I am new to programming and sound processing, I have been using matlab to process sound files, a few of which are ultrasonic. my sampling rate is 250kHz. I Would like to be able to play the sounds at an audible frequency, there for i need to lower the pitch of the sounds without changing the speed. The frequency in the sound files are around 70 kHz, and i need to lower them to about 20 kHz (human hearing range 20 Hz - 20 kHz), about 4 times lower. If i simply change the sampling rate to 250000*4, i get the right frequency but the file become shorter/faster.

I have tried a few things:

  1. Delete every 4th bin of the original vector and multiplying sampling rate by 4. it did the opposite of what i intended and also changed the length.
  2. Duplicate every bin the the audio 4 times and keep the sampling rate, it actually lowered the frequency and the length did not change, but the frequencies were mirrored it 4 times
  3. A method i found online,which i don't understand, this method gave the best result: lower frequency and same file length but it changed the structure of the sound file (see link to spectrogram)

here is the code sample of the last method:

function [signal]=lower_the_freq(original) % original = rawClip.values'; binlen=length(original); sfq=250000; duration=binlen/sfq;

% plot original signal subplot(211);

 fourierTransform = fft(original);
 spectrogram(original,1024,512,1024,sfq,'yaxis');    %run the spectrogram
 title('Original signal')

% downsample spectrum by a factor of 2 n = 2; % downsampling factor newSpectrum = fourierTransform(1:n:end);

% zero-pad the positive and negative ends of the spectrum pad = floor(length(fourierTransform)/4); fourierTransform = [zeros(1,pad) fftshift(newSpectrum) zeros(1,pad)];

% inverse transform signal = ifft(length(original)*fftshift(fourierTransform),'symmetric');

% plot the downshifted signal subplot(212) spectrogram(signal,1024,512,1024,sfq,'yaxis'); %run the spectrogram title('Shifted signal')



2 Answers 2


In the end, i took the advice of @chipaudette in his answer to a similar question link to answer and i used Audacity to lower frequency, worked like a charm. in case anyone want's to see the final product, i add a link. link to manual link to final product


Yes, changing the sample rate also changes audio speed. Then apply a time-scale modification algorithm such as WSOLA or Phase-Vocoder and you'll get a pitch shifted audio file with the same length (speed).

Check this article: A Review of Time-Scale Modification of Music Signals


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.