So I'm working on making power metal. My voice is relatively deeper than i'd like. Using the basic tools in Audacity tends to make my voice not even squeaky, but more like a chipmunk. I need to raise pitch while keeping power. I've tried adding harmonics/chorus effects, distorting it, etc. While i know you can't alter your fundamental voice, it usually is possible to make good approximations of the sound you want. If i sing in my naturally higher voice, I sound whiny like the guy from Guns N' Roses...which doesn't work with my music. I'm looking for more of a ZP Theart (Dragonforce, I am I) feel. can anyone suggest any effects or plugins for audacity that might help? Singing low and duplicating the track and raising the duplicate about 1/25 of a step sounds cool, but i'd like it higher without squeaking.

  • 2
    As much as I endorse free software, truth is Audacity won't get you very far for music production. Try Ardour or Reaper. — For another thing, I think you goal is vain, musically: work with the voice you have. Effects can do astounding things, but for something as serious as large pitch-shift it'll never sound really natural. If your voice sounds good in the lower register, then use it! If you want to go higher, then either practise until you can do that powerfully as well, or let someone else sing the part. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 11:24
  • I've noticed that in effect, if you use a pitch shift to raise a pitch, it honestly sounds a heck of a lot like a crybaby wah pedal that someone left closed. Is there any way to open the sound back up after a pitch shift?
    – ReiHinoX
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 0:57
  • If it sounds like that, it's probably an artifact of the formant correction. You can switch that off, but then you're back to chipmunk... again, as I said: such problems can't really be avoided with pitch shift. Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 1:05
  • See, I don't own a seven-string and in order to utilize my guitar to the maximum extent, I write everything in E minor/ G major since it's a 22-fret (Minor root low for heaviness, Major fifth highest for awesome solos). And it's not exactly that great a guitar. Downtuning just doesn't work with it very well.
    – ReiHinoX
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 17:54
  • 1
    Huh? All songs in the same key – a bit boring, isn't it! And, it's not like you couldn't get a fat sound in other keys, even with a standard 6-string guitar. Clever composition and sound choice (distortion adds intermodulation subharmonics) can make up a lot for actual low-end. Check out this video for an extreme example. — Even apart from that: why would the choice of key restrict the vocal register? You can always go a complete octave lower, or you can compose the vocal lines somewhere in between that works well for both voice and guitar. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 11:15

6 Answers 6


Two thoughts...

1) The song is currently in the wrong key for the sound you are aiming for, vocally. The only fix for that would really be to re-record it in a more suitable key.

2) There are plugins available that can adjust the formant** of a sound without changing the pitch. Probably the best tool available for that is Melodyne [imho] which can adjust pitch, timing & formant each independently of the other aspects.

** for vocals, the formant could best be described as your voice's natural timbre or acoustic resonance - Wikipedia has a good page on it. The 'chipmunk' sound is a direct result of the formant rising along with the pitch, which is how 'standard' pitch-shifting is usually done.

  • Dragonforce recorded a lot in E minor. Which is what the song is in, and if i use a synth in place of my voice, it sounds really great like that...and i can definitely picture it with ZP singing it...problem is that there aren't many male singers who can reach those pitches anyway...I'm not pro, so I can't really ask someone experienced...I just want to do this as a fun thing and maybe put it online. As it stands, it takes a vocal range of three complete octaves or something like that.
    – ReiHinoX
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 0:51
  • Then you have the options of 1) try Melodyne, 2) if you can reach the notes but just don't feel they sound good, fake it by putting it through a tube amp simulator & see if you can get some hotter harmonics into it, or 3) put up with it ;-)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 9:12
  • I can hit..most of the notes. Until I hit the stupid chorus and am aiming for a high C above anything Dragonforce ever recorded.
    – ReiHinoX
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 17:56

I had the same problem, try this !

it's a free voice changing software called RoVee, which has a special tool to keep sounding natural: After finding the wanted pitch, just adjust the "formant" until you're happy!

I hope this helps. Best wishes from Spain and sorry for my English.

  • After listening to the demo of this plugin here, I don't think it does much better than other software out there. it still introduces noticeable artifacts and gives a bit of "chipmunk" effect to male voice when shifted up. It's not bad software, I just don't think it solves the problem here.
    – user9881
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 21:59

I've the solution for you. Your question is that you can sing on lower scale and you want to convert your lower scale recorded song to higher scaled song without loosing your voice quality (e.g: you don't want that chipmunk sort of thing while shifting up your pitch) The best and easy way to do it is Download Acoustica Mixcraft 7 pro from their website Record your song in it then after recording click your track and then you will be able to see sound tab on left bottom corner click sound tab and then under that make sure that your are in audio tab, under that you will see transpose button Increase semitones/pitch as much as you want and check two more buttons called Normalize and Format pres. And you are good to go


Well, if you shift your voice higher with a regular pitch shift, all formants shift higher as well. Shift an octave, and you shrink your head by half. Tiny mouth, tiny tongue, tiny teeth, hectic articulation. Chipmunk.

If pitch shifting is supposed to be a tool in your box, it will work better if you anticipate. Shift the recording you want to imitate an octave down. Listen well to how it sounds then. Imitate that rather than the unmodified sound, then shift up.

It's a bit of a muddy hot-potato-in-large-mouth kind of articulation.

Now if you can combine your pitch shifter (in the intended direction again rather than reverse) with a 10 second delay and have it work in real time, you can listen to the results and adapt. A 10-minute session will give you dozens of attempts without having to fiddle with equipment.

Whether you can really make this part of a music viable setup certainly seems dubious, but at least that will give you a good pitch at figuring out how far you can hope to make this approach go.


Without hearing you sing, the best answer you can get is: record the song in the highest pitch you can reasonably sing. I don't know any software (much less for free) that can shift your pitch by an octave and preserve your voice timbre. The other suggestion is: take a few singing lessons. You'd be surprise with what a few sessions with a good instructor do to your voice.


You just need to adjust the pitch to be a little bit higher. Check out this link for Audacity: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/change_pitch.html.

It doesn't have to be much. Probably about 2db higher would do the trick. Any more than that and it will start to sound unnatural.

  • 3
    You don't measure pitch in dB. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 5:21
  • Not only that, but 2 steps wouldn't do it either.
    – ReiHinoX
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 0:55

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