Pitch Change

Is there a way to change pitch accurately on Audacity?
I need to first find what the actual Concert A is (which is usually 440Hz), then change it to 432Hz. Pitch Effects chooses to recognize some other note other than pitch A4…

I have been suggested to enter 440 at the (From Entry) to 432 at the (To Entry) box. Yet this assumes that my music is already at 440, which is not correct at all. Many recordings use their own pitches. So, first I need to find out what the pitch is at A4 (concert A) first, then work at the change accordingly.

Please! Enlighten me! It’s been a pain to deal with the random pitch choices…

You can analyze the oboe “A” at the beginning of the orchestral work. With a little effort that should tell you where the oboe actually is and give you the “from” number. Past that, I know of no way to divine where the music is.


You can find the frequency of a tone by using “Plot Spectrum” (Analyze menu).
Find an “A”, select it, and use Plot Spectrum. The fundamental tone will usually be the highest peak on the graph.
In Plot Spectrum, higher numbers for the “Size” will produce more accurate graphs, though you need to have a big enough selection to use a large “Size”.
Setting the “Axis” to “Log Frequency” is generally easier to read than “Linear Frequency”.

Once you have an accurate figure for the original frequency, lets say it is 440 and you want to change the pitch to 432:
432 - 440 = -8
-8/440 = −0.018181818
−0.018181818 x 100 = −1.8181818 %

Set “Change Tempo” to −1.8181818 %

The general case:
(target frequency - original frequency) / original frequency
then x 100.

Also the “Sliding Time Scale / Pitch Shift” effect (available in Audacity 1.3.13) will generally produce better quality sound than the standard “Change Pitch” effect (though processing takes longer due to the more complex time stretching method).
The calculations are the same.

The “Change Speed” effect produces the highest quality sound when changing pitch, though the “Change Speed” effect changes both pitch and tempo.

Hey thanks guys for the quick response.

Steve I tried the analyze method and found several measures for A4 ranging from 435-450Hz. Quite unusual. If I choose the highest Hz, I doubt it would be correct. No one tunes that high. That’s glass shattering pitch up in high registers :smiley: .

Also, I am doing this conversion for about 100 cd’s. It would be helpful if the pitch recognized would be the standard A4 with is what tuners calibrate to and all instruments and singers refer to to be cohesive in any piece. The A4 is the single reference, so if we find that, we find everyone.

If there isn’t a way to get A4 easily recognized, I would like to suggest it as an update in the program. There is quite a large movement online and offline that are recaliberating their pitches to 432Hz and several others, so even their mp3 files are targeted for change. I hope to see this improvement.

Thank you for the info on speed change, because that does effect the overall results.


With the “Size” parameter in “Plot Spectrum” set to 16384 then the graph around 4-500 Hz will be accurate to the nearest 1 Hz.
Note that if you hover the mouse pointer over the graph there is a read-out below the graph showing the peak value closest to the pointer position.