Cymbal "Hum"

dexplosion

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I'm an avid YouTube cymbal demo video watcher, and I noticed some cymbals "hum".
Is that a characteristic of certain types of cymbals?
Does it have anything to do with the stand or how it's mounted?

I don't particularly recall playing cymbals that hum.
 

KneelB4Neil

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I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "hum", but I have a set of hi-hats that have a high pitched (what I would describe as a) "whine"...almost like a dog whistle that people can hear. I isolated the origin of the sound to the very begining of the top hat bell, there's no cracks or anything that I can imagine would cause that awful noise. So, I took a 1"x 1/2" piece of weather-strip and sort of muffled it (right at begining of bell) like you would a drum and you can't hear it at all now... :blackeye:
 

bolweevil

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I'm an avid YouTube cymbal demo video watcher, and I noticed some cymbals "hum".
Is that a characteristic of certain types of cymbals?
Does it have anything to do with the stand or how it's mounted?

I don't particularly recall playing cymbals that hum.
I wonder if some of the hum you're referring to has a lot to do with the particular recording device? Hard to say...some of the youtube vids sound nice, some not so much.
 

vintage_collector

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You know why a cymbal hums?
becasue it dosnt know the words! :)

I love them but I have heard many Bosphorus Masters that have a bad hum...shame because they were all nice otherwise..
 

pstone

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The Hum that you're hearing is probably coming from the stand...
I've noticed this when attaching a cymbal stand to or around the bass drum mount or anywhere that can make a larger tom resonate.
If you have a tri-post mount with two holding up some toms, and one holding a cymbal, you will get some Hum from the toms when hitting the cymbal.
I have a few cymbals that are attached to tom stands, so I use neoprene as a buffer on the cymbal posts.
 

CSR

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All cymbals should produce a spectrum of overtones. Some have a more prominent low-frequency harmonic that is perceived as a "hum". Sometimes a different stand, felt, or stick will decrease that hum somewhat.
 

supershifter2

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depends on the mic and proximity and other things. cheap mics or mics that arent designed for things like cymbals can exadurate the low pitch hum of cymbals. placing the mic too close to the cymbal can cause cymbal hum to be picked up.
 

supershifter2

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depends on the mic and proximity and other things. cheap mics or mics that arent designed for things like cymbals can exadurate the low pitch hum of cymbals. placing the mic too close to the cymbal can cause cymbal hum to be picked up.
 

Marc M

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I have had a couple of rides that had a hum,one was a Zil rock 21,on the med side of med heavy the other a UFIP 20 class med ride,both had an ever present hum.I never bothered messing with the 21, but when I bought the UFIP I did not hear the hum in the store but noticed it right away at my kit,and I heard it from out front,alone and with the res t of the kit,with other instruments playing I didn't hear it. I tried different felts,stands etc balanced it on my finger,took it outside,did everything short of taking it to NASA and playing it in zero gravity, still the hum.

I put some tape on the underside and that killed it,but killed resonance and vibration too and changed the feel of the stick ,so I started experimenting with smaller pieces of tape,and placement. I found that to use the least amount of tape that on this particular cymbal,best placement was underneath the cymbal right where the bow started to get the most resonance while still killing the hum. I have no idea what makes that cymbal hum,my best uneducated guess would be a tension issue or possibly a very sharp or sudden angle to the profile at the start of the curve,both cymbals had that in common,and both were med/med heavy weight wise.
 
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I mount some cymbals on the yamaha tom holder & to cure the problem I use a really good cymbal sleeve on the stand & a 1" felt under the cymbal. I also use the vader slick nuts on the top. No overtones - no standing waves.
 

Jim Hodgson

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All cymbals should produce a spectrum of overtones. Some have a more prominent low-frequency harmonic that is perceived as a "hum". Sometimes a different stand, felt, or stick will decrease that hum somewhat.
I think this is what the OP is probably talking about. Particularly when you enter the realm of big, thin "old-fashioned" rides (whether truly old like old Ks or meant-to-sound-old like Bosphorus as someone mentioned) this is particularly evident, prominent, conspicuous -- whatever the right term is.

It takes a lot of effort and coldheartedness to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to find the ones whose harmonic spectrum (for lack of a more acceptable acoustically scientific term) is really copacetic. The best old Ks, for example, sound just *miles* deep with all of their overtones, undertones, and who-knows-what-tones all sounding in harmony -- or disharmony if that's what you're after. Mine hum, buzz, whine -- make all manner of weird sounds. And that's a big part of their charm. This is where "ugly" becomes beautiful when given half a chance. That is, it's not totally obvious.

Sure, you can kill off a lot of the natural tone of a cymbal by felt, tape, etc. -- but why not go looking for great cymbals that don't need such treatments in the first place?
 

psalty

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I think this is what the OP is probably talking about. Particularly when you enter the realm of big, thin "old-fashioned" rides (whether truly old like old Ks or meant-to-sound-old like Bosphorus as someone mentioned) this is particularly evident, prominent, conspicuous -- whatever the right term is.

It takes a lot of effort and coldheartedness to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to find the ones whose harmonic spectrum (for lack of a more acceptable acoustically scientific term) is really copacetic. The best old Ks, for example, sound just *miles* deep with all of their overtones, undertones, and who-knows-what-tones all sounding in harmony -- or disharmony if that's what you're after. Mine hum, buzz, whine -- make all manner of weird sounds. And that's a big part of their charm. This is where "ugly" becomes beautiful when given half a chance. That is, it's not totally obvious.

Sure, you can kill off a lot of the natural tone of a cymbal by felt, tape, etc. -- but why not go looking for great cymbals that don't need such treatments in the first place?
Agreed, Jim. If a cymbal makes sounds that are disturbing, find another. Reject cymbals that have prominent characteristics you'd rather not hear. If you are stuck with one that provokes, trying to dampen the disagreeable characteristic may be a temporary solution, but there are so many great cymbals available today that it's a shame to have to battle one you don't like.
 

supershifter2

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This video at 0:12 is what I'm talking about.
thats normal cymbal sounds. you can put an eq between the mixer and audio recording deviced and roll some or all of that hum. using a mic with a flat lice response will not pick up as much and positioning the mic farther away can help. all my 2002's have a hhhhmmmmmmmmm ! bucker ! but no hickup pickups !
 

J.Richard

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I barely heard it. I had to crank up the vol on my speakers to hear it. It's called wash. Every cymbal has some wash to it. This of course is a ride cymbal being crashed. You won't get a bright crash or splash out of it.
my 3.5 cents
 

j.edgarwarthog

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I thought all good quality cymbals hummed. Most sound good, or pleasant. If it doesn't sound good, find one that does. J.Richard mentioned "wash". All cymbals have it to a certain degree. Some can be too strong for a particular need. If so, use a different cymbal that doesn't have such a pronounced wash. If by hum you mean it makes an unpleasant noise, perhaps we should not call it hum, but something else, like maybe "cymbalic dissonance".
 

supershifter2

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back in the 70's when i started playing the word used to describe sustain was "sustain" not the wash word. wikipedia still list sustain as sustain and not wash. wash is what you do to dirty clothes. i wondered why a couple of young drum salesmen at cg didnt know what i was talking about. sustain > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustain
 


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