't know, I wasn't there. Maybe he was doing/being both...

GJ
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