Changing pitch changes size

I’ve searched and searched for the answer to this one in your forum and didn’t find it…if it’s there and I’ve missed it, my appologies! I’m not prolific at all in computer terminology, so be very elementary with me (kindergarten, in fact) with your answers PLEASE! We use performance trax in our ministry and use Audacity to change pitch…problem is once its changed, its HUGE. We usually run a 10-12 song program and download on a disk for use. But once a song is changed, it’s almost the only thing we can put on a disk because of it’s size. I’m sure theres a simple procedure I just don’t know what it is. Any help will be greatly appreciated. I’ve just joined this forum so not real sure about the process. Kindergartner, remember? Thanks!

The final size of an output file is determined solely by the output format.

I’m gonna take a guess here that you’re importing mp3 files and exporting as wav files. That would, on average, make the file 10 times bigger than it was originally. On the other hand, you might be talking about using the Save function in Audacity. That creates an Audacity project, not an audio file that you can then play anywhere. If all you’re doing is making small edits, there’s no good reason to use the Save function in Audacity.

In any case, exporting to the same format as the original file shouldn’t change the size appreciably. If my guess it right, then use the Export to mp3 function.

To find the format of the original file (in case you don’t know it) in Windows and GNU/Linux, you can right click on the original file and select Properties. If you poke around this menu you should be able to find all the info you need about the file format. I can’t tell you how to do that on a Mac.

Thank you. No I don’t have Mac - I have Windows XP. I do export music as wav…I’m not sure if I’m trying to change mp3 into wav files or not. I’ll have to do another on and see the exact process, checking the things you’ve mentioned. Its my understanding wav replay on anythiing (including our equipment). One song “came out” 93,237 kb - huge! Can’t do much with that along side our other songs! and that’s just one example! I’m not sure what you mean by “small edits” - we are changing the pitch and (rarely) also the tempo or speed (not sure what 33 1/3, 45, or 78 means) for that matter… would this change the size? I am very, very new and ignorant about this whole process… but need to learn. I’ve checked all the manual and it’s all Greek to me!

93 MB is pretty big for a wav, but it’s not unheard of for longer tunes (or songs stored at a high sample rate / bit depth).

You’re right about wav files, they’re playable almost anywhere. But they’re big. On average they’re 10 times bigger than mp3 files.

In most cases a 128 kbps mp3 file is good enough. If you’re using Audacity 1.2.x, the setting is in the edit → preferences → file formats menu. In Audacity 1.3.3 you need to go to the Export menu and select Options after giving the file a name (and selecting mp3 as the format).

Also, those count as small edits, so don’t save Audacity Projects. Audacity Projects are even larger than the wav files you’re already getting.

We have 1.2.4 Audacity. I think 1.3.3 is the newest - but says something about being for Beta - we don’t have that. Should I download a newer version before I start learning about this process?

This is my process -

Right click onto a song, “open with” Audacity…I get a nano-second high pitch squeek. I “see” the song - but can’t do anything with it.

Under “project” in Audacity and when I import song as RAW DATA , box shows
"signed 16 bit PCM (???)
1 Channel (Mono) ???0
0 bytes (???0
Amounto import: 100% (???)

Sample rate: 44100 Hz (???)
Cancel/Import boxes
(choose what???)

Under “project” when I “import as Audio” - get the same high pitch nano-second squeek!

Am I making sense to you? What do I need to do?

OK, you’re trying to open a file that Audacity doesn’t recognize.

Are you trying to open the files directly from an audio CD? That won’t work. You’ll need to use a different program to rip the audio from the CD to a format you can work with (probably mp3). CD ripping software is ubiquitous at this point, but Audiograbber is free for Windows and quite useful:

I won’t write up how to use that program, as they have a tour of how to use it here:

For the mp3 format, I recommend at least 128 kbps, preferably 192 or higher. This will directly affect the size of the original file for the song.

At this point, you can import the mp3s into Audacity, do your editing, and export them to any format you want.

If you’re going to go back and burn them to CD again, it’s best to export to wav (though these will be large files, a full CDs worth of wav files is 800 MB). If that’s too big, mp3 will work but with slightly reduced audio quality.

Before you get too throw-uppy over the technical explanation, it happens to me, too. I pull a really short 48000/16/2 sound file into 1.2.5 and change the key from E to F and the duration of the show changes. It’s different depending on which two keys and which direction, but I never end up with the same length of performance that I started.

I haven’t checked all the versions, but this came up in another thread. I thought everybody knew it did that.


Anatham: After a very trying weekend of work, I finally figured out what you were trying to explain!!! I import as wave (because that’s what the original is) then export as MP3 !!! And it works! Thank you sooooo much. We tried the disk on our equipment and it does play MPs so we are good to go! I’m now in the process of changing a whole bunch of music into MPs! I don’t know how the players have been changed due to upgrading, but we had some that were 121 KB - recorded just fine with lots of other music on a single CD. That same song, when I exported it as an MP - was 5 KB!!!

So we are very grateful you helped us find a solution. Thank you so much for your time, patience, and help!

<<<we had some that were 121 KB - recorded just fine with lots of other music on a single CD. That same song, when I exported it as an MP - was 5 KB!!!>>>

You want to be careful with that. MPEG1 Layer III compression (MP3) is destructive. It throws some music quality away while it’s working. The smaller the file, the worse the quality, and you can’t ever go back. If someone later on complains that the performance sounds a little bubbly and weird and you don’t have the original WAV files, you’re dead.


The 121 KB was 121,000 KB … How else would you change a huge wav. file to a smaller KB? Like you said, pitching them turns the file into 15,000 - 23,000 KBs. Hence, where we could download 10-15 tracks on a disk, we can only get 2-4!