Melody in Reverse

One sure fire way to enjoy composing is to play with musical ideas. Melody in Reverse is where you take a melodic idea in Soundtrap and, well, put it in reverse. When was the last time you listened to one of your ideas backwards? This Sound Advice for Soundtrap blog will help you to create ideas that might just take your composition to the next level.

Why Reverse?

Composing is all about creating musical ideas. Conventional melodies, rhythms and chord progressions are great starting points. But the fun really starts when we think outside the box, creating a range of sounds and ideas. In Soundtrap it is quick and easy to create a melody using the piano roll, or a MIDI keyboard. It is also straightforward to compose a rhythm and add chords.

But what next? Do we just stop there at the conventional? Or, do we want to experiment with sounds and discover something new. I think discovering something new is much more fun, and music students should be encourages to explore sounds as much as possible.

MIDI to Audio

Firstly you need a melody that you have create in Soundtrap. In fact it doesn’t have to be a melody, it can be anything that you have created in Soundtrap. here is a melody that I have composed in Soundtrap:

A melody in Soundtrap Piano Roll
A melody in Soundtrap Piano Roll

This is a short melodic idea that repeats and I have put it on a Xylophone. I now want to play around with this melody and see if I can use it to build a composition. The next stage is to export it to audio.

Export to Audio

Exporting to audio is the first step in our reversal process. You need to click on the three dots on the track, then go to Export and then Audio, see the image below:

Exporting Midi to Audio in Soundtrap
Melody in Reverse – Exporting Midi to Audio in Soundtrap

You can see from the image above that you can also export from Soundtrap directly in to Noteflight or

The exported audio will now appear in your downloads and you are going to drag it back in to Soundtrap as an audio track. Audio is different to MIDI and we are now able to reverse the audio.

Reversing Audio in Soundtrap

Once you have your audio file back in Soundtrap you can reverse it with a click of the mouse:

Reverse audio in Soundtrap
Melody in Reverse – Click edit to reverse audio in Soundtrap

Click on the edit button on the track and it will bring up the list you can see above. You then go down to reverse and Soundtrap will reverse the audio. As an aside you can also quickly add a Fade in or out and also add your audio to the loop library.


You might be still wondering why you would want to do this. The idea is that you are experimenting with sounds and creating different textural layers that you can then use in your composition. This reversed audio might form the basis for an introduction or atmospheric section in your piece. Creative use of sounds and silences is crucial for a successful composition.

Melody in Reverse

If you are looking for something different or you want to experiment with sounds, then melody in reverse might be just what you need. Start with some midi, convert it to audio, import it back in and then reverse it. Generating different sounds and ideas is an important part of any compositional process and students will enjoy playing around with sound. Imagine creating a whole piece of music from the ground up using just one idea that you then manipulate and modify.

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1 comment

  1. Not same, but linked – every now and again a brass band I’m involved in will play a hymn in reverse – sharpens the brain and makes the players think. And tests our hypothesis that most hymns played backwards sound like an early Vaughan Williams composition (!). More seriously it’s interesting to see how players adapt to the challenge – how versatile they are, open to new ideas etc. Fascinating, in fact!

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