The how do I make this sound thread

How do you make the ‘reverse’ sound used in many (old school) techno tracks? You may know what I’m talking about already, but here are popular examples: (at 1:24) (at 0:43) (at 1:44)

Thanks in advance!

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It’s really as simple as it sounds, you take a sampled drum hit and reverse it. You may have to do some trimming of the sample - for instance, cut out the attack of the drum sound and keep only the tail. Or, you might have to trim the tail to a reasonable length to keep it in time if the sample has a really long tail. Pretty much any sampler should let you do all of this. Then normalize the new sample (since you probably just cut out the loudest part) and it should sound just like this.

Different sounds come from different drums, so in the examples you listed above, I think they are actually using three different drums when they do this. The first track sounds like they reversed a hihat or a snare, the second sounds like a kick, and the third could be a kick, snare, or tom.


In the second track, it even sounded like the whole loop was reversed at one point. Sometimes freezing and flattening whatever you’re working with can make for interesting results when reused together.

If you’re using a DAW with a timeline or anything like that, you can usually just reverse and trim however you want. I avoid samplers here because it’s hard to get it precise enough, but there are a million ways to do it. If you’re using a tracker (IIRC you said you used one?) you probably just have a reverse command that you can toggle back and forth like a boolean, which can make for really interesting patterns as well.

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Thanks for the help!

Ok, that’s what I assumed. I was silly thinking it was some synth-specific technique : /

I don’t think there’s such a feature in Buzz or OpenMPT, but the uses would be interesting…

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If you like the tracker style and want some easy FX commands like this on hand, I definitely recommend Renoise! It hitches together really well with modular, too (which might serve as a potential replacement to the UI?). The coolest part about commands like this is that you don’t have to go in and manually reverse the sample, so you can still use it like normal without that little command attached.

Although, you could probably reverse a few samples in audacity and then import them into the tracker / DAW you use as separate instances. You might not even need a whole lot to get that effect occasionally!

Been wondering for a while how to create this type of really complex sounding breakcore with lots of different sound design elements added on top.
It seems really simple in concept but god I cannot figure out how to even begin creating a pattern this complex.

I can’t add links yet because my acc is too new :sweat_smile: but Raise My Fist by Supire would be a good example of what i mean

Did you mean “With my Fist”?

If so, what I have discovered experimenting with these types of beats is that the kick/snare are just kind of “reversed” from their standard roles in house music. So for example, the kick and snare for 2 bars of house/techno music would look something like this:

Snare: - - - - x - - - - - - - x - - -/- - - - x - - - - - z - x - - -
Kick:  x - - - x - - - x - - - x - - -/x - - - x - - - x - - - x - - -

Where the kick plays on every beat, the snare plays on 2 and 4 and if you want to do rhythmic variations you do it by having accented snare hits (like the Z that hits on an off beat). You mostly leave the kick alone because that is the metronome for your audience, lets them know where the rhythm is and you move everything around that.

Breakcore, DNB and all that ilk are a little different and the basic 2 bar beat would look something more like this:

Snare: - - - - x - - - - - - - x - - -/- - - - x - - - - - - - x - - -
Kick:  x - - - x - - - - - z - x - - -/x - - - x - - - - - x - x - x -

So what’s happened here is the snare is now the metronome for the audience, and the kick is where the rhythmic variation comes from. You can even change up/ add more snare hits as long as it always hits on that 2nd and 4th beat.

In either case, you then add more sounds (bongos, glitched percussion, hihats, etc) for more rhythmic complexity and variation on top of this, but the core is almost always going to look something like this. House would add something like swung shakers for groove, whereas breakcore would add something like a fill played at 1/64th notes by dying modem as that extra embellishment. Just go out, look for sounds you like and start messing around with them.


oh yes i meant that song, my bad!!

this is really helpful, thank you so much

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Hey @AriaL, I’ve elevated your trust level, so you can post links now.

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Oh thank you so much!!

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