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the_organist 27th June 2013 11:25 AM

How to change the tempo/pitch without distortion
I've been having trouble changing the pitch or tempo on music files (MP3) without hearing unpleasant distortion as a result, using Audacity.

The original files are fine, but once modified and played back, there is an obvious distortion. Hard to describe, but they have a certain "jumpy" sound.

Originals are typically around 3M per track, 128k bit rate. The music is provided legally for church use, but higher quality files aren't available - in other words, this is what I have to work with.

This is traditional church pipe organ music with deep bass and the problem isn't noticed on the laptop or with decent headphones, but on a playback system with more bass it is obvious.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to do this.

1. Can it be done well with Audacity? If so, what might I have done wrong?
2. Is there other software I could use?
3. Is the problem that the originals are simply not good enough?

lowpassfilter 27th June 2013 09:26 PM

1. no, well... if you use varispeed you can do it without digital artifacts but the tempo will change with pitch.
2. Yes, I like Radius by iZotope but I am sure anything commercial will be better than Audacity.
3. It's not helping, but changing pitch or tempo will always have some artifacts.

Dynamikemusic 27th June 2013 09:50 PM

I'm not familiar with Audacity but Logic Pro has a great flex tool with speed changing and other algorithms. It works the same as the pitch control on a cd player. But that's a DAW. About software: Radius indeed and maybe Celemony Melodyne (although I use the last one only for 'finding' notes in melodic loops or samples).