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Topic: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

  1. #1

    OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

    To your knowledge, what is the best solution to pitch up or down a stereo mix and preserve the best quality?

    At this point, all I have are pitch algorithms from Cubase SX3 and Wavelab.
    From producers using these 2 programs for pitching material, what are your recommendations?


    (I just finished this TV commercial and the client is happy with the music but would like the track to be slightly faster. Since most of the parts are electric & acoustic guitars, there is no way I am doing everything over again )

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

    Waves Sound-Shifter is very good. Very good. If you have not yet tried a demo of it, you'd have 14 days, and could probably get your work done and check it out simultaneously.

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution


    If you don't mind the pitch changing, simply resampling the work will have the fewest artifacts. As you know, this only works in a small range. Too much and it will sound like chipmonks are playing your guitars.

    Changing the tempo without changing the pitch is tougher - especially for mixed music. The algorithm needs to preserve the envelope of the attack and then change the pitch of the sustain. When done wrong you can get flanging and echo artifacts.

    If the chipmonk approach isn't adequate, you might try pitch shifting your analog tracks down, say 5%, then resample up 5%. That's the correct order, though some algorithms will do that as a single process for you. You'll get the best accuracy if you do this one track at a time in analog, and then lay them over your midi tracks at the new tempo.

    You might try the chipmonk method first. If that's not good enough, try preserving the pitch of the overall mix. My guess is that you won't be happy with the results and will then need to re-pitch the individual tracks.

    My experience has been with the Sonic Foundry algorithms, which work well over a limited range. SF offers a number of settings to chose from with some working better for percussion, bass, voice or higher pitched instruments.

    Best of luck with your faster version.


  4. #4

    Re: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

    Bruce, thanks for the tip man. I just downloaded the trial version and will give it a try. To bad one has to buy the bundle in order to get that specific plug...

    Jon, you obviously know more about pitch/time shifting than I do !

    The editor from the ad agency I work for on this project used his Avid workstation to pitch my music up for the client.
    I would assume his Avid plug-in for pitch shifting is not top notch and yet, he sent me the shifted track and it sounded pretty good.
    Actually, I have to say that for pop material, when the shift is not drastic (in this case 5% up) it can color the track in an interesting way. I think I like my track better up 5%

    Knowing that they want a 5% increase in speed, I have to admit that messing around with resampling is pretty frightening
    I wouldn't know where to start. Thanks for your great insight though.

    I will try out the Wave plugin and maybe the Cubase plugin and see where it takes me.

    Thank you both for your input!

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

    Bruce, Sound Shifter worked out very well, thank you!

    No obvious artifacts for a speed up of 5% (pitch stayed the same)
    The fact that the track was a rock instrumental probably made it easier.

    Shame one has to buy the bundle to get that one plugin cause I think I'd go for it otherwise.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

    The old Prosonic TimeFactory does this this kind of stuff very well, it will change pitch and tempo independently.
    Probably cheaper than the Waves stuff.


  7. #7

    Re: OT: Pitching mixes, the best solution

    Yes, that's one of the programs that I have heard of, as well as Pitch'n'Time but haven't had a chance to check out.

    Thanks for reminding me!

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