How to play a song in reverse, in Windows, with Audacity

Have you ever wondered what a certain song would sound like when played back in reverse? Or did you ever stumble on Illuminati messages hidden away in plain sight, that you can hear only when listening those songs backwards ? Or you want to check whether Paul from the Beatles was really dead or not? Whatever reason you might have to want to learn how to play a song in reverse, we’ve got you covered. Read this tutorial and you’ll learn how to reverse songs in no time on any computer or device with Windows:

Download and install Audacity on your Windows PC or device

The first thing you need to make in order to be able to play a song in reverse and save it in its new form on your Windows computer is to download and install a program called Audacity. You can find it as a free download, here: Audacity.

Audacity is a free program that is designed to help you work with one or multiple audio files and perform sound editing. It’s an open source tool, which means that it’s completely free for anyone to use. There are no hidden costs, no advertisements, no crapware and no limitations whatsoever.

Before going ahead with the next steps from this guide, download its latest version and install it on your Windows computer or device. The installation part is very simple and straightforward, so we’ll not get into details on that. Just follow the instructions of the setup wizard.

Open the song that you want to reverse, in Audacity

Once you’ve installed Audacity on your computer, launch it. This is what you should see the first time you open it:

Close the “Welcome to Audacity!” message. If you plan on using Audacity often, and you don’t want to have to close the welcoming message each time you open it, make sure that you also check the option “Don’t show this again at startup” before closing the window.

Open the File menu from the top left corner of the window, and then click or tap on Open…

Browse through your Windows computer or device and locate the song that you want to reverse. When you’ve found it, select it and click or tap on Open.

Audacity will immediately load the song you’ve selected. You should see something similar to the screenshot below:

Note that in order to load a song in Audacity you can also drag and drop it onto its window, or you can use the keyboard combination “Ctrl + O" to bring up the Open File dialogue.

Use Audacity to apply the reverse effect on your song

Now that the song is loaded in Audacity , all that remains for us to do to make it play backwards, is to apply the Reverse effect. To do that, you must first Select the entire song. Open the Edit menu, go to Select and then click or tap on All.

Note that you can achieve the same result by simultaneously pressing the “Ctrl + A” keys on your keyboard.

Once the whole track is selected, open the Effect menu from the top of Audacity’s window and look for the Reverse option. Click or tap on it.

After Audacity finishes reversing the song, you can listen to a preview of how it sounds. To do that, use the playback controls from the top left part of the window and click or tap Play.

If you like the result, go to the next step of this tutorial and save your reversed song.

Save the reversed song

You’ll probably want to save the reversed song so that you’ll be able to enjoy this backwards experience repeatedly, using any media player you like and without having to use Audacity each time. If that’s the case, now is the time to open the File menu again and then click or tap the Export Audio… option.

Audacity will open an Export Audio dialog window, in which you can select where you want to save the song on your computer, what name and what type the file will have. Choose the location and the name as you like, but pay a bit more attention to the file type that you want to use. The safest bet you can make is to go with the default “WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM” file type. It’s going to work on any Windows computer, no matter the version of the operating system, but the downside is that you’ll get a file that’s pretty large in size. On the other hand, if you want to use another file format, you might find that you must also install the appropriate audio codecs on your system, in case you don’t already have them. Once you’ve made up your mind, click or tap on the Save button .

Before saving the end result of the reversed song, Audacity lets you edit its metadata. Make the changes you want, if you want, and then click or tap on OK.

Audacity will now save your song, where you asked it to, in its new reversed form.

Use your favorite media player to play the reversed song

…and look for hidden messages :) Just kidding… or maybe not - it’s all your choice now and the reasons for why you wanted to find out how to playback a song in reverse are none of our business. :)

But, you should know that you can now use any media player you want to listen to the backwards song, and if you are indeed looking for hidden messages, here are some ideas: Wikipedia - List of backmasked messages.

Conclusion

That’s all folks! Sounds like nostalgia, doesn’t it? How would this sound like if it were played backwards? If you find out, or if you know of any special songs that are more interesting when reversed than when played back normally, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.