Do you own the Sheffield Drum Record?
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Are you looking for the sound of(let's say) Paiste, Sabian, Meinl, Zildjian or Wuhan? Further: If Meinl(for instance), their Classic, HCS, MCS, Candela, Generation X, etc. Series of cymbal? Every brand, and all their individual cymbal lines, will have a different sound. Unless you know what brand and series of cymbal a drummer is using, and are familiar with that particular cymbal set's sound(live); you can't know if the sound you're getting is, "natural."
A good man knows his own limitations, but IS NOT stupid enough to assume everyone else has the same. The very first recording mentioned(Sheffield Drum Record); includes in it's liner notes the differences one can hear ON THE RECORD(or CD), between the cymbals Ron Tutt is using, from those of Jim Keltner's. If YOU can't hear the differences, whether it be a result of an unresolving system, a poorly recorded set, or your own lack of aural accuity/training: Sorry about your luck, but that does not apply to everyone! The sounds and effects of various cymbals(brands and series) are NOT subtle in the least, and are easily discernable, on a decent recording(given a resolving playback system). My guess would be that most of you nay-sayers can't tell the difference between the sounds of a Crash, Crash-Ride, China, Hi-Hat, Splash or Bell cymbal LIVE, let alone on a recording.
A point to be aware of about the Sheffield Drum Record, especially by those who may consider purchasing it after reading some of the posts above.
From the liner notes of the Track & Drum Record CD:
The analogue disc was played back with a Technics SP 15 turntable and a Shure V15 Type V assembly attached to a SME 3012R arm. The pre-amp consisted of a pair of refurbished Marantz Audio Consolettes set to the RIAA Curve. The analogue signal was converted to a 96kHz 24 bit PCM signal using a Lucid A/D converter ....I have the original direct-to-disk Track Record LP (but not the Drum Record), as well as the CD (which combines both Records). IMO the Track Record LP is a treasure, certainly in terms of sonics. IMO the CD does not come remotely close to being in the same league.
I say that as someone who is not anti-digital in the least, and also as someone who owned a pair of Marantz 1 Consolettes about 20 years ago, which were also a treasure.
Re the ability to identify the brand of cymbals on a recording. Drummers most certainly can. I am not a drummer, but I can tell you that it is not difficult for me to identify when (for instance) Michael Brecker used his Otto Link mouthpiece, and when he used his Guardala. Likewise, when Phil Woods used his Selmer alto, and when he switched to a Yamaha. It's even obvious that Ernie Watts uses synthetic reeds. All these have identifiable characteristics. Just three examples of many, and one does not need a SOTA system to do it. So, one can safely extrapolate (I think) that an experienced drummer can tell which brand of cymbal is being played on a recording.
Give Joe Dokes / The Soulful Drums of Joe Dokes a listen. It is available on both Vinyl and Cd. I have only heard it on vinyl though,can't speak for the sound on CD.
You know they say the same thing about vibes,if you can get the sound and the decay of the vibrato right your whole system falls in line.
One of my reference songs is "High Falls" off of "Win, Lose, or Draw" (ca.1975) by the Allman Brothers. It is approximately a 10 minute instrumental featuring solos by Chuck Leavell and Dicky Betts. The signiture Allman Bros. sound of the era featured dual drummers- Butch Trucks and Jaimoe Johnson. The complex intricate rhythmic details highlight the cymbal work, which truly tests a full range speaker. A pretty deep track in the Brother's catalogue, but a really great one.