Simple audio program to adjust speed of recording but NOT pitch

Posted on 2011-10-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I need a program for a Windows XP PC which can take music on a CD or MP3 file and slow down the tune but NOT adjust the pitch.  I don't care about other features but this one feature is key.
Question by:brothertruffle880
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Brian Gee
    Try Audacity which is a free audio file editor.

    Open your file in Audacity and you should be able to go to Effect > Change Speed... slow down what you need. We are not intentionally changing the pitch as there is an option in the program that will allow you to do so intentionally if you so needed.
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    Good suggestion by yobri there, except that the effect you are looking for is "Effect menu > Change TEMPO".  The "Change Speed" effect increases the pitch.  The Tempo effect keeps the pitch the same but increases the number of beats per minute.

    The Change Speed effect is like putting your finger onto a vinyl record on a turntable and pushing it around faster than it should be playing, whereas the Change Tempo effect is like a marching band playing in a fixed key and then speeding up the "step" or slowing it back down again.

    Are you a guitarist learning from slowed down audio instruction MP3s by any chance?
    If so, then there are devices designed to do this, but I have found that Audacity is just as good.

    The effect isn't always perfect though, especially if you increase or reduce the tempo a lot from the original.  Sometimes it can cause a few glitches.  In fairly small increments the Audacity Tempo effect is really pretty good.

    I have attached an MP3 containing a snippet from a popular song that has a steady and obvious beat.  It is repeated within the MP3 and fades from one into the next as follows:
    Original --> Speed +5% --> Speed -5% (from original) -->
    Original --> Tempo +5% --> Tempo -5% (from original).
    The pitch change of the "Speed" effect should be apparent if you hum the key, whereas it should remain in the same key with the Tempo effect applied.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    If you need to know a bit more about Audacity (installation, loading files, exporting, or manipulating tracks) then just ask.  Quite a few of us here are pretty conversant with it and may be able to save you some time hunting through help files for the answer.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    brothertruffle.  I mentioned "devices" in my previous comment.

    Here is a retail program for $50 that allows you just to load an audio file into its own "player" and immediately modify the tempo:
    "Amazing Slow Downer" by Roni Music (versions for Windows and Mac):

    This is the area that you are most likely to find such a program, ie. guitarists needing to slow down a piece of music in the same key to learn the parts.  There are others, and possibly some will be free, but this is one I have used previously and I know it works:

    When you see the software writer referring to "stretched", that is exactly what it does.  If you were to apply the tempo effect in Audacity to decrease the tempo of an MP3 file, you would see the playback time of the audio file being lengthened.

    Another one here for $50 named "Guitar and Drum Trainer" that I haven't tested:
    This one allows you to encode (ie. save out /export your reduced tempo audio as a new file).

    Author Comment

    Will Audicity allow me to slow the tempo of the music on a CD?  That's what I need.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Hi brothertruffle.

    No, Audacity only opens audio files.  To use it for your purpose you would first have to "rip" one or more tracks from the CD to suitable audio files and then open them separately in Audacity.  You can rip tracks from a CD to *.WMA, *.MP3, or to uncompressed large *.WAV files using Windows Media Player, your CD burning software, or any one of the free and retail "CD Rippers" downloadable from the Internet.

    The Amazing Slow Downer that I mentioned in my previous statement WILL do what you need:
    "... just insert the CD and press the play button."
    It is a retail application ($50), but you can test it out before buying.


    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you brothertruffle.

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