Enlighten Me on Cymbal Design

chillybase

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Admittedly, this thread is hard to keep up with. Lots of ideas going on and I'm learning a lot. I can see why it is hard to distill some of these terms for cymbal making.
 

REF

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I'm not a K player but, that was really quite interesting.
 

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REF you mean this ? Yes one month old upload; maybe old news to some:


This kid here asking the question -the op- sometimes the "design" is in the manufacture; it's "baked" in. Doesn't seem like "design" comes into the "picture" the fine tuned nuances until the very end of "production"
(one) has to watch some videos of how they're made

there's 50 minute long videos
and some shorter ones

"Design" seems to be sometime later in the manufacture of one

later latest video here in the front page

In another words, the "design" may begin with the mixing of the metals, continue thruout , and with the fine tuning coming in, at the end stages. So the "design" is a part of an entire process. Whether it's tweaked tuned designed shaved hammered,, to be a Crash , Ride, or a China etc comes in the very latter stages. There's a lot of "design" well before that.
 
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zenstat

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Love the staccato ride at 18:33 but the whole video is really educational especially with Paul Francis who is the actual designer of the new designs for Zildjian.
Paul Francis has been very helpful in discussions about cymbal design and supportive of my research work. Thank you Paul. I've got a few other links to his presentations about design. A good start is Cymbals 101 which was one of the key sources for sorting out bell (cup) sizes but there is lots more:


Paul (and Leon Ciappini -- head tester) also know the history side. Here is a massive sound review (presented at Memphis Drum Shop Cymbal Summit 2010 but only released in 2016)


I previously posted time codes to the different cymbals, and a fellow Cymbalholic (Eric Bailey) has also placed this in the comments to the video on Youtube. The previous discussion of the video:


I've got time codes for Cymbals 101 as well lurking on my disk somewhere. And links to other videos.

The handout which is mentioned is available for download on my site: Click to download Models 1970-2017 pdf

and it has been updated to include more recent changes.

I'm slowly verifying all the model into and deletion data and moving it into a more accessible fully indexed and searchable form in Cymbal Wiki


which is an adaptation of the Paiste version


I'd like to thank a few dedicated souls who have done the heavy lifting to reconstruct the Paiste Only Wiki which was lost. You know who you are. :hello1: I needed the lost P-O Wiki back before I had the structure to adapt for a similar effort with Avedis Zildjian. All part of the master plan for world domination. :glasses8:

Once again the problem isn't lack of information. It is too much raw data (individual phrases) waiting to be converted into a consensus overview.
 
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zenstat

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I'm not a K player but, that was really quite interesting.
REF you mean this ? Yes one month old upload; maybe old news to some
Since REF specifically mentions Ks I presume he is speaking about the video in the post which immediately preceded his post.


My time codes so far for this Nov 2018 video:

50: K Custom Special Dry 18" design details
3:30 K Cust Dark, compared to K Con
3:50 same bells: K Con, K Custom Dark, K Custom Special Dry
4:30 weight range for 18" K Con 2 lb 12 oz - 3 lb
4:43 limen for weight differences so 1348g vs 1350g undetectable
5:24 22" K Con 2554g MTL 5.25 - 5.5 lbs most popular K Con model
6:55 Kerope shallow pressed bell hammered by Paul or offsider post pressing;
7:12 Kerope bell integrated vs separate (K Custom Dry ride played)
8:28 "K" is a sound but it is also a byproduct of the manufacturing process
8:51 "A" concentric ring hammering gives cleaner prettier sound
10:30 K family: K, K Custom (proving ground for new ideas), K Constantinople
11:25 Sweet unlathed bell to keep the highs in and not favor mid to lows via more mass in bell (unlathed)
12:35 K Custom Hybrid thin crash cymbal with large brilliant bell (started off at NAMM 2003 with Akira Jimbo)
13:40 K Custom Ride outer half lathed as experiment to get prettier crash sound created the idea for K Custom Hybrid
15:58 normal cymbal development cycle 2 years
16:20 proto 22" mix bounce cluster hammering plus thin over hammered (small bell and thin)
18:23 hammered 6 times to get to the sound
18:30 staccato ride
19:50 bell discussion: $10,000 to make a new bell
20:23 mentions the ultra hammered china bell which has that "ash tray" or "volcano" profile Joe has mentioned a few times
21:15 24" Crash of Doom and origin story (Dennis Chambers)
22:55 3 19" crashes compared: K Cust Special Projection (meatier), 19" K Con, 19" K Custom Fast

Note that at time code 4:30 Paul gives the target weight range for the 18" K Constantinople and the interviewer comments on it being a large range.

This is what I meant when I mentioned ISO9000 before

Note that Zildjian is the first cymbal maker to be ISO9000 certified but that means they have the procedure manuals and training in place. It doesn't mean they apply quite narrow bands of sonic variation around the master cymbal for a particular model. It means that they can tell you what the width of the band is. Paiste seem to have narrower bands.
I have yet to go though this whole video and extract all the info, but there are a few things I've already noted. Kerope bells are pressed in with a shallow die, then hammered higher by Paul or an offsider. The Kerope bell info is part of "manufacture" but it prior to that it is a about design. The riffing on "manufacture" as "design" muddies the definition of design further for me. Production videos are always fun. Production is not design. And design is the original question

So I think I know the basics of cymbal design - bells, bows, taper, and weight, hammering and lathing. What I'm not sure about is how each individual part plays a role in the cymbal sound
So in the case of the Kerope what the design calls for is an integrated bell which is hammered to achieve complexity and a darker tone.
 
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REF

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Yes, the Zildjian K video.

The point about designing cymbals is interesting to me because, in most cases it just seems to be variation on an ancient theme. "Designing" a new cymbal in house or with the help and ideas of players just stays within the ballpark of said basic shape and alloy. More bell, less bell, higher bell, lower bell, hiher or lower bow, more or less shaving for thickness and shape, more or less lathing and it all alters a cymbal in nuances from the main instrument or more or less volume, spread, ping, etc.

Because of the age of "effects" that jumped from Chinas to all the stuff out there now (more variation on the theme), I would like to see the companies get into more experimentation like some of the custom guys. Different metals, alloys, shapes and stuff. Take "design" out of the box.
 

zenstat

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The point about designing cymbals is interesting to me because, in most cases it just seems to be variation on an ancient theme. "Designing" a new cymbal in house or with the help and ideas of players just stays within the ballpark of said basic shape and alloy. More bell, less bell, higher bell, lower bell, higher or lower bow, more or less shaving for thickness and shape, more or less lathing and it all alters a cymbal in nuances from the main instrument or more or less volume, spread, ping, etc.

Because of the age of "effects" that jumped from Chinas to all the stuff out there now (more variation on the theme), I would like to see the companies get into more experimentation like some of the custom guys. Different metals, alloys, shapes and stuff. Take "design" out of the box.
If you want to look at designs outside the usual box including different alloys, check out Hammerax


Their web site seems to be down at the moment, but the have a Facebook presence plus there are lots of videos on YouTube


 

REF

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If you want to look at designs outside the usual box including different alloys, check out Hammerax


Their web site seems to be down at the moment, but the have a Facebook presence plus there are lots of videos on YouTube


Indeed, Hammerax is one of the custom guys I was thinking of. They have some wild stuff. Turkish has come out with some interesting things lately. Considering there seems to be new cymbal makers coming out of Turkey and that region every year, how many more can the market hold with just the same basic ideas for products?

I know in the K video he mentioned something like $10k for machinery to make new models so, I suppose companies have their budgets, and their pressures to stay competitive with everybody else out there now. That said, look at the controversy over Sabian showing up at NAMM with nothing but a new logo, and Sabian has come up with a lot of new "designs" over the decades. Is the well running dry? Are all the wells running dry?
 

zenstat

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I know in the K video he mentioned something like $10k for machinery to make new models
From my now updated time code list:

19:50 bell discussion: $10,000 to make a new bell

So just a bell not a new model. Cost to have a new bell die set created, plus one presumes all the associated testing for the dies. The rest of a new model is an added extra. :glasses8:
 
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chillybase

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As a print designer, I have basic design components - page size, text, photos, etc. I put them together in a similar way -- some pieces are wildly different while others belong in the family. Most of this is production work and not highly creative (at least to me it isn't). I suppose cymbal design works in the same fashion as print design. You have your basic components but it is your audience or client that can make it special.

I think I can see how this stuff is tough to nail down because each cymbal is a work of art, even if it sounds bad to you. I've been watching these videos and tracked down a podcast with Paul Francis. He mentions the range a cymbal has so that each player can find the nuance that speaks to them. I am paraphrasing. I think that nuance is art.

The Sabian site has a cymbal builder section for the custom builds. The associated videos also explain what each part of the cymbal can do. I just found that yesterday as I haven't really perused the Sabian site before.

I'm still processing a lot of this info, so I'm not very articulate about what I'm learning yet.
 

zenstat

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Thanks for the Sabian link Chilly. It has been a long time since I've had a look at their descriptions and I didn't know about this terminology section either. Paiste has similar info on their site. Part of the problem (as I keep saying) is that Sabian, Paiste, and Zildjian, et al don't all seem to agree in the user of terms, nor in the way they relate particular design choices to sonic outcomes. An older example I've got is about what a brilliant finish does

Mark Love (Sabian) says brilliant finish makes a cymbal more "glassy" sounding
UFiP says brilliant finish makes a cymbal seem "warmer"

I don't think of "glassy" and "warmer" being correlated in any way. They are different attributes. So does this difference just represent the different answers focusing on different aspects of sound? Or is my personal notion of "glassy" and "warmer" unlike what most drummers conceive these terms to mean? That was the sort of observation that got me interested, but I've never come out of the other end.
 
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msum

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I've got quite a few of Craig's cymbals as well, including one rework he did for me of a Paiste Sound Creation Bright Medium into a Medium Crash (cue questions about Paiste 602 material, sheet casting, complexity, taper etc). I visited him to pick it up in person

View attachment 411952

I remember asking him about reworking a Bosphorus Antique for me and he mentioned that the difference between the Bos alloy and his then current supplier (Masterwork) would mean a different sonic outcome. The Masterwork blanks were the reputed B25 alloy (which doesn't seem to test out as true B25). It may be that the shift to Sabian opens up more information on how more subtle differences in alloy play out in subtle differences in final cymbal sound. It may also be that Bettis will have to update his template for his auctions:



unless the distinction is that Craig is trading as an individual and Bettis as a limited liability company? :dontknow: Just pulling your chain Matt. I think the availability of Zildjian bronze in a hand hammered from a flat blank cymbal is another great step forward in untangling the different mix of factors producing cymbal sounds.

So that’s what you look like. The South Park shirt suits you ;-)

I would like to express more public thanks for your efforts with the Cymbal wiki.

And when did Lauritsen change to Sabian blanks?
 

REF

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Thanks for the Sabian link Chilly. It has been a long time since I've had a look at their descriptions and I didn't know about this terminology section either. Paiste has similar info on their site. Part of the problem (as I keep saying) is that Sabian, Paiste, and Zildjian, et al don't all seem to agree in the user of terms, nor in the way they relate particular design choices to sonic outcomes. An older example I've got is about what a brilliant finish does

Mark Love (Sabian) says brilliant finish makes a cymbal more "glassy" sounding
UFiP says brilliant finish makes a cymbal seem "warmer"

I don't think of "glassy" and "warmer" being correlated in any way. They are different attributes. So does this difference just represent the different answers focusing on different aspects of sound? Or is my personal notion of "glassy" and "warmer" unlike what most drummers conceive these terms to mean? That was the sort of observation that got me interested, but I've never come out of the other end.
Huge agreement. Percussion terms, maybe all terms used for anything by different people or entities, never seem to have the same nomenclature.

Warm and glassy for the same cymbal? How?

Just from the history of the two companies I would not expect Sabian and Zildjian to market anything with the same terminology. Paiste and UFIP, being Swiss and Italian, may have variations on word definition, too.

Very few cymbal terms I have seen used to describe sound have opposites. If a cymbal is "dry," is it also "wet?" If it can be called "glassy" or "metalic," can it also be called "woody" or "plastic?"

"Ping" seems fairly normal and used by everybody. "Spread" can mean just about anything. "Wash" is a term that really seems odd, to me. The only possible definition I have seen that may have some cognizance is:

to become dim, indistinct, or blurred: The face of the watch washes out in sunlight.

So, "wash" could mean the rise of the cymbal's roar, more or less, blurs stick ping, makes it indistinct. I wonder where the term came from in cymbal history.
 

bongomania

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I’ve always interpreted wash to be like the washing of ocean waves, which itself might be onomatopoeic.
 

dboomer

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Percussion terms, maybe all terms used for anything by different people or entities, never seem to have the same nomenclature.

Warm and glassy for the same cymbal? How?

"Ping" seems fairly normal and used by everybody.
Does “Ping” mean the same thing as “stick definition”? If not can someone please describe the difference?
 

REF

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Does “Ping” mean the same thing as “stick definition”? If not can someone please describe the difference?
That has always been my understanding: ping/stick definition, also effected by wood or nylon tips. Although, you can have a ride that has stick definition as a model, that is "dry" as a cymbal, and not much sting to the ping, as it were. The cymbal may just have more stick definition within a series than others.

In just about any model or series of cymbals the thicker it is the more ping/stick definition to the sound, within that series. Those generalities can be tossed around or turned on their head by bell size and shape, bow/ overall shape, taper, hammering, lathing, etc.
 

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Does “Ping” mean the same thing as “stick definition”? If not can someone please describe the difference?
Stick definition can exist in a dark dry/er woody context or in a bright metallic frame/work
Ping would /allude/ more to the bright metallic side/ that's all\
dark ping/bright ping/ woody ping (<maybe)/actually isn't a good word for that latter ping.
Maybe frap. or Knock. possibly WoodywoodPecker.
 
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DrummerJustLikeDad

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Does “Ping” mean the same thing as “stick definition”? If not can someone please describe the difference?
From personal reference, I don’t use the terms mutually exchangeably.

Ping would be one type of stick definition, in fact the more extreme type, having as little wash as possible.

Stick definition, on the other hand, doesn’t have to mean the extremity of ping, it merely suggests the ability to hear clearly its definition above the wash.

From my own catalogue of terms anyway.
 
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dboomer

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Thank you, now were getting somewhere. I have always considered those words to be more or less the same, but not exactly the same. I would generally use ping to be a bit more metallic/higher frequency weighted version of stick definition.

Moving a bit further I believe there is also an element of stick to wash ratio in calling out stick/ping. That is to say the stick sound has to rise well above the wash/shimmer/sustain part of the overall sound

So just to illustrate what is and what is not stick/ping here’s a couple examples. I’m not passing any judge,ent on the cymbals themselves, only what stick definition means.

This one IS a great example of what stick definition is -

and this one, even though Nick says it has great stick (at 4:33) it falls short by my personal definition as the stick sound barely rises above the wash with continued strokes -

Not saying anyone has to agree with me but if I use the words you will know what I mean. YMMV
 

zenstat

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Does “Ping” mean the same thing as “stick definition”? If not can someone please describe the difference?
It probably will to some people. Answers which show variation are already starting to appear.

Some context from my 30 years of doing research in this area (including but not limited to sounds). There are scales (semantic differential) which are anchored by terms at both ends. Potential examples:

low pitch [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] high pitch
simple 1...9 complex
dark 1...9 bright
ping 1...9 wash

These tend to be presented as a scale and you rate a cymbal sound on the scale (usually a 9 point scale as I've indicated for reasons I won't go into). Using a semantic differential scale presumes that you have the anchor terms right for your area of interest.

If you want to find out what terms to use as an anchor then you use a scale with just one anchor and ask about both terms, but not next to one another in a list of terms terms. So if we aren't sure to what extent ping is the opposite of wash and want to know then we assess that separately

ping level 1...9
woody stick 1...9
metallic stick 1...9
wash level 1...9
dry 1...9

and then we have the ability to see what terms have what sort of overlap (correlation) in their usage. There exist mathematical techniques to turn this kind of data into maps of the sonic territory. The maps also show how similar different sounds are to one another. These techniques turn what most people think are unique subjective impressions (cymbal sounds) into consensus maps which are quantifiable and repeatable. Note that none of this takes away from the uniqueness of individuals or cymbals, nor the magic of music. But I feel it offers a chance for a more informed discussion.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 9.34.04 AM.png


Now you may object that not everybody hears things the same and we are forcing the data into one consensus map. There are techniques which test that and look at how each individual hears similarities

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 9.28.32 AM.png


And if there is significant individual variation it allows for different salience factors for different listeners.
Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 9.39.34 AM.png

Above we see that 4 listeners (31, 55, 73, 36) hear things differently. Next we would move on to what those 4 individuals might have in common. Older drummers vs younger? Jazz players vs Rock players? There are techniques to uncover what is behind the hearing things differently provided we asked the relevant questions in the data collection phase. There are trade offs to be made in how many cymbals we have, how we present them, and how many questions we ask; versus how herculean a task it is to complete the survey.

These maps display similarity alone but there are ways to project vectors into the similarity space. I've mocked one up. Note that we can project any other vector so that includes the terms themselves as well as any other properties we have measured. So we can incorporate weight; diameter; bell diameter and volume; profile rise; energy frequency distribution from spectral analysis. It's all possible. I've just thrown some examples on here, don't try and interpret them as if the are real. I've mocked this example up to show Bright and Dark aren't exact opposites, increasing weight is associated with more Ping, and Ping is orthogonal (at right angles aka uncorrelated) with Bright. The length of the vectors and whether or not they are constrained to pass through the origin has meaning, but now isn't the time to go into that.


similarity-map-2.png

These graphs come from this academic paper: click to download the pdf

The mathematics will make your eyes glaze over but it is my stock in trade. You can skip it and just focus on the words. Note that 15 years before that paper I was developing more techniques than the author covers in that introductory presentation. I can't point you to publications of my work because it was all proprietary and the examples themselves are commercially sensitive. But they are used all around the world.
 
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