Cymbal roll notation and playback - is it really this hard?

I am trying to create a cymbal roll and have it play back in NotePerformer. Take the simple example of a whole note roll crescendo into the downbeat of the next measure in 4/4 time. In virtually every instance of this very common piece of percussion notation I have ever seen in print, the 3-line tremolo goes with the whole note, and the whole note is tied to an 8th note on the downbeat of the next measure which has NO tremolo marking. Generally, unless the roll is supposed to be choked, there is a L.V. tie on the 8th note.

Am I correct that, in Dorico, the only way to get this to notate and playback correctly is to, for each and every cymbal swell in the entire piece:

  1. Notate whole note followed by the 8th note tied to it
  2. Turn on the l.v. tie from the properties panel
  3. Go to Engrave mode and manually turn off the tremolo for the 8th note
  4. Since CC64 isn’t triggered by the l.v. marking, go to Play mode and manually add MIDI automation to turn it on for correct playback

And I would need to do step 4 for every single cymbal swell in an entire piece, because even if I copy and paste the notation in Write mode, the automation changes in Play mode will not also copy…is that right or am I missing something?

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For what it’s worth, I use cymbal rolls in NotePerformer, and I do your steps 1, 2 and 3, but I never bother with step 4 and it sounds OK - there is a little bit of taper on the cymbal sound but it’s not choked.

You seem to be facing two problems here:

  1. To tie the rolled note into a stinger without the trem on the stinger.

  2. To create a playback for the l.v. on the stinger.

  3. I maintain that in spite of how engravers have interpreted what was once handwritten, the “tie” to the stinger should actually be a slur; many, if not most here, disagree, so one will have to be satisfied removing the final trem bars in Engrave until Dorico offers another option.

  4. Even if the stinger eighth were untied to the original roll, would the l.v. play back? I’m not sure l.v.'s have a playback programmed in (otherwise how would Dorico know how long to sustain the l.v.); so I imagine one would have to program/extend the l.v.'s by hand.

Noteperformer does the l.v. correctly if you give it CC64 turned to 127 via automation. In Finale, I simply create an invisible expression that does this and assign it to the 8th note. I can then copy the 8th note around wherever I want an l.v.

I rely on high quality mockups for my work, so the difference between the normal “taper” and the l.v. in Noteperformer is significant enough for me to care.

I suppose what I wish is that the l.v. toggle in Dorico actually triggered CC64, and that it defaulted to the most common behavior for percussion roll notation into a downbeat.


In future Dorico versions, I would still love for:

  1. l.v. and “choke” markings that correctly set CC64 to be on/off respectively
  2. A method for adding percussion rolls (three slashes) that don’t extend the slashes onto the release of the roll and require extra steps to remove, since this is how almost all percussion rolls are notated when they go over the barline. For example, maybe the Shift-R popover could have a new command, where instead of typing “3” to get three slashes, you could type “3p” for a percussion roll that divides the select note into the “rolled part” and “release part”, where the release part defaults to an 8th note and doesn’t show a tremolo marking. You could allow for different “release parts” by adding a number in the popover (e.g. “3p16” would create a roll with a 16th note release instead of 8th). Maybe even allow something like “3pl16”, which would create the same 16th note release, but also add an l.v. marking.

Just out of curiosity, would it work to just set a CC64 = 127 at the beginning of the piece and leave it on for the entire piece for that staff? Or would that cause the roll to continue sounding indefinitely?

@Steve_Sensenig that is what I currently do, however it would be nice to have it only apply for the single note that L.V. is applied, because at other times I might want the cymbal to be choked, and would like to avoid having to go back into the automation to set it back to zero, then back to 127 every time.

Well, since you said in the quoted part here that you were doing this “for each and every cymbal swell”, I figured it would be quicker to only have to change it for the choked ones (assuming, from your description, that the majority are l.v.)

Just a quick note for anyone coming across this thread via Google or forum search: Dorico 4.3 solves the notation part of this problem with the “repeats” popover (Shift-R). Simply notate the roll (example: whole note tied to an 8th note release), select the note, Shift-R, then type: “3rel” which means: 3-slash tremolo with release. It will only put the tremolo on the whole note. Thanks Dorico team!