Reverse Delay Swell

Introduce a vocal into an arrangement using this neat alternative to the overdone reverse reverb effect.

Step 1

Load a vocal file onto a new track; in this example we’re using a loop from Sample Magic’s Future Garage 2 collection. The first step is to reverse the audio in your DAW. The process for reversing audio differs from DAW to DAW. In Logic, double-click on the audio region then select Reverse from the Functions menu.

Next, place a delay effect on the channel. We’re using Logic’s tape delay, but any delay or echo plugin will work. Increasing the feedback creates a nice tail to play with; we’ve pushed feedback to 48%, set the delay time to 1/16 notes and set the wet level to 62% (dry at 100%).

Step 1

Step 2

Solo the vocal channel and bounce the reversed and delayed signal out as a new audio file, making sure you include all of the decay tail. With the vocal bounced, mute the delay plugin and reverse the original audio again so that it plays back normally.

Now create a new audio track and import the bounced reversed and delayed vocal audio file. Now reverse this as well – listening back to it, you’ll hear the delay has been added in reverse.

Step 2.1 Step 2.2

Step 3

Now for the only taxing step – arranging the reversed delay so it fits in with the track and neatly introduces the vocal into the arrangement.

To do so, chop the last two bars of the delay swell region so you hear the delay effect but none of the original vocal, then move the region so it ends on the same beat as the vocal begins. Fine tune the alignment so that the transition is seamless.

Not only is this a simple but effective way of introducing a vocal, it can be used for other elements too – from synth lines to keys. You can add further interest by automating an EQ rise over the swell or adding a flange effect linked to the track’s tempo to sweep over the swell.

Step 3

7th August, 2015

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