[78-L] Playing reels backwards - separating myth from fact

Ron L'Herault lherault at verizon.net.invalid
Mon Feb 8 05:57:58 PST 2016

Great story!

Ron L

-----Original Message-----
From: 78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com
[mailto:78-l-bounces at klickitat.78online.com] On Behalf Of Iñigo Cubillo
Sent: Monday, February 08, 2016 3:23 AM
To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List; 78-L
Subject: Re: [78-L] Playing reels backwards - separating myth from fact

Talking about that, it reminds the old experiments I used to do with my old
cassette player when child... I even got my father involved in the issue...

Reassembling cassette tapes upside-down I managed to play them in reverse,
by the opposite face, of course, with the unavoidable lack of treble, but...
anyway it worked. I had lots of laugh listening to my favorites backwards...
Of course, I used to do that with 78s too, moving the turntable with the
finger. One of my favorites was Bing Crosby's "Amor Amor", which in reverse
mode was a quiet strange song ending in a sort of Bing's braying "Romaaa...
Romaaaa... Romaaa...". Very nice. But that's another story.

The true thing with the reversed tapes arrived when I started to record
backwards, then reassemble the tape in direct mode to hear the results...

The next idea was to read a text backwards (strange business in which I
really got thoroughly trained) while recording backwards, then reverse the
tape and listen to the results... Heavy uncontrolled laughing here...!

And there I got my father involved... helping me to read poems backwards,
one chorus each one, in turn... Bursts into laughter were unavoidable while
reading backwards, which in reverse (direct mode) sounded like barking
dogs... No need to say that, apart from the strange voices and vocalization,
we sounded slow and clumsy... And when you made a mistake, then corrected
it... the result was that you say it well first, then correct it to


I've played this too with my children, few years ago. We used the old
Windows Sound Recorder that allowed reversing the WAV soundfiles, etc. They
were amazed and we had a great time singing songs in reverse, which we
learnt by heart. If you read it is easier... but if you learn by heart and
then repeat from memory, mistakes are more frequent, which is much more
funny. Imagine the difficulty tryin'g to learn a song in reverse, melody

Inigo, from Madrid, SPAIN
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