December 14, 2008

Rock Band 2 Cymbals Manual

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve become a huge fan of fake plastic cymbals. I don’t mean to get all melodramatic on you guys, but they have completely transformed my fake plastic drumming experience. Seriously.

If you enjoy drumming even a little in Rock Band, I highly recommend the official Rock Band 2 Triple Cymbal Expansion Kit from Mad Catz. Note that you must have a Rock Band 2 wireless drumset for this to work. The older Rock Band 1 kit will not work.

I’ve scanned in the setup manual for the cymbals so you can see how the triple kit installs.




Unfortunately, the triple cymbal kit is really hard to find right now. I do recommend it over the Rock Band 2 Double Cymbal Expansion Kit (yellow + green), because once you have two cymbals, you realize just how much that third blue cymbal is used in conjunction with the green.

A good, easy example of this is Alice in Chains’ Man In The Box on Expert drums. It’s not very difficult, and it illustrates some of the commonest cymbal patterns.

While watching this, remember (and hear!):

  1. Yellow = hi-hat cymbal
  2. Blue = splash cymbal
  3. Green = crash cymbal

(also note there are little breakdown parts in the song, like at 1:18, 1:50, 2:46, and 3:55, where the same colors are toms; this is where it’d be nice to have some kind of visual distinction between the tom notes and cymbal notes of the same color)

I can’t say enough great things about the Rock Band 2 Triple Cymbal Expansion Kit. It’s a far more immersive and realistic drumming experience with them.

Here’s hoping fake plastic cymbals are standard equipment on the Rock Band 3 drumset!

Also, one note with the cymbal installations. To get the clips to firmly and audibly “snap” together as shown in the manual, I had to use a pair of pliers. I couldn’t do it with my hands alone.

Maybe that’s just because I’m physically weak, but beware the cymbal clips, they really require a lot of force to snap together. (They are easy to remove though)

Jeff Atwood
December 14, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Hi, there is no mention of frets on fire at your blog, you should just for records.

December 15, 2008 at 2:02 am

One ultra-duper lame thing about the dual cymbal pack is that there’s no real way to “upgrade” to the triple by just buying one extra. That longer stand and butterfly clip means I’m going to have to spend another $50 at some point and have two useles cymbals lying around because Gamestop doesn’t stock the right set.

December 15, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I thought the single cymbal kit had the butterfly clip and longer pole for just that reason. Does it not?

December 15, 2008 at 6:28 pm

salwon is right — you have to buy the triple kit if you want the double mount.

Look on the bright side, you can gift your old two cymbal kit to some friends! That’s what I did. The gift of fake plastic rock is the gift that keeps on ROCKING.

Jeff Atwood
December 16, 2008 at 1:00 am

I’m all for sharing the fake plastic love, but isn’t that essentially just passing the buck?

December 16, 2008 at 2:38 am

Actually I might be wrong – looking at the manual for the single set (posted on Amazon), it looks like the butterfly clip is indeed there. Can’t tell if it’s a long pole (that’s what she said) though, since it’s there by itself. Might be worth checking out if I can actually find it in a store somewhere.

December 16, 2008 at 10:23 am

Since the triple is so hard to find, I bought the double and plan on buying the single when it comes out (should be available on 12/17/08 I believe). I don’t care if they provide the right clamps or not. I was planning on making custom clamps anyway, since I’ve heard that the cymbals are set too close to the rest of the drums. If I come up with something good enough, I’ll see what I can do to post it here.

December 16, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Update: I received the single cymbal and Mad Catz was kind enough to put both kinds of clamps in there, so people who want to trade-up from a single to a triple won’t have a problem.

December 20, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Sweet deal, Fakky.

December 22, 2008 at 12:14 am

Fakky, thanks for the update! I’ve now owned both the double and triple kits, but never the single. Glad to hear the single comes with BOTH brackets to make a double OR a triple! Awesome!

Jeff Atwood
December 24, 2008 at 1:03 am

Do they make any cymbals that are compatible with RB1? I have the silencers and the bad ass roadie pedal, but don’t want to switch out. We’ve been through some times together…sigh ;)

December 26, 2008 at 10:11 am

> Do they make any cymbals that are compatible with RB1?

Unfortunately, no :( I do think the RB2 kit is a worthy upgrade, after having been through the same process myself. Maybe there will be some good after x-mas sales on it..

Jeff Atwood
December 26, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Green cymbal works fine (right-hand side) but neither the blue or yellow works (left-hand side)?

Am I setting it up wrong?


December 31, 2008 at 8:05 am

I have a PS2 and my Rock Band 2 wireless drumset. But my question is. Does the cymbals work on ps2 if I have rock band 1 game (the disc, not the first drum kit). In amazon says: PS3, X BOX 360 and wii, but they don´t say if it is compatiblee for ps2 and rock band 1 game. Other pages says that thye (cymbals) are for ps2. Please answer my question. I will be gratefull.


January 3, 2009 at 2:12 am

The thing I am curious to know is that if you buy the cymbals and then use the rock band set on GH: WT will it make the game play similar to how it would be with the GH: WT drum set or is it still compressed to only use four notes?

January 4, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I went ahead and purchased 2 sets of the double cymbal kits and custom made a cymbal stand for the Rider (blue) HOWEVER I am reaqlly stuck!! How do I get all three cymbals to work?? Seems like the BLUE (rider) no matter what configuration I try, I will not work when plugged in with the Green & Yellow… I have reset the game, I have turned the drum set off then on again, I have pushed the ‘find’ button (kinda in an effort to reset the drums)… ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS??? Please Help!!!!!

January 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Im LEFTY and these damn cymbals only work for yellow, blue and green toms. Why cant i use it for red?

January 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

To Christian,
Yes they work. I have a ps3 RB2 drumset with the triple pack and they work great. As for the game, the cymbals work on all RB/GH games with drums, but only RB2 can tell the difference on fills when you hit a cymbal or pad of the same color. Basically, on RB1, when you hit a blue cymbal, the game will register it as a blue pad. But it does register!

To Wilson,
Sadly, it is still four lanes. There is no special adaption for GH:WT. Im not sure what they’ll do with GH:Metallica though.

Cause seven lanes would be pretty sweet!!!

Hope this helps you guys…

January 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Thank you very very much Breck (I hope that´s your name). You said that you ahve your ps3, maybe you wanted to say PS2. Ok, unfortunately I already buy them but they havent arrive yet. But it´s a relief to know that. :D. Thank you for your answer. I´m in debt with you

January 16, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Quick question – for those with the double cymbal, what would you recommend those colors be? Assuming green for sure on one but having trouble deciding on the second – newbie here i guess


January 21, 2009 at 11:13 am

I just got the double as a gift and I am returning to get the triple. I also just got GH world Tour and unfortunately when I hit the cymbals the game often thinks the controller is disconnected. Has anyone else had this problem.

If I had only 2 I would have green and yellow, jut my preference.

Another comment on the clips. I had major problems getting them to go together properly too, I then found out I was trying to put it together in the wrong place and when I put it in the correct place they snap together easily. It appears that it will work in a slightly different place, that seems like the correct place, but it is designed for a slightly different place than I first thought.

So basic advice if it does not snap together try adjusting the position before forcing it together with brute force.

January 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I received the the double cymbals as a gift. I want to upgrade to the triple set. Does anyone know if the pole from the single cymbal set is longer than the pole from the double set?

January 25, 2009 at 10:24 pm

How come every time I play Rock Band 3 my three symbals don’t work after I have selected them in the menu and after I have calibrated it?

January 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm

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