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Old 05-05-2017, 09:44 AM   #1
Max Dread
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Default Best free (or cheap) software for changing the pitch of pre-recorded music

Hi all

I've got a bunch of songs which were recorded in D and that I need to pitch shift to the key of E (for guitar lessons and play along).

Does software differ in how well it does this, in terms of sound quality? And if so, can anyone recommend any freeware or cheap software which will do it well?

It would also be interesting to know how the sound quality of freeware/"cheapware" would compare to doing it with more expensive software (Wavelab, etc or any dedicated SW you can buy to do this).

Many thanks

Max
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:08 PM   #2
trevlyns
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That's only two semitones - why not bring them into Reaper, double click each item in turn to get Item Properties and raise the pitch by 2
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevlyns View Post
That's only two semitones - why not bring them into Reaper, double click each item in turn to get Item Properties and raise the pitch by 2
Would that be as good a quality as using an audio editor or an app dedicated solely to things like pitch shifting?

Many thanks for the reply
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:41 PM   #4
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Can't speak with authority on that, but I recently had a project where I had to drop the backing track for a singer to -5 semitones. It wasn't noticeable or 'Mickey Mouse' sounding.
More experienced comments please
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:36 PM   #5
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I think Reaper's item pitch shift is great.

Make sure to set offline resample mode to extreme quality for offline renders in project settings, and try the different formant settings in the drop-down menu. Then freeze/render the track offline.

Last edited by Judders; 05-05-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:23 PM   #6
onewayout
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Quote:
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I think Reaper's item pitch shift is great.

Make sure to set offline resample mode to extreme quality for offline renders in project settings, and try the different formant settings in the drop-down menu. Then freeze/render the track offline.
I agree with this too...I use reapitch all the time to do backing tracks and need this when readjusting the key to a song (-:
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:49 AM   #7
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OK, great. I'll give that a go when I get a minute...

But just to be clear, there are two (maybe three) ways to achieve the pitch shift? One is using reapitch. Another is using the built in pitch shift. Do people have a preference?

As for the built in one, there seems to be two options when you go to properties.

- Under "Take properties" there is the field "Pitch adjust(semitones)"
- Then there is another section headed "Take pitch shift/time stretch mode" which has a drop down menu, a box for "Stretch marker fade size" and a tick box for "Optimize for tonal content".

Are these two separate options and if so what is the difference? Or am I misunderstanding it?

Tbh, I have not used Reaper much and am therefore quite new to it all. What I did learn was all some time ago now and has therefore been more or less forgotten.

Many thanks
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Old 05-06-2017, 02:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Dread View Post
OK, great. I'll give that a go when I get a minute...

But just to be clear, there are two (maybe three) ways to achieve the pitch shift? One is using reapitch. Another is using the built in pitch shift. Do people have a preference?

As for the built in one, there seems to be two options when you go to properties.

- Under "Take properties" there is the field "Pitch adjust(semitones)"
- Then there is another section headed "Take pitch shift/time stretch mode" which has a drop down menu, a box for "Stretch marker fade size" and a tick box for "Optimize for tonal content".

Are these two separate options and if so what is the difference? Or am I misunderstanding it?

Tbh, I have not used Reaper much and am therefore quite new to it all. What I did learn was all some time ago now and has therefore been more or less forgotten.

Many thanks
Don't worry about the stretch marker stuff, that's if you're varying the pitch throughout (like you would to tune a vocal).

For your needs, just type in the semitone adjustment in the item properties, maybe try some different formant options in project settings, then freeze the track.
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Old 05-29-2017, 02:50 PM   #9
Michael Z Freeman
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Reaper can do it, so can mixxx, http://mixxx.org
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Dread View Post
OK, great. I'll give that a go when I get a minute...

But just to be clear, there are two (maybe three) ways to achieve the pitch shift? One is using reapitch. Another is using the built in pitch shift. Do people have a preference?
Pitch shift plugin is more for real time effects, and the quality isn't as good. Sometimes that roughness is what you're after, but REAPER's item pitch envelope is much better quality, especially when you render offline (freeze) and have the resample quality ramped up.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:19 PM   #11
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This has quite a good pitch shift engine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1EnR8R-0Ew

Does other stuff too...
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:20 PM   #12
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Sorry - it's monophonic only.
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