No suspended cymbal?

• Jan 1, 2016 - 16:33

Hi, I can't seem to find the suspended cymbal anywhere... I know I can just change the instrument name but I want the playback sound as well. Where can I find the suspended cymbal?


General MIDI does not define this to be a separate instrument, so a GM-compatible soundfont won't normally provide a sound. It's basically the same as a ride cymbal, so just use that. Or maybe you can find a specialized orchestral percussion soundfont to download and install - see the Handbook under "Soundfont".

MuseScore, primarily a score writing application, comes bundled with a default soundfont - FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3 - which contains samples of popular instruments. These samples are intended as a sort of 'spell check' for playing back one's score to confirm that everything was entered, and sounds, correctly. It is admittedly not meant to produce a polished audio file as an end in itself. (The notated score is actually the end product. In fact, early versions of MuseScore used only the piano sound for *all* instruments.)
So, for info. on soundfonts, see:

Any given soundfont can not possibly contain every single conceivable instrument in existence. You can view the available installed soundfont samples in the mixer (shortcut is F10). Simply expand the 'Sound' drop down box to scroll through the available choices. You then choose the closest match to what you want to hear for your selected instrument.

If the default FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3 is not to your liking, you can install other sondfonts into the MuseScore synthesizer. See:
Maybe you'll find a decent "suspended cymbal" sound somewhere.

Regards, and welcome aboard..

In reply to by Infern0

Sonatina soundfont has a (in my opinion) realistic sample for a large suspended cymbal. It's called "Cymbals" if you add that soundfont and select it via the Mixer. (Note: you have to uncheck the "Drumset" checkbox (for that instrument) in the Mixer to get the scrollable list of instruments in that case)

Like others have mentioned, I do think your main option would be to use another cymbal that sounds close enough to the suspended cymbal, or you can get a sound font that has the suspended cymbal, which like I said, others have already mentioned.
Another option would be to make two separate scores: one score specifically for the sound and one specifically for printing. That way I can for example, condense alto and bari sax into one staff to save space, but still have both instruments playing.
Likewise, you'd be able to make the suspended cymbal and the crash cymbal two separate sounds but have them on one staff.
However, if you do do this, make sure if you change it you make the change on both scores, even if you change something other than the cymbal parts.
A third option would be to contact a local band and show the printed score to the director (or otherwise leader). Just make sure the parts are within a reasonable difficulty (not too hard or too easy) for the band. If they play it you can record them and you have your recording! I would look at this option last since it can take quite long, depending on who you ask.
I know this can be confusing, so if you need me to explain more about any of this, let me know.

MuseScore technically has a suspended cymbal sound. I used it in my piece Infinity: I just couldn't remember how, until I just now finally figured it out.

Simply put: add a drumset to your score. Then, go to the View tab at the top left and click "Mixer." This should make an equalizer-type box pop up on the right side of your screen. Scroll around until you see the drumset part that you added. Click on the column, then where it says "Channel: normal Drumset," uncheck the box beside it. Under that, click on the dropdown menu where it says "Sound:" and you'll have unlocked a multitude of otherwise unavailable sounds made by the drumset. If you scroll literally all the way down the dropdown menu of sounds, you'll see a sound that says "Reverse Cymbal:" that's the suspended cymbal sound! Click that and you should be good to go!

(I don't know if this will necessarily affect anything, but I have my Reverb: and Volume: set to 127, and Pan: set to 64. This produces the sound I like, so thought I should throw that in there as well!)

This SoundFont has been a lifesaver. I had always needed a suspended cymbal/cymbal roll sound, and it took me forever to find this one. It's not very customizable (as in it can only be a certain length), but it at least gets a good cymbal roll sound.

Attachment Size
Cymbal Roll 1003.28 KB

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