Pitch change in recording

I’ve started having a weird problem - I’ve used Audacity for years with an old Tascam USB audio interface (US-428) to record into various computers - my current computer being a fairly recent-vintage Windows 10 machine. Last week I attempted to record several minutes of audio from my keyboard into Audacity, and on playback I found that partway through the recording, the pitch shifted down about 3/4 of a pitch (input was in the key of D, and the recording had shifted to the crack between C and C#). On another try I got the first stereo track to record correctly, but now every time I try to lay an additional audio track, the new audio is pitch-shifted down. I can reproduce this by starting a new project, recording a “D” from my Tunity app (playback plays “D”), adding a new track, recording “D” on the new track (during recording I hear the original “D” and the new one) - when I playback I hear two distinct pitches. On the current version of Audcity, the second recording shows a bunch of “dropout points” after it is recorded. I tried all kinds of things to fix it:

  • Toyed with various controls in Audacity
  • Plugged USB cable into a different USB port
  • Checked every control on the US-428
  • Researched audio latency
  • Uninstalled unrelated but unused software
  • Ran dpclat and LatencyMon to see if they could find a latency problem (they didn’t)
  • Tweaked sample rates between 44100 and 48000
  • Checked the battery in my mic direct box (!) (Hey, it was worth a shot!)
  • Uninstalled and reinstalled Audacity using “reset my preferences” (so now I’m on 2.2.2)

Nothing helps! I should mention that I have Anvil Studio installed, and I can record multiple audio tracks in that without seeing this behavior. It seems like Audacity is the only common denominator, but like I said, I’ve used Audacity literally for years and never seen anything like this.

Windows enhancements can shift the pitch, and should be disabled …

Well, I may have solved the problem, so wish me luck. There are no Windows Enhancements on the drivers for my device, but I did discover that the “Default Format” for the playback for the device was set to 48000 Hz somehow, when I always run in 44100 Hz. When I matched that up, the problem seems to have gone away. I’m too tired to work on recording tonight, but I’ll post a follow-up here when I get back into it and do some more multitracking.

I had this problem and I found out that it only happens when there are tracks layered with different sample rates in the same window. You either have to change those before adding them or find a way to change them in audacity.

Pure pitch change is pretty hard to do. But Speed Change, pitch and duration, is a snap. Just mess up the sampling rate.

Precisely defining the problem is good.


Perhaps you were using an old version of Audacity. I don’t see this problem with the current Audacity 2.4.2.