Can anyone make a good suggestion for a good pitchshifter? The standard one is great if you want to 'adulterate' the sound in question, but I'd quite like one that keeps the sound reasonably intact when taken to extremes.
If you have access to 192k recording it's great. @tim prebble blogged about recording at higher sample rates not so long ago. I believe this will make any plugin sound better, rather than a plugin making your sound good ;)
The sounds feel livelier, probably simply because higher frequencies (even the ones you don't hear) are recorded with greater precision or even recorded at all. With more high frequencies in your original sound, if you pitch it down you will still have high frequencies in it and your pitched down sound will still sound natural.
E.g. you record at 48k so the higher freq captured is 24k. You pitch that down one octave (0.5) and the highest freq will be 12k. If you had a 96k recording, it'd contain freqs up to 48k. Pitched down an octave that'd give a processed sound containing freqs still up to 24k.
We only hear up to roughly 20k anyway, so I guess the pitched down sound would still sound "natural" because it doesn't seem to be lacking in the high-end. This is my interpretation. Now, the way the others put it is: "DSP likes higher sample rate".
As @Shaun points out in his comment below, a higher resolution file will yield better results. This is because the DSP is applied to a better defined material, therefore the process works on smaller chunks of data and the artifacts it might generate are also smaller. Smaller artifacts have greater chances to be lost during the downsampling that ends the pitch shifting process.
That not only depends on the plugin. It depends on the file... If you have a good quality file, it will work great with pitch/time processes.. Btw, the integrated pitch/time plugin of Pro Tools is good enough.. I still use it even having tools from other companies..
Anyway, do some research on this site and you'll find a lot of info about that kind of tools ;-)
Zplane Elastique Pitch also is a great (realtime) one. It has XY pad, so you can make interesting variations with it:
But as others said, high sample rates are best for glitch free pitchshifting. Unless you want glitch... :)
The ones I turn to are Waves' SoundShifter/Doubler or Digi's Time Shift. I just downloaded Paul's Extreme Stretch thanks to MtL's recommendation. I've just poked around in it for an afternoon, but I don't think there's a "reasonably in tact mode" in it. Makes great sounds though. Also there are a few more answers over here, my favorite of which was SuperVP.
Are you talking about pitch shifting without altering the length of the file?
I've recently been using iZotope Radius for Logic for all pitch shift/time compression-expansion. It sounds amazing! One of the best I've heard.
Others also include: Serato Pitch n Time, SoundToys Speed, Prosoniq Time Factory & Waves Time Shifter.