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Best Pitch Shift Plugins

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Best pitch shift plugins

Pitch shifters are incredibly versatile tools that work for pitch correction and pitch-bending effects. One of the most well-known types of pitch-shifting effects is auto-tune. However, there are many other great types of pitch shifters out there, which you can use to enhance, manipulate, and modulate your vocals, adding interest to your music production and mixes. 

Today, we’re going to explore some of the best pitch shift plugins on the market so you can spend less time researching and more time making music. 

 

If you're in a hurry:  
 

 

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I would receive a commission - at no cost to you - for any products you purchase 

Let’s dive in! 

 

What Is A Pitch Shift Plugin?

 

A pitch shift plugin is one that can manipulate the pitch of a given signal. However, pitch shifters don’t exclusively move the pitch higher or lower. They can also manipulate the waveform to change the timbre and tone of a signal. 

You’ll often find these plugins being used in modern genres, such as pop, EDM, hip-hop, and more. We recommend testing out your pitch shift plugins on vocals, guitars, synths, and whatever else you might feel could use a bit more excitement. 

 

 

Pitch Shift Vs. Harmonizer

 

A pitch shifter is different from a harmonizer in one main way.

PItch shifters, as the name suggests, will change the pitch of a signal that runs through it. Harmonizers, on the other hand, will create new notes that act in harmony with the signal running through it. 

 

The 22 Best Pitch Shift VSTs

 

I've done the hard work so you don't have to. Here are the top pitch shifting plugins available, no need to look any further!

 

Best Pitch Shift Plugin Soundtoys - Little AlterBoy

 

Little AlterBoy is one of the best examples of a solid pitch shift plugin. The plugin uses a very simple interface with only a few parameters to worry about. The main parameters are the Pitch and Format knobs, which you can move independently or link. 

It features three different pitch shift modes. Each one will treat your sound differently, from robotic processing to smooth pitch shifting.

 

 

 

One of the unique parameters on this plugin is the drive knob, which is based on the popular Soundtoys Decapitator plugin. This Drive knob can add a slight bit of color and character or completely distort the bajeezus out of your vocals.

Overall, Little Alterboy a great pitch shifter for anyone who wants a quick and easy effect. 

 

Eventide - H910

 

The Eventide H910 was the world’s very first multi-effects processor. It used a unique combination of delay, modulation, and pitch-shifting. Luckily for us, Eventide decided to put it in plugin form so we could take advantage of its unique widening capabilities. 

 

 

 

Click here to check the price on Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds

 

It’s one of the best plugins out there to create lush doubling and stereo spreading that you’re used to hearing on your favorite records. Some of the features on this incredible plugin include MIDI mapping, envelope following, optional “glitching,” pitch modification, delay rhythms, and true analog modeling.

Overall, the H910 is a great plugin for when you need to fatten and thicken an otherwise thin or frequency-desolate track. And if you're looking for a vintage pitch shifting sound, this is the plugin for you.

 

Zynaptic - Pitchmap

 

Pitchmap is one of the most incredible plugins to come out in recent times, producing effects that we couldn’t even imagine were possible. As Zynaptic says, you can “process the pitch of individual sounds with mixed signals in real-time.”

 

 

 

In essence, you can manipulate the harmonies and melodies of your existing audio using a MIDI keyboard. The streamlined GUI looks absolutely fantastic and is certainly geared toward sonic experimentation and sound design.

Overall, if you’re in the market for a plugin that can enhance your creativity and help you come up with ideas you would have never come up with on your own, Pitchmap is an excellent choice! 

 

Melda - MHarmonizer MB

 

The MHarmonizer MB is an out-of-this-world multi-voice harmonizer and pitch shifter plugin that can make a single vocal or instrument sound like a choir or ensemble. You can widen or enhance your mono recordings, create realistic harmonics, add sub harmonics to low-end instruments, and so much more.  

 

 

Click here to check the price on Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds

 

The plugin can create up to 120 voices and uses parameters such as an ADSR envelope, strumming, and formant adjustment. There are six distinct frequency bands to work with as well, each of which can be manipulated to your liking. 

The MHarmonizer MB plugin is one of the first you see when you get to modulation heaven, and it’s an excellent tool for any arsenal. 

 

Audio Damage Discord 4

 

Audio Damage built Discord 4 to emulate a unique piece of pitch-shifting hardware from the 80s. Beyond regular pitch-shifting, you also get a delay and reverb module.  

 

 

 

The input signal passes through the pitch-shifting module before hitting the delay and width filters. It then goes into the reverb algorithm before it is fed back into the pitch shifter. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to impart a bit of chaos in their music. 

From general pop songs to experimental tracks, we highly recommend checking out Discord 4. 

 

Polyverse Manipulator

 

Manipulator is one of my absolute favorite plugins to work with when I want to manipulate my sounds beyond recognition. You can use it as a pitch-shifting plugin on a vocal or instrument, or sidechain the audio input to use it as a vocoder.

 

 

Click here to check the price of Manipulator on Plugin Boutique or on ADSR Sounds

 

The interface is nice and clean, giving you all you need to create granular textures. There are seven main controls on the interface, as well as a set of well-categorized presets, including MIDI, FX, rhythmic, morphs, and subtle. 

If you want to mangle, mutilate, morph, mutate, or transform your audio, we highly recommend taking a whack at Manipulator. 

 

Eventide Quadravox

 

Eventide released the Quadravox plugin for free a few years ago. However, when it gained immense popularity, Eventide decided to upgrade it and release it with diatonic pitch-shifting algorithms to generate unique harmonies.  

The cool thing about this plugin is that you can independently pan, delay, and tune each of the voices, perfect for making your own choir or backing vocal stack.

 

 

 

Click here to check the price of Quadravox on Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds

 

We absolutely love the notation grid design, as it makes it convenient to edit and visualize the pitch and delay of each of your voices.

For many years, Evendtide has been know for its pedals and hardware-based harmonizers. Quadravox plugin wraps all of the best parts of that hardware up and injects it into a single interface.

 

Pitch Innovations - Fluid Pitch

 

Fluid Pitch is a must-have plugin for locking your pitch-bend wheel in so you never land on a wrong note. The beauty of this plugin is that you can manipulate pitch using your MIDI keyboard without ever having to worry about hitting the wrong note. It’s honestly crazy to us that it took this many years for a company to think of something like this. 

 

 

Click here to check the price of Fluid Pitch on Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds

 

Beyond locking in your MIDI keyboard’s pitch wheel, it also allows you to perform polyphonic bends in your MIDI and take advantage of micro tuning on individual notes. It’s truly a plugin you have to use to understand how helpful it is. 

Check out Fluid Pitch if you're looking for a unique, hands on approach to pitch shifting.

 

Devious Machines Pitch Monster

 

Thanks to the granular pitch shifting engine, Devious Machines Pitch Monster sounds better than most pitch shift plugins on the market today. The plugin is highly capable, allowing you to shift your audio six octaves either way from the original key. For sound design, it’s hard to beat the flexibility that this plugin offers.

Beyond its pitch shifting capabilities, it can also create eight-voice harmony, and each voice can create eight voices of its own.

 

 

 

Overall, that means 64-voice harmony!

From multi-engine voice editing to three performance modes, Pitch Monster one of the most versatile pitch plugins on the market today. 

 

Soundtoys Crystallizer

 

Crystallizer might be one of the strangest effects in the Soundtoys bundle, though it also happens to be one of our absolute favorites. This plugin alters pitch using a granular approach. You’ll find pitch-shifting algorithms, a filtering section, and a delay. 

 

 

 

When you browse through the presets on this plugin, you’ll begin to see how capable it is of creating uniquely unexpected sounds and textures. From chordal haromizations to sparkling crystal effects, you get everything you’d imagine and more with Crystallizer.

 

Audiority Octaver 82

 

The Boss OC-2 is arguably one of the most iconic octaver pedals of all time, and the Audiority Octaver 82 is a wonderfully uncanny analog emulation of that pedal. With this plugin, you can add pitched down tones that are one or two octaves below the original, fattening up your sounds like never before!  

 

 

Click here to check the price of Octaver 82 on Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds

 

The Octaver 82 plugin is monophonic, so don’t try and run chords through it or you’ll end up with a scrambled mess. It’s best for those who play cleanly and precisely.

I highly recommend it for use on guitars and bass guitars. It's also really cool on synth leads. 

 

Boz ProVocative

 

ProVocative is a simple plugin for Boz Digital Labs that allows users to create micro pitch-shifting with ease. The great thing about this plugin is that though it’s high in sound quality, it’s low on CPU, allowing you to use it in plugin-heavy sessions without worrying about it bogging down your computer. 

 

 

 

Some of the relevant features on this plugin include the high and low-pass filter section, the frequency-specific pitch-shifter algorithm, the independent wet and dry mix controls, and the track widening parameter. 

Don’t let the simplicity of ProVocative fool you. It’s one of the most powerful plugins around for instant vocal or instrument track thickening. 

 

Cableguys Halftime

 

Slow down and smell the flowers with Cableguys Halftime. This unique plugin is dedicated to creating half-speed effects using your audio. It has been used by several iconic electronic music artists, including The Chemical Brothers, 808 Mafia, David Guetta, and more. 

 

 

 

Click here to check the price of Halftime on ADSR Sounds or Plugin Boutique

 

The beauty of Halftime is that it can turn any piece of audio into a darker, halftime version of itself. It’s an interesting way to give your tracks mood and atmosphere. Throw this plugin on a lead synth track and watch it become a monstrous synth bass, or chuck it on a vocal line to give your vocals that electro Barry White flavor. 

It's a lot of fun to experiment with because it is so easy to setup. Sometimes you'll be amazed at what is lurking in your sounds once you slow them down!

 

Waves Vocal Bender

 

Waves took a minimalistic approach to pitch-shifting when they created the Vocal Bender plugin. It mixes a copy of the vocal you send into it with a pitch-shifted double to get that unique doubling effect you often hear in pop music.  

 

 

The plugin also works in real-time, allowing you to use it for live performance as well. Simply dial in the straightforward PItch and Formant knobs and listen to it alter the sonic characteristics of the vocal in the most natural way possible. 

In many ways, Vocal Bender is a great alternative to Little AlterBoy from Soundtoys in terms of ease and functionality, at a fraction of the price. 

 

Waves ADT

 

ADT, otherwise known as Artificial Double Tracking, was the world’s first vocal doubling effect created back in the 1960s at Abbey Road Studios for The Beatles. This plugin happens to be the very first plugin that emulates it. 

 

 

With Waves ADT, you can get the legendary pitch variations and lush-sounding delay that only the true hardware could deliver. With independent volume and drive knobs, you can even manipulate your left and right double independently.  

The sound is nothing short of authentic, sounding faithful to the original with its wow and flutter emulation and modeled valve tape machine characteristics. 

 

Waves Torque

 

Waves Torque is a unique plugin that shifts the tones of your drums to help you salvage drums that weren’t tuned. To enhance their tone, you can tune them to a specific key without having to retrigger or replace them. 

 

 

The great thing about Torque is that it doesn’t come with all of the artifacts you get with traditional pitch-shifting plugins, meaning you’ll never lose the original timbre or resonance of your drums. 

This is because Torque uses Waves’ real-time Organic ReSynsthesis engine to analyze the drum’s amplitude, formant and carrier information before reassembling it in the blink of an eye. 

 

Waves Doubler

 

Waves Doubler might be somewhat of an old-school plugin, though it’s an excellent plugin for when you need to transform, modulate, harmonize, and transpose your sounds. There are tons of great factory presets included in Haromnizer, allowing you to create realistic spread effects, parallel harmonies, doubling, vocal slap, stereo chorusing, and so much more. 

 

 

 

The real-time analyzer is great for seeing how the plugin is impacting your audio too, giving you more of a visual insight if you desire. 

 

Frqshift by Tonstrum

 

The name of this plugin says it all. Frqshift is a frequency shifter, meaning it is made to explore and manipulate frequencies rather than specific pitches or notes. There are two frequency shifting engineers onboard, allowing you to make everything from wacky atmospheric textures to subtle stereo enhancement. 

The interface is crisp and clean and reminds us a lot of something you’d find on an iZotope plugin. Plus, you’ll find a myriad of controls to manipulate your audio in detail, including high and low-pass filters, a delay module, a resonator module, and more.

 

iZotope Vocal Synth 2

 

iZotope Vocal Synth 2 is so much more than your standard pitch-shifting plugin. This thing comes with loads of pitch-shifting algorithms and vocal processing tools, allowing you to apply everything from subtle vocal modulation to pad-like atmospheres. You can even route one of the several audio processing modules within Vocal Synth 2 to create custom sounds that no one has ever made before. 

As with all iZotope plugins, the interface is very intuitive and is perfect for those looking to experiment. 

 

 

Click here to check the price of Vocal Synth 2 on Plugin Boutique or ADSR Sounds

 

It mainly works as a vocoder and vocal synth, but you can really run anything through it for far-out pitch shifting effects. It's also loaded with tons of powerful effects.

Overall, Vocal Synth 2 is just a great plugin to have in your arsenal for when you need something special.

 

Free Pitch Shift Option 1 - Kilohearts Pitchshifter

 

The Pitchshifter interface from Kilohearts is austere, to say the least. However, don’t let that little fact fool you. This plugin means business. And it's included as part of Kilohearts free bundle!

 

 

 

Pitchshifter is a granular-based pitch-shifting plugin that uses a randomize button to let you experiment for hours and hours without getting the same sound twice. You can determine how much randomness you want to add to the pitch using the Jitter knob, or determine how grainy and chopped you want your audio to sound using the Grain Size knob.  

We love using Pitchshifter to dial in heavy, grainy effects, then dial the Mix knob back to mix it in parallel.

 

Free Pitch Shift VST Option 2 0 Auburn Sounds Graillon 2

 

Auburn Sounds Graillon 2 might be one of the best free auto-tune plugins out there. However, don’t underestimate it because of its free price tag, as it still has a unique and exciting character that makes it well worth using.  

The free version of this plugin comes with real-time pitch correction and pitch shifting capabilities. You can adjust the pitch of your vocals while maintaining the formant as well, which is great for those who want to retain a natural sound.  

For a free plugin, the interface is sleek and modern, making it a great addition to any current music producer’s arsenal.

 

Your DAW Probably Has a Free Pitch Shift Plugin, Too

 

Your DAW most likely has a pitch-shifting plugin that it comes with. I use Pro Tools and Ableton most of the time, and both of them come with quality pitch-shifting plugins that I find myself using all the time. Of course, you may not get the insane flexibility and unique features that you get with some of the plugins above, though you get quite a lot, which is often more than enough to get the job done! 

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