- Transcribe sheet music using tempo-changing software.Fountain pen on music sheet image by Paul Hill from Fotolia.com
Slowing down a recorded song used to be limited to fixed methods of reducing the playback speed of media like tape or vinyl records, which also lowered the pitch relative to the playback speed. The advent of digital music has changed the soundscape dramatically, introducing the ability to vary speed and pitch of songs independently. Slowing a song can help to transcribe music into written sheet music, or help when learning a difficult vocal or instrumental part of any song. A variety of programs are available that make it is possible to vary the tempo of a song while preserving or changing its original pitch as needed.
The Amazing Slowdowner
- The Amazing Slowdowner is a program that allows you to modify the pitch and speed of CD songs. You can adjust the equalizer levels, choose from five different types of "slow down," and select specific start and stop times in each song to be modified. You can adjust the pitch of the song as well, regardless of what speed setting you select. A free trial is available that will allow you to test it on the first two tracks of any CD. The full version costs $49.95 as of August 2010.
- This free software is a simpler tool than The Amazing Slowdowner, but will also allow you to slow down the pitch of CD songs and songs already on your hard drive. Riffster Lite allows you to import a song into the main console, where you can adjust the tempo without altering the pitch . You can also manually change the pitch of the song by + or - three harmonic intervals, regardless of what tempo you've set. You can set loops for continuous playback as well.
Pulse Master Pro
- Like the other software listed, Pulse Master Pro allows you to change the tempo of a song without affecting the pitch. This program also lets you slow down and speed up a song in the standard way as well, where the tempo and pitch change in relation to each other. You can set points in the song to playback as a continuous loop, and adjust the left/right balance. Pulse Master Pro also allows you to adjust the pitch of a song in defined harmonic increments, or in finely tuned, smaller gradual steps. The free version of this software will let you edit the first 30 seconds of any song. The full version costs $59.99 as of August 2010.