Hz Conversion

Is it possible to convert already recorded music (on an MP3 player) from 440Hz to 432Hz using the Audicity program?

I think the one with the least damage is Effect > Change Speed. That will also change the length of the show, but the point is, everything changes at the same time and the interactions between parts of the performance remain intact.

You can also get there with Effect > Change Pitch, but that one needs to do a lot more work. It needs to rip the performance apart and put it back together at the new pitch while leaving the duration intact.


Your question does not actually make sense. 440 Hz and 432 Hz are frequencies.
Sound that is 440 Hz can hardly be described as “music” because 440 Hz audio is just one single “tone” (see: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/generate_menu.html#tone)

What I assume you mean is: Is it possible to change the pitch of music that is tuned to “A 440” so that it plays as it would sound if the instruments had been tuned to “A 432”.

The answer to that is a qualified “yes”. All you need to do is to use either the “Change Speed” effect or the “Change Pitch” effect with a “Percent change” setting of “-1.818” (minus 1.818).

The reason that I say it is a “qualified” answer is that it is extremely unlikely that any music is tuned exactly to 440 Hz. The playback speed of tapes, records, CDs, iPods, computers, MP3 players, or any other device is never 100% exact, so even if the instruments were tuned exactly to 440 Hz (which is itself very unlikely, especially for acoustic instruments), it will almost certainly not be tuned to exactly 440 Hz when you play the recording. Most contemporary recordings of western music are tuned approximately to 440 Hz “A”, but certainly not all music, and not all contemporary western music.

You can find previous forum discussions about this topic here: http://forum.audacityteam.org/search.php?keywords=432Hz

Does it matter what the original was tuned to as long as the objective is to create the new one tuned to 432Hz?

if you don’t know what the original was tuned to, how will you know how much to change the pitch by so as to tune it to “A 432”?
More importantly, how will you know if it really is tuned to “A 432” and not, say “A 415”?

Being just new to Audacity and not well versed at all in its capabilities, I must assume from your replies that it is not possible to just play recorded music into the program and have the program set to convert it to A=432Hz regardless of its original pitch. Is that correct?

There are plug-ins that can announce the initial tuning. However, that’s only a statistical value expressed as a probability.
There are also some auto-tune plug-ins available that can quantize the pitches.
You will notice that the frequency range in e.g. GSnap goes only up to about 2000 Hz.
The general rule is that frequencies higher than 1200 Hz (soprano singer) are increasingly out of (equal temperament) tuning.
That’s also the reason that no guitar in the world is in tune–the upper harmonics do never coincide with the equal temperament.

Thus, all attempts of re-tuning a piece to another purpose than playing along with one’s own instrument are fruitless and futile.
The universe doesn’t open its gate for the sake of a a 432-Hz tuning (subjective opinion).

Being just new to Audacity and not well versed at all in its capabilities, I must assume from your replies that it is not possible to just play recorded music into the program and have the program set to convert it to A=432Hz regardless of its original pitch. Is that correct?

You’ve been given two ways to change the file and lower the pitch. You can decrease the speed by (440-432)/440 (that’s about 2% slower) which will reduce the speed and pitch together, or you can reduce the pitch-only by the same amount.

If you don’t want to “permanently” change the file, there is a playback speed control to the right of the green play button. Double-click it and type-in 0.9818. That will reduce the speed and pitch by the ratio of 432/440.

But unless you are playing-along with the recording on an oddball instrument that’s tuned to A=432 it’s pretty much meaningless… Most music contains many-many notes above and below 440 or 432Hz and plenty of overtones & harmonics above these frequencies. Most music isn’t in the key of A, and many scales won’t even include A! (Modern western music is tuned A=440. Many instruments can’t be re-tuned and it’s a huge job to re-tune a piano. So, this is the standard that allows all musicians to play in-tune together.)

Plus, it’s a small change that you’ll probably never notice unless you have perfect pitch. And if you do have perfect pitch, it’s going to sound “wrong”, since 432 is in-between the normal notes you’ve learned. You’re more-likely to hear the side-effects of pitch-shifting (if you change the pitch without changing the speed/tempo).

No program can do that. Tuning does not work that way.
Equal temperament” is an approximation. “A 440” is just a reference point, widely adopted by musicians (particularly in the US) since the 1920’s, that allows musicians and instrument makers throughout the world to play in harmony (formally adopted by the International Organization for Standardization in 1955). A correctly tuned piano is not tuned in exact increments of 2^1/12 because that would not sound in tune. Tuning is a compromise based on natural harmonics, but “tweaked” so as to allow harmonic modulation through all 12 keys.

Assuming that A 432 Hz tuning is based on natural harmonics, then it is impossible to “retune” a modern recording to that scheme because western music has been using “tweaked” tuning for hundreds of years (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament). Changing the speed or “pitch shifting” can move one specific note frequency (and as Doug wrote, that particular note may or may not be in the particular piece of music that is being “retuned”), but it will move all frequencies across the audio spectrum by the same ratio - thus it cannot “un-tweak” the scale to make it comply with the “432” doctrine.


:smiley: :smiley: If you REALLY LIKE 432Hz, you can go to Generate → Tone and generate a constant 432Hz tone (sine, square, or sawtooth) and listen to it all day long!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I think the proponents of the 432 Hz doctrine know that all they can reasonably recommend is to apply a Pitch change of -1.818% (because the music was tuned to 440 Hz in the first place and you can’t undo that).

If it’s important to you, look at a score for the song you are interested in, select an individual note in the waveform (a solo instrument or voice would be best) then look to see what pitch Change Pitch thinks that note is. Write down the percentage change needed to make that note the pitch the score says it is. Cancel Change Pitch, select all the song, open Change Pitch then apply the percentage change you wrote down. Then do your -1.818 % change on the entire audio.

You won’t achieve what you thought you would achieve but at least you will know you have the song in the correct key and at 1.818 % lower pitch.


The best way to re-tune a piece is to search for a MIDI version.
Those songs can not only be transposed but have their own tuning scale.

I’ve tried some of the various tunings (there are a lot) on some pre-Bach “Spinett” pieces.
It’s a remarkable difference since the fifth are very strong (natural tuning), when played in the right key. If not, you’ll experience the famous “Wolfs-Quint” or in other words, the Pythagorian Comma.

The thing that I find so ironic about the whole issue of “432 Hz tuning” is that proponents of this frequently claim that the “A 440” standard was invented by the Nazis in 1939, and that “A 432” tuning was popularised by Verdi (1813 - 1901). Both of those statements are myths created by the American political extremist Lyndon LaRouche (1922 - present), who is considered by many to be a neo-fascist and anti-Semite. These myths are actively promoted by the “Schiller Institute”, a German political organisation founded by Helga Zepp-LaRouche (wife of Lyndon LaRouche) in 1984.

This post really is off-topic, but the answer to the original question has already been given (use “Change Pitch” or “Change Speed” with “Percent change = 1.818”).
I’ll not post links to support the statements above - they are all well documented facts that can be easily confirmed by historical records.

How can I put a song in 2 hz ? Thank You, please help!


This is a very old thread… What are you REALLY trying to do???

How can I put a song in 2 hz ?


1. A song doesn’t have a single-frequency. There are always harmonics and most music contains several simultaneous notes-frequencies. Normal music is tuned to A = 440Hz so all of the musicians can play in-tune. There is another ‘A’ at 220Hz and 880hz, etc. I believe there are 8 A-notes on the piano. But a particular song may not have any A-notes, depending on the key & scale of the song.

2. 2Hz is not “sound”. It’s below the range of hearing. And, it’s very difficult to reproduce such a “soundwave”…

You can generate a 2-Hz wave and if your sound system can pass it through to your speakers you’ll probably see the woofer move at 2-cycles per second, but if you hear anything at all you’ll be hearing distortion. (And, if you have a high-power amplifier you might fry your speaker.)