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Here's what Guitar Player has to say about SlowGold II. Reprinted by permission. (Note: SlowGold is a later, more advanced, and less expensive version of the now-discontinued "SlowGold II". So, everything Adam says in this article applies doubly to the current version of SlowGold!)

Learning Curve: SlowGold II

By Adam Levy

Guitar Player, Feb. 1999, p. 21

As anyone who has tried to cop a tricky solo from a record knows, there are usually a few passages that are too fast to decipher. For years, the solution has been recording the desired lick into a half-speed tape machine. These are great tools, except they drop the music down an octave, making it hard to hear guitar parts in their natural context.

Enter SlowGold II ($89.95)*. This windows-based program lets you chop any recorded music (from CDs, cassettes, MiniDiscs, or other audio sources) into smaller bits, then play the bits back at slower speeds. That’s the short of it. Where SlowGold II gets interesting is in the details.

First off, the program lets you set up an infinite number of loop points within any piece of music. You can, for example, slice up a solo phrase by phrase or measure by measure. Once you’ve chosen your loop points (with mouse clicks), you can use onscreen "sliders" to fine-tune the start and end points. Each loop is indexed by track number and start time, and you can add comments, such as "cool octaves lick."

SlowGold II’s SlowPlay feature lets you hear each loop at a percentage of the original tempo – from 5% all the way up to 120% - without altering pitch. With slowdown quality set at "Best," the sound is very clear, even when slowed down to 30%. Below that, some flanging is audible. The higher-quality setting takes a bit of time to process and record the slowed-down loop onto your hard drive for playback. Choosing one of three lower-fi settings means less waiting – and less righteous audio quality.

SlowGold II also gives you the option of converting each loop into a sound-wave graphic for a visual picture of the loop. You can use the program’s "RhythmGrid" feature to lay a rhythm ruler over the wave graph to see precisely where each note begins and end – a great aid for transcribers wanting to notate their transcriptions in precise detail. Unfortunately, this is the program’s clunkiest feature and, though workable, could benefit from an upgrade in future versions of SlowGold.

In summary, SlowGold II offers cool, user-friendly features and top-notch sound at a very reasonable price. If you’re in the market for a transcribing tool, SlowGold II is about as much bang for the buck as you’ll find.

*Note:As of 6/22/99, current price is $49.95

 

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