Cymbal Backward Envelopes

Here’s another trick I’m using sometimes quite a lot, good to share in case someone else would like to do something similar. Progressive house, especially, makes a lot of use of backwards cymbals just before a break or other section starts. It’s very easy to turn any sound clip in Ableton Live backwards with the reverse button.

But what I’m also doing is to change the pitch of the cymbal when the backwards cymbal is triggering. The pitch envelope does not always need to be linear, it could also change, even going up and down from the zero baseline. This way the same cymbal sound could be used many times, and each case sounds different and interesting compared with the standard backwards cymbal that is close to a cliche nowadays.

In addition, I sometimes put a ping-pong delay on the cymbals, so they ring out with the pitch changes a bit further down the time line. Experimentation like this will produce many new kinds of cymbal hits that are not ordinary.

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