The process of manufacturing a cymbal can be broken down into three main categories – casting, hammering, and finishing. A cymbal’s typical production time takes about 21 days and is very technical and tedious.
This is the stage where the cymbal gets formed into shape. A couple of factors affect the resulting sound and tonal of the qualities of the finished product and are perfectly balanced to get the ideal sound. Some of these factors include the size and thickness of the cymbal, the taper, the bell size, bell thickness, and so forth. These qualities can affect the pitch, the texture, and even the sustain of the cymbals.
As mentioned in our previous article, hammering affects the density of the cymbal, therefore altering the tonal quality. Cymbals are traditionally hammered by hand by master cymbal smiths. This crucial part of the cymbal-making process requires a lot of technique and experience to master. However, given technological advancements, certain companies have also managed to recreate a great sound through machine hammering. This significantly helps reduce costs while allowing them to achieve a great sound.
The finishing process does not only mean the packaging and logos but, most importantly, the cymbal’s texture, which will affect the sound as well. Traditionally, cymbals come with a lathed finish, but manufacturers have recently been exploring different techniques to create different tonal qualities.
Some notable finishes are – unlathed, sandblasted, semi-lathed, etc.