Introduction: How to Make Music Sound Scary!

Picture of How to Make Music Sound Scary!

This is my first Instructable and it shows how to make any music (mp3) file sound scary using the free software tool, Audacity. An example of scary music is this video:

Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together!

Picture of Get Your Stuff Together!

If you don't already have it you need to download and install Audacity and the LAME MP3 encoder from this link:
And you'll also need a music .mp3 file to make scary.

Step 2: Import Your Audio File

Picture of Import Your Audio File

After opening audacity go to the toolbar at the top and click the following: Project-->Import Audio... Find your music file and import it. If your using Audacity for the first time you'll probably have to find the lame_enc.dll file first so follow the steps provided on screen if prompted.

After importing your file you should get something in the little gray area looking like this. This is called an audio track.

Step 3: Duplicate Your Audio Track

Picture of Duplicate Your Audio Track

First your going to need 3 copies of that audio track in order for this to work. Click on your audio track and go to the toolbar again and this time do Edit-->Duplicate twice so you end up with 3 tracks that are exactly the same.

Step 4: Make the Audio Scary

Picture of Make the Audio Scary

Now that you have 3 separate audio tracks click on the first one so that only it has the bluish tint on it (This means its selected). Then go to the toolbar and go Effect-->Change Pitch...
It should bring up a little menu and in the middle of the menu there's something that says "Semitones (half-steps):" with a box next to it. Enter the number 2 into that field then press OK.

Now select the middle audio track and go Effect-->Change Pitch... This time your going to enter the number
-2 into the semitone field and press OK.

Finally select the last audio track and go Effect-->Change Pitch... and enter the number -4 into the semitone field, press OK.

Then click play and wallah! Ghostly music.

For a slightly different effect you can use 3,-3,-6 for the semitones. Depending on the kind of music your using try different combonations. But to get the ghastly sound effect A,B,C A=Variable, B=-A, C=-2A.

Step 5: Closing...

Picture of Closing...

Feel free to experiment with the number of tracks and the numbers you enter into the semitones etc. Don't go to crazy though, you can easily generate noises that are not pleasing to the ears and your speakers might get messed up if you generate extremely high pitched noises. If your doing a video invert the colors so everything is blue and it will be a great effect. Have fun!


admin (author)2008-06-05

This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!

emuman4evr (author)admin2008-06-06

I added the main image to the intro step, or at least I hope I did.

MatthewK8 made it! (author)2017-12-06


Rayhan2210 (author)2017-07-22

how to make it even scarier - throw some binaural frequency on it...

Sanic SmashG (author)2016-11-26

Used the Pokemon Go song and now that kids demonic voice is haunting me in my sleep

jphturtle (author)2016-03-18

This is so AWESOME!!!! Thanx!!!!! I'll fix up a sample soon!!!Thanx!!! Oh, by the way, did I say THANX!!!!!

TehR1ng (author)2016-03-16

Great tutorial! I added a bit of distortion, and now its time to mess with my friends! Thankyou!

jHellion1031 (author)2015-06-21

I tried importing the track I made for this but i can't find the consolidated track, only the individual tracks. I have 43 separate tracks instead of of just 1 master. Any suggestions on how i can consolidate?

Aubrienna (author)jHellion10312016-02-13

Try exporting. I use Audacity all the time and the best way to get all your files together is to export. It will put all your music together and convert to mp3 format, it will also give you a box you can fill out with the track number, track title, authors name, album title, year published, and so on. Good luck! Audacity is really nice, I use it to mix music for my mp3, and to record some of my own. It's also nice if you are making a CD ( )

for somebody and you want to put a personal message before, or after a track.

thinksgivingt made it! (author)2014-12-20


thinksgivingt made it! (author)2014-12-20


thinksgivingt made it! (author)2014-12-20


thinksgivingt made it! (author)2014-12-20


thinksgivingt made it! (author)2014-12-20


tinker234 (author)2012-03-01

wow that song just sounded so funny i couldnt breath and then i fell over laughing so hard thanks i think a darker song would sound cool i like it my nightmares have a new sound track form the screams of totured victims yay

cyan_shadow (author)2009-10-09

Man you are Great!!! I made the Rammstein`s Mein Teil sounds sounds scary and cool

RedFlash (author)2009-09-20

You could do that with people's voices. That would sound scary

deathsmileyinc (author)2009-09-17

I did this to pshycho from system of a down, it was more disturbing than scary 0_o but its an nice Instructable

Gage987 (author)2009-07-22

almost died when i did this to 21 guns

bugmenot (author)2009-06-11

I did this to 'Song 2' by Blur (AKA: The Woo-Hoo song), and it sounds normal for the first 15sec (drum solo), and gets progressively weirder as it goes on. At some points, it becomes near-unintelligible. Sweet. Great 'ible, 5-stars + Favorited.

Flumpkins (author)2008-08-16

Look, I'm constantly avoiding a video on youtube, and may I know the title of the clip in the link? And perhaps the tags?

Flumpkins (author)Flumpkins2008-08-16

nvm, I bit the bullet and clicked it... That's weird!!! I though I got Rickroll'd. But I didn't.

emuman4evr (author)Flumpkins2008-08-17

Its scary what some things sound like...

Flumpkins (author)emuman4evr2008-08-17

Look, I'm constantly avoiding a video on youtube, and may I know the title of the clip in the link? And perhaps the tags?

CapnTac (author)Flumpkins2008-08-26

Title: Scary Love Tags: barney scary love A scary version of the "I love you" song from Barney.

ReCreate (author)CapnTac2009-01-14

woah i gotta hear that can you upload the video elsewhere?(google video) or at least the mp3 here at instructables(i think you can upload mp3 files)

CapnTac (author)ReCreate2009-01-16

I don't own the video.

Flumpkins (author)CapnTac2008-08-27

HOLY CRAP! Thats freaky...

Fizzxwizz (author)2008-12-18

Here are some of my scarys, I just made them :Dhere and here

metal-matt (author)2008-07-19

hmm i gave it a go, it work somewhat, kinda just made it sound downtuned, ohh yea i did this on myown song, i can post a link if you would like ;), but i have a music myspace for my solo project "Immortal Fire", here the URL
enjoy :D

davidprosser (author)metal-matt2008-12-15

soz lol i couldn't resist - what was the aim of "Know your guitar"....

emuman4evr (author)metal-matt2008-07-19

It typically works better for some music, and usually its a nice idea to have voice in the music.

k3000 (author)2008-11-22

ive got loads of audio files that are wma and audacity cant open them can you tell how to convert them to a mp3 file

emuman4evr (author)k30002008-11-22

You need to google a wma to mp3 converter. I recommend LAME.

awkrin (author)2008-11-05

lol I tried a pop-rock song and it doesn't sound like it's singing any more

PKTraceur (author)2008-10-01

I Tried this with the song Paralyzer, it sounds normal... cept it sounds like a girl.... weird

emuman4evr (author)PKTraceur2008-10-01

Did you do 3 separate tracks with the first 2 half steps higher, the second -2 half steps lower, and the third -4 half steps lower? Just out of curiosity I tried it on that song and it seemed to sound correct. However if you do 4, 2, and -2 then it sounds exactly like you described it.

PKTraceur (author)emuman4evr2008-10-02

no, i didnt do 2. -2, the -4... thanks for telling me!

Thaikarl (author)2008-08-09

make it even more freeky... i made 3 duplicate tracks. modified tracks 1, 2, and 3 as per instructions, left track 4 alone (so it's natural sounding.) then, select the first third of track 1 and do an Effects>Fade In. then fade in the second track, but make the selection a little longer, then fade in the third track, again, make the selection a little longer than the second track selection. then, select the forth track from about one third in all the way to the end, and use Effects>Fade out. this way, your track starts out sounding normal, then it gets weirder and weirder as the pitch changed tracks fade in and the normal track fades out. you could also do the weird track fade outs to the ends of the tracks, so your sound starts normal, gets weird and scary, then becomes normal again. cool!

spartan094 (author)2008-07-19

Another good way is to slow it down and reverse it.

emuman4evr (author)spartan0942008-07-19

Already done that, gives the slow mo effect but as ghostly as this one.

Cereleste (author)2008-07-18

I tried it. It sounds amazing, thanks for showing me the program Audacity, I've been looking for a good program to use for adjusting audio, and this works great!

spellbound life (author)2008-07-05

wow this was loads of fun! Thanks for your help.

Yay someone actually did this and commented, I'm glad you liked it.

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