Being able to slow down music without necessarily impacting on the pitch by changing it is quite a useful thing, especially when you want to hear a certain riff within a song, the timing of a specific section of a piece of music, or just play along with a track at a slower pace.
Some media players like Windows Media Player and VLC player have this option, but some of the best software to slow down music also exist in the market to help you do this on your computer.
If you want to transcribe a song or play it yourself, you can use these tools, though they don’t do the transcribing for you, but their player programs are specially optimized for slowing down music for transcription, play-along practice, or speech transcription.
Here are some of the best software to slow down music for both professionals and amateurs.
Transcribe! helps people who want to work out a piece of music from a recording so as to transcribe it or play it themselves.
It doesn’t transcribe in the actual sense but is optimized for transcription, with features not found on conventional music media players.
It can also be used for play-along practice as you can change the pitch and speed, plus store and recall loops to practice all keys, plus you can slow down or speed up. ‘
Conventional media players are for those who want to listen to full tracks, so they’re inconvenient for transcribing, and this isn’t their original purpose.
Transcribe can also display videos if you’re working from video files. it doesn’t however take any interest in MIDI files as they have explicit info on the notes to be played and when, but there are programs that support this – neither is it an audio editor.
It can apply audio effects like speed or pitch change and EQ, plus you can save the modified audio under a new sound file if you so wish. It is available in Windows and other operating systems.
Other features include mono/karaoke effect, EQ filter, fine tuning, and transposition for those who playing transposing instruments, speed variable from one twentieth to double speed – but it is only available in English for now.
WavePad is a great audio slowdown solution if you have many song files piled up. It’s a fully-featured professional audio editor for both Windows and Mac.
You’ll most likely appreciate WavePad is equipped with a rich set of editing tools including the usual cut, copy, paste, delete, insert, as well as silence, compression, pitch shifting, auto-trim, and more.
What’s best about this software is that it comes with a straightforward interface that’s surprisingly easy to navigate. You can load your audio file in just two clicks, then slow down speed or further edit it as you please by using the generous suite of effects and tools. Finally, export it in the audio format of your choice and share it.
Other notable features include creating ringtones from your favorite music files or recordings, restoring audio files by removing noise, normalizing the level of audio files, or reducing vocals from music tracks.
You may even create bookmarks and regions to easily find and assemble segments of long audio files with minimal effort.
Audacity is a free and easy to use ,multi-track audio editor and recorder that works with different operating systems including Windows, with a multi-lingual interface.
It was developed by some volunteers and distributed under the GNU General Public License, so it is an open source software as its code is free for all to study or use.
There are other such programs available, but for slowing down music, Audacity tops the rest.
Features include live audio and computer playback recording, conversion of tapes and records into digital CDs or recordings, editing various sound file formats, cut/copy/splice or mix sounds, plus changing the speed or pitch of a recording.
Amazing Slow Downer
Amazing Slow Downer is another great audio slowdown software you might want to try. The application comes with an incredibly simple and friendly user interface that allows you to slow down any song with ease.
Regarding the features, here’s what Amazing Slowdowner offers:
- Slow down songs down to 20% of their original speed without affecting the pitch
- High-quality sound
- Supports popular audio formats, including DRM-protected AAC and WMA files
- Works with audio CDs
- Real-time adjustments
- Loop parts of the song without changing the pitch
- Volume control
- 7-band equalizer
- Works with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Slow MP3 is one of the best software products to slow down music. It lets you play your favorite tracks at a slower tempo to view the used chords. You need Java to be able to run it.
The application gives you the chance to explore a few rhythms when playing music. At the same time, you can learn the chords used by the artist.
It is so light, about 1MB of your space and uses limited system resources, so it will run regardless of your computer’s configuration.
Once the main window is displayed, you can access all its features.
Playback buttons are visible, while volume sliders are available to adjust output decibels, and there’s a keyboard that highlights keys based on a sound.
The limiting features of this tool keep it from being a pro software, as loading can only be done via the file menu, and there’s no drag and drop features.
Also, you can only load one song at a go as there’s no playlist to gain quick access to more audio files.
However, one of its best features is the possibility to slow down playback speed which is great because turning on the transcribe option highlights notes so you can see the chords that were used.
You can also use a slider to transpose the playing audio file, but you can only enjoy its features while the song is loaded as there’s no function for exporting the song with the minor edits made.
Anytune is another popular tool for slowing down music that also helps you choose the perfect pitch and learn to play by ear.
You can isolate or mute instruments or vocals, learn tricky solos, transcribe, practice tunes at slower tempos as its performance and audio quality are outstanding, and also perform if you like.
It slows down your music without changing the pitch, while retaining amazing audio fidelity, so you can pick out each note to learn or play along with your favorite music by starting out slow, then gradually increasing the tempo.
You can tune your instrument or voice, and adjust the pitch up or down by two octaves, then fine tune by cents to match odd tuning, or transcribe in a different key.
It also lets you play your music seamless from iTunes, import from Dropbox, and drag and drop songs, with playback and export audio from video files.
Anytune also lets you create marks for quick navigation or set reminders for upcoming projects, save multiple loops, create and share timed comments, pinpoint your instrument, and ultimately you’ll feel as if you’re playing with the band using the Anytune Pro+ in combination with an adapter and practicing in LiveMix of your song and instrument, or voice at your own pace and pitch.
Slow Gold is an intuitive tool to help musicians improve their skills. If you practice to backing tracks, you can slow those tracks down or speed them up as you need, or even transpose them.
If you’re learning to play solos from recordings, you can focus in on them a few notes at a time.
Or if you’re just trying to figure out the chords to a hit tune for your cover band, well (please excuse the bad pun), SlowGold has you covered.
The program can open any audio file in the common formats of .mp3, .aiff, .wav, .flac, and others, so you can basically use it with any music (or speech, or other audio file) that you have.
In SlowGold, you slice up the tune into manageable segments by inserting what the program calls Loop Points. Label Loop Points with useful text like: “Bridge”, “guitar solo”, “tasty diminished run”, “Ab7” to make it super-easy to remember where you were the next time you open the tune.
Easily change the tempo and pitch
Important for me is the ability to fine-tune the playback pitch, which makes it easy to work with older music which was not necessarily recorded in tune to the standard A440, and also the ability to easily adjust loops so they are an exact number of beats long (makes playalong much easier).
Every setting and Loop Point is automatically saved for each song, which is huge because I work on a lot of different songs each day.
One hidden treat – you can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out on different sections of the music. It’s obvious and elegant, but most music programs don’t have it.
All in all, I like the program a lot, and it should definitely be on your “try for free” list.
SlowGold costs $29.95, but you can try a fully-featured version of it for free for 21 days and then purchase it if you want to continue using it.
Did your best software to slow down music make the list? If not, tell us which one you use, or which one of these meets your needs by leaving a comment below.
How do I slow down audio?
You can slow down audio by using any of the software solutions we presented above.
How do I remove background music?
Here’s how you can easily remove sound from video.
How can I remove the audio from a song?
Check out these vocal remover tools to help you eliminate audio from songs.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.