How to Synthesize Psychedelic Rock Cymbals

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A guide on how to create the perfect psychedelic rock cymbal sound by synthesizing different techniques.


Psychedelic rock is a type of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s and became popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is characterized by electric guitars, bass guitars, and drums, often played with distorted sounds, feedback, and echoed effects. Psychedelic rock often uses elements of other genres, such as folk music, blues, and pop.

The sound of psychedelic rock cymbals can be achieved using a number of different methods, including physical modeling synthesis, impulse response convolution, and sample-based synthesis. In this article, we’ll show you how to synthesize psychedelic rock cymbals using three different methods.

Physical modeling synthesis is a technique that uses mathematical models to recreate the behavior of physical objects. In this case, we’ll use a physical model of a cymbal to generate our sound.

Impulse response convolution is a technique that uses recorded audio to recreate the response of an acoustic space. We’ll use an impulse response of a small room to create our psychedelic rock cymbals sound.

Sample-based synthesis is a technique that uses recorded audio samples to create new sounds. We’ll use a number of different cymbal samples to create our psychedelic rock sound.

What You’ll Need

-An electric guitar
-A clean amp sound
-A distortion pedal
-A wah-wah pedal
-A reverb unit
-A Leslie rotating speaker cabinet (optional)

Psychedelic rock cymbals have a unique sound that can be defined by their use of reverb, delay, and modulation effects. To create this sound, you’ll need an electric guitar, a clean amplifer sound, a distortion pedal, and a wah-wah pedal. You may also want to use a reverb unit and a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet to create a more pronounced psychedelic sound.

The Process

1.First, set up your drum machine to play a basic rock beat. You’ll need a kick drum on beats 1 and 3, a snare on 2 and 4, and hi-hats on the off-beats.

2.Next, add a cymbal sound to your hi-hat track. Start with a basic ride cymbal sound, but feel free to experiment with different types of cymbals (crash, splashes, etc.)

3.Now it’s time to add some effects to your cymbal track. Start with a flanger effect and slowly turn up the “feedback” knob until you hear a nice pulsing/swirling sound.

4.Next, add a delay effect to your cymbal track. Again, start with the feedback knob turned all the way down, then slowly turn it up until you hear a nice echo/reverb effect.

5.Finally, add a bit of overdrive or distortion to your cymbal track. This will help give the overall effect more “edge” and make it stand out more in the mix.

And that’s it! By following these simple steps you should be able to create your own psychedelic rock cymbals in no time!


Now that you know how to create your own psychedelic rock cymbals, get out there and experiment! Try different combinations of sounds and effects to see what works best for you. With a little practice, you’ll be creating mind-bending music in no time!

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