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Subject:Pitch Shift Plug-ins (VST / DX)
Posted by: MikeDee
Date:1/31/2005 2:32:38 PM

I'm using the Sony [SoFo] Pitch Shift (including the Pitch Shift algorithm built into Acid Pro 5) and DSP/FX Pitch Transposer plug-ins. They appear to do a decent job...however, there is one caveat which is rather frustrating:

The time stretch/shrink algorithm works pretty well...for example, I can take finished songs and align them to the same tempo without changing their pitch. (Nothing new here.)

The pitch shift is another story, though: When I transpose a song up or down while retaining the same tempo, the song experiences the s-l-o-w-d-o-w-n or Chipmunk effect. I am unable to retain the same "timbre" so that the song will sound the same no matter the key. there a Pitch Shift plug-in that will change pitch [key] while retaining the same "timbre" or "speed?"...or, rather, *formants*?

Thanks in advance.

Subject:RE: Pitch Shift Plug-ins (VST / DX)
Reply by: JohnnyRoy
Date:1/31/2005 5:47:22 PM

> I am unable to retain the same "timbre" so that the song will sound the same no matter the key.

In general, this is not possible. There are pitch shift plug-ins that are made specifically for voice. Since they assume the source is a vocal, they can make certain assumptions about the tonal characteristics of the human voice and compensate accordingly. (I believe this is how plug-ins like Auto-tune work) But in general, there is no way for a plug-in to sense timbre and maintain it.

The same thing happens in sampling software that only uses a few samples. The more you stretch a sample, the more it looses its natural tonal characteristics. That’s because different harmonics are introduced at the higher pitch and the original sample lacks these new harmonics.

The best software I know of that does this is Melodyne, which is standalone multi-track software package of its own. They are working on a plug-in called Melodyne Uno that I’m hoping will work well with ACID. You might want to download the Melodyne demo although, if I remember correctly, it only works with their supplied files so you can’t try it on your song.


Subject:RE: Pitch Shift Plug-ins (VST / DX)
Reply by: MikeDee
Date:2/1/2005 5:18:41 AM

Thanks for your help, jr. I did come across another VST plug-in called delaydots Pitchworks ( It's pretty solid, and it sounds good. Of course, it doesn't solve my formant problem, but the price is :)

Can't wait for the plug-in version of Melodyne. I would've bought the whole enchilada, but even the street price is a bit too steep...over 5 bills. <ouch>


Subject:RE: Pitch Shift Plug-ins (VST / DX)
Reply by: spinweb
Date:2/1/2005 6:37:04 AM

I've wondered what these pitch shift plug ins are for. Can I get them to massage a vocal line so that it's in perfect tune?



Subject:RE: Pitch Shift Plug-ins (VST / DX)
Reply by: JohnnyRoy
Date:2/1/2005 6:50:01 AM

Yea, Melodyne is way too rich for me too. At the NAMM show, they quoted a MSRP of $199 for Melodyne Uno so I assume it will have a street price of around $149, which is much easier to swallow. Hopefully it will be out soon.


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