Cymbal Soundfiles

thenuge

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Since everyone with money is mostly hanging onto it, and sellers are probably desperate, I thought I’d offer a possible help for selling cymbals online. A lot (most?) of sellers do not put up soundfiles and I think in a lot of cases it could be the difference between selling and not especially for cymbals since they are so particular and variable. Yes it’s more work! Which is one reason I’m posting because I think it could be far more simple than people think.

You don’t have to have anything more than your phone. It does not have to be video - a phone ‘voice memo’ recording is enough - for me anyway - but yes you need to host it somewhere. (I use Soundcloud)

You don’t have to record with a kit either. In fact, I prefer if you don’t play anything but the cymbal. I appreciate the lengths a bunch of sellers go to – minutes long playing with a kit with good mics lighting etc, but that’s what I’m getting at: you don’t have to. For me I’m distracted by playing no matter how “good” it is or equally distracted by the sound of the kit. It’s all focusing away from the cymbal. I equate it to what we do when buying in person in a store, which is just hit the thing and yes? no? and you know right away if it’s right or not or a maybe.

And lastly is length. 1 minute. Yes. 1 minute. That’s all you need. Play a simple pattern on it, play the bell, crash it if possible and done.

For what it’s worth, I just sold a couple dozen cymbals on Craigslist and followed all of these ideas. Everything sold. Yes people came to my apt and hit the things in person but they may not have without soundfiles to entice them.

Snares are similar so I’m posting my idea of a good soundfile for them too. Kits are similar in reverse – I don’t need to hear cymbals or a snare etc. Again my goal is to make life somewhat easier for sellers online and to get dollars flowing in the economy asap. We are all pushing uphill right now, and I hope we all get to downhill eventually together. Hang in there.


 

tkillian

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If thats a phone video that is literally is the most amazing quality I have ever seen/heard.

My cell phone videos are horrible.

What cell phone is that?
 

thenuge

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I’m not saying these are phone videos. I posted these videos only to make the point about keeping it short and simple. But I think even with the lower quality of phones that it’s still better than nothing and can be the difference between selling or not. I would definitely not buy a cymbal unheard, but I might buy a cymbal with any soundfile even if it’s lower quality. That’s just me though.
 

LRod1707

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Good advice! I've always posted a video (link) of the cymbal that I'm selling. I as a buyer wont buy one if I haven't heard it so I believe it's necessary to attract possible buyers.
 

Old PIT Guy

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Back when I sold my relatively meager collection I had the ability to make sound files (iPad) but I didn't because I thought they made cymbals sound unremarkable and some just bad.

Tangentially, it is a little odd that it's so easy to make a video with a phone or a tablet and you have guys building what amount to in-home studios - that they chronicle! - and you've never heard them lay stick to drum. Another part of a new normal I guess.
 

tkillian

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Great, if you can turn off the compression...
Thats my.point. its one of two reasons i bought my zoom camera.

I cant tyrn off compression. So after you hit cymbal camera peaks out and you get a different volume.
 

dboomer

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Thats my.point. its one of two reasons i bought my zoom camera.

I cant tyrn off compression. So after you hit cymbal camera peaks out and you get a different volume.
Exactly. Phone audio and video recordings use a process called automatic gain control. When they encounter a loud sound they turn down and when a soft sound, they turn up. Very fee phones will allow you to turn that feature off (iPhones) will not. So recording with a device that uses AGC is a complete lie with reference to recording a cymbal. They are totally useless.
 

Mackermanesq

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Compression, poor sound, whatever, I'd rather hear something than nothing in contemplating a purchase
 

TPC

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If you put your iPhone quite a few feet from the source, turn the volume way down, and don’t bash things, normal iPhone video sound quality is fine.

Those Zoom or Tascam iPhone condenser stereo mic units are pretty cheap and work great, too.

While imperfect, I agree that a sound file or video is essential when trying to buy a cymbal.
 

JimmySticks

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If thats a phone video that is literally is the most amazing quality I have ever seen/heard.

My cell phone videos are horrible.

What cell phone is that?
I couldn't stand the sound of my drums and cymbals when I recorded straight through my cell phone. The phones mic is just overwhelmed by all the sound and volume.

So I bought a $20 microphone that plugs into my phone and the difference is simply amazing. The only control on the mic is a small input knob. Once you find the sweet spot on that, the recordings are pretty darn amazing.
 

Fat Drummer

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YES, YES, YES!! I cannot agree with you more Nuge! Anyone can make bad cell phone videos, and even if you feel yours do not represent the cymbal, it's still better than nothing to me. I can filter through the bad audio to at least see if the cymbal is something I want to try out. 7 out of 10 times I will still sell the cymbal because it does not blend in with the set I am buying it for, but some type of sound file will at least give me an idea if I want to even take the risk.

For me I have a dollar value that dictates whether or not I need to hear the cymbal before buying and once you are asking above that number, I will only consider it if I can hear it first. I understand if the seller does not want to take the time and that is certainty their business, but always remember that when you choose to provide no sound samples at all, you are greatly limiting your buying audience. ESPECIALLY in the more expensive range.

It's 2020, not 1987 so while it's not required to sell a cymbal, I think samples sell them MUCH more quickly. I often will ask if the seller can at least provide a you tube video of a cymbal that sounds close to the one they have for sale, or at a minimum the weight so I can go listen to how that model, in that weight range might possibly sound, but all are just substitutions for a quick sound file.

Prof that anyone can make a bad cell phone video... here are two recent vids I did with my Android S6 no less... The cymbals sold quickly and for a good price. I understand that my response if nothing more than my own personal opinion, but man, this a pet peeve of mine when shopping for cymbals! A bad video will not keep me from buying a cymbal, but even a bad file can make me interested in one that I might otherwise not been looking for.

Rant over! Now get off my lawn you kids!!



 

rstange1

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I was experimenting today and used a Zoom H1n as an external audio input to my old iPod. Please have a listen if you have a moment:

I'm interested to know what folks think about:
  1. Overall sound quality
  2. Structure of demo (what do you want to hear more or less of)
 

TPC

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Sounds good, but if there is an input level adjustment, I’d turn it down quite a bit. If there isn’t an way turn down the input level, I’d move the mic farther away. There’s a bit of an overdriven “zing” to the tone as it is.
 

rstange1

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Sounds good, but if there is an input level adjustment, I’d turn it down quite a bit. If there isn’t an way turn down the input level, I’d move the mic farther away. There’s a bit of an overdriven “zing” to the tone as it is.
Thanks. There's both a gain adjustment on the Zoom I can bring down and also a volume control for the line out. I had it pretty saturated but not clipping. I appreciate the input. :)
 

Sinclair

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I've made hundreds of cymbal videos over the years. I agree they should be as short as possible (under 90 seconds hopefully) and the playing should be simple and straightforward. I often included a short section of the cymbal being played in context. Usually with a jazz piano trio, which I have been told by buyers was a great help in the decision to purchase.

I've also bought some great cymbals sight unseen and others having horrible sound files made at high volume on a cheap cell phone. One such ride I bought because I knew what the cymbal was, a rather rare 24" Z Sound Lab, and that there was no way it could sound as bad as it did in the sound file. Fortunately I was right.

In general I think they do help with any sale.
 

Old PIT Guy

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Isn't the need for a sound file at least somewhat cymbal dependent? I'll bet I could sell an Agop TW ride or just about any Paiste cymbal or Ufip splash without a sound file. Or hi-hats of desirable weight in VG condition. Really, I know I could because I have!

Counter to that are heavier cymbals that sound like gongy discordant slabs on phone videos. I don't think I've ever heard an EAK ride (or hats) that recorded well on a phone but I have three samples I bought new that I'd never part with.

My worry was that any phone recording I posted was in competition with vids made by retailers for comparison. The video samples practically everyone listens to even if they're not considering buying a cymbal. My phone recordings were comparatively terrible SQ wise. If you can make a decent recording I say go for it. But phone samples usually leave me cold because I have to mentally attribute what the phone doesn't capture.
 

tkillian

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I couldn't stand the sound of my drums and cymbals when I recorded straight through my cell phone. The phones mic is just overwhelmed by all the sound and volume.

So I bought a $20 microphone that plugs into my phone and the difference is simply amazing. The only control on the mic is a small input knob. Once you find the sweet spot on that, the recordings are pretty darn amazing.
LINK to the microphone you bought?

Or what is the name and model
 

JimmySticks

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LINK to the microphone you bought?
IMG_20200504_091703867_HDR.jpg
Or what is the name and model
Sorry, but I can't seem to get the eBay ad to link here for some reason, but the name of it is below -

Professional Audio Condenser Microphone Mic Studio Sound Recording Tripod Stand $18.99 free shipping. Sellers name is Zenictech.

There are a lot of mic's out there though, and none are very expensive. It's a cheap investment to make your recording's sound 100% better.
 

tillerva

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There’s definitely a wide range in the quality that cell phones can produce. My old phone compared to my band mates iPhones was uncanny.
 


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