Way to slow down prose?

Hi. I hope this is the right sub-forum to ask this in. Is there a good way to slow down the recording of someone speaking prose without altering the pitch? The Audacity effect “Change Tempo” doesn’t work for me. It introduces obvious artifacts at even small reductions. But given what they seem to be able to do digitally to people’s voices, I would think there’d be an easy way to do this.

Thanks for any help?

Maybe this: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/extend-silences/34612/1

Thanks for the suggestion, but I’m looking for a way to slow down the speed at which speech is spoken, not to introduce longer gaps.

In that case you have five options:

  1. Slow down using “Change Speed” (changes the pitch as well as the tempo)
  2. Use “Change Tempo” with the default (fast) algorithm.
  3. Use “Change Tempo” with the “high quality” algorithm.
  4. Use any combination of any of the above, with or without “Extend Silences”.
  5. Re-record with the reader speaking more slowly.

Option 5 is likely to be the best option in terms of sound quality.

Is there a good way to slow down the recording of someone speaking prose without altering the pitch?

Because? Sometimes we need to know a little of the goal to suggest a solution. The above is your interpretation of a possible solution, not the goal.

  1. Re-record with the reader speaking more slowly.

That would be the most graceful solution with the fewest errors and least post-production labor.

So one question is whether you want to work with existing productions or not.


The original narrator read the lines too quickly. It sounds hurried. I understand that slowing down the recording won’t fully fix it, but from what I can tell, it still would sound better than the original, if not for the artifacts introduced by the “Change Tempo” effect.

Unfortunately, the original narrator isn’t available.

You ae fighting nearly the same problem as people wanting to change Male to Female or the reverse. Not all parts of a spoken presentation change. The software has to rip the sound apart, change only the desired parts and then smash everything back together. The finished job almost always sounds as graceful and clean as that suggests.

Do you have the work as printed text? Some of the Text To Speech applications are getting good enough. I’ve posted that I recently made it several minutes into a YouTube video before the voice made a mistake typical of a Text To Speech application.

The job nearly always comes back to read it again.

Can you post some of the work? You can post up to ten seconds of WAV sound file on the forum. Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments > Add Files.


Thanks. While far from ideal, I might have to check this option out.