How Different Should Your Left Side Ride Be?

Seb77

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I and probably others devote a lot of effort to choosing a main ride. But after I do that and am forced to choose a left side cymbal that's different, I'm in the position of having to choose a cymbal I don't like as much.
Why is that? If you like the main ride so much, why not play that one all the time, and get a nice crash for the left? Or, if you don't like to ride the main cymbal all the time, what sound are you hearing then? Listen to the band - what kind of sound complements, say, piano or guitar even better than the main ride? To me it's a higher, washier, smaller cymbal, and I like those sounds just as as much, they fit in the music beautifully.
 

BennyK

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Both are strong within their voices . A 22 will cause you to play differently than 20 , keep that in mind , the same way two different shoes will make you walk differently .

The K seems more authourative. Unless you make a conscious effort to adjust your touch between them, you may subliminally try to get the same reaction out of one or the other, which of course isn't the point of having two rides . First generation EAKS have a flatter profile which creates a unique dispersal . Same with very early Sabian HH's .

Size and shape of the bell, lathing pattern and weight are decisive when considering a tonal interval between two rides.
 

bongomania

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I love to experiment with different pairings, in different contexts. I found one pairing that sounded perfect together when I was at home, beautiful complimentary tone at an interval of a fourth, very musical; but when I listened back to a gig recording, I couldn't tell them apart! Similarly, a big crash that sounds too brash in combo with some of my "prettier" cymbals at home, sounded sweet and natural in the gig recording.

One combo that has worked well for me is a flat with clear crisp stick, and a washier crashable ride. What I'm experimenting with right now is a deep dark medium ride and a somewhat heavyish bright pingy ride. Both crash well, but the crashes are "too much" at home; I'm thinking at the gig those crash sounds will blend better. Gigs coming up in a couple of weeks will tell.
 

funkypoodle

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If you are mostly recording
I love to experiment with different pairings, in different contexts. I found one pairing that sounded perfect together when I was at home, beautiful complimentary tone at an interval of a fourth, very musical; but when I listened back to a gig recording, I couldn't tell them apart! Similarly, a big crash that sounds too brash in combo with some of my "prettier" cymbals at home, sounded sweet and natural in the gig recording.

One combo that has worked well for me is a flat with clear crisp stick, and a washier crashable ride. What I'm experimenting with right now is a deep dark medium ride and a somewhat heavyish bright pingy ride. Both crash well, but the crashes are "too much" at home; I'm thinking at the gig those crash sounds will blend better. Gigs coming up in a couple of weeks will tell.
I haven't used a LS ride in a while, but back when i did (in the 90's) it was a 602 blue label medium flat ride paired with a 2002 heavy ride. These days it's been either a 20" 60's light, washy A ride or a 20" K Ride. I just came home with a 70's Canadian A flat ride early this afternoon and pairing it with the 60's light, washy A ride works like a charm. It's got the shimmer & stick definition of the 602, but resides in the tonal universe of Zildjians. It leaves so much more room for my crashes to wash. The K Ride paired with the flat A was much more redundant, too close in pitch, but the combo was like having a flat ride plus it's bell.

Funny how I initially read your post this morning while trying to convince myself not to snag that ride. I "accidentally" ended up in front of that pawn shop a few hours later :clock:
 

Old Drummer

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Why is that? If you like the main ride so much, why not play that one all the time, and get a nice crash for the left? Or, if you don't like to ride the main cymbal all the time, what sound are you hearing then? Listen to the band - what kind of sound complements, say, piano or guitar even better than the main ride? To me it's a higher, washier, smaller cymbal, and I like those sounds just as as much, they fit in the music beautifully.
I'm a victim of my past, the first 20 years of which involved playing a 20" A on the right and an 18" Paiste 602 on the left--although I never liked the Paiste. What I liked was having a second ride to change to when there was a change in the song.

To oversimplify, I'll typical play the hats during verses and a ride during the chorus and leads, though sometimes a song seems to call for playing a ride during the verses and then switching to another ride during choruses and leads. Of course, there are also other song changes that call for a change of ride cymbals.

With you, I think I want my alternate ride (left-side) cymbal to be higher, washier, and smaller, although I'd add brasher. Unlike you, though, I don't really like those cymbal sounds. I like the change of sound they provide, and wouldn't like to go without the ability to switch rides to effect that change, but I don't especially like that ride cymbal sound. If I get a left side cymbal that I like, it ends up sounding so much like my main ride that switching to it doesn't change the ride sound enough to be worth the switch.
 

rdumas

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I love this idea. If I absolutely don't trust myself to drill the rivets myself, how would I go about this? Something a local drum shop would do? It's just such a lovely cymbal I don't want to wreck it.
Just throw a BFSD bling ring or Big Fat Neck Tie on it....no drilling and you get a nice effect.
 

lordkoos

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I agree that the character of the two cymbals are too similar, I would try something a little smaller and higher pitched on the left. It doesn't have to be an expensive cymbal either.
 

Old Drummer

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The thought occurred to me that there is a more scientific (or maybe just math) way to choose a left side cymbal. This is to first find a main ride you love and then buy the SAME cymbal in a proportionately smaller diameter and weight for the left side. This way, the two cymbals would have the same overall sound and complement each other, yet differ in pitch, volume, and crashability.

I just did some rough math based on a 20" ride I like weighing in at 2470 grams and determined that an 18" version of the same cymbal should weigh about 1965 grams. (I subtracted out the weights of the bells for my calculation on the assumption that they may be the same for both cymbal dimensions, though I'm not sure about that.) This is over a 500-gram difference between the 20" and the 18", which seems plenty to change the pitch, volume, and crashability.

However, it occurred to me that a larger difference might be desirable. That could be achieved by simply increasing the dimension of the ride to 21" or 22", or perhaps by looking at 17" for a left side cymbal.

Also, just me, were I to buy a main ride with the idea of also buying a left side cymbal according to this method, I would buy a main ride lighter than 2470 grams in 20" because I think I'd want my matching 18" left side cymbal lighter than 1965. I couldn't just buy a lighter 18" without a lighter 20" because the lighter the 18" relative to the 20" would change the ratio between the cymbals. I'm not doing the math on this one, but I'd think that something around 2200/1700 would work, though that's if I stick with 20"/18" dimensions. Something tells me that I might want to go 21"/18" or thereabouts to get a large enough difference.

If my theorizing has merit, the downside is that the two cymbals would be in the same family and therefore not provide qualitatively different cymbal sounds. Some drummers (maybe me) look for qualitatively different cymbal sounds for different styles of music or whatever. Also, isn't this what A. Zildjian players used to do without thinking about the science, and isn't this what the companies selling cymbal packs do? I do though wonder how much effort the companies put into proportionately matching the cymbals they sell in packs, and suspect that for the old A. players the proportionate matching was a crap shoot.

Of course, another downside is finding a main ride you love enough to use as a basis for selecting a left side cymbal--not an easy thing to do.

But if I had access to a bunch of different cymbals, I'd experiment with pairing them along these math lines and bet there would be something to this method.
 

Seb77

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It's hard to predict sound based on weigh alone. there's always the profile which influences pitch a lot.
For a light set-up, I like a 20" 60s A around 1870g and a K Custom Dark crash around 1250g. Might even work out mathematically, but the series are very different. Not sure an 18" A would be as rideable as this 18", it has a nice dryness I attribute to the hammering/lathing. They both came from the same seller (soundfile-based purchase), and they're both sort of underdogs, keyhole resp. dremeled-out crack.
 

zenstat

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I just did some rough math based on a 20" ride I like weighing in at 2470 grams and determined that an 18" version of the same cymbal should weigh about 1965 grams. (I subtracted out the weights of the bells for my calculation on the assumption that they may be the same for both cymbal dimensions, though I'm not sure about that.)
Do you have a way to weigh the bells? I've not mastered that yet. Bells tend to be a bit thicker so modeling cymbals as if cymbals are a uniform thickness (and flat) isn't all that accurate.

Paiste tend to use a smaller bell on their 18" cymbals than Zildjian do. Zildjian tend to use the 4" bell on the 17" and smaller, but the 18" and larger gets the same bell as a 20" ride. On the other hand, Paiste use the 4" (ish) bell on their 18". And that's just the beginning of the fun with bells. :glasses8:

More realistic modelling of cymbal sounds from metric properties isn't all that well developed, but we do know that you need to take into account more factors: distribution of thickness from mounting hole out to the edge, curvature of the bow (profile), hammering style, lathing style (top and bottom), diameter, bell shape, and so on. In fact the bell is like another little cymbal and would be modeled by the same set of things all over again: thickness, diameter, height (curvature and shape factors come in here), hammering style, lathing style.
 

Old Drummer

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It's hard to predict sound based on weigh alone. there's always the profile which influences pitch a lot.
But the profile would be identical between cymbals of the same make and model that vary only by dimension and weight, wouldn't it? I suppose there might be some slight change in the profile if the bell sizes are identical (though I don't know that they would be) but my whole theory amounts to holding all the other variables constant while changing only the dimension and the weight proportionately.
 

Old Drummer

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Do you have a way to weigh the bells? I've not mastered that yet. Bells tend to be a bit thicker so modeling cymbals as if cymbals are a uniform thickness (and flat) isn't all that accurate.

Paiste tend to use a smaller bell on their 18" cymbals than Zildjian do. Zildjian tend to use the 4" bell on the 17" and smaller, but the 18" and larger gets the same bell as a 20" ride. On the other hand, Paiste use the 4" (ish) bell on their 18". And that's just the beginning of the fun with bells. :glasses8:

More realistic modelling of cymbal sounds from metric properties isn't all that well developed, but we do know that you need to take into account more factors: distribution of thickness from mounting hole out to the edge, curvature of the bow (profile), hammering style, lathing style (top and bottom), diameter, bell shape, and so on. In fact the bell is like another little cymbal and would be modeled by the same set of things all over again: thickness, diameter, height (curvature and shape factors come in here), hammering style, lathing style.
You're surely better at math than I am, but I'm thinking that the area of the bells ought to be subtracted from the total area of the cymbals in order to compare the areas of the cymbals without the bells. That is, you do pi r squared for the bells and subtract that from the pi r squared area of the total cymbal and use the resulting area as the comparison measure. Thus, I would assume that the bells are of roughly similar weights on both cymbals. (They don't thin bells as much as they do the rest of the cymbal, do they?) True, this approach amounts to ignoring the effect that the bell has on the entire cymbal sound, which is an error, but I'm thinking that for cymbals of roughly similar dimensions (say 18" and 20") excluding the similar bells on both shouldn't make much of a difference. Probably the R & D departments of some makers (Paiste?) have the data to calculate the exact effect of bells of different sizes on cymbals of different weights and dimensions, but for the buyer my guess is that excluding the bells gets the numbers close enough. In the players' world, for example, 1700 grams might as well be 1650 or 1750, so zeroing in on an exact number may not be necessary.

As for the other factors, again, I'm proposing only to compare cymbals of the same make and model. Thus, minus the random variations, all these other factors should be identical.
 

zenstat

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There are currently 3 competing equations for doing comparisons like this which answer the question "If I have a cymbal of diameter x, and am thinking about a cymbal of diameter y. What would the equivalent weight be?". Yours falls into the ratio of areas method (just called Area on the graph). The others are called Allometric and P15R. The predictions differ at the extremes and match up at 20" as a result of some technical issues, although the differences between Allometric and P15R are not symmetrical above and below 20"
wt-scale.png

One of my background tasks is working on better modeling but I'm not there yet.

If you want a sonic contrast between your LSR and your main ride than you might use one of these methods to rule out weight ranges which would sound "too similar". If you want little sonic contrast between your LSR and your main ride then you could use this method to narrow down the search a little for one which sounds (or feels?) the same. But again all of this modeling ignores the sonic (and feel) differences between different series and models from different manufacturers. And those differences might be just what one wants in an LSR vs main ride. It's all about the sound and feel and individual taste.
 
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JDA

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Mine:

19" Antique thin Ride Bosphorus: 1633g (2or3 rivet cluster)
22" Jeff Hammer Bosphorus ride: 2520g

I think I 'align' on the above chart..
 

tkillian

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18" left
22" main
Or
20" and 20" ala Elvin Jones
Or
20" left and 22" main

Or 18 left and 20 main

In other words...

Whatever works for you.
 

Old Drummer

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There are currently 3 competing equations for doing comparisons like this which answer the question "If I have a cymbal of diameter x, and am thinking about a cymbal of diameter y. What would the equivalent weight be?". Yours falls into the ratio of areas method (just called Area on the graph). The others are called Allometric and P15R. The predictions differ at the extremes and match up at 20" as a result of some technical issues, although the differences between Allometric and P15R are not symmetrical above and below 20"
View attachment 408554
One of my background tasks is working on better modeling but I'm not there yet.

If you want a sonic contrast between your LSR and your main ride than you might use one of these methods to rule out weight ranges which would sound "too similar". If you want little sonic contrast between your LSR and your main ride then you could use this method to narrow down the search a little for one which sounds (or feels?) the same. But again all of this modeling ignores the sonic (and feel) differences between different series and models from different manufacturers. And those differences might be just what one wants in an LSR vs main ride. It's all about the sound and feel and individual taste.
Wow, this is great information. I'm also pleased to see the roughly the 500 gram difference between a 20" and an 18" that I estimated using my modified "area" method. However, I agree, it doesn't answer the question of whether a player wants analogous cymbals like this (and I'm not sure I do). I'd like to try it to see how it feels and plays, though.
 

Old Drummer

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I'd go for an 900g difference
Why? I'm contemplating a left side 18" about this much lighter than my main ride, but am worried that it will mostly provide a crash and a quieter/washier ride sound when I like a brasher and louder left side ride. What are you getting out of a 900 gram difference?
 

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