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I'm involved with recording a lot of a capella choir performances, and it's not uncommon for the group to drop 1/2 to a full step through the course of a song. I was hoping with Pro Tools' elastic audio feature that I could raise the ending pitch to match the beginning and have it apply the correction throughout the region, but alas, you can only alter the pitch of an entire regions by a static amount. Does anyone know of a way to apply gradual pitch shifts?

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migrated from Jan 27 '14 at 15:07

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While there are lots of plugins that can do this, I would really really discourage this! Especially in live performances, changing things like this can be considered unethical (since you significantly disagree with the paradigm 'moving the concert into the living room'). Apart from that, there are technical reasons as well. You are not only increasing the voices, but also their formants (i.e. the fundamental characteristics of the voices change) and you are altering the accoustics, i.e. shortening the reverberation time of the room the recording was made in. My general advice: Don't do this. – Pelle ten Cate Dec 8 '10 at 20:33
Just for the sake of completeness, if you were doing a session instead of a live registration, this wouldn't be the solution either. The only correct solution in that situation would be: consider the take bad and record a new one. If you run out of time and have to choose between a lot of bad takes, pick the one that is the least bad. – Pelle ten Cate Dec 8 '10 at 20:36
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Although I highly discourage doing this - EVER - in a live recording, as with most problems there is a suitable solution.

The Pitch Shift plugin that comes with Pro Tools can do cent-based shifts in pitch. You can use automation to gradually increase the pitch as the choir's pitch decreases.

If you are not happy with the quality the pitch shift plugin gets you, you could have a look at the Melodyne plugin by Celemony. Very good plugin, which I used multiple times in pop studio productions on instruments, but it might do fine as well on vocals.

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I haven't used Pro Tools, but this is easily done in Adobe Audition using Effects -> Time and Pitch -> Pitch Bender.

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Sound Forge has an excellent gradual pitch bend effect.

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