Making cymbals decay faster

Just bought the Simon Philips drum kit, love the sound, bit I think the crash cymbals are a bit long in the decay. I would prefer crash cymbals that ring shorter. Is this something that is possible to change? Haven’t found any controls in the kit settings, but I have read a bit about using an envelope shaper for this. I would prefer not to have a second drum track with cymbals only.

I’d like to have some further input; will this be realistic enough? Do I need one shaper for each cymbal, or can I apply it to a group channel?

All ideas and suggestions are welcome!

Then you need to route the cymbal(s) to an extra bus or aux in GASE, and apply the FX there. You are then limited to the GASE included FX though.

That will depend on the envelope shaper, the kind of music, the kind of style of the programmed drums, and the context the drums are in.

why not use a gate? just create a separate output for the cymbal and use a gate

Ooops, a bit misleading from my side, I didn’t mean that I wouldn’t allow a group track with the cymbals from Mr. Phillips. I meant that I didn’t want to get some other cymbal samples and play them separately. Sorry…

You can use the internal envelope shaper on each individual cymbal in the stock kits from the full version of Groove Agent 4 (not SE 4) and Acoustic Agent-based expansions (such as Simon Philips Studio Drums) in both full GA4 and SE 4:

Cymbal shortening is fairly common, I would recommend processing each cymbal individually instead of applying one gate or envelope shaper to the whole group. You’ll also have to process the Overhead mic (to the right). You can use more conservative settings here.

Use an expander, it does not alter the sound of the cymbal as much.
Route the cymbals to a different out and use the standard expander
You could probably even get away with using the multiband expander on the entire drum bus. But that would take some tweaking.

Yep +1

I generally use some kind of ES with cymbals, personal favourite is the UAD SPL transient designer, very quick, easy and intelligent, the stock ES is pretty decent too!

Out of interest… are you using purely direct channels for each kit piece, including cymbals, or are you using more traditional over heads/room mics too?
If the latter i wouldn’t bother with ‘spot mics’ on individual cymbals unless a particular cymbal is getting lost, i usually find rides the most common.


Out of interest… are you using purely direct channels for each kit piece, including cymbals, or are you using more traditional over heads/room mics too?

Well, I don’t record any drums, I use the Simon Phillips Acoustic Agent SE virtual drum kit. But I know there are both overhead and room channels in the samples.

Try using those instead of spot mics… in the real world it’s pretty unusual to have each cymbal mic’d up on a kit, you’ll most likely find it easier to get more ‘natural’ sounding results too.

When i started working with drum vsts, bfd2 to be specific, i used to also use a bus purely for the cymbals, if i’m honest it was down to lack of experience and thinking i was being clever by not including them in the OH/room channels… they never sounded ‘right’ though, so one day i bit the bullet and spent a couple of afternoons purely getting to grips with setting the OH/room channels up properly in bfd and very quickly things started to sound ‘how they should’.

Working with live drums or vstis that are designed to work as a live kit generally need a different approach to working with than ‘a drum machine’ if you’re after a ‘real’ sounding kit… it can be a bit of a culture shock if one is new to it.

With room mics i usually compress the living #'£$%)& out of them, after eq, with an 1176 type compressor with the slowest attack and fastest release, ratio depending on how ‘heavy’ i want the kit to sound, i don’t compress overheads generally until they hit my ‘drums sum’ bus where i will just tickle the compressor on that bus.
I usually take some of the decay out of the overheads channel with an envelope shaper and adjust the decay of the room mics with the compressor release… too much decay then increase the release time… worth de essing OHs and hats at this stage too…

I also very often parallel compress all the shells of the kit too, i route OHs/hats directly to my ‘drums sum’ bus and parallel compress the kick/snare/toms and sometimes the room mics (depending on how heavy i want the kit to sound, if not too heavy i will route room mics to drums sum bus instead)…

It does sound a bit complex at first but once you break it down into steps it’s fairly straight forward…

hope that helps!