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Pitch Shift

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RobotnikIsm.png This article describes a recognised Poopism: a method of video editing that has been used by a number of poopers.

A pitch shift is frequently used to increase or decrease the pitch of audio, often speeding up or slowing down the video with it. It is frequently used in YTPMVs.

How does pitch shifting work?[edit]

All sounds have waveforms, and different arrangements of these waves create the various sounds you hear. A low pitched sound has a wide, slower wave, and a high pitched sound has faster, smaller waves. The term "frequency" is used, because the difference between a "high frequency" sound and a "low frequency sound" is how frequently waves appear in a given amount of time.

If you have a sound you would like to make higher pitch, you could increase the overall time the sound occurs, or make it longer to do the opposite.

Some computer programs can help you avoid the change in length by looking at the sound you wish to change, adding or subtracting the appropriate amount of waves in the right places to fill in the gaps that would have been created.

Pitch Shifting in Sony Vegas[edit]

All you have to do is click on the audio segment you would like to alter and press the + (increase frequency) or - (lower frequency) keys.

Pitch Shifting in Windows Movie Maker[edit]

You have to change the speed a clip is played to increase or lower the clip's frequency.

Pitch Shifting in Adobe Audition/Adobe Premiere[edit]

The shifter in Adobe Premiere is harsh, ineffective, and discordant, but you can use Adobe Audition alongside Premiere CS5.5 to do pitch shifting. Audition is an audio editor like Audacity, but it's more user-friendly in the sense that you get live samples of what you're doing, and you can simply right click a source on your timeline in Premiere, open it in Audition, do your editing, save it, and it'll automatically be saved in Premiere. Just go to "Effects" > "Time and Pitch" > "Stretch and Pitch (process)..." to do vibrato (sliding pitch shift) and shifting effects on your selection.

Pitch Shifting in Audacity[edit]

A simple audio-replacement is often the easiest way to go for many poopers. Just export want what you want to shift as a .wav or other audio format, import it into Audacity, and go to "Effects" > "Change Pitch" for general shifting (measured in musical notes) or "Sliding Time Scale/Pitch Shifter" for vibrato (measured in semitones).

Helpful Techniques[edit]

Learning musical scales on an instrument will help you understand how many times to press the pitch shifting keys in programs that allow for that. In a cluster of four, try the pattern "0, +2, +3, +2", where the +#s are how many times you raise the frequency. Another one (with underscores as empty noteless places) is "0, _, _, _, 0, 2, 4, 5, _, _, _, _, 5, 4, 2, 0", which you may recognize as the beginning of the common lesson song "Lean on Me". Pitch shifting in video editing is just like any instrument, except it can be programmed to play something your hands may not have allowed you to. It takes practice before you begin to get it.


  • Pitch shifting occurs naturally as the Doppler Effect.
  • You don't need to use pitch shifting to make a YTPMV.
  • It is possible to pitch shift something so high or so low you can't hear it any more.
  • Using pitch shift on a cartoon character makes them smaller.
  • You can sometimes find secret messages hidden in audio using pitch shifting; they were put there using pitch shifting as well.
  • Helium is nature's plus key.
    • And sulfur hexafluoride is nature's minus key... (I'm real fun at parties)