When I reviewed an earlier version of Pitch ‘n Time for Keyboard magazine in 2001, I was genuinely blown away. In side-by-side tests with the best pitch shifters and time-compression tools of the day, it smoked everything in its path. Today, two years later, it’s even better. The feature set has been expanded and the user interface improved.
True to its name, Pitch ‘n Time is a time-stretching and pitch-shifting tool.
It supports AudioSuite and works with 5.0-and-up versions of Pro Tools (including OS X and XP operating systems), even Pro Tools Free. Unfortunately AudioSuite is the extent of the formats, which is a shame.
Pitch ‘n Time can time-compress and -expand from 1/8–8x speed independent of pitch, and can pitch-shift up to 36 semitones independent of tempo. You can manipulate audio by entering data numerically (in bpm, samples, hours/minutes/seconds, SMPTE timecode, or percentages) or by note values (in note names or semitones). Source and destination entry windows are provided for dead-easy edits. You can also edit graphically by drawing automation along a timeline, similar to the rubberband-style automation editing in Pro Tools.
One of Pitch ’n Time’s time-saving tools is automatic length-matching from one audio source to another. Simply select the destination clip, click Capture, and apply the captured parameters to the source clip. Another handy feature is its ability to automatically extend selected audio graphically by drawing the desired capture region and target duration parameters in the waveform display, and — voilé — the audio is extended. If you’ve ever done this chore manually, you’ll be doing cartwheels when you watch this feature in action. Realistic reel-to-reel varispeed effects are another Pitch ‘n Time’s specialty.
Pitch ’n Time is an expensive piece of software, but it’s worth every dime if for no other reason than to have a tool so smooth. Depending on the source material, you might find yourself able to edit well beyond the recommended limits with startlingly good results. You can even run entire mixes through Pitch ‘n Time. Try that with garden-variety pitch-shift and time-compression plug-ins and watch ’em choke. Next to a great compressor and channel strip, you’ll be hard pressed to find a plug-in more valuable than this one.