Ripping old audio cassette with pitch issues

Audacity 2.1.1
Windows 10

I am trying to rip old cassette recordings of my father’s autobiography to my computer. The cassettes are probably 20 years or more old, recorded on a small personal recording device. I think that due to the age of the cassette as well as starting and stopping the tape during recording, I’m getting voice pitch changes particularly on the second side. On some of the cassettes the change is pretty dramatic. I don’t have any pitch control on the cassette player I’m recording from. I’m very limited on experience with audio software in general.

Is there a way to even out the pitch across the entire recording? I tried playing with various settings as I was ripping the cassette but without luck. I’ve played with the pitch control while playing the WAV file after ripping and I can get some limited positive results.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Jeff Snyder

Have you tried a different tape player?

You can use the Change Speed effect, which changes the speed and pitch together just like when you speed-up or slow-down a tape or record.

Is there a way to even out the pitch across the entire recording?

There’s no way to automatically fix the speed/pitch problems and you may have to make adjustment in sections. …Well, there might be a way. [u]Celemony Capstan[/u] might be able to do it, but it costs $200 USD to rent the software for 5 days.

I suppose you have tried winding and rewinding the tapes several times before playing them?

You could also try putting the tapes in a warm, dry place to evaporate moisture. Not over 40°C. Leave them for a couple of days. Try this with one tape before doing it with the entire batch.