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Old 21st June 2006
Lives for gear

The pitch shifting in DAWs usually implements timestretching and formant shifting. The artififacts produced are shocking, and I find them unuseable.

However - simple tape varispeed changes the time and the formants, so to compare apples with apples you have to compare tape varispeed against digital pitchshift with time-stretching and formant shifting disabled.

I find that disabling time stretch and formants gives me the pure varispeed effect without any undesirable artifacts. In Cubase SX3, this is done by simply using the offline pitch shifter, and unchecking the timestretch and formant shifting boxes.

In SX3, you can also achieve the same thing by applying the offline sample rate conversion. But I find it's nicer to specify the interval I want with the pitch shifter - it really achieves the same thing, just a different way of looking at it.

The effect is also easily achieved with a sampler that can map a single sample to the entire keyboard.

I'm not convinced that tape is necessary for sound design.