Listening Backwards

Last night after saying my goodnight to the Internet I stayed up just a little longer to listen through a track I’d posted to Facebook that night. I’ve learned that when I’m producing anything I sometimes have to trick my ears into thinking they’re hearing something new. This makes it a lot easier for me to pick up on any balancing errors or opportunities for adapting the arrangement. To do this I slow the song down, or speed it up, or play it reversed.

My voice always sounds adorable sped up, so that’s good for a laugh, but it’s useful in helping me pick up on the overuse of my pseudo-American singing accent. It’s even funnier slowed down. I know my voice must have matured recently because in times past I could get away with sounding a bit like a guy. I must have more feminine attributes in my voice these days.

This brings me to the wonderful world of reversing songs. I’ve been in the habit of doing this since I was at uni as I was trying to apply some of the experimental techniques I was learning in classes. I have found out some wonderful things about melody and the texture of certain instruments.

I tried playing Digital Delight backwards first. Quite nice, especially at the part after the breakdown where there are lots of layered guitar melodies, and the bits where I sing ‘woooah’ in the verses.

The Sea backwards sounds like an Utada Hikaru ballad. This pleases me.

Once I’d been through my own tracks I tried some Glitter Punch Project stuff. It’s strange, forwards many of the tracks sound big and bassy, quite aggressive, but backwards they sound very percussive and almost cute. Probably to do with the reverse-effect on many of the synths.

But anyway, while on my sleep-deprived journey through a world of unusual sounds I happened upon something almost groundbreaking for me. I played Laser. I heard the very introduction reversed, and I think I heard what everyone else was telling me they could hear. It was quite haunting. All the ‘mistakes’ I had perceived when I listened to it forwards didn’t exist. I could still hear all the same wobbles and weaknesses in my voice, but they made more sense reversed. The chord progressions were even more haunting somehow. ┬áIt’s still a great song even reversed!

So, in conclusion, I’ve tricked my ear into liking my voice!

I love Glitter Punch.




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