Two new cymbals straight from the mind of Jojo Mayer
Words: Andy Hurley Images: Thru-A-Lupe Photographic
The name of these cymbals is significant to understanding their value. ‘Omni’ is derived from the Latin ‘omnis’, which means ‘all’. Jojo Mayer has said that the notion of a crash ride refers to a cymbal that is really a compromise of the two, not properly either a crash or a ride. However, he stumbled on the El Sabor Picante Hand Crash cymbal and was immediately struck by the extreme contrast between the crash sound and the definition of playing the ride with a stick. The cymbal is actually designed for Latin drummers and percussionists to slap by hand and is relatively small, so being able to ride a cymbal of this size is very unusual. He asked the guys at Sabian to work with him on a new type of cymbal that could deliver similar sonic contrast, yet withstand the intensity of being played with a stick. And thus the Omni range was born.
First introduced in 2010 with the AAX, the Omni range was heralded as a revolutionary new type of cymbal that combined the best of both worlds and outstanding sonic contrast. With the medium weight, hammered ride and lathed extra thin crash sections, the engineers at Sabian effectively created two cymbals in one, and as Jojo Mayer said, it results in ‘More vocabulary with less materials’.
The AAX Omni is bright however, and Jojo Mayer’s preference is for darker cymbals. With the introduction of the HHX, the dark Omni, Jojo has proclaimed that it is ‘the conclusion of a journey’ and that he now has ‘the complete universe of all the sounds in one cymbal.’ Blimey, let’s find out if he’s right then…
The HHX Omnis feature the same dual finish, medium weight, hand hammered ride and lathed extra thin crash sections. The difference between the 19” and 22” cymbals is the power and tone. The 19” offers quicker response and attack, the 22” has greater power and is darker, as you might expect. But for both, the playing qualities are similar.
The sonic contrast between the ride and crash sections is incredible and yet playing either does not excite the other. The ride produces really strong, clear stick definition – the crash has lovely, shimmering tones with great sustain. The thinness of the crash is evident in the vibration created around the cymbal edge.
Getting the chance to play these cymbals was a real treat. Sabian say they’re a ‘Go anywhere, play anywhere’ cymbal and I’d have to agree. Having so much versatility in a single cymbal is amazing and the application possibilities are endless.
Sabian 19” and 22” HHX Omni Cymbals
HHX 22” Omni – £476
HHX 19” Omni – £378
0141 248 4812