Reverse Cymbal

Hey, Doricians!
At last I upgraded my Dorico Elements 3.5 do the Pro. I’m happy of course :slightly_smiling_face:
I’m on learning process, but not only. Of course I’m doing project for further performance on a stage with orchestra.
But I have one quick question - how I can reverse cymbal? Drum set [GM 129] Stereo GM Kit don’t have one. Should I add another Single player and create Empty Kit?

The GM “reverse cymbal” patch is really essentially a suspended cymbal tremolo (roll) with a crescendo. I used to use the “reverse cymbal” back when I was working with MIDI to simulate this suspended cymbal roll and crescendo, but it is no longer necessary when you can do an actual suspended cymbal tremolo with a crescendo.

Thank you. Can you point me which direction to search for a suspended cymbal tremolo? I can add a single Instrument in Setup, it stands next to Drum Set, but no Kit loaded for it and therefore Halion don’t have library loaded. Should I add it as second instrument to the same Drum set? But I tried that too and no result.

Very cool if that does what you want. When I think of a reversed cymbal, I think of a particular electronic effect that ends more percussively or abruptly because the sample really was reversed and ends where the cymbal was first struck. For that, I’d use a specific sample that Halion probably has or can be loaded from a library. Or - like in Padshop or you move the starting point forward and tell the player to play from there in reverse to the beginning.

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Yes, the “reversed cymbal” is an electronic effect that actually reverses a crash cymbal sample. However, practically speaking, when working with MIDI, the “reversed cymbal” was really used as a substitute for a suspended cymbal roll with a crescendo. General MIDI had no suspended cymbal roll, so this was the only way of reproducing this effect in General MIDI.


Okay, people!
I’m really new to the academic terminology. I really mean suspended cymbal roll - in life the player hits cymbal starting from gentle to growing harder hits. (Pardon, I’m a Latvian).
I know how to compose, mix and master, I know how to do things for movie and theater, but don’t know how to ask right questions in English :slight_smile: (For example in Latvian the Viola is named Alts and this is really disturbing). So thank you for your patience and answers.
So how do you add a cymbal roll in your scores? Do you add many 16th notes with crescendo? Do you add the line in the same Drum Kit or add an independent line?


You can add a single independent line for cymbal – as in bar 51 of the first movement of Bartók’s Music for Strings Percussion and Célèste.

Best wishes,


The usual notation is a note, or series of tied notes that indicate the duration, and over this you put a squiggly line (or a long trill ) to indicate a roll., as in timpani rolls.

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…Or use an unmeasured tremolo over the note.

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David, thank you very much!!!
I don’t have (didn’t find) suspended cymbal, but with simple China Cymbal (Yamaha XG Drum Kit) I have nice “machine gun” that is closer than nothing. Here is screenshot and it really works. It works the same way without a tie too, because the length is defined by notes… hmm, right?
I’m happy now and going to find suspended cymbal in my thousands of sounds :slight_smile:

Not sure why you are writing sixteenth notes rather than a half note with the trill (or tremolo slashes) over it.

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Do you mean this way? There is half note. But trill don’t have its trail as it shown in previous picture, but it is active till the end of bar.
But it sounds different. But okay, will use this. I need to understand - will percussionist understand this writing and will really do what I meant? If yes, no matter how it sounds in my virtual orchestra.

Indicating a trill is the older notation, although still correct. The newer notation is to indicate an unmeasured tremolo with three slashes through the stem. It is also good to clarify the cutoff point in orchestral pieces like this where you crescendo to forte, by tying the note over to the first eighth in the next bar and placing the “forte” at that point. The final eighth should not have the three slashes on it (so you’ll need to override the slashes for that note only in engrave mode) and ideally should have an l.v. tie which you can add in engrave mode (assuming you want them to allow the note to die out on its own instead of them trying to dampen it). Probably they will do both of those things automatically and it is not necessary, but I still like to specify such things to avoid unnecessary questions from wasting time, especially when full orchestra is involved.

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So modern musician should understand that if in the middle of bar is crash cymbal with trill ornament, it should be played till end of bar, right?
Yes, I’m an old thinker and I really like if there is “trilling waves” shown. For this there is a preference for trills image

And in the result I have this


And I’m happy!!! It sounds as it should sound.
My apologies to all for my poor knowledge of academic terms, but now I have academic result for meaning “reverse cymbal” :slight_smile: Thanks all!

What I did - I added another Drum Set and specify in layout that I want it shown as single line instruments. So I have a 5-line stave for drummer and one line for orchestral crash cymbal. The drummer hits his crash cymbal at bar 113, but he cannot do trill while he’s playing his rhythmic part.

If someone of you can help me more, please point me where to read or tell me how is it possible to add for example one instrument (let it be suspended cymbal) in a “Edit Percussion Kit” window
and specify which note to trigger?

FYI, you will want to give the roll to a percussionist with suspended cymbal, not crash cymbal. Crash cymbal is not the same thing in an orchestral context, it is different from a drum kit where the “crash cymbal” is actually a suspended cymbal. In an orchestral context, crash cymbals are not suspended and are instead played with one cymbal in each hand by crashing them together. The way you have it indicated (with Cr. Cym instead of Sus. Cym), the percussionist will take two crash cymbals in their hands and try to roll them against each other, which will not give the result you want.

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I understand that.
While I write score I want to hear something similar to the instruments that are in reality. I know how the instruments sounds in orchestra. Here I want to know how to write so that musicians understand what I really want. So in my opinion I should simply rename staff, right?

Suspended Cymbal in Dorico is a different instrument than Crash Cymbal. If you change the instrument, the notes etc should all be kept and the staff name should change automatically instead of having to manually rename it.

I tried to load Suspended cymbal to existing Drum kit. Firstly it has no sound, secondly I want that it is on single line rather than on 5-line staff for drummer. Therefore I loaded another Drum kit.

And please correct me if I’m wrong. If I give the percussionist this score -
…will he take right kitchen accessories and do right sound for me?

Instead, I would write “n<pp.”

N for “niente.”

Also, I would use an unmeasured tremolo. Select the note, Shift-R, 3.


I agree with this. The other alternative is to use a small circle instead of n for niente, that is what I normally do, but either is correct. Dorico supports both.

And yes, the Sus. Cym. is the correct indication for the instrument now.