My own real-world experience with reel-to-reel tapes is that tracks ingested in reverse and then 
digitally reversed do not sound the same as tracks played straight. It's not the digital realm, its 
the way the reel electronics handle transients and phase and other issues, especially with old tapes 
of varying warpage.

Now, the issue is, since I'm not playing back on the original recorder, it's hard to say which is 
the "right" playback -- so I usually just go with it if it sounds OK.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Casey, Michael T" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Reverse engineering


Our part of the Sound Directions project, in consultation with a few folks on this list, is in the 
middle of conducting research on part of this issue. Preliminary results suggest that there are 
polarity and phase distortion issues related to capturing material moving backwards, which is one 
big reason for wanting to reverse a sound file in the computer. The engineer doing this research is 
on the way to AES so I can't comment more specifically at the moment. We will be publishing on this 
and other parallel transfer-related issues by the end of the year.


Mike Casey
Associate Director for Recording Services
Archives of Traditional Music
Indiana University


Co-Chair, ARSC Technical Committee

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven 
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 10:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Reverse engineering

Is there a loss of data accuracy when reversing a sound file?  In mono?  In stere?

Steve Smolian