123 BPM has outlined a quick and dirty way to reverse audio in Logic.
In this tutorial, I walk you through the process of reversing your files by using a simple trick within Logic Pro studio. It’s quick, easy and not too complex for users to understand.
This little tip can be very useful for DJs who wish to mix their tracks back-to-front or perhaps have created something that sounds great played forward but just seems to lack that ‘something’ when playing it backwards! Follow me through this step-by-step guide and learn how easy it is to create a new part from an existing one simply by flicking a few switches. The software required for this tutorial:
- Open Logic and create a new project.
- From the top menu choose FILE > PREFERENCES.
- Click on the ‘MIDI & AUDIO’ tab and under ‘Audio Device Settings’, select CUSTOM as your input and output device type:
4) Now open up your Audio Channel EQ and add a high-pass filter by selecting the first option below the EQ, which will automatically set it to 100Hz with a 48dB roll off. This step helps to avoid any unwanted bass frequencies from entering our sample. The screenshot shows an example of how it should look:
5) Next we want to load in our audio file into our Arrange window so that we can begin chopping it up into its various components. From the FILE menu, choose IMPORT FOLDER AS AUDIO CLIP.
6) Now that we have our file loaded in Logic, click on it to highlight it and go to EDIT > PREVIEW TRACK IN EXTERNAL MODE so that we can hear what we are doing. You may need your headphones for this step unless you have surround-sound enabled on your monitors of course!
7) We now want to listen to just one side of the audio file so that when we flip the phase, only half of it will be reversed. This is achieved by using Logic’s INVERT function found under EFFECTS > PHASER/PHASE DELAY (or by pressing SHIFT+I). The default setting is a full inversion which will result in the whole audio file being reversed. Sometimes this sounds good when reversed, but often it doesn’t so we also need to add some EQ and compression to the signal.
8) By changing ‘Q’ on our INVERT function we can adjust how narrow or wide our phase-shifted frequency range will be. We want this to pretty much cut out anything beneath 400Hz and above 10kHz, so in this example my Q is set at 4:
9) Lastly, we add some compression and limiting with Logic’s COMPRESSOR/LIMITER effect found under EFFECTS > DYNAMIC PROCESSING (or by pressing OPTION+C). The chain I’ve used here is the same as what most people would use on an audio drum loop before sending it to their sampler/drummer/live drummer etc…
10) Now that we have our drum chopped into individual beats, it’s time to flip one half of them backwards. Simply go to FILE > SAVE AS and then choose TO SESSION MEMORY so that the changed file will be saved with your current session even if you close Logic. To reverse our first beat, hold down SHIFT while selecting the arrow tool so that both the first and last instances are highlighted simultaneously. With both of these selected, right-click on your selection and choose EXTRACT SELECTED events:
11) Now you have 2 separate parts in your Arrange. One side is the forward version of your drum beat, while the other section contains part 1 reversed. You can now delete the original file because we no longer need it. Play back both parts together and see if they sound ok or if you need to make any adjustments:
12) Save your work and repeat this process with all the other beats in your drum loop. Once you have finished, play back your result and see if it’s something you would like to use:
13) If the result doesn’t sound so good try experimenting with those phase-inverter Q settings and with the compression/limiting envelope.
This is just a basic tutorial on how you can reverse individual beats from your drum loops using Logic’s Loop editor. To build upon this, try reversing entire sections of a drum loop by making multiple selections as I have done in the example below. There is so much fun to be had here, so get creative and give it a go:
Hope this article has helped, if you have any questions or suggestions then leave me a comment in the box below. All the best and happy music making!