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Cymbal Stick Sound

Discussion in 'Rides / Cymbals' started by Codemonkey, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    What I'd like to do is remove the stick sound (well, limit it) on the crash cymbal, which was being used to tap, not crash. The idea was to limit the spike in volume caused by the stick hitting the drum.
    It's 2 recorderman-placed overhead tracks with a bit of bass boost.
    I had an idea of using some a multiband compressor to limit the attack on the cymbal...but since it's an overhead, I don't want to kill the snare.

    These tracks aren't critical but I expect to be recording some drums properly for a song and I'd like to know what to do and how.

    Is this possible and what frequencies should I be looking at to get at the stick sound?
  2. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    going from a wooden tip to a nylon tipped stick could help reduce the stick sound.
  3. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Frequency selective phase cancellation maybe? Copying the tracks to other tracks, band passing all signals except cymbals, then manually cut or gate the snare out with a frequency specific triggered gate/expander like Floorfish, and then flip the phase and mix to taste? Does this sound like it may actually work or am I just spouting out terrible advice? :)

    Or you could draw EQ and compression automations maybe?
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Listen, it's the kind of idea I'd come up at times.

    I had some idea that I could use phase cancellation to eliminate computer noise if you record the signal with a hot high end to the L of your cheapass stereo in...then you phase cancel the signalless R to remove the noise and lower the high end which decreases hissing.

    It might work...I'll have a crack tomorrow night.
    I tried compressing the thing, removing where it seemed the problem was but just made it sound flat.

    I'm not the drummer, someone else is (obviously) and I dunno how he'd be about nylon sticks...he flatly refused brushes (thankfully he's now less convinced we're a metal band). I can't blame him for not wanting brushes though...that would be like having to push faders with a mop head.
  5. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    You callin' me a mop head?
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member


    And anyway I have so much hair I need to yank it out my ears to get the cans on right.

    What I meant was having to use the fabric end of a map to push the fader...nothing to do with yours, my or anyone's hair.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Most drummers I know would consider this an offense punishable by death - or worse - 30 minutes of a lopsided diatribe about the technique that they possess and why the "instruments" they play are far more sophisticated than just trash cans with tuned lids and that the nuance of changing a stick by as little as 1 gram will make or break their (self-admitted) awesome performance.

    I'm curious - can you post a sample of the offending noise? I can't say I've ever heard a stick hitting a cymbal that was so offensive that I wanted to remove the sound...I've heard some drum playing that was so offensive that it made me want to remove the whole kit...but that's another and often recurring story.
  8. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    You should consider surrounding yourself with a more focused agreeable troupe with a unified vision towards a common goal.
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    More a thing about volume spikes than the sound of the stick being annoying... I was hoping to be able to selectively compress it without demolishing the attack on the snare. Just so I can actually get it into the mix fully without it distorting.
    I was kinda unclear on that to begin with, sorry.

    Drum Track

    Edit: Oh, unfortunately I panned it on the console, and recorded the stereo mix. I can't just pick out the left track although I could properly multitrack once I record them again, and add a snare mic.
  10. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Oh... he'd be willing to re-take it? That shouldn't be too difficult. Experiment with moving the mics further back from the cymbals. Or raise the cymbals higher or lower depending on where the mics are. Mess around with things until you hear what you like. I also think nylon tips would make the pinging louder as opposed to softer... this is probably what you guys meant anyway. If all else fails you could just overdub that crash part if you don't have a problem with that sort of thing.

    Just listened. It really does sound to me like the mics are just too close to the cymbals. If you take it again, try pulling them back more or lower the brass so it sits closer to the drums. There's a VST called Dominion, that can do some interesting real time tricks with dynamics too... like pulling attacks down to a specified level for a specified amount of time.
  11. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Sorry Space, but I gotta agree 100% with Jeremy on that one.

    Even the poorest of punk drummers I work with would turn their nose up at nylons (well, nylon tips that is, not the ladies undergarments).
  12. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

  13. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Stick a fork in it?
  14. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Well not re-tracking as such, this was just 2 mics thrown up near (very near) the kit at a band rehearsal that half the singers never turned up to.
    The mic was pretty close to the cymbal now that I think about it, although where the kit is and how it's laid out isn't ideal (jammed into the corner of the chancel).
    I guess the point in the question was to see if anything could be done in the event of it becoming a pain, which it hasn't yet but I expect it will.

    However, when recording properly, I'll get the kit moved away from the wall and be able to get a mic behind it...I had to extend the stand over the top of the right tom, near enough. Worked well enough as an experiment anyway.
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I have yet to meet a drummer that would have ever met a woman of the caliber that would even wear nylons.

    The mere mention of "nylons" to a drummer automatically conotes an 'N' at the end of their Vic Firth models...

    What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?

    A drummer.

    What did the drummer get on his IQ test?


    How do you make a drummer's car more aerodynamic?

    Take the Domino's sign off the top
  16. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    What do you get when you cross a roadie with a drummer?
    Not much of an improvement anyway.

    Thankfully our drummer isn't too bad, and is in fact married (and in the late 40s or beyond).
  17. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    I don't use nylon tipped sticks, never worked for Domino's, my lady wears nylons on occasion, and my IQ is fairly high...Let's be reasonable please. Andy
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    But are you a percussionist or a drummer?
    There is a difference.
  19. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I'm sure anyone could whip up some jokes about stereotypical ginger-haired scotsmen...
    Not all drummers are stupid, yes, but a chunk* of them are nothing more than topless kit bashers who make coordinated noise.

    "Chunk" in this case is a proportion sufficient in quantity to merit passive reference.
  20. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Percussionists are just drummers who wear suits and posh neckties on weekdays. Or so it sounds anyway.

    I don't myself an "Audio Console Operator" I'm a "Sound Guy".

    And one of our singers plays percussion. I have no idea what it is, besides a PITA. It's wooden, you hit it with a stick, creates a massive resonance that floods every mic on stage. That and the tambourine are my pet peeves. JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE across everything, even with closed back headphones all I hear while PFL'ing anything is "jingle jingle tap tap jingle CLUCK" which is the mishmash of high-attack, low decay, loud percussion on stage. Thank God for guitar DIs and the violin. Like an island of tones amid the crazy jingle jingle cluck cluck.
    Why not just get a mic, point it at the snare and use that as a doosh doosh doosh instead of jingle jingle cluck cluck tap tap tap? Grrr.

    [Rant about unneeded percussion over for now. Oops]

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