Join Jeff Sengstack for an in-depth discussion in this video Stretching time and shifting pitch, part of Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training.
You know those advertisements with the fast disclaimers at the end? The announcer probably got a speed boost from audio editing software like Soundbooth and the same is true for singers with pitch issues. Soundbooth can help them find the right pitch, or you can actually create some harmonies with people who have good pitch, which we're going to do in this particular case. The harmony might not be exactly perfect, but we'll give you a example of what you can do. It's a little fun thing you can do. Let's start with the speeding up of the voice thing. I've got this declaration 3 and you should be familiar with this particular phrase. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.) And just in case you want to have that sped up, we can select that particular phrase, go to Tasks > Change Pitch and Timing and then click this Pitch and Timing button and that gives you this dialog box with various options.
You can change time. If you increase the time, that means you lengthen that particular clip and make it speak slower without changing the pitch or you can change the pitch or do both. So, let's just stretch the time and let's make it kind of like a disclaimer. So, I'm going to shrink the time down to something like, let's say 75%, and let's just preview that. I'll click Solo Instrument or Voice, even though he doesn't solo with it. That should help improve the quality of the voice. We'll preview that. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.) Whoa! Let's make it even faster and you'll notice that the quality of my voice was pretty much unchanged, which is an amazing thing when it's been sped up that much.
(Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.) Whoa! Now that's definitely a disclaimer, but I'm not really recommending that's how you say that particular part of the declaration of independence, but let's slow down and make it more profound, shall we say. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.) You do notice that there are some little artifacts little - little 'cah' kind of creeping into the audio there, but it does, in fact, change the speed without changing the pitch, which is remarkable. And I'll put this guy back to 100% by clicking on it and then selecting it and typing in 100. Let's get down here to Pitch Shift and if I want to make my voice maybe a little bit deeper, I'll just knock this down to one semi- tone, this is called, just basically one half step on the keyboard. If I were speaking at, let's say at C, that would be B and that's just down one half step.
Let's just preview that. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident) Hardly different! Let's knock it down even - I put plus 1. That's why. I want to go -1. It didn't seem right. Now, we'll try it. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men -) That's a little bit deeper. Now if I go down any more than that, the audio quality tends to kind of drop off. I'll go down 3. See what that sounds like. (Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are) So, we probably don't want to use that particular thing, but that is a little trick you can do. If I raise my voice, let's just go up a little bit. I'll sound like Mickey Mouse.
(Male Speaker: We hold these truths to be self-evident) There you can get a sense for what you can do with voices in terms of time stretching and pitch shifting. But I want to show you a little trick where you can create harmony. It's just kind of a fun thing and it works out pretty well for this singing voice here. This is lovely Lauralee Christensen who did the vocals for the piece that we're featuring in this tutorial. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red.) It's a great, smoky jazz voice that she has and she is right on the money, great pitch control, but we're going to mess with her pitch a little bit here.
I'll just go back to Pitch and Timing again and I want to create a little harmony where she is going to sing above herself up what's called a third, which is actually up four semi-tones, so I go up four. Listen to that. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red.) She'll probably hate me for doing this, but let's just do the whole clip and we'll show you how that works by selecting the whole clip, Pitch and Timing, we'll go up with four, click OK and it takes a long time to make the changes here.
We're going to click Solo Instrument or Voice to try down to improve the quality a little bit there. I'll click OK and it takes awhile, but we'll have our engineers speed it up for you. All right! There you have it. Let's see what it sounds like. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge) And now what I'm going to do is is I'm going to create a little harmony by using some multi-track files. And first I'm trying to save this so we can have a second version so I'm going to right-click on this and say Save "voicewav" As, and we'll go over to this track here, to the edited files and we're going to pick this thing, which I've already saved before. We'll save over it.
There you go. We've saved that and in the original one, I'm going to undo all that work. So this original file we'll undo it, so it sounds right. (Woman singing: Edge...When) So, we've got to undo that. Let's see if we changed the pitch back (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the) So we're back there. Now we're going to make a multi-track session from this file, which, again, is something I talk about in a separate chapter, but I'm just going to do a quick version of that here by going to File > New > Multitrack File from Waveform. So, that adds that voice there to the multitrack file. (Woman singing: Sun sets on the) Now we're going to add that little harmony to it, just for the heck of it, just for grins here so you get a sense for something that you can do.
It's not going to sound great, but it's kind of fun. Here we go, a little two part harmony here. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and red.) If Lauralee is listening, she's probably going, 'What have you done?' but at any rate, that's just little bit of fun that you can do with changing pitch and changing the speed of audio.
- Setting up recording hardware
- Recording vocals and instruments
- Viewing audio waveforms and spectral frequency displays
- Copying, cutting and pasting audio
- Stretching time and shifting pitch
- Looping tracks
- Identifying and removing noise
- Enhancing audio with Soundbooth effects
- Mixing audio in multitrack mode
- Customizing prebuilt scores
- Working with Soundbooth files in Premiere Pro projects
Skill Level Beginner
Q: After making a recording using Soundbooth CS5, I’ve discovered the stereo channels are reversed- left is right and right is left. I can’t seem to figure out how to swap them in Soundbooth. How can I adjust channels?
Also, is there a more advanced audio software that might be better for working with recorded audio than Soundbooth CS5?
A: To swap channels in Soundbooth, right-click on the file in the
Files panel, choose Insert Channels Into New Multitrack File. That will
create a multitrack sessions with the two channels on separate mono
tracks. Pan them left and right to create the swapped channels and then
choose Export > Multitrack Mixdown.
A more advanced audio recording, editing and mixing product is Adobe
Audition. The current version 3 is for Windows only. Check out the Audition 3 Essential Training in the Online Training Library.