Output REV review: everything backwards

REV is a new instrument from Outputsounds.com, a new sample house from Los Angeles. REV is actually a collection of 4 different instruments grouped into a KONTAKT library, for use with the very latest full or player version.

Reverse sounds are ubiquitous across all genres of modern music. From TV soundtracks, movies, video games through to the gamut of chart music today. The interesting thing about REV is that Output have targeted a specific niche technique that they’re addressing with the library rather than a sampled instrument. The schtick is that it’s a pain in the arse and complicated to reverse sounds directly in the DAW, so why not have an instrument that just does it all for you? This is a great concept, and while I don’t think it’s true that reversing a cymbal swell is too traumatic, reversing a piano line, and chopping and changing each note, then moving it to the correct position can be a bit of a faff. REV is supposed to deal with that by removing that headache, while still providing excellent quality sound.

Once loaded up, the four instruments are all clean modern affairs with distinct colors differentiating between them. The four categories are: Instruments, timed instruments, loops and rises.

There’s 14GB of uncompressed samples to load from, and each of the four engines are distinct and self-explanatory. Instruments are subdivided into categories such as pads, swells, pulses, plucked, and simple. There are 27 base instruments to choose from, and within each sound are 2 layers which you can turn on and off, and control the volume and pan. There are also global effects, from the Kontakt engine effect department. They’re very useful, and can be triggered with keys or automated. They vary slightly per instrument.

For each sound you select, theres a useful sample length slider, that enables you to select how long the reversed sample is. There’s also a selection of buttons that enable the sound to be played forward, backwards dry and wet, and continuous. I loved the continuous one. instant organic sounding textured pads.

The timed instruments are synced to the host tempo, at whole, half and quarter note rates. Just a very quick way to ensure that the note is exactly the right length for the track, without having to stretch it all out yourself. With the timed instruments, when you turn a sound into a pad sound, there’s still a soft hit at the rate you selected, which adds a nice rhythmic element to the pad.

The loops are very cool. There are 15 banks divided into separate instrument categories, from recognizable instruments such as acoustic piano and guitar, to more technical categories, such as pulses, sound design, atmosphere. All of them are very well recorded sounds, and would fit in very usefully in many situations. the loops can be transposed into different keys depending on the key you hit, keeping the same tempo of the host.

As with the other instruments, there are global effects and stutter and filter automation options. There are effect presets that you can add to the loops to alter and sculpt the loops further.

Rises is an instrument that creates the builds and sweeps that are an essential part of the current composers armory, regardless of There are 3 types of rises. Abrupt ending, reverb tail, and electro rises. They can all be stretched from 1 bar to 8 bars. the stutters, filters, and global effects can all be added to the rises, to again alter and change the rise. You can easily layer rises together just by pressing more than one note.

Here’s a video playing through some of REV’s instruments

And some of the tempo synced instruments

There are a couple of immediately great things that stick out to me with this library: The first is the speed at which you can create certain elements. Particularly the Rise instrument stuck out to me; with the way you can stretch or shrink the rises to fit the exact length of bar or fraction of bar that you want, fitting in with the host tempo exactly. You can spend the time that you would have previously spent cutting and stretching just listening to the sound, and creating something unique. OUTPUT are true to their word when they say it cuts down on time spent engineering the reverse sound. The other element that I liked was the distinct organic flavor this library has, even though it’s not a natural sound by itself. The richness of organic source material with the excellent Kontakt engine, and the great programming and accessibility of the OUTPUT guys has really created a library that I think I will be visiting and re-visiting regularly for my work.


…the great programming and accessibility of the OUTPUT guys has really created a library that I think I will be visiting and re-visiting regularly…

Product page


  • Very fast sound creation
  • beautifully laid out
  • warm organic sound


  • If you don’t like reversed sound, this one’s a non-starter for you. Everyone else, it’s worth a look!


  • a little pricey for what it is
  • Unlike a synth, there’s a wait time for samples to load

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