Cause of Lower Pitch Voice (Solved)

Audacity 2.4.2
Windows 10

So I already entered my question here but solved it myself after 2 hours of scratching my head over what could be the cause, so I didn’t post it. Instead, I figured I’d post the issue and the solution so maybe I can save someone else the grief I just went through.

Just a couple of weeks ago I finished creating my Jazz radio show using Audacity 2.4.2. I had absolutely no issues, In the last two weeks, I’ve made no hardware or software changes to my Windows 10 PC.

Today, I was beginning to record a new show, and I always check the quality of the RODE Podcaster before I start. I played back my short test recording back and the pitch on playback was definitely off; definitely a bit slower and lower in pitch. The first thing I did was check the Playback Speed and it was untouched at 1.0X. Hmmm. I haven’t changed anything, so why do I sound slowed down? I didn’t change the Project Rate, it was still 44100. Double hmmm. I have heard of variances in clock speed between the computer’s internal soundboard and my USB microphone potentially causing pitch changes. But I kept telling myself, “This worked perfectly two weeks ago, and I changed nothing”. Now I started to doubt myself. Is that what I really sound like today? So I got my cellphone out and recorded a 20-second recording of my voice on the phone and PC at the same time. I started the playback on both devices simultaneously and sure enough, I sounded like “me” on the phone recording but a “drunk uncle” in Audacity. By the end of 20 seconds, Audacity was about 2 seconds slower than my phone recording.

After researching on the web, trying various settings, I was still stumped. I came here to the forum and almost typed my complete question when it dawned on me. There’s probably some audio-related program that’s running in the background on my PC that’s messing with my soundcard clock.

I’ll save you the gory details and trial and errors, but finally, I discovered I had used an audio recording program, Replay Capture 8, to record a podcast a couple of days earlier and it was still running in the background. I stopped this program and checked in Windows Tasks to make sure all vestiges of the program were halted and that no stubs were left behind. I tried another test recording, and the problem was SOLVED! Yay!

So save yourself some time if this happens to you, check all audio programs running and you’ll probably have this repaired in no time.

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