Change pitch and insert click track as intro

Greetings. New to the forum and moderate noob to sound editing. I have a project with two goals and I do not know how to approach it. Running Win 7, Audacity 2.0.6 (.exe installation)

I have an MP3 file of a song that was originally recorded about 1/4 tone too sharp from regular concert pitch of A440. I would like to bring it down in pitch without changing the tempo to match the A440 standard pitch. Not sure about how to go about that and ensure the right pitch.

Secondly, the song starts at a fast tempo immediately on starting the play. I would like to insert some type of timing intro so that musicians can get ready to play with it. A “count in” is what I am looking for. It could be just a click track representing a typical 1 - 2, 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 type count in with either Audacity supplied clicks or I have some files that are drum sticks being hit together for instance. REALLY not sure how to do this.

I do not know how to approach these two specialized functions. Can you give me some guidance?

Thanks in advance for any “audacious” advice!

There are two ways to adjust the pitch. The Change Pitch effect changes the pitch without affecting tempo. You can enter the change in half-steps (or a decimal fraction of a half-step, etc.). Changing pitch and/or speed independently can sometimes introduce artifacts (side-effects).

Or you can use the Change Speed effect, which will change the speed and pitch together (exactly like slowing-down a record player or tape player). In this case, you’ll need to enter the percentage change. (A half-step is about 6%, so you might want to start with about -3%.) This is a little “cleaner” and “safer” and basically immune to artifacts. If you can live with a slight tempo change, this is the way to go.

[u]This tutorial[/u] Shows you how to mix two tracks, and how to time-shift the tracks (so the count-in starts first). Sometimes a [u]crossfade[/u] will mix the tracks more smoothly. (You can use very-short fades if you wish.)

I have an MP3 file…

Just FYI - MP3 is lossy compression. It has to be decompressed before you can edit and if you re-save (export) to MP3 you are going through a 2nd lossy compression step.

You may not notice any quality loss (especially at higher bitrates) and if you only have an MP3 you don’t have a choice… But, it’s something you should be aware of.

There are special-purpose MP3 editors (such as mp3DirectCut) that can do some simple limited editing without decompressing first. But, these programs can’t change the pitch or mix.

Thanks, this was so helpful at getting me started.

For the count in, I am surmising from your comments that I would somehow record a verbal count-in at the proper beats per minute and make this a separate “track” and then mix them as per the tutorial. I imagined somehow creating a click track or something similar in Audacity and using that, but the recording method sound good. I suppose I can just use the microphone on my laptop. (I don’t have an external mike)

I will take the tutorial and see how that works. Thanks for pointing me to it.

I will also try both ways of changing the pitch and see if I can tell the difference for just a 1/4 step

Thanks also for the facts about MP3s. I guess it is kind of like jpegs in the photo world.