Song Surgeon Review – Slow Down Music Easily!

Have you ever wanted to slow down music so you could actually figure out what was going on? 

Song Surgeon does exactly that for you – just like a surgeon, it allows you to slice and dice and manipulate any audio file in almost any way you want.

4 Reasons Why You'd Want To Slow Down Music Or Change Pitch

There are a few common reasons I can think of why one might want to slow down music, or alter its pitch:

To learn a new riff that’s too fast in the original.
Let’s face it, some great sounding riffs simply have to be learned at a slower pace, and then brought up to tempo through practice. It’s difficult to really decipher exactly what is being played without being able to slow things down to the point where you can identify individual changes. Song Surgeon allows you to do this – without distorting or changing the pitch of the song. This means you can play along at half the speed, or even a quarter of the speed of the original, but still in the same key.

To bring an older recording into standard pitch.
Some of the older recordings, especially those done on tape, were edited so many times that the end result was slightly sped up, or slowed down from the way things were played. Due to lack of technology at the time, this actually changed the pitch of the recording, putting it out of tune if you tried to play along with it. With Song Surgeon, you can make those adjustments to bring the song back into tune with your guitar. Some artists even sped the tapes up on purpose, just for kicks! Song Surgeon makes it easy to learn from these types of recordings.

To shift a song from Eb or another key into E standard.
Ever tried to play along with a song, only to find it is in Eb? That means you have to tune your whole guitar down a half step, which takes time. Maybe the next song you wanted to practice with is in standard tuning. Then you have to re-tune again, or, have two separate guitars. Song Surgeon allows you to simply change the pitch of the song you’re playing with to where you want it to be.

To change a song to a different key so you can sing along.
Want to sing or perform a song, but can’t do it in the same range as the original, due to your own vocal range? The easy answer is to change the key you play the song in. But which key works best? Song Surgeon let’s you quickly change keys so you can sing along to find out which one works best with your vocal range. Once you know which key you’re working with, then you can transpose the chords. Why go to all that work before you know which key you want to end up in?

I have experimented with Song Surgeon, and found it to be quite powerful and easy to use for all the above situations. I’m sure there are other uses for it as well, I just need time to find more problems to solve with this software!

What Else Can Song Surgeon Do?

  • Analyze the key, tempo, and chord changes and display all that on-screen for you. Yes, it overlays a visual chord chart on top of your song! 
  • Allows you to export the chords to a text file. 
  • Can slow the audio to as little as 10% of the original speed, all without changing the pitch so you can figure out what's being played. Audio quality is not affected at all. 
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    Can transpose the song to a different key with 1 click (this is great if you want to learn a song in a different key to match your voice better)
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    Easily create loops, so you can practice a riff or a portion of a song over and over without interruption. 

Conclusions

Song Surgeon is a powerful piece of software, there’s no doubt about it. The presets on the Tempo and Pitch sections are incredibly handy, and the layout is intuitive and easy to learn, and the sound quality is great. Creating easy-to-work-with loops is child's play. 

It’s true, there are free ways of performing some of these tasks, however for anyone that does this kind of thing on a regular basis, it makes sense to have a tool that is designed specifically for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Song Surgeon offers a free trial download, so if you’re unsure, or even just curious, I recommend downloading it and giving it a try. You don’t need a credit card or anything to get started, simply download the software to your computer, fire it up, load in a song you want to learn, and start using it. You’ll find out pretty quickly how cool it is.

Bottom line: If you learn a lot of songs or portions of songs from recordings, then this software will make your life easier. There’s no two ways about it.

Leave a Reply 4 comments

Mdickenson24 - June 15, 2012 Reply

Hi all, I have already got Song Surgeon Pro and it does what it say,s on the box,
I would advise  all  to get the pro version and not the standard version for many
good reasons.y

Kgilligan - June 15, 2012 Reply

Just downloaded and checked out demo; can’t wait to turn some of my students on to this little jewel!!!

namin - May 22, 2014 Reply

it’s the same as the software”Transcribe!”

Melvin Schofield - November 4, 2018 Reply

Jonathan, thanks for the heads-up on this nifty piece of software. So far I’ve just tried loading a track into it and playing it back. Love the way it shows you the current and the next chord, making it easy to learn and play along with the guitar part. Love it!

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