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strange, strange pitch shifting
Old 11th April 2007
  #1
strange, strange pitch shifting

I find this so weird and a bit frustrating…

When I have a song and I play it in quicktime there's some magic when I pitch shift the whole thing down… Of course it doesn't sound better but at the same time the whole thing get's this warm sound… a bit softer, how come ? I would like to have this effect but without the pitch shifting and the bad sound (another part of this effect;some kind of bad timing etc.), has anyone got an explenation on this one ?
Old 11th April 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Palmier View Post
I find this so weird and a bit frustrating…

When I have a song and I play it in quicktime there's some magic when I pitch shift the whole thing down… Of course it doesn't sound better but at the same time the whole thing get's this warm sound… a bit softer, how come ? I would like to have this effect but without the pitch shifting and the bad sound (another part of this effect;some kind of bad timing etc.), has anyone got an explenation on this one ?
It's a well known and long used side effect of slowing down or speeding up a recording. Been used in pop music for decades. There are times when a semi tone shift up can add some zing to a song or even just to one track. To avoid changing keys when done in the old fashioned method on analog multitrack, the speed was changed up during the vocal tracking (for an example where you want your voice to sound a little bigger/deeper than it really is), you record it like that at a slightly higher pitch and slightly higher speed but in time and pitch with what you're hearing (the playback of the band will be faster/higher also of course), then when you play back your full recording at regular speed again everything will be as it was originally but your voice will be pitch shifted down to be in the original key. Strange, but kewl. The opposite was done occasionally (slowing down tracking during vocal retake) to give the singer the ability to sing a couple of notes higher and to give him/her a more intense brighter/younger sound.

I personally think it was done on occasional led zeppelin tracks, for example maybe on some of the tracking from the houses of the holy album, but I don't really know and may be giving Mr. Plant less credit than he was due at that age. But it always seemed strange to me that his voice sounded dramatically younger and brighter and higher on the occasional song later in the career of led zep than it did on led zep 1 and 2 when he was, in fact, younger .

Either way, that's my conjecture about a band, totally got sidetracked. The technique is cool though eh? So that's one way you could do it, if you want the effect on one or two instruments, pitch shift everything else up to listen to them while you track your instrument (also tuned up or played higher to match the shifted playback tracks), then turn off pitch shifting on all those tracks and turn it on to the track you just recorded, but shifting down instead of up like the other tracks were. Might give the effect you're looking for.

Or better yet get a 16 track reel to reel and do it the proper way LoL, but digital shifting still offers a bit of that nice effect, not quite as warm, but still nice.

What pitch shifter are you using by the way?

Cheers,
Don
Old 13th April 2007
  #3
Hi,

Thnx for the replie… I just had a mixdown version of a song I'm working on on my desktop, opened it in quicktime and changed it with the AV settings in quicktime, so just plain quicktime pitching hèhè… It's sounds quite cool on the rhodes piano, it makes it sound more relaxed… the attack is less hearable on the keys (probably because this is really no good pitch shifting :-) ) and it makes it sound a bit more like a nice warm pad… I recorded the effect:
(original first - pitched second)

www.citywurl.com/files/rhodes.aiff

I wonder if I could achieve the same effect by cutting the attack a bit with an enveloper and some chorus kind of effect… quite interesting
Old 13th April 2007
  #4
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woomanmoomin's Avatar
 

Is there some slight tremolo on the Rhodes or something? Maybe you could just play further down the keyboard and add some wobbly slow tremolo. Or play the vibraphone.

Actually, now that I think about it, just slowing the original track down probably added modulation to the Rhodes track here...

Oh, I don't know. The bass goes wobbly because it gets slower as well...
Old 13th April 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by woomanmoomin View Post
Is there some slight tremolo on the Rhodes or something? Maybe you could just play further down the keyboard and add some wobbly slow tremolo. Or play the vibraphone.

Actually, now that I think about it, just slowing the original track down probably added modulation to the Rhodes track here...

Oh, I don't know. The bass goes wobbly because it gets slower as well...
yea, or quicktime just sucks at pitch shifting and has a 200ms sample refresh in it's shifting algorhythm or something (how the hell do you spell algarythm?)
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