Just looking for some opinions on the best sounds to pitch down and/or slow down, which give the best interesting results? I need them for an example of how pitching and altering the speed of a sound can be used.

Originally i was going to use bird recordings, any one have any suggestions?


8 Answers 8


just two examples:

for pitch shifting, look for sounds that are resonant in mid frequencies - pitching them down an octave or two shifts them into bass frequencies & can make for a dramatic contrast with the original sound....

i've always been impressed with time stretched bell sounds (you'll want to use a spectral time stretch like AudioSculpt so grain doesnt become an issue) - slow modulations become apparent that you cant hear/dont notice in the original sound due to the speed....

  • Cheers tim! It's actually your work that gave me the pitched down bird idea ;)
    – Harry
    Apr 20, 2013 at 23:21
  • Insects pitched are v.interesting too - what appears as a continuous tone reveals the actual rhythym
    – user49
    Apr 21, 2013 at 23:36

The human voice. Channel your inner child and sit in front of a good mic (in a good room) for a bit and make the weirdest sounds you can think of. Roar, moan, cough, flutter your tongue. Put the mic againt your throat...whistle...blow raspberries... Make as much material as possible.

Now repeat all of this with a friend of yours who is the opposite gender, or just has a very different voice.

If you can, record all of this at 24bit 192Khz — or at least the highest sample rate your gear can muster.

The perk: you don't have to leave the studio, buy any props, or lay out newspaper :).



White Noise. Pitching white noise should theoretically give the same result however it will not as it will contain artifacts of the processing depending on the algorithm, thus evidencing the perceived negatives of digital processing.

The same applies to Time-Stretching. Depending on the algorithm used, it is possible to create 'tone' from noise as the window size or grain size will eventually create a perceived pitch due to the wavelets.

This is really an example of over-processing or digital destruction and is delving into the 'Post-Digital' Territory.


Bowed or otherwise tortured metal:



If recorded well at high quality, I'm a big fan of rubber and duct tape being pulled. Lots of interesting noises appear


Springs of varying types. Really, everything sounds awesome time and pitched. Just the greatest. If it doesn't already sound totally awesome, it at least will give you ideas of how different some things can sound, expanding your palette.


Try fireworks or similar stuff. They make a great "distant war" ambience.


Sewing machine. When you pitch down, the sound becomes a low pulley with regular mechanic sound. Voice is excellent to create big beast or monster, or little creature. The rubber is nice too for little creature.

There are many and many examples .....

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