Education - Glossary

When describing sounds, it is helpful to use the same terminology as the pros. This will allow you to easily convey your thoughts with words others will readily understand.

Attack

The response rate of the cymbal. Some models are faster (more attack) than others. The Signature Mike Portnoy Max Stax responds with immediate 'attack'.

Bright

Sounds that are high-pitched; they offer increased cut. PRO models including the 20" Ride offer bright, penetrating responses.

Cut

The ability of the sound - usually high-pitched or loud - to cut through the surrounding music. The Sonix Crash features a focused, high-pitched sound that cuts.

Dark

Low-pitched, warm tones that combine for a 'dark' response that blends into surrounding music. HH models, including the Dark Crash, feature dark, traditional tones.

Dry

A minimum of tone ensures a very definite stroke response. The 20" HH Raw Dry Ride offers maximum stick response.

Fast

Rate of response when the cymbal is struck: how fast or slow it makes a sound and how that sound decays. A smaller or thinner cymbal responds and decays faster than larger, heavier models.

Fundamental

The predominant or main sound within the overall response of a cymbal. A Dark Crash produces a fundamental sound that has a relatively low, warm, rich tone.

Glassy

Clear, shimmering response. Often clean and smooth -- like glass.

Hot

A fiery mix of dark, warm sounds with the added heat of agitated tones -- a 'burning' sound.

Partials

The overtones or series of pitches produced in addition to the fundamental. Every cymbal will have a different percentage of highs, lows and mid-range partials.

Sustain

The duration of the sound before it decays. Bigger cymbals sustain longer than smaller models.

Timbre

The general sound characteristics of a cymbal.

Trashy

Raw and dirty responses associated with chinese cymbals and some special models. The trashiness of an 18" B8 Pro Chinese is raw, funky and oriental.

Warm

A softer response that focuses on a blend of low-pitched, musical tones.