Scrubbing while keeping constant pitch

(Chris Chrisrobinson) #1

Hello, I’m new to Ardour (and DAWs in general to be honest), and I’ve been getting to grips with recording tracks reasonably well, but something I tried to do today has completely stumpted me…

I’d like to be able to scrub through a track at varying speeds using my mouse cursor, which I’ve been able to do using the audition tool, but I’d like to be able to keep the pitch constant while I do this, regardless of the speed I’m playing back at. Is this possible?

The reason I want to do it is when trying to figure out some fast solo passages that someone else has recorded, I sometimes find it easier to slow the track down, but if the pitch goes out then it makes it very difficult to figure out what’s going on.


(Projectmalamute) #2

There is an application called ‘Play it Slowly’ which does this. It’s in the Ubuntu repositories, shouldn’t be hard to track down if you are on something else.

(Seablade) #3

Short version is that this just isn’t what Ardour was designed for sorry. With an obscene amount of work you might be able to get it to work, or for about $100 you can purchase a little recorder with training functionality like slowing down the playback and looping through sections intended for this. There may even be software for Linux that would allow you to do this(Or OS X for that matter if you are on that).

(Mark Hedges Data) #4

+1 I would like to scrub audio using samples rather than pitch. If you scrub audio in FinalCut it does it this way, you hear the real audio sped up but at the same pitch that it sounds like at normal speed. It is actually a really easy feature. It just seeks forward by some number of samples based on the percentage speed. For example, 150% speed = 2 out of 3 samples, 200% speed = every other sample, 300% speed = every third sample, etc.

I am pretty sure there are libraries already in use by ardour that can speed-sample very efficiently. It is a really common feature in commercial software.

This would be immensely valuable for the project I am working on now, where I have to listen to 7.5 hours of audio to find one sentence that I am supposed to edit out for legal reasons, and I don’t remember what time during the recording the speaker said it. If I speed up the audio too much using the audition tool or pulling the slider forward, then I can’t understand what people are saying anymore. If it were the same pitch, I could get through this task in a fraction of the time.

(Seablade) #5


For the record, your request is very different from what was being described in the rest of this thread(Which was about listening to it for training/plying purposes compared to your listening to it for identification purposes), about two and a half years ago:)

(Paul Davis) #6

“It is actually a really easy feature” … I look forward to your patch.

(Anahata) #7

If you take every other sample, or two out of three or similar, you change the pitch as well as the speed. Changing speed without changing pitch is possible but is a much more complex process than what you are describing, and may not be practical to do in real time for scrubbing.

(Adam Earle) #8

It seems like everyone is avoiding this with no proper answer.

wouldn’t it be some like “Yes, and here is how you do it” or “No, sorry this is not implemented, but…”

(Seablade) #9

Well first off you are responding to a thread from 4-6 years ago.

Secondly which feature are you describing because if you are talking about the posts from 6 years ago, that is one feature, and from 4 years ago is a different feature, as I mentioned then.

Third I think it is fairly obviously that at those times these features were not implemented. (Thus the suggestion of a tool to do it in one case, or the looking for a patch to implment it in the other). :slight_smile:


(Adam Earle) #10

I will make a new post about Ardour and and if can scrub the timeline similar to a video editor