Amazing Slow Downer for Mac is an impressive piece of software that will slow down your music files or CD tracks on the fly without having to record them first, making it a perfect fit for burgeoning musicians. Because it works with your CD-Rom drive and doesn't require recording, it is faster and more accessible than other software that offers similar functionality.
Installation of Amazing Slow Downer is fast and the app will load immediately once you have unzipped the DMG file. The interface is all on one screen and is a bit dated. Without a clear tutorial onscreen you'll be clicking around to find the right buttons, but there is a Help file and the brief menus make it easier to pick this software up and use it even without clear instructions. The features here are unique, allowing you to play back any track on a CD or from your MP3 library at one to 400 percent speed without losing any pitch. The result is a perfect app for learning the notes in a song or dissecting a track on a note-by-note basis. Combined with numerous options for how to play back those tracks, make comments, or annotate, it's a great tool.
Amazing Slow Downer is free to try but does have some restrictions in the number of tracks it will play back on a CD pending a paid upgrade. Even still, if you are looking for a solid playback tool to slow down tracks while learning or editing, this is a great option and well worth trying.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Amazing Slow Downer for Mac 3.4.5.
From Roni Music:
If you're a musician who likes to learn new songs and techniques by listening to the same piece of music over and over but wish that the music could be played a little slower, then you'll enjoy Amazing Slow Downer for Mac. This PowerPC program reads music directly from your CD-ROM drive and slows it down between 1% and 400% using a "time-stretching" method which does not change the pitch, regardless of the speed! Most programs of this sort require you to record the music first. Not with the Amazing Slow Downer. It processes the music in real time - just insert the CD and press the play button! You may also import and play MP3, AIFF, Wave and AAC/MP4 files. Other features include increasing the music speed up to twice the normal rate, pitch adjustments in semi-tones at full or lower speed, and more.
Easy to drag any song from your iTunes song list straight into the File Player. If you are working on learning something in alternate tuning you can adjust the pitch down in the player instead of retuning your guitar. Example: First of all, I play bass guitar) I've been studying James Jamerson's "Bernadette" for good walking bass and rhythm practice. The original recording is tuned down one semitone. Instead of me going thru the trouble to retune my instrument I adjusted the pitch down one semitone (easy enough, did it by ear) took about 20 seconds. Setting the loop feature is a snap. Overall sound quality is better than the learning mode on my Tascam DR-07 MkII digital audio recorder. It's especially useful if you have accurate sheet music or tabs in front of you to put it all together. If you don't read music or tabs, it's still more than useful to learn by ear. In the loop mode you can preset a % increase in speed where each time it repeats it will play back a little faster.
Not really anything I can complain about. As you know, bass is at much lower frequencies so I have to make adjustments in the highs, and middle on the EQ to help isolate the bass. But I can get it adjust to suit my needs.
To me it's a very valuable learning tool. I play piano as well but have only used this for bass guitar but I did drag a very fast classical piano piece into the Amazing Slow Downer and it really separates every note (even in a complicate, fast piano piece) with very little to no degradation in pitch. It works for me.
This is the ultimate way to transcribe recorded speech, which is what I needed it for. It's easily adjusted to play at any speed that suits my typing speed and remains totally clear to listen to. Perfect.
Would maybe like an easier way to manage back-tracking to earlier point in recording... but it works just fine as is, in fact.
This is a piece of simple, effective software that does exactly what it promises. I use it to transcribe voice recordings (which it does exceptionally well and easily, even though it seems not to have actually been designed for this job). It plays back any recording at any speed that's of practical use, and all the time it keeps the original pitch of the voice and clarity of the recorded voice. Amazing... truly!
Slows music down - any fragment - you can even slow down a single chord and loop it so it becomes 'infinite' and you can pick out the individual notes. Fantastic. Even use the EQ to focus on the bassline :-)
For the price and for what it's deisgned for, I can't think of anything I don't like
When I need to transcribe a piece of music, this is the first thing I grab :-)
It can shift the pitch and the speed of a piece of music - both up and down
The fidelity suffers a little when either the speed or the pitch is altered - but this is to be expected
I use it to change the pitch or the speed of a piece of music, sometimes both. It can also be used to slow down, or speed up, of say, a lecture. The pitch remains unchanged when you change the speed alone, and the speed does not change when you change the pitch alone.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I use this application to slow down complex musical parts to learn them on guitar and drums. It connects to your iTunes library and will slow down unprotected files. You also have the option of exporting them in a slowed down version if you want to store them on your iPod.
Great tool for learning complex or overdubbed music parts!
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I have been at this sort of thing for four decades. You used to have to slow records down to 16 rpm's to drop the music an octave and put it in half time. Them you had to drop the needle in just the right place, and hold as much in your head as you could to do a transcription, before finding the right groove to drop the needle in again. As computers came around, I longed for software like this, and eventually it arrived. I have tried them all over the years.
The developer of ASD updates with fixes constantly, and this app has every feature you can think of. Including dealing with the horrid DRM problems. The quality of my transcriptions has improved immeasurably with this app. If you think the UI is bad, look at the other apps with the same functionality. They are much worse. But I agree that the previous reviewers suggestions would be super, even though I don't have the same feelings about the current UI.
I'll tell ya, I am so delighted with this software that I have even learned to tolerate its name.
I don't have the time or energy to detail every feature that makes it so great, but maybe you can take the word of a guy who spends many, many long hours transcribing very fast and complex banjo and guitar music. ASD is a great app.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. This app is a fantastic tool for practising music in all speeds and all keys whilst maintaining the highest sound quality. You can use ASD in its File Player Mode (to play all sorts of audio-files you might have on harddisk) or you can use ASD in its CD Player Mode.
You can tune the music to suit your instrument instead of the other way round and you can store all presets for the way you want any track to be played (right-click in the presets-field).
It has loads of options so it might take a while before you have discovered them all.
For instance: When you right-click in the playlist window, another menu will appear. This gives you many options regarding files and playlists.
Also, in the main preferences you find numerous handy features.
I use ASD almost every day since version 1.03 and i find it the best software purchase i have ever made. Mac and Windows versions work wonders regarding pitch & speed of sound.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. Every upgrade adds 1 or 2 tiny features, almost
as if it's just a way to bump it up in versiontracker
awareness, without really making significant changes.
Audacity gives me whatever speed I want at equal sound
quality plus waveforms that give a sense of the music
dynamics while playing back. Or Soundhack allows much
more flexibility / audio quality in examining nuances
of what the original player did. Both are free. Hard
to justify such a high price for ASD given those TRULY
Also, I don't actually want to do play the CD---I'd
rather transfer it to hard disk so it doesn't wear my
laptop battery down as fast. That "feature" does not
help mobile users.