Aside from recording at 192kHz with the highest quality mics and recorders, how do you reinvigorate your slowed down/varispeeded sounds after they've lost most (or all) of their airy top end? (Varispeed, meaning slowing down playback in Soundminer, or using Pitch n' Time in Varispeed mode.) This effect is über-bad with older recordings or material from CD libraries. I find myself reaching for a basic EQ at times like this, boosting with a high-shelf from 5khz and up. What are your techniques?


Original question asked how to retain high frequencies when pitching down a file, rather than slowing down a file, thus the earlier answers.

  • ok, i'll just shut up now. ;) – Shaun Farley Sep 11 '10 at 1:39
  • bah! It was my fault for posing the question the wrong way. Please, do continue advising! – Jay Jennings Sep 11 '10 at 1:53

This might just be a crazy idea on my part (because I've never tried it), but why not try using some of the high end content from the original, non-pitch shifted, file?

It might take a little experimentation and filtering, but it could add back in what it's losing.

For Varispeed/Pitch-n-Time: What if you copied the file and pitched it up (just a simple pitch shift). Then used varispeed on both the original and your pitched up copy? Then use previous idea.

Another trick I should have mentioned is MaxxBass by Waves. It uses perceptual encoding to add harmonics to bass heavy content. If you have that plugin, it may be an option.

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  • That makes so much sense! – Andrew Spitz Sep 10 '10 at 22:06
  • @Shaun, great ideas. I like the double-pitch shift idea, will have to give that a try. – Jay Jennings Sep 11 '10 at 1:54

It's rare I would use solely a pitched down sound on it's own, so high frequent content comes from other layers in a composite sound...

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  • Bingo. That makes total sense. – Utopia Sep 11 '10 at 20:56

Duplicate your track, and high pass all the top end you want to keep on one track while you pitch-shift the other one, possibly lowpassing out all the shifted top end. Basically, all you're doing is separating the track like a zipper.

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