There are plenty of guides for shifting audio pitch, but is there a way to compress audio pitch?

I have a video that has a voice with a very low pitch and a voice with a very high pitch. I can shift the pitch up to make the low-pitched voice easy to understand, but move the high-pitched one even futher away from my hearing range, or I can shift the pitch down to make the high-pitched voice easy to understand, but lose the low-pitched one.

I am looking for a way to get both voices into my hearing range, i.e. compress the range of audio pitch, just like normal audio compression reduces the range of audio volume.

Usecase: Change the audio so all voices fit into comfortable hearing range of a person.

  • 2
    Split the track by speaker. Process each individually. I doubt there is any 'compressor' for this type of pitch change. It has very little practical use-case.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 10, 2022 at 8:04
  • 2
    (I really want to hear the two voices now)
    – tomh
    Jun 10, 2022 at 9:39
  • LOL @tomh - tbh, this could probably be done by Melodyne; bulk select the highs then the lows & shift them some arbitrary amount in opposite directions. I suppose that would let you test formant vs 'straight' shifting, but it's going to be a tad expensive for what is unlikely to be a great result. .. & yeah, I'd love to hear it too, to know just what we're up against ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 10, 2022 at 9:50
  • You could put it all through AutoTune and constrain it all to a single pitch, then back off the amount of AutoTune. The results are unlikely to sound very natural though. Unless you are Cher...
    – tomh
    Jun 10, 2022 at 9:52
  • …or use a vocoder. Either way, it's likely to end up sounding like Daleks ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 10, 2022 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


You are looking for frequency shifting, not a frequency-based analogue of compression*.

I am looking for a way to get both voices into my hearing range, i.e. compress the range of audio pitch, just like normal audio compression reduces the range of audio volume.

Frequency shifting is not a good analogue to compression, aka dynamic range compression.

  • Dynamic is used because compression looks at audio over time and uses varying levels of processing.

  • Range is used because compression changes audio amplitudes so they are closer together (i.e. within a desired range).

Frequency shifting, aka pitch shifting, at its simplest, is not dynamic. A simple form changes each frequency by a fixed multiple. (Therefore, this kind is not dynamic.) For example if a 2X multiple is used, a 400 Hz signal becomes 800 Hz, and a 600 Hz signal becomes 1200 Hz. Note that the frequencies are now further apart. This is what your ears expect, however.

You can find many audio tools that can do frequency shifting (aka pitch shifting). One place to start is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_digital_audio_editors which includes tools such as (in random order):

  • Pro Tools (Avid)
  • Logic Pro (Apple)
  • GarageBand (Apple)
  • Audacity (open source)
  • Reason (Reason Studios)
  • Audition (Adobe)
  • Live (Ableton)
  • Hindenburg Pro (Hindenburg)

I have not verified that each can do pitch shifting, but it is likely that most or all can.

* A true frequency-based analogue of compression might be interesting. Or it might scare away all living things. To achieve it, I'd recommend programmatic audio processing software such as SuperCollider, CSound, ChucK, Max, or Sonic Pi.

  • Thank you for trying to help, but I am explicitely not interested in frequency shifting. I want both voices to be easy to understand at the same time. But I totally agree on "might scare away all the living things" part.
    – user185953
    Jun 13, 2022 at 10:17

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