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Audio Pitch Shifter

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2 Mar 2016CPOL2 min read 34.3K   2.7K   15   5
Audio pitch shifter application using the CSCore library


I love the voices of "Alvin and The Chipmunks" and "Darth Vader".

I wrote this application to change my voice in "real time" either to a chipmunk or Darth Vader using an audio pitch shifting algorithm.


This application uses the excellent C# audio library CSCore to capture, play and process audio and the pitch shifting algorithm written by Stephan Bernsee (see references).


This is how the application looks when you start it. It uses Wasapi to capture and play audio so you need at least Windows Vista to be able to run.

Main screen of the application

Select your preferred microphone and speaker and click Start.

ATTENTION: Please use a headset with a microphone to avoid nasty feedback on your speakers.

Headset with a microphone

Play with the "Pitch" and "Gain" sliders to change your sound.

When you click the "Add Sample Mp3" checkbox, the sample mp3 file starts to play and stops when you uncheck it. You can change this mp3 file with your favorite karaoke song to sing like a chipmunk or Darth Vader.

Interesting Parts of the Code

When you click the Start button, the application initializes the capture device in "exclusive mode" to enable minimum latency. This enables to hear what you speak into the microphone from the speakers with minimum delay.

//Init sound capture device with a latency of 5 ms.
//ATTENTION: WasapiCapture works on Vista and higher Windows versions.
mSoundIn = new WasapiCapture(false, AudioClientShareMode.Exclusive, 5);
mSoundIn.Device = mInputDevices[cmbInput.SelectedIndex]; 

Then it creates a SampleDSP object and sets the gain and pitch values.

var source = new SoundInSource(mSoundIn) { FillWithZeros = true };

//Init DSP for pitch shifting 
mDsp = new SampleDSP(source.ToSampleSource().ToMono());
mDsp.GainDB = trackGain.Value;

To be able to add an mp3 source later, it creates a mixer and adds the DSP object to the mixer.

//Init mixer
mMixer = new SimpleMixer(1, 44100) //mono, 44,1 KHz
    FillWithZeros = false,
    DivideResult = true //This is set to true for avoiding tick sounds because of exceeding -1 and 1
//Add our sound source to the mixer

The final step is to initialize the play device also in "exclusive mode" and start it.

//Init sound play device with a latency of 5 ms.
mSoundOut = new WasapiOut(false, AudioClientShareMode.Exclusive, 5);
mSoundOut.Device = mOutputDevices[cmbOutput.SelectedIndex];
//Start rolling!

When you click the "Add Sample Mp3" checkbox, the following code is executed. If the checkbox is checked, it adds the mp3 file to the mixer as a sound source. If it is unchecked, it removes the mp3 source from the mixer.

if (mMixer != null)
    if (chkAddMp3.Checked)
        mMp3 = CodecFactory.Instance.GetCodec("test.mp3").ToMono().ToSampleSource();

The SampleDSP class reads data from the sound source and adds gain and changes pitch according to the GainDB and PitchShift properties.

float gainAmplification = (float)(Math.Pow(10.0, GainDB / 20.0));
int samples = mSource.Read(buffer, offset, count);
if (gainAmplification != 1.0f) 
    for (int i = offset; i < offset + samples; i++)
        buffer[i] = Math.Max(Math.Min(buffer[i] * gainAmplification, 1), -1);

if (PitchShift != 1.0f)
    PitchShifter.PitchShift(PitchShift, offset, count, 2048, 4, mSource.WaveFormat.SampleRate, buffer);
return samples;

It's not the scope of this article to tell you how the pitch shifting algorithm in the PitchShifter class works. If you wonder how, please read the wonderful "Pitch Shifting Using the Fourier Transform" article.

Below, you can find a simple diagram showing how the audio is processed.

Audio processing diagram



  • Version 1.0.0 - Initial version of the application and the tip


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Turkey Turkey
I've been working with computers since the glorious times of Commodore 64. My latest beloved programming languages are C# and JavaScript.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow to receive audio from other sources than Microphone. Pin
UniqueDesign_0126-Jun-20 21:51
UniqueDesign_0126-Jun-20 21:51 
Questionexception : Could not find a supported format Pin
lizzzy14-Feb-20 11:09
lizzzy14-Feb-20 11:09 
Questionnice Pin
flash-mmb13-Aug-16 10:01
flash-mmb13-Aug-16 10:01 
AnswerRe: nice Pin
ahmet_uzun14-Aug-16 0:39
ahmet_uzun14-Aug-16 0:39 
SuggestionEasy suggestion to improve pitch shifter Pin
John C Hamilton3-May-16 20:34
John C Hamilton3-May-16 20:34 

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