How and Why to Slow Music Down

There are many reasons why musicians would like to be able to slow music down. They might be practicing along with a recorded track, and they know that practicing slowly is the way to build skill. They might be using the music as a recorded backing tracks, but want to alter the tempo for artistic reasons. Whatever the why, the how remains the same: digital slow-music-down software.

The Problems That Used To Be

Once upon a time, slowing an audio recording down came with a price. When we used tapes and vinyl, the pitch of the music would change. Your favorite operatic soprano would start sounding like your favorite operatic baritone. While it was humorous and enjoyable, it wasn't very useful for a serious musician.

The first generation of audio editing softwares gave us ways to slow down the music, but they still exacted a price. While the music slowed of the pitch remain the same, distortion snuck into the sound. It was passable, but certainly not good enough for performance.

Now, high-end digital audio workstation software can slow down music at top-quality. If you are fluent with these programs, you are set. The challenge of using some of these programs for this particular function is dealing with the confusion. Digital audio workstations are meant for studio technicians focused on the sound. They excel at creating special effects, equalizing and other studio processes. Slowing down or speeding up are simply one of many functions that they offer. For rehearsal musicians, it's overkill.

The Capabilities of Dedicated Slow-Music-Down Software

I downloaded and tested a program called Song Surgeon. You can do the same by clicking here. This program solves all the problems mentioned above. It adjusts the speed of the music without changing the pitch, and without damaging the quality. Only when manipulating the tempo to extremes – for example slowing it down by more than half – was there noticeable changes in the audio.

Most impressively, this software puts slowing down the music and changing the key without changing the tempo right on the main interface. It is created specifically for musicians who wish to do these things, and who don't need reverbs and chorus and noise gates and the like. The only other features the program has are

  • chord detection,
  • a metronome,
  • a 31 band equalizer, and
  • a reduce-vocals function

There are other programs that do each of these functions well, but the uniqueness of Song Surgeon is that it has put the emphasis on musicians who need to rehearse and perform. This is your program. You can download and buy it here, and I strongly endorse it.



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