Computerprograms for easier practice?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Niels Keijzer, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I don't know if this is the right forum to post, :confused: but...

    Does anyone know a program that you can use to reduce the speed of soundfiles (mp3, wav...) without changing the pitch?
    That way it would be easier to learn certain songs (some hyperactive tunes like donna-lee)

    I've been hearing from 'phrase-trainers', some electronic devices that could do this but I wonder if there are also computerprograms capable of doing the same...
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    My recommendation is Transcribe!. You can download it and try it for a month before having to pay for it; after using it to help me learn a bunch of songs a couple of years ago, I had no hesitation in splashing out the money, and it's proved itself a good investment ever since.

  3. There's another program called the Amazing Slow Downer, and there's at least one Winamp plugin, called Chronotron, for accomplishing that task. I've used the plugin, but not the ASD. I'd recommend Transcribe! over either; it's a great program.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Any decent audio editor can do it.

    There's even a freeware plugin for Winamp, but I forgot what it's called.
  5. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000

    I'll try the transcribe program, and will search around for those other programs... Come to think of it, I think there is a program called cooledit, lying around in my parent's place...would it have such an option as well?
  6. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    Consider using such technology as a last resort.

    I can see how slowing certain songs down could come in really handy (maybe I'd finally learn all of The Lemon Song!), but might hinder ear development.

    Sometimes I listen to a song for the first time and I'm blown away by everything that is going on in the bass line.

    With numerous listens and much practice, however, my ear and brain usually catch on and, eventually, the line appears to be slower and simpler than at first.

    I've accurately figured out many lines that originally seemed difficult.

    Good luck.
  7. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Sure, I agree that it should be a last resort and I don't want to sound lazy...but it is especially with those jaco-lines that are too fast for me to catch all the different notes that such lines incorporate. Think of that particular line in Havona, for instance.

    My ear is developed well enough for being able to play along instantly with music videos on tv, and noodle a bit on a cheap fretless bass while working to achieve an acceptable level of intonation.

    But I agree with your comment.
  8. The freeware winamp plug is called pacemaker, if you search for pacemaker on then you'll get two results, the other being a looping device. With those two you can quickly learn even the fastest of lines!

    Cool Edit is a good wave editor and also has the ability to slow down and loop sertain sections of an audio file.
  9. Right on CJK84, but the bass line to the Lemon Song is *really* not that bad! Keep pluggin.
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    My ear has greatly improved since I started using software to enhance my hearing - it's no different from the way that learning scales is a much better place to begin than trying to learn some virtuosic bassline. Start low down on the learning curve and progress rather than trying to jump too quickly to a higher point.

  11. well, I hear ya wulf, but how do you think Coltrane, Miles, Charlie Parker, and all those guys did it? They didn't have Master Super Slower Downer version 8 that now keeps the same pitch. They just did it. The hard way. Beware of 'shortcuts' - there are none.

    Just don't get to where you *rely* on it.
  12. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Yeah, they did it the hard way, because there was no other way. I mean, there's suffering, and there's needless suffering. If the resources are there, why not use them?
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    This isn't technique related..... off to Miscellaneous with you.

    Watch the closing door....
  14. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    That's precisely the point. Also, there is the small but not insignificant point that Coltrane, Davis, Parker and many others were musical geniuses. Personally, I find software tools a useful adjunct for developing what talent I have; as previously noted, I've become better at "hearing" because I've been able to use software to bring things within my grasp (and better at reading as I've used other tools to record what I've heard in the form of legible scores).

    It's not a shortcut; just a way of making the time I have available to put into music more fruitful. There is the danger of getting too obsessed with every nuance of the first three bars and never getting to grips with the whole piece but, as long as I keep the big picture in mind, tools like Transcribe! help me to be much more efficient and effective than I would otherwise be.

  15. For a second I thought this thread said "Counterparts good to practice to?"

    And if so, yes. Counterparts would be a good album to practice to. ;)

    Go eyesight. :D :oops:
  16. ^ he = Kaz now. Just in case you guys are wondering.
  17. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I have practiced to counterparts sometimes back, but I didn't like the singing at all.
    I didn't get your second post at all, but it was probablyl directed to someone.

    I have downloaded transcribe, and slowed down donna sounds funny, but I haven't really sat down to make something out of it yet.
    I wake up every day hoping the coltrane virus has struck me (and then I mean his musicality, not his fondness for heroin and sweets)
  18. I'd guess even these guys didn't start transcribing incredibly complicated stuff right off. They probably started at some young age working out how to play "Happy Birthday" or similar and gradually progressed to more complicated tunes.

    Using software to make a complicated tune "simpler" in some sense can be just another way of tackling the learning curve.
  19. I know it's not a computer program, but the Tascam Bass Trainer does a great job of slowing down (all the way down to 1/4 speed) without changing the pitch. They go for about 120 USD. I have one myself and it works great. 1/4 speed comes in handy when trying to figure out Primus tunes!