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#2160066 - 09/30/13 12:42 PM Slowing down video playback without changing pitch
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 163
Loc: London, UK
I wondered what people are using for slowing down video playback without changing pitch, these days. There's a thread from a about three years ago but maybe things have changed.

I know Windows Media player will do half speed. I have something called SloMo Director. Functionally it's fine: you can pick your playback speed, you can pick your start and stop points and you can loop. But the user interface is terrible: there's no way to start and stop without picking up the mouse. And sat at the keyboard or with a guitar in hand, I just want to swat the space bar rather than picking up the mouse and clicking on a tiny button. You can't even leave the mouse over the pause button because hitting pause a second time doesn't restart playback.
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Yamaha C3X SH

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#2160074 - 09/30/13 12:56 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3134
Loc: Northern England.
I gave up on Windows media player soon after getting the computer. Couldn`t fathom it out what with stupid play-lists and all that.

A good one (free I think) is Videopad. You can do so much on it, including some audio editing as well as video editing for a couple of soundtracks. It`s dead easy to use or I wouldn`t do it. You`ll enjoy it.
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"I'm playing all the right notes — but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2160085 - 09/30/13 01:29 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1123
Loc: Helsingborg, Sweden
Are you talking about slowing down only the video, not the sound? Is that at all possible? The VLC media player can slow down picture and sound (the audio and video tracks stay synced with each other) with two speeds up and two down, apart from normal speed.
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#2160094 - 09/30/13 01:49 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1049
Loc: uk south
- VLC player, definitely. I use this all the time for changing the playback speed while keeping pitch unchanged. Speech works very well but you tend to get artifacts on music which can make it sound very weird indeed. But the control is excellent. You have a number of coarse settings, 66%, 50%, 33, 25 additionaly an option to increase or reduce in 10% increments.
Also I'm pretty sure VLC defaults to the space bar (start/stop) unlike WMP which has steadfastly refused to accomodate what everyone in the world wants (it's the SPACE BAR, STUPID!). Also, if you want to assign control for other functions look at the hotkey settings in the options menu - you can set it up however you like....it'll loop as well.
Great media player!

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#2160106 - 09/30/13 02:21 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 332
Loc: Ohio
If you're looking for just the audio portion, the free Audacity sound and recording program does a great job of slowing down and speeding up music to an arbitrary degree without changing the pitch.
_________________________
1999 Petrof 125-111 (upright)
Casio Privia PX-330

Currently working on:
Rach. Prelude Op 32 #12
Debussy Images #1 "Reflets dans L'eau"
Mozart Piano Sonata #17, K570
Playing by ear and "filling out" pop tunes

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#2160195 - 09/30/13 06:54 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 163
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: TheodorN
Are you talking about slowing down only the video, not the sound? Is that at all possible?

It is actually quite hard to describe what's wanted. The ears work differently to the eyes. Video is an illusion that our eyes are happy with. It's easy to arrange visual slow motion. And that's part of what I want. I want to slow down someone's fingers on the keyboard or the guitar where the sheet music isn't available or is laughably far from what the artist was actually doing. Then I can hopefully work out what they're playing, as my ears aren't good enought to work out what they're doing from the sound.

But if I slow down the visuals in a trivial way then my ears perceive a pitch change in the audio. Visual recordings are discrete. But audio recordings are (quasi) continuous. [Gosh, it is hard to describe.]

So, we want software that increases the gap between audio events; we don't want simple squeezing or stretching we want a clever chopping out of samples such that the "notes" have greater separation but each note's pitch isn't changed. Because as I play along, wondering if I've correctly figured out what's being played, I want the pitch of my notes to match (or not if I'm wrong) the pitch of the played notes.

---

So. Thanks all. I've downloaded VLC and have started to play with it. The controls are definitely much better than my current solution. But the audio artefacts are indeed worse than my current one. Easily liveable with though. I haven't yet found looping and loop points.
_________________________
Yamaha C3X SH

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#2160252 - 09/30/13 11:57 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2939
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Try Transcribe! From seventh string.

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#2160253 - 09/30/13 11:59 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I also use Transcribe. Great software, does everything I need it to.
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Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#2160256 - 10/01/13 12:09 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1049
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: de cajon
I haven't yet found looping and loop points.


- it works well, down to a fraction of a sec but it's not the best implementation. Make sure you have view/advanced controls checked. You'll get lots of little control icons. Look for the one like an upturned 'U' with a pair of boots on. Hover over it and click once for point A and again for point B.

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#2160344 - 10/01/13 06:52 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 163
Loc: London, UK
Well, I've tried VLC side-by-side with Transcribe! It looks like Transcribe! wins hands-down. I shall almost certainly be willing to stump up $39 when the trial expires.

The audio quality when slowed down is better with fewer artefacts. I like that it plays mp4 files straight off. My old solution required me to convert files to wmv. And being able to save multiple and marked sections looks very useful. And I haven't even got to note and chord guessing yet.

I was initially disappointed that the spacebar resumed playback from the beginning each time, but the keys are customizable and it was easy to make spacebar pause-resume. Being able to map pedals to start, pause, etc. looks like it might be great.
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Yamaha C3X SH

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#2160351 - 10/01/13 07:23 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1049
Loc: uk south
- for sure, if you're prepared to stump up some cash you're generally going to find something superior - transcribe seems to be custom designed for the job you're trying to do (transcribing?)

When I was learning a foreign language and I found VLC to be indispensable for watching films and slowing both video and audio down with almost no artifacts at all (speech doesn't seem to suffer anything like as much)..and of course it's free.
Best of luck with your new toy!

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#2160401 - 10/01/13 09:38 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 163
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
... for sure, if you're prepared to stump up some cash you're generally going to find something superior ...

I'm not sure I will be able to justify paying $39, which is a little more than that kind of software usually goes for, when there's something very usable for free. I'll see how I feel in 30 days.
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
...transcribe seems to be custom designed for the job you're trying to do (transcribing?)...

I'm using it for learning and transcribing. When learning modern songs, the sheet music is inevitably rubbish for both piano and guitar, and the tabs/chords aren't enough. So I'll get something like Somewhere Only We Know on the piano, or Casey's Last Ride on the guitar (the two modern piece projects of the moment) from some kind soul on YouTube who's kindly done all the hard work and videoed their fingers at work. When it's a finger-pick like Casey's Last Ride, I typically won't remember things like the turnarounds, so I'll transcribe them into tablature in Sibelius. And with Somewhere Only We Know, I definitely won't remember all the variations, so I'll transcribe it into stave in Sibelius.
_________________________
Yamaha C3X SH

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#2160432 - 10/01/13 11:32 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11181
Loc: Canada
My attention was caught by this thread. I want to train my ear, so the auditory part, and I'm too slow in catching what whizzes by. I saw VLC mentioned and it turns out that I have it. I'm not sure how to use it though, if I want to listen to something that is on the Internet - say Youtube for example. I see a number of options under media. I am pretty backward in this area.

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#2160437 - 10/01/13 11:45 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 163
Loc: London, UK
YouTube can be awkward if you're not used to downloads and file formats. People take various approaches. I installed a plugin for my Firefox web browser - called DownloadHelper. When I'm watching something on YouTube, I use the plugin to download the video to someplace on my hard disk.

VLC is pretty clever, it will accept most formats including the regular YouTube format, .flv, whereas with my previous solution I then had to convert the format.

Then you just go into Media in VLC, choose Open File and then navigate to where you stored the downloaded file.

Presumably you won't mind seeing the video as well as hearing the audio. If not, then you can use a converter, like AnyVideoConverter to change the .flv into an .mp3

I see that VLC can also open a stream; although I didn't try it myself. I like to have a copy on my disk. But if you copy the youtube video's URL (address) from your browser address bar, you could try VLC's Media|Open Network Stream and paste the URL in. It does mean you're using up your network connection bandwidth each time though.
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Yamaha C3X SH

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#2160439 - 10/01/13 11:47 AM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11181
Loc: Canada
Thanks, de cajon. I've gotten it to work by downloading.

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#2160515 - 10/01/13 02:50 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 332
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: de cajon


So, we want software that increases the gap between audio events; we don't want simple squeezing or stretching we want a clever chopping out of samples such that the "notes" have greater separation but each note's pitch isn't changed. Because as I play along, wondering if I've correctly figured out what's being played, I want the pitch of my notes to match (or not if I'm wrong) the pitch of the played notes.



Then Audacity is your program. It has functions that do exactly that. Just specify the speed (in percent) that you want and, viola, it slows down the audio with no change in pitch:

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
_________________________
1999 Petrof 125-111 (upright)
Casio Privia PX-330

Currently working on:
Rach. Prelude Op 32 #12
Debussy Images #1 "Reflets dans L'eau"
Mozart Piano Sonata #17, K570
Playing by ear and "filling out" pop tunes

Top
#2160528 - 10/01/13 03:51 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: de cajon]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Long, long ago, I remember a problem with Audacity needing to take time to convert the file to play properly pitched at a lower speed. Does it now do that real-time?
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#2160600 - 10/01/13 08:40 PM Re: Slowing down video playback without changing pitch [Re: tangleweeds]
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 309
Loc: LA CA
I use mac stuff for that and it works great if you know how to use the programs.
_________________________
Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Two openings in my private lessons program starting in Nov.

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