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Frank DeFede

Change Pitch on old tape to correct speed

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I am dubbing all of my old tapes from 60 years to my computer. I just came across a tape where the speed is too fast.  It sounds like chipmunks.  I can't slow my tape deck to the next lowest speed.  I went ahead and recorded the tape as I can tell there are things on there that I'd like to save before I throw away all of these tapes.

Is there a way in Cakewalk to slow down these recordings in Cakewalk to about half of what is playing so that it is the right speed?

Thank you 

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Cassette? Or reel-to-reel?
You should be able to do it whatever the medium.
Lots of posts here about slowing or speeding up music.
 

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You can certainly change the speed and length of audio clips in Cakewalk or other Audio programs. The problem will be that slowing it down by that much will probably have artifacts. Whether these artifacts are too bad to live with would be up to the listener. 

Record that output of your tape into cakewalk. Then use the audio tools to stretch the audio and see how it sounds. Bouncing the clip will render it with the better algorithm as well.

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I had a similar problem with the multi-track recordings of my Tascam 38 made in the 80's. And I recommend you to do it not in CbB, because there is no real tape tempo correction, i.e. where the speed also automatically effects the pitch! You can do it better in Reaper or Samplitude, because they support speed change with natural pitch deviation like with tape machines or cassette recorders. The advantage is that you almost get no artifacts compared to doing a separate digitial tempo and pitch change (the only way to do it in CbB)!

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Cakewalk's clip stretching algorithm preserves the pitch, so it's unsuitable for this task... however, if you've got an older version of SONAR installed, you may have the "Time/Pitch Stretch 2" DX plugin, which should do the job. e.g. these settings will play it back at half speed and pitch:

image.png.37c8e3229f518ef8413831f6003483eb.png

However, any audio editor should be able to do this, e.g. SoundForge, Acon Digital Acoustica, Audacity etc. 

Audacity is free:  https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

You can get a free version of Acoustica Basic Edition 6 here: https://acondigital.com/software/AcousticaBasic6_0_19us.exe

Drag the clip from Cakewalk to your desktop (or any folder), then open the file in the audio editor, do your processing, and import it back into Cakewalk.

There are ways to integrate the tools into Cakewalk's Utility menu so you can run it directly from Cakewalk, but this is a bit more advanced, so probably  best to keep it simple for the moment.

 

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By an incredible coincidence, I was just looking at some of my old bookmarked web pages yesterday and saw this one, in which Craig Anderton details the steps to make CbB do exactly what you want:

https://craiganderton.org/how-to-do-true-tape-type-varispeed-in-cakewalk-sonar/

Maybe the Cakewalk devs can figure out a way to convert these steps into a "new Varispeed feature" menu item!

  • Great Idea 1

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