One of the recent trends among drummers has been to combine various types of cymbals together in interesting formations to produce one-of-a-kind sounds and textures. When you stack the cymbals together, they can vibrate against each other, creating a complex sound. I recently began experimenting with stacks. This came about after I watched a video with Questlove (The Roots and Jimmy Fallon) in which he used a configuration featuring a 12” ozone crash stacked on top of an 18”dark china boy. I tried a similar set-up before settling on two configurations: 1) a 10” china on an “18” crash or 2) an 18” crash/ride mounted on top of a 20” heavy ride. It literally sounds like a garbage can lid with sizzle. I am still able to play or crash on the bottom ride around the edges. I have also experimented with some cheap off-brand cymbals I had laying around with similar results. Trash stacks are a great way to expand the effects options on your kit and can be used in a variety of ways. I prefer using it for accents, off beats and alternating beats (between one of my two hi-hats).
It’s hard to believe one would intentionally mix together good sounding cymbals to create a trashy sound but it works. According to the Luke Snyder Music blog post titled Why Every Drummer Should Stack Cymbals: “Another good reason to try stacking cymbals is that you can get fresh new sounds using stuff that you already have. Sometimes, you just need a new sound on the drum kit to get your creative juices flowing. With drums, you can grab a key and re-tune them. With cymbals, not so much. So in some sense, stacking cymbals is sort of a way to tune them.” Another advantage to stacking cymbals is making use of cracked cymbals. Instead of tossing them you can extend their life. Often they make a sound that you can’t reproduce with uncracked cymbals. Here’s my set-up: