How to Reverse & Retime Audio in DaVinci Resolve (Must Read!)

retime audio featured

Chances are you might know how to retime or reverse a video clip.

But when it comes to audio, you would like to have similar controls, like reversing, re-timing or changing the speed of an audio clip.

Today, we’ll see how to do a simple reverse, change audio speed…

And…

How to retime an audio clip with different speeds in the same clip – speeding up and slowing down – to match the video.

This is mainly used for stretching or compressing audio effects or ADR for syncing.

Let’s get started!



How to Reverse Audio in DaVinci Resolve?

Audio can be reversed in DaVinci Resolve with the help of “Change Clip Speed” settings.

Before that you should know whether you’d want to reverse both video & audio, or audio only.

If you want audio only and don’t want to affect video, then right click on the clip -> unselect Link Clips“.

But if you have only audio clip (like a sound effect), then no need to worry about unlinking clip (because it’s a standalone clip).

Which leads us to “how to reverse audio in DaVinci Resolve?“.

  • Go to the timeline.
  • Import your audio clip (if not already).
  • Right click -> “Change Clip Speed“.
  • Check “Reverse” option.
  • The speed will turn to “-100” showing the audio has reversed.
  • Click on “Change“. This will play the audio in reverse.

Few things to note:

Ripple Sequence” – Enabling this option will ripple the timeline, which means it will push all the clips in the timeline to accommodate the speed change. Unchecking this option and doing speed changes might leave gaps in the timeline.

Pitch Correction” – This refers to the pitch of the audio. Enabling this will let Resolve automatically change the pitch. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

For example, when you speed up the audio with the pitch correction enabled, it sounds right. But when you slow down the audio to say 20% of the speed, enabling this option results in an un-natural sound. Unchecking this solves the issue. Just check for your yourself and play with it!

Note – Let the “Keyframes” option be set to the default option – “Maintain Timing”.

This option will be useful for video clip speed changes, which are done with the help of keyframes. Since there are no keyframes involved in audio speed changes, leave this option to the default one. (Audio will have keyframes for Volume and Pan in the “Edit” page).


Related Articles:

Quickly Reverse / Rewind in DaVinci Resolve (Important Tips)

Can DaVinci Resolve Import / Export Mp3? (+ Helpful Tips)


How to Reverse Audio without Reversing Video in DaVinci Resolve?

If you have a clip with both video and audio, then right click the clip, unselect “Link Clips”. This will separate the clips.

Now right click on the audio clip, select “Change Clip Speed” -> select “Reverse” option and click on “Change“. Done!


How to Change the Speed of Audio in DaVinci Resolve?

  • Right click on the audio clip and click on “Change Clip Speed“.
  • Change the “Speed” value other than “100%”.
  • Lowering the speed value will slow down your audio and increasing the value will speed it up.
  • Uncheck or check the “Pitch Correction” accordingly for a natural sounding audio.

If you want to speed up or slow down a reverse audio clip, then enable “Reverse” option in the “Change Clip Speed” window and enter negative value in the “Speed” field accordingly.


How to Retime Audio in DaVinci Resolve?

Under “Edit” page, you can only do a simple linear change like speed up or slow down to the audio clips. Variable speed changes of audio are not possible using speed keyframes.

Whereas, you can do non-linear changes or variable changes to the video clips with the help of speed keyframes in the “Edit” page.

Let me explain.

Within the same video clip, you can slow down, speed up and freeze frame. Which is not possible with the audio clip under “Edit” page (at least till now, at the time of this writing).

But if you’d want to speed up and slow down all in the same audio clip with keyframes, then you’ll have to head over to “Fairlight” page!

And make use of “Elastic Wave” feature.


What is “Elastic Wave” in DaVinci Resolve?

Elastic Wave” feature in DaVinci Resolve Fairlight helps you to speed up and slow down different sections within the same audio clip.

This is an audio retiming feature which is similar to keyframing different speeds within a video clip.

You can keyframe your audio to sound like it’s stretched and compressed without changing pitch – all in the same clip!

Which means you can easily match your variable speed video with variable speed audio.

This is a powerful feature of Resolve Fairlight.

For example…

If you have a video clip which has been re-timed to slow-mo and fast-forward – now you can match the video with your re-timed audio (thanks to “Elastic Wave” feature).

Similarly, with the help of “Elastic Wave” you can retime sound effects to your taste.

And one more thing…

If you have two audio files recorded – one from the camera and the other one from an external recorder – there can be audio drifts.

Which means, when you place both the audio in adjacent tracks, the starting and middle might be in perfect sync.

But as you play further towards the end, there might be sync issues with the two audio tracks. Chances are one of them might lead or fall behind (visually looking at the waveforms will reveal the issue). This out of sync issue can be solved through this elastic wave feature.


What is the Use of “Elastic Wave” in DaVinci Resolve?

  • “Elastic Wave” can retime audio – stretch and compress within the same audio clip.
  • Used to retime voiceover and ADR to match with the video.
  • Enables keyframing the speed of audio to our taste.
  • “Elastic Wave” doesn’t change the pitch of the audio.

How to Retime Audio Using Keyframes in DaVinci Resolve?

  • Go to “Fairlight” page.
  • Right click on your audio clip.
  • Click on “Elastic Wave.”
  • “Elastic Wave” will be displayed at the top left corner.
retime audio in davinci resolve fairlight using elastic wave
  • Hover your mouse toward the left or right edge (on the upper half of the clip) to get the “retiming tool”.
  • Drag to the left to compress the audio (speeding up) and toward right to stretch it (slowing down).

How to Add Speed Keyframes to the Audio Waveform in DaVinci Resolve?

  • “Ctrl + Click” or “Cmd + Click” wherever you want in the waveform by hovering your mouse.
  • It will place a speed keyframe in the form of a green line. (Refer the screenshot above).
  • Drag the keyframe to the right or left based on your requirement.
  • Place as many keyframes needed for your work.
  • To delete the keyframe, right click on it and select -> “Remove Speed Keyframe“.

There you go! Play with the controls till you get the hang of it.

If you want to reverse or rewind a particular segment between the keyframes (like the one present under “Retime Curve” in “Edit” page for video clips), it is not available in Elastic Wave as far as I can think of.

You can cut the particular segment, right click on the standalone clip and select “Reverse Clip“.


In Summary:

Under “Edit” page, for audio, you can only do a straight forward reverse, slow motion and fast forward across the entire clip.

But if you want to have different audio speeds within the same clip, then you’ll have to use “Elastic Wave” feature under “Fairlight” page.


You may also be interested in the below posts:

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How to Normalize & Balance Audio Levels in DaVinci Resolve? (Quick Tips)

All About Audio & Video Clips’ Link in DaVinci Resolve (Must Read!)

How to Split Audio Channels / Tracks in DaVinci Resolve (Explained!)

(Quickly) Remove Background Audio Noise in DaVinci Resolve

Fix Audio Recording Issues in DaVinci Resolve (Step-by-Step Guide)

Zoom Techniques in DaVinci Resolve (Each Under 2 Minutes!)

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