How to simulate instrument Pitch with an effects chain?

I’d like to get a similar result to an instrument’s Pitch slider (the +/- 24 semitones one) in an effects capacity, the intended use case being to add pitch instability to whatever signal is coming through

I’ve tried using Pitch Shifter, but it doesn’t speed up/slow down the audio which is desired in this case, and it sounds more “metallic”. It’s also more CPU-heavy. And doesn’t possess as much range.

Is there an equivalent that I can pass a signal through where it’d functionally do the same thing?

We cannot create an effect that adjusts the playback speed of just one track. This is because adjusting the playback speed of a track means adjusting the rate at which the timeline playback position moves, and each event instance has one timeline playback position that it uses for all of its tracks, not a separate timeline playback position for each of its tracks.

That being said, there are two ways in which you could adjust the pitch and playback speed of tracks:

  • You could use the pitch property of an event, found in the event macro controls. You can view an event’s macro controls in the event editor window’s deck by selecting the event’s master track, or by deselecting all of the event’s tracks. This property affects the pitch of everything in the event, as well as the speed of the event’s timeline playback position.
  • You could use the pitch property of a group bus, which can be found in the group bus macro controls. You can view a group bus’ macro controls in the mixer window’s deck by selecting the group bus. This property affects the pitch of every event that routes its output into the group bus, as well as the speed of their timeline playback positions, but does not affect events that only route a signal into the group bus via sends to return buses.

Both of these properties can be automated and modulated.

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Aha! Great thinking, @joseph ! I’ve prior familiarity with these additional pitch properties but didn’t realize I could use them like this. It looks like the Group Macros > Pitch knob might be applicable for a scenario I have in mind.

But say I have:

  • Events Group 1 with drums playing into Group Bus 1 where I occasional slow the pitch down a lot
  • Events Group 2 with melodies playing into Group Bus 2 which has no pitch effect applied

If I return Events Group 1 to normal pitch, how do I reset and re-sync its playback with Events Group 2 so that its timeline position is as if it would be if pitch hadn’t been changed? E.g., I do something like a “tape stop” effect on Events Group 1, but want it to continue these “stems” in-sync.

You can’t. Or at least, not easily. (I suppose you could theoretically adjust the pitch in the opposite direction to allow the adjusted track to slow down or catch up with where it’s supposed to be, but there’s no easy, automatic way to ensure it catches up by the exactly correct amount.)

As I mentioned earlier, adjusting the pitch of an event means adjusting the speed of that event’s timeline; there’s no “true unaltered timeline” to re-synchronise the altered timeline with. If you want to avoid changing the timeline while adjusting pitch, the only option is the pitch shifter effect.

…All that being said, there might be a solution that works for some specific use-cases. If your event, instead of being an event that plays audio on a loop, was an event that regularly spawned instances of a different event of fixed length once per loop, then you could set up your pitch adjustment such that it only affects that second event and not the first. This would mean that the first event would always spawn new instances of the second event on schedule, meaning that no matter what you did with the pitch of the second event, the drums would end up in sync again at the start of the next loop.

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Understood. Despite CPU usage, this might be the easier overall path for me to use, unless playback sync is not important.

Ingenious and intricate thinking! :brain::bulb: