432 Hz Conversion

Hello all. Can anyone explain if it is possible to change the sound on my Windows 7 (64-bit) from 440 Hz to 432 Hz using Audacity 2.1.3? Thanks! :blush:

Audacity doesn’t do anything in real time except one timer program and Silent Sense.

What we can do is convert an existing song performed in A-440 to a similar song performed in A-432.

Will that help?


Yeah… You can make a pitch-shifted version of your existing file(s). Then wherever you play it, it will be pitch-shifted. i.e. You can make a pitch-shifted MP3 or a pitch-shifted CD and play it in your car or on your home stereo.

You’ll generally get the best results with [u]Change Speed[/u] if you don’t mind a slight speed/tempo decrease. Otherwise, you can use the [u]Change Pitch[/u] effect (which will not change the speed) or the [u]Sliding Time Scale / Pitch Shift[/u] which should give you better quality.

NOTE - Although modern/Western music is tuned to the A = 440Hz standard, there are thousands of simultaneous different frequencies (including harmonics & overtones) in musical (or voice) recordings. When you pitch-shift you’re changing ALL of the frequencies by the same percentage. That keeps everything in relative tune so It still sounds OK (unless you have the gift of [u]perfect pitch[/u] and then you’ll probably know it’s wrong). And although it sounds OK, the tuning is “wrong” and you can’t play a piano along with it. …However, if you transpose from A to A-flat (415.30Hz), then you can play-along on the piano again.

If you want to see a (approximate) graph of the frequencies in your song, go to Analyze → [u]Plot Spectrum[/u]. (You may not be able to analyze the whole file, but you’ll get an idea of the range of frequencies).

Music isn’t necessarily in the key of A (I don’t believe that’s a popular key), and some songs don’t have any A’s or they may not have any 440Hz A’s, but only A’s in higher or lower octaves.

BTW - You can [u]Generate[/u] 440 or 432Hz tones (or any other frequency).

[u]History of pitch standards in Western music[/u]

[u]Musical note frequencies[/u].

Music isn’t necessarily in the key of A

That was picked as the tone the oboe in the orchestra can do. Everybody else plays their “A” and moves their own instrument around so it more or less matches.

The key of the song doesn’t matter.

I wondered what would happen if the player dropped their oboe on the way to the concert…


Fortunately the pitch of an oboe is pretty stable, but even so there is some range for tuning and the oboist will tune their oboe before playing a note to the orchestra.
Interesting also to note that for live concerts, it is quite common for orchestras to tune a little sharp (say A 442 rather than A 440), unless playing with an organ, in which case they tune to the organ (which in the case of old church / cathedral organs may be a long way off A440).

which in the case of old church / cathedral organs may be a long way off A440.

I’m not surprised. Those gold polished things facing front are pretty, but the lower tones are generated by pipes in the back that look like they were created from left-over packing crates.

Doesn’t anybody ever dust back here?

“Diapason” is Latin for wooden planks, steel brads and horse glue.