avoiding distortion when altering pitch

Audacity Version 2.x, Windows 7

Hi there,

I was wondering if there is any way to avoid getting distortion when changing the pitch of a track. It is usually ok for 1 semitone up or down but anything more and it tends to sound somewhat distorted. Is there any way this can be prevented or fixed once pitch has been adjusted.
Thanks, Joe.

Pitch change’s major shortcoming is that’s all it does. When you apply pitch change to a voice, natural lip sounds and sibilance change, too, and that sounds very unnatural. Similarly when you change the pitch of a guitar, the pick, strike, slide and squeak change along with the note and that can sound very science fiction.

Most people who try pitch change are really after something else. What are you really trying to do?


Hi there, thanks for your help, I am just trying to get the right pitch of backing tracks to suit my vocal range. Thanks, for.

The Sliding Time Scale / Pitch Shift effect gives better sound quality than the standard “Pitch Shift” effect: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/sliding_time_scale_pitch_shift.html

Thanks Steve, I will give that a try. not too brilliant on the technical stuff

Mostly i am using “speed up” or tempo change on entire tracks on V2.3/Vista to tighten up the feel on tracks that were sequenced with an outboard workstation. I leave the pitch as it comes out usually; i notice with longer envelopes when the tempo changes up, there is a chopping effect: so, the higher pitch avoids this if i am trying to preserve it. (i am usually after experimentation/sound sculpting.)
Should i be using the Sliding Time Scale instead if i am noticing what might be a “thinness” of the sound? I know obviously, if the pitch is higher>higher Hz>not going to sound as beefy. What methods can i use to restore the original “depth”?
i was thinking of using the EQ and just bumping up .5 or 1 db on all freq’s to sort-of “close” up or “amp” it a little…of course, to change the sound- not to increase the level. My ear is more attuned to analog and the amp that comes with outboard gear, instead of hearing it “straight” from a DAW.
I am going to experiment more with this and make sure the tracks in Q were not due to the incoming signal chain, as i had it going through a couple of Kaoss pads, what was already re-sampled and processed to bits :wink:. Basically i am usuing A. in sort of a hybrid ITB/outboard Ableton, with lots of editing and experimentation. I did notice after processing tempo changing that the low end was not as “pronounced”, even though on a graphic, it looks the same.

You could try just increasing the bass a little.