August 01, 2018

Change Tempos & Keys using Song Surgeon 5

Changing tempos and keys

A while ago we looked at the 'Amazing Slow Downer' (ASD) for changing tempos and keys of backing tracks. Since then I have come across another great program for the job - 'Song Surgeon 5'. *Jazzbacks has no commercial interest in either of these products.*

Song Surgeon 5 or ASD?

Song Surgeon 5 does pretty much the same things as ASD but the quality seems superior to my ears. Well, it should, considering the heftier price tag.
It sounds and feels more like a pro-audio application and at this point it has won me over as a tempo or key changing tool for my needs. It is available for Mac or Windows computers. 

Ease of use

We start off by dragging our file onto the screen of Song Surgeon 5. Certain info is detected automatically for us - tempo, key, and chords. That's right - chords are detected on the fly! Ah, but we've loaded on a 'jazz' backing track and, to be honest, it is struggling with the extended chords. Not surprising, really, and not a worry as we already know the correct chords to use. 


All the controls you need are right in front of you - tempo, key/pitch, looping, and a couple of audio quality choices - formant preservation (on or off) and 3 algorithms to choose from for getting the best result for your music. All of these functions seem easy and intuitive to use. 

It looks like the developers have worked hard to cover all customer types and make it user friendly and useful for everyone. There is a Playlist window, a 32 band EQ window, a Zoom window, and lots more. Visit the website for all of the boasts -


Because of the price (US$74.95 for Standard, $97.00 Pro), Song Surgeon 5 won't be for everyone. Those of us that use backing tracks in a professional performance setting may feel that it is worth the extra outlay. 

Download the free trial version to see if it is the right choice for you.





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