There’s no denying that cymbals are loud. When practice time rolls around and you need to keep the volume under wraps, low volume cymbals can make a huge difference. You can pair them with some mesh drum heads or use them with an electronic kit to bring the volume right down. Either way, Zildjian low volume cymbals give you a playing solution which feels almost as good as the real thing and they’re a full 80% quieter.
What are Zildjian L80 Low Volume cymbals?
This is a family of cymbals designed for the ultimate low volume playing experience. They’re quieter by 80%, but they feel as authentic as a normal cymbal. The huge sound reduction is achieved using thousands of holes throughout the surface of the cymbal, which lets air pass through the surface, reducing the amount of air being pushed away. The L80 series offers a generous range of cymbals to choose from, allowing you to have a cymbal setup just like with your normal cymbals.
Who are they for?
There are loads of applications for low volume cymbals, here’s just a few:
- If you’re having a drum lesson, low volume cymbals are great, because you can play while still being able to hear your instructor, and not put your hearing at risk.
- Save time and money by not having to hire or travel to an expensive rehearsal space. Simply enjoy your kit at home, or at a friend’s place, without bothering the neighbours.
- Maybe you’ve got a gig that’s in a space so small you can almost reach out and touch the audience members. Low volume cymbals could be perfect in this situation, because the individual cymbals retain their unique sounds without requiring any further equipment.
- If you’re an electronic kit player, you may be looking for a more realistic cymbal feel to match the realism of mesh drum heads. A set of low volume cymbals could be what you need. You could even add triggers to hook them into your drum module.
What are they like to play?
The L80s play pretty much like regular acoustic cymbals. You can swish the hihats, get a different response from playing on the bow, edge, or bell of the cymbal, and you still get a nice metallic sound with a rebound that is close to a traditional cymbal. Compared to other practice and low volume options, such as rubber pads, or cymbal mutes, low volume cymbals offer a lot more in the way of playability and feel.
Check out this video and see why the L80 cymbals are, in Zildjian Artist Jonathan Ulman’s words, “As natural as you can get, without being disruptive to anybody around you”
What types of cymbals are in the range?
You can buy L80s individually, from the generous range of single cymbals, or as a set, depending on your needs. The sets represent the best value for your money.
L80 LOW VOLUME CYMBAL SET – 14/16/18″
– 14″ HiHats
– 16″ Crash
– 18″ Crash Ride
L80 LOW VOLUME CYMBAL SET – 13/14/18″
– 13″ HiHats
– 14″ Crash
– 18″ Crash Ride
L80 LOW VOLUME CYMBAL SET 13/18″
– 13″ HiHats
– 18″ Crash Ride
L80 LOW VOLUME HIHATS 13″
L80 LOW VOLUME HIHATS 14″
L80 LOW VOLUME 10″ SPLASH
L80 LOW VOLUME 16″ CRASH
L80 LOW VOLUME 18″ CHINA
L80 LOW VOLUME 18″ CRASH RIDE
L80 LOW VOLUME 20″ RIDE
Mix and Match
When you’re looking for a low volume setup, cymbals are only half the battle. The L80s have you covered for reducing cymbal volume, but what about the drums themselves? There’s a couple of different options for this:
If you’re already playing an electric kit, happy days – you don’t need to do anything. If your kit is fully acoustic, then the quick and easy solution is drum head mutes. They’ll dampen down your drums by up to 70%, depending on the type, and they’re inexpensive, quick and easy. This is great if you want to quiet down your playing at night time or when it’s just not suitable to be playing at full volume. They work really well with low volume cymbals, because they also swap out quickly.
Another option is mesh drum heads. There are loads to choose from with something to suit all budgets. Mesh heads are a more permanent solution than mutes, or at least not as easy to switch between, because they fit just like a normal drum head. So every time you want to change them out, it’s the same as changing out your entire kit’s drum heads.
But if you don’t need to be changing to a full volume kit very often, the advantages outweigh any hassle. Save time and money – you’ll have a kit perfect for practicing without the need for an expensive soundproof rehearsal room. You can also set up triggers on the drums and cymbals to run through an electronic drum module, and you’ll have your very own electronic kit, but with the feel of your own acoustic kit.
Another use for low volume cymbals is with a practice pad setup. Maybe you’ve got a normal practice pad on a stand, and a bass drum practice pad. This little setup is great on its own, but add some L80’s or other low volume cymbals, and you’ll have a whole new level of realism in your practice.
Why stop at low volume cymbals? You can convert your entire acoustic kit using mesh heads for the ultimate quiet playing experience. Zildjian offers a great value pack to do just this. From there you can even add some drum triggers and jack them into an electronic drum module to create your own, fully customisable electronic kit, but with the feel of an acoustic kit.
Zildjian Quiet Pack
When you’re a drummer, you need to be considerate to those around you. Bringing the volume down can be a big ask, but low volume cymbals are a big step in the right direction. Pair them with some mesh heads and you’ll have a kit which you can enjoy without disturbing anyone else anywhere near as much as with a full volume kit.
What is your favourite solution for low volume playing? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.