Last Reviewed: Summer, 2017

With the advancement of audio technology the ability to slow down the tempo of a song or change the key (pitch) of an existing song, has never been easier.

Being able to slow the tempo of a song can be extraordinarily valuable at times. Whether you are trying to decode and play a song like Eruption by Eddie Van Halen which is played on guitar at a lighting clip, deciphering something played by a jazz trio, transcribing a complete song, or simply have the need to change the key or tempo of a song -- any and all of these things can be accomplished --plus a lot more, by today’s top audio slow down software programs.

The biggest problem you may have is in choosing WHICH software program to buy. There are literally dozens of software programs available today that do time stretching (that’s what changing pitch and tempo is called in techie language), and unless you are an audiophile, you might have great difficulty in sorting through all of these choices. Hopefully that’s where we can assist you.

In our opinion the 12 points below are the most important characteristics to look for when selecting a slow down music software:

  • Must maintain excellent audio quality from key and tempo change
  • Must be able to export or save tempo and/or key changes permanently.
  • Must have an easy-to-use wav file graphic interface
  • Must have the ability to set or create multiple loops for repeated playing within a single file and each of these loops must be customizable
  • Must be easy to use.
  • Must be able to open and save in all of the most common audio file formats.
  • The overall appearance should be high quality with a professional look and feel
  • Should not only cover the basics, but give you room to grow as you advance
  • Must have a FREE trial or demo
  • Must have excellent customer support, with prompt < 24 hour response times. Real person support, by phone, is not absolutely required but desirable.
  • Software must be a good value. Value does not necessarily mean a low price, rather it is pricing viewed with the overall features, benefits, quality, and content being factored into the mix.

As we mentioned previously, there are dozens of software programs that can do some of these things but most don’t do them all or do them well - or they don’t have a significant customer service component. We do not attempt to review all of these programs -- and would steer you away from buying them. What we have done is, selected the top handful of these programs and, reviewed them in details. The results of our investigation and reviews are found below.

Disclosure: We are a professional review site. We do not receive payments for the review of these products though, in some cases, we do receive commission payments when they are purchased.

  • Song Surgeon
    Professional
  • Song Surgeon
    Standard
  • Riffstation
  • Amazing Slow
    Downer
  • Riffmaster Pro
Softwares
Rating Factors
Key Detection
Tempo Detection
Chord Detection
Basic Editing/Recording
Formant Preservation
Automatic click track
creation
Sophisticated Scoring
Function
Comments
Song Surgeon Pro is our #1 rated product..
The Standard version of SS in an excellent..
Riffstation (ver 1.6.3.0) is the new kid on the block...
Amazing Slow Downer (ver 3.5.7) was one of the..
Riffmaster Pro (ver 4) is a fairly popular program...
Audio Quality
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Loop Creation
Multiple
Multiple
Multiple
Single
Multiple
Wav form display
Audio file formats
open
wav, aif, mp4, m4a, mp3, wma, aac, mp1, flac, ogg, cda, mid
wav, aif, mp4, m4a, mp3, wma, aac, mp1, flac, ogg, cda
wav, ogg, mp3, flac, wma, m4a, mp4, aac, aiff, aif
wav, mp3, wma, ogg, flac, mpc, m4a, aif
wav, aiff, mp3, ogg, flac, m4a, cda, wma, mp4.
Audio File Formats
save
wav, mp4, m4a, mp3, wma, aac, aif
wav, mp4, m4a, mp3, wma, aac, aif
wav
wav
mp3, wav
Ease of Use
Easy for basic functions learning curve for advanced
Reasonable easy
Easy for functions learning curve for advanced
Easy
Easy
Professional
Apperance
Money Back
Guarantee
Unconditional,
100%, 60 days
Unconditional,
100%, 60 days
Not stated on
the site
Not stated
the site
100% within
60 days
Demo or Trial
Fully functional, 4 hours of operation, no calendar time limit
Fully functional, 4 hours of operation, no calendar time limit
30 days. File saving is disabled
1st and 2nd track of a cd / First quarter of the audio file
10 days
Value
Excellent
Excellent
Very good
Very good
Good
Customer Service
Excellent, includes a Quick Start Guide, Training..
Excellent, includes a Quick Start Guide..
Good - Site has FAQ's and training videos...
Below Average - Contains a small user...
Average - Site has FAQ's and training videos. Software..
Other Features
Open Video
Files
Yes, will open video files and strip audio
Yes, will open video files and strip audio
Yes, but only mp4 video files
Speed Trainer
Yes - great feature which allows you to pick
Yes - great feature which allows you to pick
Foot-pedal
Alternative Tunings
Wav Editing
Yes, this wav
editing is unique...
Chord Finder
Project Files
Converts Bit Depth
Converts Frequency
Current Version
5
5
1.6.3.0
3.5.7
4
Recording
Cost
$97
$79
$34.99
$49.95
$49
SONG SURGEON PRO
Based in the U.S

Song Surgeon Pro is our #1 rated product of the 5. SS Pro has a several unique features that Song Surgeon Standard does not have and several more again that 3rd ranked Riffstation does not. Song Surgeon Pro has a sophisticated scoring function, it has basic editing and basic recording features. It can automatically created 4-beat click tracks synced to the tempo of a song, and it also has the ability to detect or determine the key of a song. Lastly and very importantly, SS provides the most comprehensive support of any of the products with a 24/7 Help Desk, Training Videos and a written User Guide

SONG SURGEON STANDARD
Based in the U.S

The Standard version of Song Surgeon is an excellent basic product, with excellent sound quality. In a head to head comparison the Standard model of Song Surgeon is simply a simply a better overall product. It can slow down tempo much further than Riffstation, its looping function is clearly superior and it has Speed Trainer, it detects key, which Riffstation does not, it can open and strip the audio from video files, it can export in a much larger variety of file formats and it can be used with a footpedal. None of these last features are found in Riffstation.

RIFFSTATION
Based in Ireland

Riffstation is the new kid on the block when it comes to slow down type products. Riffstation has a very attractive and professionally designed interfaced geared toward guitarists. Riffstation maintains excellent quality on slow down, and like Song Surgeon has the ability to detect tempo and the chords found in a song. While it lacks several valuable features found in Song Surgeon it does have a few features not found in the Song Surgeon products, such as the ability to display the chord shapes for guitar, ukelelee, and piano.

AMAZING SLOW DOWNER
Based in Sweden

Amazing Slow Downer was one of the first slow downers on the market but it hasn’t kept up with the times. While it has excellent sound quality, the interface is antiquated and could be much more user friendly. It does not display a wav form graph which can be very helpful for setting and refining loops. Lastly, it has no Help Desk and no substantial FAQ’s or knowledge base.

RIFFMASTER PRO
Based in Australia

Riffmaster Pro is a fairly popular program. It is easy to use and professional looking interface. However it has the poorest quality sound reproduction of any of the products. This is due to the fact that it uses a very old time-stretching algorithm that was designed to work with voice, not polyphonic music. While its sound quality can be a problem it has some nice features like the ability to open video files (strip the audio), looping creation and a playlist. These additional features offset the disadvantages of the lower quality audio and allow us to give it a ranking that is almost equal to ASD.

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