Everyone wants to stretch and warp digital media these days – and audio people are no exception. Serato’s Pitch ‘n’ Time 2 is an AudioSuite plug-in for Pro Tools. It lets you alter pitch and tempo graphically or numerically.
Professional tape recorders use a varispeed to control their motors. Run it fast, and voices sound like Pinky & Perky; run it slow for the voice of doom.
The digital-audio equivalent involves varying the sample rate. Pitch ‘n’ Time 2 lets you do this using its Varispeed Mode – where altering the tempo also alters the pitch. It’s simple, but effective.
The clever trick is to change pitch without affecting tempo – or vice versa. This is what Pitch ‘n’ Time is really all about. You can change the tempo from half to double-speed independently of pitch. And, you can pitch shift up or down by up to 12 semitones independently of tempo. Previewing is excellent, just move the pitch or tempo sliders while previewing and you hear the audio change almost immediately.
The Pitch ‘n’ Time window has three sections – Tempo (time-stretching), Length, and Pitch (pitch-shifting). The Length section shows the start, end and length of your selection. To change the length, just type in what you want.
Click the view arrow at the right of the Tempo section and The Variable Time-stretch Panel reveals itself – offering an editable tempo automation graph. Click on the red line to insert handles then drag these up or down to draw your tempo graph. The same feature is available for the Pitch section.
The Tempo section offers a third panel called Morphing Time-stretch. This lets you alter the timing of notes played within a musical phrase.
The closest rival is Wave Mechanics’ Speed. Pitch ‘n’ Time 2 has the edge due to its morphing time-stretch and varispeed features. It also two allows finer control.