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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
In this movie, we're going to take a look at pitch shifting, which, as the name implies, is a plug-in or effect that lets you change the pitch of the sound. Now these can be great for creating cool special effects and scary monster voices, or they can also be really useful for kind of correcting the pitch of instruments or voices that are slightly out of tune. They can come in really handy for a lot of different applications. So let's go ahead and take a look at applying a pitch shift to--we'll set in on our voiceover track here again. That's a nice place to get an example of pitch shifting.
Again, we'll work with this one on the file level. We'll grab it from the AudioSuite: good old Pitch Shift. So if I play my track back-- (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006) It sounds the way it always sounds. Good old pitch. But now I can go up and adjust the pitch of it. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January) That's right, Alvin. Or I can lower it.
(Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January) Oh yeah, I'm tuning in to that one. So anyway, pitch shift is pretty cool. It's pretty simple. You have a big control kind of, they call it Coarse, but it's basically half steps on a scale. So if I want to go up a whole step, I can go up to my note. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th) So you can use this to manipulate sounds and effects, make scary things happen.
You can also use it, like I said, to correct instruments that are slightly out of pitch. Now one thing that's possible in the digital world that's not out in the analog world is the ability to adjust pitch without affecting the time. It used to be that we've had to speed up the tape or slow it down to get these effects. Inside this plug-in, as I play this back, you're actually hearing that things are speeding up and slowing down. That's because we're in preview mode. But if I actually want to go ahead and render this, let's see. You'll find that actually if I decide to use time correction, it'll maintain the same time.
So let's do a quick listen back here. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast) That's a little hot. Let's just go up a few. So here is the original sound. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006) Here it is with the pitch. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training) It's a little bit faster. So let's process it. Give it a listen. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th) So you can see that it actually changes the pitch, but it maintains that original timing of the sound file.
This is pretty incredible. Now it's hard to apply pitch to huge, long tracks. It's a lot easier to apply it to smaller increments to get better results. So a lot of times you can get kind of artifacts or some things. It's easy to apply pitch and get some artifacts that you might not want. So it's helpful to use it sparingly or to focus in on specific things, and work piece by piece as needed. But ultimately, this is really cool. Let's do one more example, just because it's fun, and actually pitch shift her down. I'm going to change this. Here we can choose, if the processor wants to think more about the rhythm of the sound it's changing the pitch of, or the sound quality of the sound.
Since this isn't a drum track, I'm going to say let's pay attention to the sound of it. If the rhythm gets a little off, that's okay. So let's see. Here is the original. That's the original. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training) (Female Speaker: podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006.) Okay, and now here is the effect we're going to add. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video tr--) Now let's do it. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006) Pretty cool! Pretty crazy! Let me show you one more things since we're in here, just because it's fun to see what is possible. I'm going to undo that.
We're going to go ahead on this track, and actually use a real-time plug-in for pitch shift that I think you will enjoy. I won't lie to you. I am not a master of pitch shifting, but I do tend to play with it. So this allows me to kind of pitch-shift the voice to three different voices. We'll just send some signal through and see what happens. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th. Oops. January 19th, 2007) Freaky! All right, and we can change these different assortments.
So I'm going to go in. We'll make it Free. I can change this. So I use different--up a 6th or a 5th, and you see we are kind of moving the stuff. Actually, I'll drag that. We'll just make something really, really good-sounding, I think. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th.) I will do whatever you say. Amazing! If you're thinking about trying to do some brainwashing, I suggest looking into a good pitch shifter. (Female Speaker: Welcome to the lynda.com video training podcast for Friday, January 19th, 2006) Okay, so I think that about does it for talking about pitch shifting.
The point is that you can use it to make corrections to things that aren't perfectly pitched, little passages where the singer gets a little off or a little flat, or you can use it to make scary, scary stuff. But the point is you can use it as a plug- in in real time or as a file-level plug-in. Again, we're working in Pro Tools, but whatever program you're working in, you'll probably have a Pitch Shift option or be able to buy a third-party plug-in that will work there for you. There is actually plug-ins that are designed specifically just to do auto-tuning. They don't necessarily call themselves a pitch shifter.
They refer themselves as more of a tune correction plug-in. They'll be mad if I say they're ultimately pitch shifters, but if you think of them in this category, you're okay. A lot of same features and functionality we found in most pitch-shifting plug-ins and applications. Next, we'll scope out reverb.
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