Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Paiste 505s, The Best Vintage Budget Cymbals

Paiste 505s were a budget line of cymbals made in Switzerland by Paiste in the late 70s and early 80s. However, if you’ve ever heard a 505 you’ll quickly realize just how special these cymbals actually are.

They do not sound like a budget line at all, and in fact, they’re not even made like a budget line. The hammering and lathing on the 505 line is nearly identical to the famous 2002 line. Paiste made them less expensive by making them slightly thinner than the 2002s. This gives them a bit of a darker, lower pitched sound than the 2002s. But they still have that beautiful Paiste spread.

I have a 20″ green label 505 ride. This cymbal sounds absolutely gorgeous to me. There’s a nice stick definition that has that distinct paiste sound, but there’s also a full dark wash that sits underneath, and it also has a beautiful and controlled sounding crash when you lay into it.

Check out my song below of the FB-01 and Drums. I play on the 505 ride throughout the whole song.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Yamaha FB-01 FM Synth Module with Live Drums

This is a new song I created with only the Yamaha FB-01 in 8 part multi-timbral mode and then played lived drums to it. No FX were used on the FB-01. I seqenced the MIDI using the program, Seq24 for linux, then recorded the drums in Harrison Mixbus 4.
Drums used were a 1966 Slingerland Blue Sparkle kit, with an 80s metal Pearl Export 6.5×14 snare drum. Mics used in this recording were:
Kick – CAD KBM412
Snare – PDMIC78
Overheads –

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Best High End Drum Micing Kit

One of the most legendary microphones for recording drums is the Sennheiser MD421. But at nearly $400 a piece, just getting 3 tom mics will cost you $1200! Not all of us have that kind of scratch to blow. Plus you’d still need a snare mic, kick mic, and overheads. By the time you get done you’d probably throw down about $3000!

You don’t have to do that though to get a killer high-end mic setup for drums. If you have medium amounts of scratch to blow, the Sennheiser DRUMKIT600 Drum Microphone Package could be the best high quality drum microphone package for $1000 on the market.

You will get a complete setup for a 4 piece drum kit that includes 3 tom/snare mics, a kick drum mic and two condenser overheads. This kit will last you for years to come and is great for both live and studio use. All of the mics come packaged in foam encased, locking aluminum case. This way you can keep studiomates from “borrowing” your mics without permission 😉

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ride Cymbal Terms, What Do They Mean?

In my opinion choosing the right ride cymbal is one of the hardest cymbals to choose for your kit. There are so many sounds and one that doesn’t vibe well with your ears can quite literally ruin your fun playing.

There’s so many different sounds out there, and there’s so many terms used by people to describe them like, washy, pingy, dry, dark, clean, and more, then there’s also the bell sound which can greatly vary from ride to ride. Not to mention there can be a ride that is washy and dark, or a ride that’s dry and dark. However there most likely won’t be a ride that’s washy and pingy, but there can definitely be one that’s clear and pingy. Confused?

Let’s go into a little more detail as to what most people mean by using these terms.

  1. washy – washy usually refers to the attack as well as the sustain of the ride. For example when you hit it, the sound has little attack and a long sustain with a strong white noise sound. These types of rides are most similar to crashes. Examples of rides that could be described as washy are the Paiste PST7 Lite Ride or the Zildjian Sweet Ride. This sound is heard most often in 60s rock and some jazz and are usually light in weight. The bell sound can vary on a washy ride from strong to soft.
  2. pingy – pingy can be most easy be understood as the opposite of washy and are usually heavy in weight. When you hit the cymbal there is a strong attack (ping) sound. There’s still a long sustain, but with less white noise than a washy ride. There’s usually a noticeable note to the sustain. However this may not be the case if a ride is pingy, but dry. Some good examples of a pingy ride are a Paiste Alpha Metal Ride, and a Zildjian Megabell Ride
  3. dry – Unlike the first two examples dry almost only refers to the sustain of the cymbal. Dry means short sustain. Unfortunately the company Meinl has been trying to redefine the meaning of this term and produces a lot of cymbals under their “extra dry series”. These cymbals, even though excellent sounding are in actuality not dry at all. A more appropriate way to describe them would be dark and trashy. The term trashy does not mean bad, but refers to the sustain of the cymbal having a lot of dissonant undertones, much like a china cymbal giving them an almost gong-like quality. Zildjian are one of the only manufactures of true dry cymbals, like the K Custom Special Dry, or the Zildjian Earth Ride (which is also very pingy)
  4. dark – dark is quite popular these days. As I mentioned before, Meinl’s “extra dry” line, would be more appropriately described as “extra dark” but I guess from a marketing standpoint, there were already a lot of “extra dark” lines on the market, so they wanted to stand out, and it worked! However, dark usually refers to the pitch. It’s usually lower and trashier. The undertones are more dissonant and complex. This sound is very popular in all forms of music these days, though in the past it was more popular in Jazz. Good examples of dark rides are the Dream Energy Dark Matter Ride or the Meinl Extra Dry Ride

Anyway, I hope this helped you understand what people mean with these terms, and happy music making!

Updated drum lesson playlist

It's hard for me to update this website constantly with all of the new drum lessons I am making, so I figured I would make a playlist wh...