Slowing music down

There are a number of utilities to help you learn music from recordings by slowing them down while maintaining the pitch. The one I’ve been using recently is Anytune, an iPad app. The free version has degraded audio quality after the first 30 seconds, so if you have an iPad I recommend getting the HQ or Pro HQ version of the app. A similar iPad app is The Amazing Slow Downer. The two apps do pretty much the same thing and cost the same amount. I prefer the interface f Anytune, so that’s the one I bought.

The Amazing Slow Downer is also available for OSX, but at $50 I think it’s overpriced. Less expensive at $40 is Transcribe, which is available for OSX, Windows, and Linux. The license isn’t cross-platform, unfortunately, so you can’t switch back and forth. But there is a 30 day trial available. I may give this one a try myself, since it looks to have a ton of useful features.

On the free side of things is Audacity, a general purpose audio recorder and editor available for OSX, Windows and Linux, for free. It happens to have a “Change Tempo” feature which will let you change the speed of any audio file you can import without changing its pitch. (You can, of course, also change the pitch without changing the tempo, or change them both at once.)

I was going to write up how to use Audacity to change the tempo of a song, but I just found this video demonstration, which makes things easier for me:


If you’re googling for more information on this, a good search term to use is “phrase trainer”. If you’re buying a portable digital recorder, check the feature list; a lot of the ones on the market now can do this.

Anyone using something they can recommend?

3 Comments on “Slowing music down

  1. We have Tabledit, for making banjo tab, but I personally haven’t used it much for learning tunes because I play fiddle and read standard notation. Tabledit can display standard notation just fine, and it’s actually a pretty good tool for playing a tune at different tempos (and the iOS player app is pretty handy), but I’ve been mainly using EasyABC ( for that sort of thing.

    If I played banjo or guitar, I’d probably have more to say about Tabledit. Are you using it to learn tunes? I’d love to hear how it works for you.

  2. I realize this link is quite old but thought I’d add a note in case anyone was not aware. YouTube has a “Playback Speed” option under Settings. You can choose one of the default choices (0.25 increments) or use the “Custom” option which allows for 0.05 increments.

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