A question came in from Danny:

Was wondering if you could give me some insight into the cymbal setup you guys use in the main auditoriums. I’m assuming they are the same as what I heard on “Louder than Creation.” We’re getting ready to purchase a new “standard” setup and I’d like to get those sounds. They work really well in the mix, especially the hats and ride.”


Zildjian K custom dark crashes (18″, 19″), 20″ K custom ride, 14″ K hi hats

Those were actually Ashley Appling‘s cymbals that he brought for the recording. Even week to week, some guys still prefer to bring their own cymbals – which is totally fine.

The church owns our own, which lots of the guys use without any complaints. They’re shown here, as Ashley actually used them on East yesterday:




They’re Zildjian A Series – 17″ and 18″ Medium Crash, 21″ Sweet Ride, New Beat Hi Hats


Each brand and model of cymbal not only sounds different, but also responds differently to each drummer’s playing style. Just as there are many types of guitars that players choose from to suit their style, the same goes for cymbals, sticks, snares, etc.

Heck – each individual cymbal is unique, even if they are the same brand and model. So be sure to try them out at a store if you can.

The kick and toms (and hardware, of course) always stay the same, as the church owns them. It also ensures a good looking and good sounding kit we don’t have to re-mic every week.

So somewhere in there is a balance of continuity and individuality.

But as for achieving a cymbal sound identical to the album, please realize that that also involved the full album process, including great microphones, high quality pre-amps, compression, EQ, verb, mixing and mastering – all by some very talented people on some very high quality (and expensive) gear….

But obviously that process starts with good raw materials – high quality players using high quality gear.


3 thoughts on “Cymbals…

  1. You are the man!

    Thanks for the info dude.
    The cymbal individuality thing can definitely be a blessing and a curse, but I figured it would be nice to at least invest in the same “series” and then do the shopping by ear. You’ve helped tremendously, thanks again-d.

  2. Also, I recognize everything else I can see, but what mic is that on the snare?, it looks like shure beta series.

  3. The snare mic is a Beta57.

    As the NP Audio Director, I’ll also add that we–NP audio folks–tend to prefer darker cymbals over the brighter sounding ones.

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