[2024] How To Pitch Shift In After Effects

In After Effects, locate the Pitch Shifter effect under the "Effect" tab to adjust the pitch of your audio. Use the "Semitones" for major shifts and "Cents" for fine-tuning, then preview your adjustments to achieve the desired sound.

November 26, 2023
[2024] How To Pitch Shift In After Effects
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How Do You Change The Pitch Of An Audio Track In After Effects?

If you're aiming to change your music to a different key or subtly adjust the tone of a voiceover, the Pitch Shifter effect in After Effects is your go-to solution. This tool is not just about changing the pitch; it's about refining the audio to fit the mood and tone of your project.

With the Pitch Shifter, you can:

  • Transform Audio: Elevate the mood of a scene by adjusting the background music.
  • Modify Voiceovers: Adjust voice recordings to better fit the tone of your video.
  • Experiment: Play around with different pitches to discover new soundscapes for your projects.

How To Increase/Decrease The Pitch

In After Effects, the Pitch Shifter effect allows you to alter the pitch of an audio file. To locate this effect, first, ensure you're in the main workspace. On the top menu, you'll find a tab labeled "Effect." Click on it. From the dropdown menu, hover over "Time" and then select "Pitch Shifter." This is where you'll be able to manipulate the pitch of your audio.

Adjusting the Pitch: Semitones and Cents

Once you've opened the Pitch Shifter effect, you'll notice two primary parameters: "Semitones" and "Cents." Think of semitones as the major shifts in pitch, akin to moving from one piano key to the next. Cents, on the other hand, are more subtle shifts, like fine-tuning a guitar string.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. Selecting Your Audio Layer: In your timeline, click on the audio layer you wish to adjust. This will highlight it, indicating it's ready for edits.
  2. Accessing Effect Controls: On the left-hand side, you'll find a panel labeled "Effect Controls." If it's not visible, go to the "Window" tab at the top and ensure "Effect Controls" is checked.
  3. Adjusting Semitones: Within the "Effect Controls" panel, you'll see the "Semitones" parameter. By default, it's set to 0. Increasing this number will raise the pitch, while decreasing it will lower the pitch. For example, setting it to 2 will increase the pitch by two semitones.
  4. Fine-Tuning with Cents: Below "Semitones," you'll find the "Cents" parameter. This allows for more precise adjustments. If you've increased the Semitones by 2 but feel it's slightly too high, you can reduce the Cents to find the perfect pitch.

Previewing Your Adjustments

After making your adjustments, it's crucial to preview the changes to ensure they sound as intended.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. Position the Playhead: Place the playhead (the vertical line in your timeline) at the beginning of your audio layer.
  2. Press the Spacebar: This will play your composition. Listen carefully to the audio to ensure the pitch shift sounds right.
  3. Make Further Adjustments: If the pitch isn't quite right, go back to the "Effect Controls" panel and tweak the "Semitones" and "Cents" until you're satisfied.