How To Easily Adjust Song Pitch/Speed with Foobar 2000

I’ve seen many people asked how can they easily change the speed/pitch for a song to either speed it up or slow it down (screwed up!). While a lot of different people threw out some pretty good suggestions, a lot of them consisted of you buying expensive third-party software or installing trial-ware software which would expire after so many days. I’m no fan of music editing (only time I need to to do so is to make ringtones for my iPhone) but I found a easy way to adjust the song pitch and speed with the combination of Foobar 2000 and a simple plug-in. I assure you that this simple procedure will only take no more than a couple of minutes and at the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to easily change the pitch and speed of your music like a pro!

1. First you need to download and install Foobar 2000, which is a music player similar to Windows Media Player and Winamp. What I always tell people about Foobar 2000 is that it can either be the most simplistic music player you’ve ever used or it can also be the most complicated one as well. The reason is due to Foobar 2000′s support for third party plug-ins. You can choose to install Foobar 2000 as a portable application. That way, if you are not satisfied with my method shown here, simply throw away the Foobar 2000 folder and forget about it.

Foobar Install

2. Next, we’ll need to download the Foobar 2000 Soundtouch plug-in. This plug-in is what gives us the ability to adjust the song within the music player.

[adsense]A recent commenter showed us an even easier way to install the plug-in. Simply head over to Library –> Configure –> Install –> Soundtouch zip file –> Restart. This is easier as you don’t have to even unzip the Soundtouch plug-in file itself as Foobar will do it for you automatically. If you want to install Soundtouch the manual way, continue reading. If not, skip to Step 4.

3. Now we are going to install the Soundtouch plug-in. Head into your Foobar 2000 directory and open the Components folder. You should see a couple of .dll files in here. What you want to do is extract the Soundtouch plug-in into this folder. Therefore, simply unzip the file and drag it over to this folder.

Components

4. Now that we have the plug-in installed, we can now configure it for use within Foobar 2000. So, start up the music player. Drag a song into Foobar 2000 and play it.

Foobar Interface

Now, head over to File –> Preferences –> Playback –> DSP Manager

Under the Available DSP section, you should see a bunch of plug-in options. Find SoundTouch, click on it and then hit the <= button at the top.

Available DSP

5. We can now adjust our song pitch and tempo! Hit the Configure Selected button at the top and you’ll see the controls for SoundTouch. Enable the options by check-marking it and then simply adjust the sliders and the changes will be in real-time (assuming your song is still playing)!

SoundTouch Configuration

The bad news is that there isn’t a keyboard shortcut to easily get back to the SoundTouch controls. Every time you want to readjust your song or reset the controls to default, you’ll have to navigate back to it by way of File –> Preferences, etc, etc.

In the End…

As always, the method shown here may not be the best or the most technical but from all the times I have recommended it to others, all have been satisfied. It takes no longer than five minutes to set up, is lightweight, doesn’t install other bloatware into your computer, and best of all, it is completely free and have no expiration licenses! However, if you have a even better and easier method to adjust song pitch and tempo, please do share!

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Comments

  1. PeteDaBeat says:

    Brilliant, thanks for this. I agree re your shortcut reply above, preset settings for pitch will totally avoid the reason I (most of us?) need to speed tracks up. I intend to use it beside Audacity as I can quickly test a good approximation of results b4 actual conversion in Audacity. I could use DJ software for the same results but the benefit here is foobar is not system hungry at all whereas decent DJ progs are! It opens instantly and is TOTALLY user tweakable. Foobar has been a revelation to me, uncompressed flacs etc sound amazing and with the dolby earphone dsp its truly incredible! I find winamp fugly and nero bloated since Win7 versions. WMPs lack of flac support and the complicated process of making the metadata viewable in windows lost me as a fan very quickly. All in all thanks for the detailed articles Simon, much appreciated. One Love.

    • Your welcome Pete! I also remember back in the days when I messed around with DJ programs and like you said, it basically dragged my computer straight to hell due to it’s system requirements. But yes, Foobar is pretty amazing for such a lightweight utility. I’m pretty neutral when it comes to Winamp. I switched to Winamp when WMP12 gave me all sorts of headache but have stopped using it as I’ve mostly converted to using streaming services such as Spotify and iHeartradio. I haven’t heard the word Nero in such a long time! When I think of Nero, I instantly think of “bloatware”. It obviously gets the job done for casual users but that program will never ever make it onto my computer again.

      Anyways, I’m glad you enjoyed this article. Good luck with your music work as well!

  2. Hi Simon. Thanks for writing this post. You write:

    The bad news is that there isn’t a keyboard shortcut to easily get back to the SoundTouch controls. Every time you want to readjust your song or reset the controls to default, you’ll have to navigate back to it by way of File –> Preferences, etc,

    This is incorrect, at least on the version of the plugin I’m currently using. To create a shortcut, follow these steps:

    First, go to Library > Configure > DSP Manager. Click on ‘SoundTouch’, then on ‘Configure selected’. Choose your desired tempo, and click ‘OK’. Then, enter a name for this preset on the ‘DSP chain presents’ field, and click ‘save’ (here we’ll name this preset ‘Faster’). Click on ‘configure selected’ again, tick off all the boxes (Tempo, Pitch and Rate adjust), and click ‘OK’. Finally, enter a name for this new preset (here we’ll name this preset ‘Normal’).

    Next, go to Library > Configure > Keyboard Shortcuts, and click ‘Add new’. On the ‘Filter list by’ field, enter ‘DSP playback settings’. Then click on ‘Faster’ (our first preset) and on the ‘Key’ field enter your desired shortcut for this preset. Repeat the steps in the previous sentence for the preset ‘Normal’ (our second preset), using a different keyboard combination. Click ‘OK’ and you are done. The shortcuts now allow you to alternate between faster and normal speeds.

    • Brilliant observation Pablo! Thanks for sharing that tip with us. However, while your method does provide for a very quick way to apply different DSP Profiles to the current track, it is pre-configured. What happens if the DSP profile you applied via the keyboard shortcut is not what you wanted? Then you would need to manually configure the Soundtouch plugin and once again find yourself going into File –> Preferences, etc. etc.

      When I said shortcut to the Soundtouch plugin, I meant a keyboard shortcut that would bring up the main interface of the plugin so that I can quickly configure the tempo, pitch or whatever needs configuring. The DSP Chain Presets is very handy when you need to quickly apply the same filter over and over again. However, some people need to manually adjust the tempo/pitch for each track as each song is different. If however pressing the keyboard combination for the profile also brought up the Soundtouch plugin interface, then that would be perfect!

      Nonetheless thank you for sharing that information with us!

    • Thanks a lot, perfect solution!!

  3. Nice work, helped me alot with slow speakers in audiobooks. Thanks alot.

  4. you also can install it this way: “Library”->”Configure”->”Components”->”Install”->[zip-Folder]. Then click apply and restart foobar.

  5. Thank you Simon, this helped a lot! I’ve been lookin for years other player than MediaPlayer for slowing down tempos of the songs. I’m a dancer and we need it every day.
    Hopefully somebody would do more handy controls for this.

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it. You can definitely do a lot with Foobar 2000 so look around their supported components page and around the web to see what else might suit your needs. Like you said, if someone updates the Soundtouch plugin for easier access, it would be perfect!

      http://www.foobar2000.org/components

  6. Marine

    Please make sure you placed the Soundtouch plugin into the right folder directory. This should be the Components folder inside the Foobar installation directory. Also, please make sure that after doing so, restart Foobar so it registers the changes. Hope that works! Let me know if it doesn't because I haven't heard of any problems so far from users not being able to see the plugin in the DSP Manager once everything has been done correctly.

  7. Hi!
    Thanks a lot! But I have a problem with the installation : i can't see the plug-in in Preferences>Playback>DSP Manager. Did I something wrong?
    I don't understand why it doesn't work… :-(
    M*

  8. Brilliant Rachael! I totally forgot that Audacity allows you to record audio.

  9. Try Audacity.

  10. Hey Callejah

    Unfortunately, I can't really help you in that area because I'm not sure myself. I have found out that there was a Foobar plug-in made a while ago called foo_record that will allow for recording inside the Foobar player. However, it doesn't seem to work with the newer versions of the software. If you can somehow find a older version of Foobar, you might be able to make foo_record work for you.

    The plug-in download can be located towards the bottom of the thread: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/lofiversion/i

    If you are looking to mix things up a bit, Foobar might not really be the best software to perform your audio editing/mixing and whatnot. You'll definitely want to check out other professional DJ mixing programs out there that allows for you to edit the songs along with recording them as well. One such program I heard a user using is called GoldWave:
    http://www.goldwave.com/

    A better place to ask all your audio/video related questions is the AVS Forums. They have a great community there and I'm sure someone with tons more knowledge than me on this subject matter can provide you with the help you need:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/

  11. Callejah says:

    Thanks, this has been really helpful :) I was just wondering if there's a way to save the songs once you changed the pitch?

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