If you’ve been listening electronic music at least to some extent, I’m quite sure you have heard a reverse reverb effect in a form or another. Basically, it’s a reverb effect with a quite long decay turned backwards and it usually appears just before vocals or melody riff. It’s a nice trick that can be used – for example – preparing the listener to the introduction of a new sound, melody or vocals in the mix. And it sounds COOL when used right.
This tutorial will show you two slightly different reverse reverb methods in FL Studio. I’m also sharing FL Studio project files for this tutorial. You can download them at the bottom of this article.
Now to the tutorial. First, method one.
Begin by dropping a vocal sample into the FL Studio Playlist and assign the sample to a free mixer track. It can be a melody sample or effect sample or whatever, but I’m using vocal sample in this tutorial:
Open the Mixer and load a Fruity Reeverb 2 to the vocal sample fx slot:
In the Fruity Reeverb 2, load a preset called “Large Hall”. Reverb with a long decay and no damping works well in situation like this.
Tweak the “Large Hall” settings as follows:
- Adjust the Decay to something like 4.0 – 6.0 sec or even more.
- Set the Damping OFF.
- Set the (H.CUT) High cut to OFF as well.
- Set the Predelay to 0 ms.
Of course you can use your own settings as well, but I’ve found something along the aforementioned working pretty well.
Now, set the Fruity Reeverbs Dry level to 50%. This drops the input signal of the vocal sample to a half, but leaves the actual reverb signal there as it’s full level. This is exactly what we wan’t as we are going to render it to WAV, import it back to FL Studio, reverse it and mix it with the original vocal sample and in a special situation like this we wan’t the DRY signal of the reverberation to be only slightly audible, but the reverbed signal to be normal as it is going to be mixed with another dry signal.
This is how it sounds:
Now, double click the vocal sample to open the channel settings and REVERSE it:
This is how it sounds now:
Next, record the reversed and reverbed vocal sample to a WAV file by making a selection in the Playlist view. The recorded WAV file will be as long as the selection is and this will make sure that the “tail” of the reverb will be recorded to WAV:
Arm the mixer track of the vocal sample for disk recording and choose a folder where you wan’t the WAV to be recorded:
Enable the Auto-create audio clip -function via Mixer options (enabled by default). This setting will import the rendered WAV back to Playlist automatically when you’re in Song mode (enable the Song mode via Transport Panel):
Press ALT+R and click Start to start the rendering. After it’s complete, the rendered WAV will be imported to a Playlist:
(Assign the imported reverse reverbed sample to an empty mixer track as later on you need to balance it’s levels with the original vocal sample to make them play nicely together).
Now, double click the original vocal sample to open it’s channel settings and DISABLE the reversing to make it sound normal again. Also, go to it’s mixer channel and open the Fruity Reeverb 2 and raise the Dry level to 100% and set the mix level of the Fruity Reeverb 2 (in the fx slot) to something like 20%. We wan’t to leave a little bit of reverb to the original vocal sample as well to make it blend better with the reverse reverbed sample:
Next, reverse the reverse reverbed sample (hehe):
Okay. Now you need to position the samples for smooth transition. This is a bit of a meticulous task, but very important to make it sound right. Disable snapping by holding down ALT while you drag the samples in the Playlist.Line up the reverse reverbed sample with the original vocal sample in a way that the reverse reverbed sample LEADS to the original vocal sample. The reverse reverbed sample should be positioned in a way that the words or syllables stop just before the corresponding words or syllables start in the original sample that is played forward. This will make that “sucking” effect if you know what I mean.
Now, balance the volume levels between the two samples to make them play nicely together:
If you wan’t, you can cut and delete the spare sample material:
And create a volume automation for controlling the volume behavior of the reverse reverbed sample:
Okay. That’s it, and this is how it sounds:
This was the first method. Now I’m going to show you the second method.
Start a new project, and again, drop a sample (same vocal sample in this example as well) into the Playlist, assign it to a free mixer track and open the sample into the Edison:
Zoom in a bit if necessary, and as this is a vocal sample, select the first word or syllable and drag the selection to a new track in the Playlist using the Drag / copy sample / selection -feature in Edison:
Assign this sample (let’s call it word-sample) to a free mixer track and add Fruity Reeverb 2 to it’s fx slot. Choose “Large Hall” from the preset list and use these settings: Decay 4.0 – 6.0 sec, Damping OFF, H.CUT OFF, Predelay 0 ms and set Dry level to around 85%:
In the Playlist, move the original vocal sample to around bar 5 or further and leave the word-sample at the beginning of the Playlist. Make a selection of two or more bars, open the Mixer, arm the word-sample mixer track for recording and press ALT+R for rendering it to WAV:
Now, double click the re-imported reverbed word-sample to open it’s channel settings and REVERSE it. Also, assign it to a new mixer track and delete the word-sample from the Playlist as it’s not needed anymore:
Now, line up and position the original vocal sample and the reverse reverbed word-sample to make a smooth transition. Also, add a reverb to the original vocal sample as well to make it blend better with the reverse reverbed word-sample (use pretty much same settings as you did with the word-sample):
Tweak the volume levels via the Mixer to make the samples play nicely together, and you should get something like this:
That’s it. Experiment with different settings with the reverb. Also, you can take this to a bit further by adding flanger, phaser, stutter, etc. to the reverse reverb. Use your imagination and you can create killer effects!
Finally, here’s a video showing how to create this effect. I have to admit that in the video my sample positioning wasn’t perfect, but you’ll get the idea of this method for sure.
Here’s the FL Studio project files for both methods: