Serato Pitch ’n Time 2
By Joe Gore
Some Pro Tools users can’t get enough plug-ins. Others seem to enjoy announcing how few they use. But almost everyone needs a good pitch- and time-shifting tool. Or, in the case of Serato’s Pitch ’n Time 2, a great one.
The first thing you notice about Pitch ’n Time 2 is the extraordinary sound quality of its processed files. For example, you can alter the overall timing of a relatively long stereo region with astonishingly few audio artifacts — a godsend for any composer who’s ever needed to, say, cram 34 seconds of audio into a 30-second broadcast spot. Actually, that’s a timid example — Pitch ’n Time 2 can transpose files by three full octaves, or alter their speed by a factor of eight. Wow.
The plug-in’s default screen lets you calculate time-shifts by bars/beats, minutes/seconds, and percentages, or set pitch-shifts by semitone/cent and percentage. The results are so impressive, you’ll probably want to use Pitch ’n Time 2 for all such tasks — and Digidesign lets you. Once you have the plug-in installed, you can specify it as the default processor in the Pro Tools preferences menu, so you get Serato treatment every time you use the Time Trimmer tool, even if you don’t open the Pitch ’n Time 2 window.
In addition to its fixed time- and pitch-shifts, the plug-in lets you edit files so that their pitch and tempo change over time. In the Variable Time Stretch panel you specify accelerandos and ritards by clicking and dragging breakpoints on a graph. The Varispeed option links pitch and tempo for a dead-accurate impersonation of that analog tape effect. Finally, the Morphing Time Stretch screen lets you adjust the length of files not by overall duration, but according to when you want certain targeted events to occur. It’s sort of a higher-fidelity version of the variable time stretching you find in Ableton Live.
Pitch ’n Time 2 runs as an AudioSuite plug-in on any current Pro Tools system.