How to reverse samples in FL Studio (images and demos included)
I know how you feel…
You just finished listening to a song like Dior, Money Trees, or any other song with a reversed sample. Maybe you just listened to The Box, which has a reversed 808, and found yourself on this page. Either way, reversing and flipping samples is an amazing skill to learn, and It’ll completely change the way you use samples!🔥
I’m going to cut to the chase and show you the easy simple way to reverse a sample. Please read on if you want to learn different ways to do it, which will sound even more unique.
Inside FL Studio, click on the sample you want to reverse. You can do this in the playlist view, or the channel rack.
Then, click “reverse”. If you see a different screen, make sure you’re in the right tab of the sample editor. You’ll want to be in the first tab as shown by the red arrow at the top.Text
It sounds like this:
You can also reverse the sample using Gross Beat by adding this to the mixer track for the melody, going to the “Momentary” preset folder, and clicking Reverse. Both of these options are called “reverse” but work very differently.
The default FL Studio reverse grabs the whole sample and flips it into reverse. The Gross Beat reverse gets fed the sample into it in real-time, then reverses each bar as they play. Because of this, there’s a 1 bar silence when you click play on the track. Gross beat needs to hear the first bar so it can reverse it, and then goes from there. I cropped out the first bar of silence for this demo:
If you don’t want the end of the sample to play first, use Gross Beat. If you’re fine with the end of the sample playing first, and don’t want a 1 bar pause at the start of the melody, pick the default FL Studio reverse. If you don’t want the end of the sample to play first, and you don’t want a 1 bar gap at the start of your melody, you’ll need to export the gross beat melody and trim the first bar.
The next step?
Here are a few ways you can spice up your melody even further by adding other effects in Gross Beat. You can do this when making the melody, or after when you are mixing and mastering it. I love adding these to make a melody sound less “artificial” and “robotic”. Nowadays a lot of producers use similar plugins, chord progressions, and effects, so it’s hard to stand out.
Adding different effects like these can produce a unique and mysterious sound. After messing around with these enough, you may begin to find your own sound that your listeners will recognize you for.
Effect 1: Adding Half Speed
Half speed is an effect that essentially halves the speed of whatever track you put it on. This is perfect for making a melody sound darker, and well… slower.
I love adding it to the melody when the beat comes in because it makes the melody sound less complicated, and really helps the beat blend in. Reversing the sample + half speed sounds like this:
Effect 2: Sidechain
Sidechain automated the volume of a certain layer and adds a lot of energy and life to it. There are different types of sidechains, all with different unique differences, but in this example, I’m just using the basic sidechain which can also be found in Gross Beat. I raised the volume automations so that it didn't make the sample as quiet at the start of each beat.
Here is what half-time + side-chain sounds like:
Effect 3: 2x speed
This effect adds a lot of bounce to a melody, and really raises the energy. It works very similar to half speed, but needs to work even harder to double speed the melody in real time! For example, if it waits for 1 bar to listen to the source and replay the double-speed version, after half a bar, it's already played it. Because of this, Gross Beat double time has a lot of repeats.
Again, you will need to export it and trim the half a bar delay at the start. Here is what a reversed sample (inside FL sampler) and 2x speed sounds like:
You can also mix these together and automate the effects on and off. This is something that can be easily done on music hardware like drum machines, and you can use them to create something like this:
If you don't have gross beat, or are looking for more plugins to use, this is my list of the best plugins for music producers.
Conclusion: To reverse a sample in FL Studio, simply click on the sample in the sample selector, channel rack, or playlist, then click reverse. You can also use plugins like Gross Beat to get a similar effect.
We love producing melodies and samples using this effect and similar. Check out our free packs here.