What is the Cymbal Project?
The short answer… In the spring of 2012, a family member gave me a box of 45 old hand & splash type cymbals. All of them were heavily corroded and needed deep cleaning. I started the Cymbal Project™ video series to highlight the work I was to perform on this first batch of cymbals. These first few videos were well received so I decided to include videos about repairing, modifying and creating cymbals from scratch. At the time of this writing, there have been 69 episodes produced.

Where can I buy your cymbals?
After receiving a surprisingly large number of requests from people all over the world, I now have a web store to make my custom cymbals available for purchase. At present, I only ship product to the lower 48 states and Canada. This may change in the future.    

Are you going to start your own brand of cymbals?
There are already dozens of quality cymbal brands and many highly creative independent cymbalsmiths that offer excellent & unique products. For the moment, I consider cymbalsmithing a fun hobby. I do not foresee myself venturing into the marketplace in a full time, commercial fashion. I prefer to conduct cymbal modification and creation experiments and document the results for peer review. The project is self sustaining through modest sales and reinvestment. 

How do you add the colored finish to your cymbals?
The basic techniques are well known, but the formulas I use are secret.

Can I send you my cymbals and pay you to fix / modify them for me?
It would be a very costly proposal to do this (bi-directional shipping and labor). At present I am only accepting rework projects from individuals locally (in Montreal, Canada)  

I want to try modifying my own cymbals? What tools should I get first?
The task I do most often is spin polishing. I would suggest getting an old drill press and making a cymbal chuck. Spin polishing/sanding with sanding blocks is a very effective method for rendering a cymbal to a “raw” metal state which is ideal for further modification. I would also get an angle grinder with a zip cutting disc for repairing cracked cymbals. Care must be taken in this procedure. You can use basic ball peen hammers and an old hexagonal style dumbell can make a good basic anvil with a bit of resurfacing.

Doesn’t sanding a cymbal ruin the sound? Why don’t you use regular cymbal polish?
I’ve received a lot of comments on this topic. Sanding cymbals is not for everyone. If you’re worried about “running your investment”, don’t sand you cymbals, PERIOD. I could care less about logos so I use the sanding technique on most of my cymbals. I have sanded over 700 cymbals, it’s quick, requires little effort and absolutely does not destroy a cymbal's tone as many would suggest. Cymbal polishing creams are messy, expensive and require a ton of effort to get satisfactory results. Sanding cymbals also fully removes the protective lacquer that is sometimes added by manufactures. This is often necessary to simplify later stages of the rework process. Pasite brand Cymbal Protector (blue bottle) is a good choice for reapplying a protective coating. It works very well.

Where can I find cracked cymbals to experiment with?
I cover this topic extensively in episode 22 of The Cymbal Project™

I have found your cymbal project videos to be inspirational, who do you find inspirational?
I play several instruments and have been playing music since I was quite young. There have been many individuals from all different walks of life that I have drawn inspiration from. My first true idol as a kid was Alex Van Halen. The following is a list of some of the most inspiring drum recordings and events I've experienced to date. In chronological order…

·Alex Van Halen (Fair Warning – Dirty Movies)
·Ian Paice (Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers)
·Tommy Lee (Motley Crue - Shout At The Devil)
·Stuart Copland (The Police – Greatest Hits)
·Phil Collins (Genesis – Abacab)
·Kenny Arnoff (work with John Cougar Mellencamp)
·Buddy Rich (drum solo videos)
​·Jacob Armen (Appearance on Johnny Carson)
·Jon Bonham (Led Zeppelin II & IV)
·Dennis Chambers (work with Barbara Dennerlein)
·Gregg Bissonette (Drum Solo LIVE w/ Joe Satriani – Montreal 1992)
·Jeff Ballard (Live show - John Stetch Quartet - Montreal 1993)
·Jack Dijohnette (Various recordings)
​·Elvin Jones (Various recordings)
-Tim Jackson (drum solo on YouTube - "Still Can't Stop")
·JoJo Mayer (Drum Solo work on YouTube)
·Gergo Borlai (Drum Solo work on YouTube)
·Gavin Harrison (Various works on YouTube)
·Alex Rudinger (cover of Whitechapel "Section 8" on YouTube)
​·Aaron Spears (cover of “Caught Up” by Usher)

How long have you been playing drums?
I played on pots & pans from when I was about 8 years old until I was 14. Then I played real drums
fairly regularly from 1988 to 1994’ and then only sporadically from 1995 until to 2011. In 2012, I started playing drums full time once again.

What equipment do you use to make your videos?
At present, I am not sponsored by any companies but here is a list of what I often use to produce The Cymbal Project™ video series…

• Taye Pro X Series drums (8", 10", 12" 14" & 16" Toms & 20" kick)
• HB drums 18" floor tom
Tama 14 x 6.5 Metalworks snare
• Toms - Remo Emperor Coated on top, original Ambassador clear heads on bottom
• Snare - Remo Emperor X Coated on top, Evans Hazy 200 on bottom
• Kick – Remo Powerstroke 3 on the batter side, Taye original on resonant side

Moon Gels

Los Cabos™ 5A Red Intense red hickory drum sticks

Hi Hats:
• 15” custom stainless steel hi hats

Ride Cymbal:
• 22.5" custom stainless steel ride cymbal

Crash & Splash Cymbals:
• 20" modified Zyn NS12 crash
• 3 x Refurbished Sabian AAX Crash cymbals (17" & 18")
• 10" Baron brand modified splash (wuhan style)
• 8" Sabian AAX Splash

China Cymbals
• 18" Sabian AA Chinese
• 18" repaired Zildjian China Boy High
• 12" Wuhan China

​Other pieces:
• Custom cup chimes
• LP jam block (high tone, blue)
• cowbell

• Yamaha DFP9500D Double kick pedal
• Modified Pacific Hi Hat stand
• Taye/Tama/Westbury cymbal stands

• Kick - CAD KBM 412
• Snare - Shure SM48 on top and bottom
• Rack Toms - Nady DM70
• Floor Toms - Nady DM70
• Overheads - MXL 550

Audio Interfaces:
Dynamic microphones - Tascam US-1800
​Condenser microphones - Behringer Ultragain Pro Mic 2200 (overheads)

Software & plugins:
• Sony Vegas 10 for recording/mixdown (Track EQ, Track Compressor)
• Waves Diamond Bundle (C1 Gate,L1 Ultramaximizer, RVerb, TransXwide, C4 Multiband Comp)
• Sony Acid 7
• ChordPulse

​Cameras I have used:
• Sony CX900
• Fuji HS10
• Sony AS20
​• Canon T3i 

What is your favorite type of cymbal?

​My favorite cymbal by far is the ride cymbal. I just love big, lathed B20 rides, medium weight. My second favorite type of cymbal are china type cymbals, 18” or larger. I also love the nickle silver sound.

Do you do this for a living?
​Like any musician or artist… I have a day job.


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