Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Glass Cymbals

Cymbals, made of glass
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
(+17, -1)
  [vote for,

I used to be in a metal band. There was a drummer. He enjoyed hitting his far-too-numerous bits of equipment, and beamed with pride* when he managed to break a cymbal, or more frequently a stick. Shrapnel was a very real danger at band practices.

Now, some cymbals are designed to make a crashy-smashy type of noise. In the past, I have dropped glass objects, they've smashed, and I've thought "that makes a perfectly serviceable smashy-crashy sound".

So, why not make cymbals out of glass? Simple, you'd only be able to use it once. However, we can work around this. A relatively simple system, consisting of a laser refractometer - to check if there's a cymbal there and a large hopper full of glass cymbals should solve this problem. Think of how old-style record player dropped records onto the turntable, like that.

Now, when the drummer hits his cymbal, it smashes, sending glass flying everywhere. The laser refractometer measures a change, a microcontroller interprets this as a lack of cymbal and drops another one from the hopper. Simply rinse and repeat this for each different type of cymbal. At the end of a Rush concert there would be many tonnes of glass shards surrounding a badly lacerated Neil Peart, but the pile will glitter pleasingly in the stage lights, and Rock's reputation for excess will be enhanced.

*there is a chance, thinking back, that it may have been wind.

bs0u0155, Dec 13 2013

Um...not exactly metal...but he likes your idea, too. https://www.youtube...outube_gdata_player
[Ling, Dec 16 2013]


pocmloc, Dec 13 2013

       //I used to be in a metal band//   

       Wow, two former head bangers on this site? How cool is that?   

       Great idea too. [+]
doctorremulac3, Dec 13 2013

       Three, if what my band played met the criteria for 'metal', and if playing a single paid gig completes the criteria for 'band'. Either scenario is feasable by my judgement.   

       I was friends with the drummer from a much better band who would have fucking loved this idea, as do I. Bake on, dude!
Alterother, Dec 13 2013

       Cymbals of excess [+]
AusCan531, Dec 13 2013

       I have some technical; questions. How does the feeder work? Does it obstruct the audience's view of the drummer? And how quickly can it feed? I am thinking of an extended cymbal roll - can the machine place 20 per second on the stand? Or are we thinking 2 per sec max?
pocmloc, Dec 14 2013

       Yeah, the drummer I mentioned would definitely put the machine's feed rate to the test. The guy was loco rapido.
Alterother, Dec 14 2013

       Got it. We use the Gatling mechanism. The Cymbals are on a rotissomat-style arrangement, rotating in the horizontal plane (care will be needed to arrange all cymbals in the Z-plane to prevent clashes, like a Chinook rotor paring). The whole arrangement can rotate while new cymbals are loaded at the back. Rockers will appreciate the drummer-machine gun link.
bs0u0155, Dec 14 2013

       A cymbalic second bun for that.   

       Different types of glass would produce not only different crashes (as does an array of conventional cymbals) but also different visual spectacles due to the variety of fracture patterns.
Alterother, Dec 14 2013

       This is so complicated, and dangerous that it can never work = [+]
xenzag, Dec 14 2013

       That's what they said about TetraPak. They were right.
bs0u0155, Dec 14 2013

       The advantage to the Gatling arrangement is the additional energy the glass fragments will have when liberated from the spinning cymbal-rotor. Cymbal- rotors on the right of the drummer should spin clockwise. Then, when played/smashed, the fragments SHOULD spray in an arc extending from parallel to the drummer to roughly perpendicular, away from the drummer. These are necessary safety measures to ensure that he can finish the song.
bs0u0155, Dec 14 2013

       The kit should be on a grating riser to prevent shard buildup around the pedals.
Alterother, Dec 14 2013

       Has anyone ever considered the percussive potential of the clay pigeon launcher I wonder?
Loris, Dec 14 2013

       What about simply rotating the drummer rapidly?
AusCan531, Dec 14 2013

       If you give them enough Mountain Dew they'll do that on their own.
Alterother, Dec 15 2013

       [+] and another one for the look on the glazier salesperson's face.
FlyingToaster, Dec 15 2013

       When designing the mechanics of this, you might consider that these don't actually have to look like cymbals. I don't think that being round and supported in the center would be necessary, though maybe the traditional cymbal look would be good for asthetic reasons.   

       So, are we talking safety glass (tempered) or plate glass? While safety glass will undoubtably be safer and possibly give more consistent results, plate glass may have a more desireable sound.
scad mientist, Dec 16 2013

       "Their last number was technically a smash hit. But nobody cared for it."
RayfordSteele, Dec 16 2013

       Do you enjoy listening to heavy metal or any of its variant genres? If not, then no, you probably don't get it.
Alterother, Dec 17 2013

       Lay on some classic Zep and really grok what Bonzo could do with his kit, then imagine millions of glittering shards raining down amid the toms and armature as he thrashed his way through 'Rock 'n' Roll' or 'The Immigrant Song'. Maybe loosen your imagination with an adult beverage or two. Before long, the soul of the glass cymbal will engulf you.   

       If only this invention could have been realized before the great basher's demise.
Alterother, Dec 17 2013

       I wonder what visual effects could be generated by a laser(s) shone through and off of the vibrating cymbal. Complete failure, I imagine, would also be quite flashy.
wjt, Dec 17 2013

       One could gently and nondestructively play these glass cymbals with fingers or moistened chamois on sticks, in the same manner as one plays the tops of wine glasses.
bungston, Dec 17 2013

       What is the relationship between the size & shape of the glass, and its acoustic spectrum on being smashed? Someone must have done a serious research paper on this subject!
pocmloc, Dec 17 2013

       I think both the type and the size matter. Modern window glasses tend to break up into many tiny pieces, quite a high-pitched noise. I've heard a huge old fashioned pane being broken, more of a "clang" than a "ptsssshh". There's lots of scope here.
bs0u0155, Dec 17 2013

       Bottles and jars also make distinctive fast, tinkly crashes.
Alterother, Dec 17 2013

       I'm picturing the most interesting way to play these would be to drum a beat out on the glass before breaking it similar to what you'd do on a high hat or a ride cymbal.   

       So it wouldn't just be for crash cymbals. I think it would be interesting to hear how the tone changed as the glass became increasingly stressed. The drummer would soon become practiced in using the breaking point musically to punctuate the single stroke, double strokes, flams, paradiddles etc. (yes, paradiddle is a word)
doctorremulac3, Dec 17 2013

       "tink tink tink tink tink tonk taaaaashhhh" (new cymbal) "tink tink tink tink tink tonk taaaaashhhh"
bs0u0155, Dec 17 2013

       Breaking cymbals is a hallmark of poorly skilled drummer, IMHO
Oh, and Bah Humbug
Dub, Dec 17 2013

       //Breaking cymbals is a hallmark of poorly skilled drummer, IMHO Oh, and Bah Humbug//   

       What?! The man has the hands of a surgeon... literally. Unfortunately the surgeon in question had the hands of an overenthusiastic metal drummer who wrote drum parts while 100% fresh, then had to play the same parts after playing all the other songs he wrote while 100% fresh.   

       Restraint is a dirty word for metal drummers.   

       As a very positive consequence, we often had buckets of willow and oak sticks to use on the Annual Pandemik 5-Species-minimum BBBQ*   

       * The extra "B" is for "BYOC**"   

       ** Bring Your Own Crate
bs0u0155, Dec 17 2013

       I think I already know the new advertising tagline. "Glass: Clearly the Best Status Cymbal"
jurist, Dec 18 2013

       Since everybody's watching you on the big screens, why not make an app for drummer videos with all kinds of effects that go with your live music?   

       The cymbals could be replaced with glass ones, exploding when hit hard, and fire can emit from the guitarists fingers, smoke emitting from the sax and thunder hitting the singer every once in a while when she goes completely off tune.
pashute, Dec 18 2013

       "About as useful as a pair of glass cymbals," seems like a useful remark.
Cuit_au_Four, Dec 18 2013

       //The cymbals could be replaced with glass ones, exploding when hit hard, and fire can emit from the guitarists fingers, smoke emitting from the sax and thunder hitting the singer every once in a while when she goes completely off tune.//   

       You realize that the current biggest acts in metal are THE SAME as the biggest acts in metal 5 years ago, and 10, and 15,20,25....   

       app? these are people with a keen nose* for authenticity who like it when things actually blow up.   

       *eyes and ears having taken a beating, naturally.
bs0u0155, Dec 18 2013

       // fire can emit from the guitarists fingers //   

       There was a shock metal band in the early 90s whose name I can't remember, probably because they were entirely unmemorable except for the lead guitarist's instrument which was hooked to an offstage propane tank and rigged to emit 6-8" flames from the headstock and the top half of the neck. I saw about three minutes of their act on MTV some twenty years ago and that was enough.
Alterother, Dec 18 2013

       We had a sound-sensitive strobe in the bass drums, or tried to at least, turns out you need to be quite clever about triggering them, they work OK when each drum is played individually, add the lot together and it's a mess. It did look as if the drummer's pedal beaters were only ever in one place though.   

       The main point was so that we could give out a safety warning before gigs. Having to give out a safety warning is more metal than not. Thems the rules.
bs0u0155, Dec 18 2013

       True dat.
Alterother, Dec 18 2013

       /6-8" flames/   

       Maybe no one caught the very apropos Spinal Tap reference here. It took me a few years. Delayed gratification is still gratifying.
bungston, Mar 05 2016

       I think this would be more popular with the drummer than with the musicians.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 05 2016

       // rotissomat //   

       The first and fifth Google search results are a Usenet thread from 1998 where nobody had a definitive answer for the definition of this word. The fourth is a blog post quoting that thread.   

       There is also the following definition from Oxford:   

       // A commercial cooking appliance with power-driven rotating spits for roasting meat.   

       A trademark in the United Kingdom. //   

       And from Seadict:   

       // (Proprietary name for) a kind of rotisserie oven. //   

       And WordUsage gives an example of using the word to refer to a baggage carousel.
notexactly, Mar 05 2016

       /6-8" flames/   

       When rock/metal is being discussed, it's safe to assume Spinal Tap is being referenced consistently.
bs0u0155, Mar 05 2016

       A drummer with glass cymbals is sort of a Foley artist, so maybe just stock up on breakables and dedicate someone – call ‘em a Foley musician or something like that – and have a vast range of smashy-crashy sounds on hand.   

       The sounds they get from vegetables is amazing. Watch “Berberian Sound Studio”.
CraigD, Mar 16 2016


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