Recording in a lower key

I’m recording a song in the key of A. When I play it back it’s playing in a key higher,
the key of A#/ Bflat. Does anyone know why it would do this and what to do to correct the problem?

You in particular should have posted in one of the three platform specific trouble forums. The first thing we’re going to do now is start asking you which Audacity you have, which machine you have and which operating system, etc., etc., etc.

Live performance in front of a microphone? Which microphone and how are you getting it into the computer? Model and hard numbers, please.


Hey, I’m a newbie. Audacity 1.3 beta. Using a dell dimention 4600. Windows xp. a electric hollow body guitar played thru a Peavey Amp into the computer. The guitar is played in the key of A and after recorded it plays back in A#. I can lay down additional tracks played in A and they too are recorded and played in A#. I can work around that but laying down a vocal track with the already recorded guitar tracks doesn’t work. I sing in A# and it replayes in B on out of key. Microphone is though the amp then into the computer too.


That’s the part we need detail on. The Peavey has a “Tape Out” or something like that? You’re plugged into the “Line In” of the Dell, right? Short cable across the floor?

So you’re using the Peavey as a mixer. Cool. I wish more people did it that way instead of trying to mix inside the computer. That’s usually a nightmare.

You may have your own nightmare. Can you tell if the sound connections are on the motherboard, or are part of a sound card either you or someone added?


The Tape out I’m using is the headphone jack. It plugs in to the Line In on the computer. Yes the cable is only about 4 ft long. The sound connections are to the motherboard I believe as it’s as I received it from Dell, and no sound card has been added. I can change the pitch of the vocal track by a half step semitone to match the track with the others but that is not ideal in my mind. What ever key I record in is what should be played back. I did not have this problem when I was using Audacity with my laptop. Only on my PC.

This is high on the “Stump The Band” meter, but I do have an idea.

Cross the two systems. Record something short on one system and export as a WAV file and play it on the other. Then reverse it. See which one is off pitch.

One more thing, if you have it, try recording on the Windows Sound Recorder:

<<<Windows Sound Recorder is a great idea, it’s in the Start → Programs → Accessories → Entertainment>>>

I think your computer is broken (the one with the pitch change). I’m now trying to figure out which part of it. Regardless of what we find, you probably won’t be able to use that machine for music.