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  • Best music slow down program?

    Whats the best music slow downer that effects the quality of the recording the least? I've tried a couple and they were decent but anything slower then 50 percent was pretty bad quality

  • #2
    I just did a blog post on this!

    http://sixstringobsession.blogspot.com/2010/11/coolest-software-ever.html
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><br>Blog: <a href="http://sixstringobsession.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">http://sixstringobsession.blogspot.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyostY3l4lrJ_t-gbFNEsrw?feature=mhee" target="_blank">Subscribe to my YouTube channel</a></div>

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    • #3
      I have to second Jeremy: I'm equally enthusiastic about Transcribe. I've been using it for years, and it's still the best program I've ever used, of any kind: transparent in operation, almost no fat on it at all. (In earlier versions, there used to be none; recently they've introduced the odd bell or whistle which isn't strictly necessary or helpful. Not that they do any harm of course.)

      One extra Jeremy doesn't mention (and which I don't think any competitor program does) is it will slow down video too.

      BTW, slowing down more than 50% will affect quality depending on the quality of the original audio (not the slowdowner) - specifically the sample rate. MP3s, eg, don't slow down as cleanly as WAVs. If you're working from CD tracks (rather than downloaded MP3s or youtube tracks, etc), Transcribe will record directly to WAV, which is recommended. But even with MP3s, I find Transcribe usable down to 25% (and occasionally more). It doesn't sound too good of course, but that's not the point: you can still hear what you need to hear.
      ...

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      • #4
        I tried Transcribe! and Amazing Slow Downer a few years ago, but did not purchase either one.
        Guitar Rig came with its own slow-down feature.
        Later I got Wave Editor ($69) and it also has a very nice slow-down feature using Izotope. Twisted Wave (currently $39 bundled with 10 other applications) offers that feature using DIRAC. Then there's the free Sonic Visualizer which can also slow down audio. I'm not sure if it can be applied to specific sections or only globally.
        Given the alternatives I thought that Transcribe! and Amazing Slow Downer were overpriced. I have not tried them recently so maybe they've added features to make them more attractive. I did like the software, btw.
        On the Mac there's also Capo and Neutrino. Capo 2 only works in Snow Leopard.

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        • #5
          I have Amazing Slow Downer, it even has an iPhone app for 15 bucks that is pretty good.

          I have been using Transcribe lately and will probably buy that once I get a new computer because it is easier to navigate through the track. You can set markers which really help. With ASD I always forget where the guitar solo starts and have to go searching. ASD doesn't save my spot when I exit the program so that causes some frustration.

          Both Transcribe and Amazing Slow Downer have free versions so try them out yourself. You can use the full version of Transcribe free for thirty days. The free version of ASD lets you slow down the first 2 tracks on a CD or the first 25% or so of a file on your computer.

          Both cost $50 which is really not bad considering how much music you can learn. You can't put a price on getting better as a musician!

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          • #6
            I might just add that Audacity - a FREE multitrack audio editing and recording program - will also slow down without changing pitch, or vice versa. It's not as intuitive as Transcribe (because it's not dedicated to learning songs), and an action such as changing tempo needs a few seconds processing time. It's immediate on Transcribe. You can also place markers (as in the most useful aspect of Transcribe Neehan mentions), but again it's a slower more fiddly process.
            OTOH, Audacity is very easy to use for its main purpose: recording, editing and audio processing. I own both programs, but I always use Transcribe for learning and transcription. If you really can't afford $50, I'd recommend Audacity, if only for all the other cool things you can do with it.
            ...

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            • #7
              Another vote for Transcribe!. As JonR stated, Audacity is another great utility program and you can't beat the price. I do, however, use Transcribe! far more!

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              • #8
                I might just add that Audacity - a FREE multitrack audio editing and recording program - will also slow down without changing pitch, or vice versa...


                When I compared Wave Editor, Twisted Wave, and Audacity a long time ago, Audacity was the worst sounding when it came to slowing down the tempo.
                I just tried it again and although the sound seems better, it's still worse than the others and took much longer to process. I only reinstalled it a few days ago since it deals with ogg files, but it has a lot of room for improvement.
                I tried to upload the 4 files (original version, Audacity, Twisted Wave, and Wave Editor) but could not do it. Audacity sounds as though it's passing through a light flanger. The others retain more of the original clarity.

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                • #9
                  Windows Media Player does as well as anything else. Only ripped tracks though. I guess those would be MP3.

                  -20% is pushing the tolerability but it's often good enough to make the changes - jam wise. If you need slow for practice only, MIDI tracks are the best.
                  Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...
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                  • #10
                    When I compared Wave Editor, Twisted Wave, and Audacity a long time ago, Audacity was the worst sounding when it came to slowing down the tempo.
                    I just tried it again and although the sound seems better, it's still worse than the others and took much longer to process. I only reinstalled it a few days ago since it deals with ogg files, but it has a lot of room for improvement.
                    I tried to upload the 4 files (original version, Audacity, Twisted Wave, and Wave Editor) but could not do it. Audacity sounds as though it's passing through a light flanger. The others retain more of the original clarity.
                    I don't know those other programs, but I'm sure you're right. Are they also free ones? As I said, I only use it for recording and editing, and I have no problem with it there. Well, except for the dropouts it introduces when changing the pitch or tempo (which I do occasionally for creative reasons, not for learning other recordings)...
                    ...

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                    • #11
                      Not to sound like a company schill or anything (I definitely am not) The price for Transcribe ($50) is ridiculously low for the quality of app it is. I have used it so many times it isn't funny. You'd pay this for 2 or 3 guitar lessons. I used to use some of the free ones and they work to a degree - but not close in my opinion.
                      <div class="signaturecontainer"><br>Blog: <a href="http://sixstringobsession.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">http://sixstringobsession.blogspot.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyostY3l4lrJ_t-gbFNEsrw?feature=mhee" target="_blank">Subscribe to my YouTube channel</a></div>

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                      • #12
                        Great thanks, I had transcribe 4 years ago and i thought it was really good unless slowed down below 50 percent. But probably should be able to figure stuff out at 5 percent speed

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                        • #13
                          I don't know those other programs, but I'm sure you're right. Are they also free ones? As I said, I only use it for recording and editing, and I have no problem with it there. Well, except for the dropouts it introduces when changing the pitch or tempo (which I do occasionally for creative reasons, not for learning other recordings)...


                          Wave Editor is $69, and it used to cost $250. http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/waveeditor/ (IIRC, Bob Katz praised it over at Gearslutz)
                          Twisted Wave costs $79, but it's currently on sale for $39 bundled with 10 additional programs. http://twistedwave.com/

                          Both are Mac only, but there are probably more applications like these on the PC side. They are primarily used as audio editors, and the slow-down feature is like an added bonus. Both license their speed/pitch technology from other companies (iZotope, DIRAC), which is one of the reasons why the software is (or was) expensive and also explains the better audio quality. Usually this quality is OK with Audacity, but IIRC when I was learning Tumeni Notes I used Wave Editor. I'll try to post a brief example using that song and the different audio editors, just for reference.

                          @Jeremy,
                          I don't doubt that Transcribe! is great. I liked it back when I tried it. In my case I just found these other options that met my needs and offered a lot of bang for the buck. Speed control has been one of the best features in Guitar Rig in my opinion, and now AmpliTube also has it (SpeedTrainer). Transcribe! is more focused on that particular feature and I really like the way they display the information. Just offering other options

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                          • #14
                            Whats the site for transcribe? does work for macs?

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                            • #15
                              Whats the site for transcribe? does work for macs?

                              http://www.seventhstring.com/
                              and yes it works for macs.

                              But - much as I love Transcribe - there is also Capo for macs, and v 2.0 displays a spectrogram too: very neat:
                              http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2010/08/capo-2-for-mac-music-learning-software-done-even-better.ars

                              From my experience of spectrograms, they don't work very well with dense audio (such as rock with distorted guitars and drums etc) - but it does look pretty! If I were you, I'd download demos for both and compare. (If I had a Mac, I'd be trying Capo to see if it was any better than Transcribe. I doubt it, but I do like the spectrogram...)

                              Capo does tab too (!), but I'd be suspicious how accurate or good-looking that is. (I prefer to use a separate notation program.)
                              The one drawback I've spotted is the demo seems to be limited to 5 minutes work. With Transcribe you get the whole program with no limitations for a month.
                              ...

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