A question in multiple parts:

First off, we're all recording at the highest bit and sample rates possible (right?) in order to extend the use of the sounds we capture. The opportunity to make bigger, nastier, creepier, and meatier sounds just makes me smile. But should it alter how I record effects in the first place? Should I be extra mindful of the high frequency information around me? Or just hope for happy surprises (miracles)?

Second, after the file is transferred there's plug-ins, samplers, elastic audio, re-recording varispeed playback, all of which seem to have their merits. What's your preferred method?

Myself? I turn to Waves' SoundShifter for changes over time, and SoundShifter/Doubler or Digi's Time Shift for sustained pitch shifts. But that's just what I've become used to reaching for, maybe I just need to shift my thinking as much as my pitch... advice?

I'm all for hearing about purchase recommendations, but if you have advice on methodology, tips, pitfalls, things to listen out for, they would be just as useful, if not more so.

  • Great question.
    – MtL
    Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 20:26

4 Answers 4


Serato's Pitch n' Time is my go-to plug. Does 192k - highly recommend.

  • The keyframing with auto gradual time scaling between the keyframes alone is definitely worth the price of admission. Great tool, indeed Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 22:29

I second recording at high sample rates and playing back at lower ones. This only works, of course, with mics with very wide frequency response. The best sound in my mind.

Nothing really beats a good tape machine for this sort of thing though. I know some well respected sound designers that still slow sounds down with tape.

  • +1 on the analog pitching. Varispeed - Artifacts = Awesomeness Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 2:21
  • Good point on the mic. The Earthworks SR range are the only wide frequency response mics that I'm aware of. Are you aware of any that may be in a more reasonable price range? Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 21:15

AudioSculpt is my prefered choice for years, for non-real time pitch-shifting. This software uses a technology called "SuperVP" (Super Phase Vocoder). BTW, it's developed by the IRCAM; very serious electroacoustic guys assuring high quality. I never heard anything better in this subject.


I ask that simple question in google "best pitchshift for sound design ?", and finally the first response was this page . Great, but I saw it was in 2010... So What's up in 2013 ?

Personnally :

  1. Audiosculpt far away (3 octaves makes musical effects not so aliased), but it's not a plugin. Needs more time.

  2. Melodyne is incredible for "vocal-like" sounds, and the possibilities to reconstruct a sound in a natural way are amazing.

  3. Wave Soundshifter and Ptich'n'time are really useful and sounds good

  4. Analog has no digitals problems. Needs Time and Denoising. So I didn't used it for long, but I'd like.

And You ?

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