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Spray painting drum cymbals.

Discussion in 'Rides / Cymbals' started by theaero, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    I'm in the office now with four books in front of me on the physics of musical instruments. (All overdue by the way - better do something about that.) I definitely don't qualify as an expert in this, so let me separate some of the things that are clear to me, from what is a bit fuzzy while replying to Jeremy.
    The speaker demonstration shows that point 1 (while true) doesn't mean much in the production of sound. The speaker replaces lip buzzing as the driving generator of vibration. There is a lot of vibration going on because you are forcing the system at a resonant frequency. There is just no flow of air through the horn. Flow is an irrelevant byproduct of using lip bus to drive the internal vibration of the air column.

    All of the books I am looking at (and as far as I can tell, Lawson's calculations as well) treat the vibrating column of air as the only factor in determining the basic notes and overtone series of the horn. The lip buzz drives the notes, but the shape of the mouthpiece, tube, and bell determine the notes and the overtones. In fact, the calculations assume the walls of the horn are rigid (though some of the books talk about adding minor correction terms to make up for the fact that this is only approximately true).

    The role of the bell in coupling the vibrating column of air to outside air is crucial, but the books are far less clear on how this works. The bell is referred to as an "impedance matching device" but they don't say how much is related to its shape and how much to it's vibration characteristics. There is a good deal of material on bell design, and the info is probably in there, but it would require a good deal of study for me to understand this. That the shape of the bell is crucial is clear from the original calculations which assume the bell is rigid. How much the vibration of the bell contributes to the projection of the sound is much less clear to me.
    What is clear from my reading is that the vibrations of the column of air is the single greatest factor determining the fundamental notes and the overtone series. The primary factors determining this are the shape of the horn (all parts) and the driving frequency. The factors involved with transferring the energy of this vibration to the surrounding are far less clear to me.

    I think it is a very common tendency of musicians to take the basic physics of their instrument for granted and focus on the aspect that determine the fine details. You can make a valveless horn with a mouthpiece, a length of plastic tube, and an appropriately shaped tin funnel. Yes it would sound awful, but it would produce the proper notes and overtone series. You have always been able to take that as a given and focus on factors like the metal used in construction which produces the fine differences between instruments. Has that affected your ideas about the basic factors that produce sound?
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    BC, Canada
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    Actually, about 30 years ago, when Santana used that Yamaha guitar with all that brass... I figured that was how he got all that sustain so I wanted to do that too.

    I went to a antique shop and bought a brass kick plate (a brass plate located on old doors to protect shoes from damaging doors). I cut this thing up (like the shape of a work boot) and placed it between my bridge.

    To make a long story short, I used NGI stain (non grain raising stain). Its an alcohol based product. You have to sand (lightly scuff) the brass a bit in order for it (anything) to stick. A very fine coating of lacquer to follow. My brass was deep purple and it looked pretty cool at that time.
     
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Bob -

    A lot of your statements are very correct. However, I stress again that it is not merely the column of air which is the key component of the sound. By "sound" I mean, pitch, timbre AND amplitude.

    Pitch is determined by the air column as are, to a small degree, timbre and moreso amplitude.

    However, the air column CAN exist without the instrument - it's called air-buzzing (buzzing sanz-mouthpiece - I do it as a warm up everyday.)

    The air column generated here is the SAME air column as that inside the instrument with the only exception being that *in* the horn, it is bouncing off of (and consequently vibrating) the metal that is the instrument.

    It is this relationship which causes timbre and tone and to a degree (depending upon the vibratory properties of that metal) amplitude.

    My point at the very beginning of this was that the metal's vibrations are what produce the sound and I stand behind that point. Take away the metal (replace with plastic as you propose) and you merely have the sound of buzzing (I've done it. In fact, we've made "garden hose horns" using a garden hose and a funnel. What you get is the sound of buzzing mouthpieces. It certainly didn't "notch" any specific overtones (some were present, but certainly not strong). We used a section of hose 9' in length approximating a Bb instrument.)

    So again, if you look at this as a simple equation:

    buzzing(vibration) + air + sympathetic vibrations = desired sound

    it all seems to make sense.

    However, it's not quite that simple.

    Buzzing (vibration) + sympathetic vibrations = close to desired sound (but does not equal no sound)

    In other words, the subjective sound of the instrument (the timbre, projection, quality, amplitude) is created by the vibration of the metal.

    In a woodwind instrument, this is completely different. The majority of the sound IS in fact created by a perturbed flow of air.

    Remember, the whole point here was whether or not the cymbal would be affected by paint and my point was that horns are but not significantly. The fact is, the metal DOES vibrate (significantly at that) and that is what provides the "tone" and "timbre" of the instrument.

    I am definitely not debating with you the fact that the air column plays a major role and that it is in fact the catalyst or proximate cause of those vibrations. My only argument is that all three components (initial vibration/buzzing, air column, vibrating metal) bear equal responsibility in the production of sound. (Take ANY of the 3 of those away from the equation or even substitute another variable and you end up equally non-usable sound - thus all are equal)

    Quite possibly true, however, I've studied the acoustical physics of my instrument with great fervor.

    Cheers -

    J.
     
  4. theaero

    theaero Guest

    Heres the problem.

    First off, I have crappy B8s, and not only are they inexpensive, but they sound awful.

    Secondly, they not only sound way to bright, but... god damn it, shiny things scare me!



    Right now, i have them tightened SO much to get rid of the extremely ugly shimmer they have. Worst decaying cymbals I've ever heard.

    maybe the mass of the paint would stop this a lil bit?
     
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    A bottle of lacquer thinner is a couple of bucks, so this is an easy thing to undo. (Just be careful when applying lacquer based spray paint or removing spray paint with lacquer thinner. Very toxic. Very flammable.) The one big negative is that the logos are definitely gone, so your resale is way down.

    I've tried lots of things to try to tame down bright cymbals - including gaffer tape. Nothing much has worked besides buying better cymbals. But then again, this may be an improvement. M guess is that the most you could lose here is a little time and some of the resale value of the cymbals. It's up to you.
     
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    B8s really don't have resale value.
    Losing the logo is probably a benefit...
     
  7. theaero

    theaero Guest


    Heh. Ill second this.
     
  8. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Just save some money and buy better cymbals? If price is a factor, the Sabian X20 series is cheap and sound close to Zildjian A's. I got an 18" X20 crash for $80 new when I was on the road and in a bind with a cracked Zildjian A. Sounded similar, quality-wise, but quieter, not as full. Still, not bad for the money. ANDY
     
  9. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    Sorry, those cymbals I mentioned are Sabian XS20, not X20. Anyway, decent sounding on a budget. ANDY
     
  10. theaero

    theaero Guest

    Has anyone tried it yet, or am I gunna have to be the first one? Lol.

    Who knows, if a thin coat of laquer on a cymbal could produce a more desired sound, then it could open a door to a whole new wave of sounds. coated brass instruments, like trumpets and shizz might end up sounding really cool.

    Not to mention, instruments could start looking a lot less typical :)
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    I think all this discussion about blowing, sucks? Isn't this supposed to be a woman's topic?? What do you guys know?

    I wouldn't paint a cymbal. Too thick and messy. Have you ever tried painting your own nails? Of course not...... I hope not?!?!

    Maybe, you like the sound of beating on trash can lids? I don't. I like fat sound and thin cymbals. Not fat cymbals and thin sound. Rather, I would think that possibly having the cymbals anodized would be the way to go? The colors are better and it makes the cymbal nonconductive, so you can't get shocked by how bad it sounds.

    Trashy smashy
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
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    I wonder is the OP ever followed through with this one. I can't imagine ever painting cymbals and not ending up with cured paint flying all over the place from the vibrations. I don't recall anyone mentioning this

    So, enough time has passed where I'm betting this was a cool until the sticks started flying.
     
  13. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Feb 21, 2013
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    I think a painting coat is a big mistake, unless its somekind of flexible, it would chip off easily. In any case it would be terrible for the sound.

    One thing that might give acceptable results is using somekind of wood stain or chimical treatment.
     
    audiokid likes this.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    Akron/Cleveland, OH
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    Personally, I wouldn't put any material on cymbals. Aesthetics aside, it sounds to me like the perfect recipe for disastrous sonic results... not to mention the potential for shrapnel flying around the stage. ;)

    You can buy colored cymbals - and I'm pretty certain that the folks at Zildjian or Paiste aren't using a can of Krylon spray paint to do the job. ;)

    PAISTERIDES025.jpg
     
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Good suggestion on that, my thoughts too. but I suspect you'd need to clear coat them to get them to look like a Rat Rod.
     

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  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Wow, I had no idea you could buy cymbals painted like this. Not my idea of cool though. Stage lighting and brass looks traditionally awesome to me. New fashion I suppose. They look like they would sound wrong in a none sustaining way. Maybe closer to the sound of MP3's but without the "swirly" effect lol.

    Love to here back from him and any reviews on these modern painted ones? I wonder what the process is to finish them? Looks like baked enamel. I can see what looks to be brass in the hole. Most likely drilling the hole is the last step of the production process.
    Looks like its definitely a coating over brass and not some hybrid composite brass.
     
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    looks to me like those are anodized.

    on the other hand, i say go ahaead and paint them. i would use that "Flexshield" paint ... the rubber spray sh*t ... you get what you ask for ... (deserve).
     
  18. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Feb 21, 2013
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    This would be ideal to kill the cymbal sounds if you want to make a practice kit or trigger kit.

    this is what paint results looks like :
    colorsoundigitt.jpg

    I think color matching the drums is quite ugly anyway :
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTyZJBTviWwSyzOCtSkI4An-QjWaXf4EeuW_HYyFFrCm9VF3ylT.jpg
     
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Personally, I've always liked the way cymbals shine and catch the stage lighting in their natural way. Kinda like the chrome on a '57 Chevy. ;) You wouldn't paint over that would you? :eek:
     
    pcrecord likes this.
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