How to Make Your Voice Sound Like Michael Jackson on Audacity

Written by scott knickelbine
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How to Make Your Voice Sound Like Michael Jackson on Audacity
Think you're good enough to fill this jacket? Audacity can give you a little help. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Let's face it, if computer software could make you sound as good as the King of Pop, everybody would be releasing hit singles. But Audacity, the open-source audio application, can raise your voice from its natural pitch to the near-falsetto level Michael Jackson was famous for, without changing the tempo of the song or introducing a "chipmunk" effect. Just throw in a few "eeee-heees," and you can create a track with the Jackson sound.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer microphone

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  1. 1

    Open Audacity, and make sure your microphone is properly attached to your computer. Click the recording source drop-down menu in the centre of the top menu bar, and select "Microphone."

  2. 2

    Click the "Record" button in the menu bar (the one with the red circle in the middle), and sing your song into the microphone at your normal voice register. As you record, Audacity draws the waveform of your voice in a track bar. When you're finished recording, click the "Stop" button (the one with the yellow square in the middle).

  3. 3

    Click the "Edit" drop-down menu, click "Select," and then click "All." Click the "Effect" drop-down menu, and select "Change Pitch."

  4. 4

    Set "Semitones" in the "Change Pitch" menu to 10. Click the "Preview" button to listen to the effect. Adjust the pitch up or down by sliding the "Percent Change" slider right or left, and click "Preview" to hear the result. When the pitch is high enough to sound Michael-like, but not so high that you get a harsh "chipmunk" effect, click "OK" to change the entire track.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're trying to sing along with a karaoke track, raising the pitch of your voice can put it out of tune with the music track. You might need to use the "Raise Pitch" effect to adjust the key of the music track as well, or sing the song at in a lower key.
  • The "Change Pitch" effect can be pushed only so far before it starts seriously distorting your voice; usually, 10 semitones (or a 78 per cent rise in pitch) is about the maximum.

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