Changing Pitch and Distortion

Hello, all! I’m a singer and I often use Audacity to change the pitch of accompaniment music tracks. I notice that sometimes when I do this the pitch change is fine, but the resulting tracks sound slightly distorted, esp in the lower (bass) register. The distortion is not extreme, but it is noticable. Any suggestions as to what is causing this and how to correct it? I convert the music file to WAV format before doing the pitch convertion. Thank you!

Just so you know, when you import an mp3 into Audacity, it’s automatically converted to Audacity’s native format, so you don’t have to do any conversion yourself to work with it.

The Change Pitch effect has limitations, and it won’t work on every signal equally well. This is true of any Change Pitch effect in any program. Fancy (expensive) programs often come with several different algorithms for different kinds of signals (Sound Forge has about 15, from what I can remember offhand).

If you’re trying to change the pitch too far, it’s bound to cause problems. Changing the pitch of an audio track without changing the tempo is some pretty heavy-duty math, and it’s not foolproof by any means. It’s especially hard to move bass-heavy signals down in pitch. I’m guessing you’re simply trying to change the pitch too far for the signal to cope.

Thanks for the reply, alatham! I’m new to Audacity, and just wanted to be sure the distortion wasn’t due to something I was doing wrong!

Fortunately, most of the time I only have to change the pitch slightly, so the distortion is very small. My audience probably doesn’t even notice it. Audacity is a great program and I’m so glad I found it! Thanks for your help.