Reversed cymbals and the like…

Every time I see someone asking about reversed cymbals, my first reaction is that of disgust… and then I realise that I use them too.

I occasionally find them useful for some songs where dramatic changes between sections are appropriate. The key word here is dramatic. Reverse cymbals (and reversed drums in general) as section transitions are dramatic, and aren’t very useful for more subdued or relaxed songs.

My usual approach is to use the drums that I’m already using in the song. I’ll arrange a few combinations of kick, snare, ride and crash. I’ll then render them to an audio file, bring it into the project, and reverse it in place. What that gives me is a few choices that I can use to emphasise transitions or other significant moments in the song. Having several choices means I can vary the sounds, which allows me to get away with using them more often befiore it sounds repetitive. It also means I can use a reversed sound with a strength and character best suited to the “weight” and significance of the transition.


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