My recorded voice sounds higher than it is.

I’m using:
Audacity 2.1.3 on a Mac mini (late 2014) on OS HighSierra 10.13.6
I’m trying to do some professional sounding voice overs using a Rode NT1 mic with a Zoom H4n Pro portable recorder as an interface. I’m recording at 44.1.
My speaking voice, a baritone, has always sounded pretty much like it should on the playback. Until now. Now the playback sounds higher, like, say, a baritone chipmunk. I know how to adjust the pitch in Effects but it doesn’t really sound quite right and I shouldn’t have to do that every time anyway, right? Any thoughts on why this is happening?

If the recording sounds smooth (not clicky or broken) but just the wrong speed / pitch, then there’s probably a sample rate mismatch somewhere. Check

Is the Zoom set to 44100 Hz sample rate?

Why not record directly onto the Zoom? That would also avoid problems of computer fan noise.

Hi Steve.
Thanks for the reply. I just reset all the defaults as you advised in a reply to someone else (I thought it couldn’t hurt). Then I recorded a test but the higher than natural voice problem with the playback remained. Then I went ahead and upgraded to Aud. 2.3.2 then test recorded again. Still the problem persists.
There is actually a clicky, broken thing for about a second and a half after I hit record whether I record my voice or not. So if I just wait that brief moment before talking, I can just delete that part at the beginning and that doesn’t affect the recording, but my adult chipmunk remains the same (and I think those two things started happening at the same time).

The Zoom is set to 44100 (as is my Audacity).
I have actually never used the Zoom (yet) as anything but an interface. I don’t really have a fan noise problem that I’m aware of. I’m really used to working while looking at Audacity on the screen and was hoping that the problem could be resolved with things set up as they are. Any further suggestions?

I have actually never used the Zoom (yet) as anything but an interface.

Maybe it’s time to start. Using the Zoom stand-alone is a terrific way to get around computer interface problems. My H1n has a sound meter as part of its display and as long as I don’t go nuts with theatrical emphasis or other volume effects, the recording doesn’t overload.

Then connect the H4n to the computer and switch it to act as a chip data transfer manager rather than a sound interface (the Zooms are all slightly different).

You may need to put batteries in the Zoom. I think they will run on USB power while they’re connected to the computer, but need the batteries to record stand-alone.

If all you do is create a stand-alone sound test, that will tell us a lot if it starts working. That will also give you a desperation production method until we figure out what’s happening.

I was able to create a voice track that sounded like me and easily mastered to audiobook standards using the Zoom H1n built-in microphones and a quiet room. No computer. This can be done.


If you record a test on the Zoom built-in memory, you can listen to it right on the Zoom and make sure the Zoom isn’t broken.