My voice is being recorded lower than the pitch I am speaking?


I’m new here and trying to figure out how to get started recording audiobooks. But as I’ve started to learn more and try more things with Audacity, I’ve run into a few problems. Before today, my recording always played back at the same pitch I spoke at while recording. Today, I opened up Audacity, set up my XLR AudioTechnica 2020 mic and Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface like I always do, and started test recording. However, when I played back the clips, I noticed that the pitch in the recording was around 2 half steps (1 whole note) lower than I was originally speaking it. I tested it multiple times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke and it didn’t change. I exited out and reloaded the program as well with no results. I made sure my project rate was at 44100 Hz like it and my Default Sample Format was set at the 32-bit float. I read a post on here that mentioned trying a 16-bit float but that didn’t work either. I tried double-checking everything was plugged in correctly and that I hadn’t changed any settings from where they normally were.

Can anyone help? As I said, it just started today and I can’t for the life of me figure out why…

Thanks for any and all advice!

I read a post on here that mentioned trying a 16-bit float

You should leave the 32-bit float alone. Audacity needs that to avoid sound damage during editing.

My guess is the sample rate. You can get an almost perfect one note shift by going between 48000 video rate and 44100 audio CD rate.

You can force a change like that with the rate setting under the drop-down menu to the left of the track. That should match the rate at the bottom-left of the Audacity editing window. Does it?

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What else do you use on your machine? Skype or Zoom? They can take control of your microphone system, make changes, and not tell you. You should totally not leave either of them (or any others) running in the background while you’re trying to announce. They can also leave changes behind after they close.

Just for this once, clean shutdown your Windows machine. Shift+Shutdown, wait, and then start. This may take longer than a regular shutdown. Tonal pitch still shifting?


Audacity has two processes really handy for audiobook readers. There is an Audiobook Mastering Suite.

These tools guarantee two of the three ACX sound specifications from your performance sound file.

This is a short-form version.

We offer ACX-Check, a simple, prebaked testing tool to show you how you’re doing.


Do you have your book picked out?

The above tools only deal with the mechanical and electrical specifications of your sound files. You also have to be able to read well (there’s no good way to automate voice quality testing) and ACX has some other items.

– They used to offer to analyze a short test chapter before you submitted the whole book. Unless they recently change it, they don’t do that any more. You can submit short tests on the forum and we can give you an idea of your status. But for ACX, I think submitting the whole book in one go is the only way left. You can’t submit a book or chapter on the forum.

– Your book has to be offered for sale on Amazon in either paper or eBook.

– You can’t be reading a cookbook, technical manual, or yoga chant. There is a list of bad book candidates. Scroll down.