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Quick Tip: Reversing Audio in Logic
Rounik Sethi on Fri, November 5th 3 comments
An often used technique in music production to spice up a song is to reverse a sound. Commonly used in Electronic forms of Dance music is a reversed Crash Cymbal which can be a great way to lead in to

An often used technique in music production to spice up a song is to reverse a sound. Commonly used in Electronic forms of Dance music is a reversed Crash Cymbal which can be a great way to lead in to a main section of a song and create excitement and build tension before the beat begins. You may also hear reversed guitars in popular rock and psychedelic rock tunes. In fact virtually any musical form can benefit from the occasional reversed sound. Logic makes it easy to achieve this, but there are a couple of important steps to bear in mind. So let's jump straight in to this Quick Tip and explore how to reverse a sound or melody in Logic!

Step 1 - Choose your Sound

I've used a Green Apple Loop: African River Kalimba 01 for this tip. You can choose any loop. Here's what it sounds like:

Now although there is a function to reverse MIDI in Logic's Transform window, this is different to reversing audio. Reversing MIDI will not reverse the sound but only the position of the notes.

Step 2 - Bounce in Place

We want to reverse the sound of this loop (which is currently a MIDI Region). So, we need to convert the MIDI regions into an Audio Region. Bounce in Place is probably the quickest way to do this.

Select the region and choose: Region > Bounce in Place

From the Bounce in Place Options I'm choosing:

  • Destination : New Track
  • Source : Mute
  • Include Volume/Pan Automation
  • Normalize : Off

Even if you're working with an audio region to begin with I would recommend either copying the original audio file and/or bouncing it to a new audio file, because reversing audio in Logic is a destructive process and will permanently alter the audio file.

Step 3 - Reverse it!

Double-click the new audio region to open it in Logic's Sample Editor. From the Sample Editor's local menu choose: Functions > Reverse

Logic will calculate the samples of the audio region and immediately reverse the contents of the original file permanently. The region display will be updated in the Arrange area.

But please remember, I did say 'reverse', 'original' and 'permanently' in the same sentence! In case you skipped reading that part at the end of Step 2, now is a good time to undo (Command+Z) and choose Audio File > Save a Copy as... before continuing! Do bear in mind that many of the functions in the Sample Editor are destructive and will permanently change the audio file you process!

So here's what our reversed region sounds like:

It might go well in a fill, or an alternate chorus, or panned far right/left or cut up and left subtly in the mix somewhere... You decide. Reversing audio is one case where going backwards can take your music forwards...!

Check out the Logic tutorials here for more in-depth tips and tricks.

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Comments (3)

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  • Dekuruy
    Good tip, Rounik! It's great that you point out the distinction between reversing MIDI with the transformer, and reversing audio in the sample editor. Clear and thorough, as usual ;-). Thanks!
    • 10 years ago
    • By: Dekuruy
  • Rounik Admin
    Thanks Adam, Glad to enjoyed it!
    • 10 years ago
    • By: Rounik Admin
  • Student455444
    Yeah...that didn't work. Logic is a buggy piece of shit. Has anyone tried alternative recording software like pro tools? I'm sick of logic's failure to work on so many levels.
    • 1 year ago
    • By: Student455444
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