CympadCustom Corner by Sean Mitchell // April 14 2012
Reto Hirschi had a vision, and then he made it become a reality. Cympad was the result and has since become one of the biggest selling drum accessories on the planet. The small company from Switzerland has more than had an impact on the drumming industry map. In fact they have created a huge presence with their unique product. With a little ingenuity and a lot of cellular foam, Reto and company have made a sound investment.
Reto, please tell me the benefits of using a foam washer over felt.
Due to the softness and flexibility of the material we use, the Cympad fits perfectly to the shape of the cymbal, and while hitting the cymbal the Cympad moves along the cymbal oscillation and doesn’t stop the movement like standard felt. Becau se the material we use is advanced cellular foam, it’s like the cymbal is riding on air. Also, Cympad isolates cymbal vibration from the cymbal stand better than felt, and beside this it absorbs shocks much better than felt does. It protects cymbals against breakage and it looks better than the old fashioned felt.
How did you come up with the idea for the Cympad?
The first idea was the Moderator—Cympads in bigger dimensions than standard felt. As a drummer I played a lot in clubs and small halls and there was often an issue with the cymbals being too loud. I knew that I was not the only one who had the problem with loud cymbals, as this was always a subject with sound engineers. So one day I just had the idea to try a washer in a larger dimension and I was very surprised from the beginning how good that worked. Then I started to realize the idea.
Who has been using the Cympad since you started marketing it?
In the beginning I had a couple of drummer friends who started to use Cympad and after our first exhibition at Musikmesse in Frankfurt I was pleased to add well known German drummers like Zacky (Al Bano Carrisi), Flo Dauner (Die Fantastischen Vier), Oli Rubow (De Phazz, Helmut Hattler) to our artist roster. That was already a huge success for Cympad and at this time I never thought that one day we will have names like Steve Smith, Thomas Lang, Antonio Sanchez, Johnny Rabb, Shannon Larkin, and more on the same roster.
Do you have any other products that you are going to launch?
At the NAMM show this year we just launched the Chromatics, Cympads in blue and orange. We will bring out some other colors by the end of this year. There are some other ideas in my head but that still takes some time.
Let’s talk about the Cympad models. What might a drummer use the Chromatic set for?
The Chromatics are more of a cosmetic thing, so drummers can customize the look of their cymbal set-up.
What sizes do the Moderator lines offer? And how does each size affect the cymbal sound?
The Moderator series offers six different diameters—50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100mm—and they cut some unwanted overtones out of the cymbal sound. The bigger the Cympad, the more sound they cut. As the Moderators only cut overtones (that come from the cup of the cymbal) without affecting middle and low frequencies, the cymbal still sounds very natural.
How do the Optimizers work to improve sound?
The Optimizers, with its soft and flexible material, let the cymbals oscillate longer and works like suspension system which separates completely the cymbal from the hardware. The result is fuller sound with more sustain.
How many sizes does the Optimizer offer?
The Optimizers come in six different models: 40mm outer diameter in 8, 12 and 15mm thicknesses for crash and effects cymbals up to 17”. For rides and heavy crashes we have the Ride Optimizer in 40/18mm and also we offer a hi-hat set that includes specially designed clutch and seat.
Where is the Cympad Company based? And can you introduce us to the Cympad employees?
The company is based in Biel, Switzerland, in the same city where the headquarters of the worldwide well-known watch brands Rolex, Omega and Swatch are. We work with Dave Levine as our marketing consultant, Cameron Tyler who works on the A&R and Carla Lorah who is responsible for social media. Also I would like to mention our stuff for trade shows, Ingo Marte, Mike Shuck and Ricky Molina.
Where can readers buy Cympad products?
On our website www.cympad.com under “Order Cympads” there’s the information about dealers, online shops and distributors.
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About the Author
Sean has 15 years experience behind the kit, studying under greats like Mitch Dorge and participating in master classes with Dom Famularo and Zoro. It was these life-changing exchanges that prompted the Canadian-born drummer to create a global drumming community, The Black Page, that was easily accessible to drummers of all backgrounds and levels of expertise. In addition to his work with BP, Sean is one-half of the world soul group The Mitchells.
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