(Please note: according to the maker, Riffmaster Pro is no longer supported)
Riffmaster Pro is a piece of software that instantly slows down any guitar solo or riff while retaining the original pitch. It’s a tool for guitarists everywhere which allows you to loop sections of a guitar solo and slow them down so you can learn the part with ease.
Riffmaster Pro is not JUST for guitarists, its use is universal, regardless of your instrument, your skill level, or the type or gender of music you play. This software is an invaluable tool for any musician because it enables you to slow down a song so you can hear not only WHAT is being played but the nuances of HOW it is being played. Once you have learned the riff or solo at the slowest speed you need to, you can increase the speed at fractional increments allowing you to gradually speed up your playing up with the song until your reach 100% of the original tempo.
Your purchase of Riffmaster Pro comes with two licenses for two machines. Riffmaster Pro works on windows 7 and Windows 8 Vista and Mac OS X ( 10.5 and above). It is also available on iPhone and iPad. Once you have purchased it you will get an immediate digital download. The makers of Riffmaster Pro have a PayPal option which is always useful.
Is it easy to use?
Yes, the RMP team designed RiffMaster Pro with ease of use in mind. The user interface is very simple to work and you will be playing with RMP within seconds. RMP now plays Mp3′s, Wav, Mp4, Wma, Ogg Vorbis and AIFFflac, m4a, cda. Riffmaster Pro slows down any audio from 99% down to 25% of the original speed of the song,. The sound is distortion free and uses the latest in time stretch technology.
Riffmaster Pro windows version has a cd rip function which means you can extract a song from a cd placed in your computer disc drive save to mp3 or wav with RMP. Riffmaster Pro will then automatically make the new file available to slow down, loop or change pitch. RMP has a save function you can save the slowed down music file at any speed you wish to (saves as mp3 or wav, or AIFF in the mac version). This means you can save various speeds of a song so you can burn to cd or use as speed training.
Every guitarist can benefit from working with RMP, from beginner, intermediate to advance players.
The 4ways of altering a song are:
- Speed – The main function of Riffmaster Pro and worth the price tag alone.
- Pitch – I’m not too sure of the best way to use this unless you want to give your favourite songs the ‘chipmunk’ sound that is popular in some forms of R’n’B. For me though, it’s not useful.
- Super Vocal Reducer – Does what it says on the tin and reduces the amount of vocal you can hear so you can focus on the guitar parts
- Balance – Adjusts the overall stereo balance
Does it work?
I tested Riffmaster Pro with tracks such as Meshuggah’s Stengah, Metallica’s Master Of Puppets and A Perfect Circle’s ‘The Hollow’ to get a variety of tones to compare and overall it sounds great.
Stengah is a very low tuned progressive metal riff that is played on an 8 string guitar so I wanted to hear how Riffmaster Pro deals with very low tunings. It does it pretty well. Most regular users won’t be learning Meshuggah I’m sure, but for those that do it handles lower frequencies pretty well. It’s not perfect when slowed down at the maximum but it more than does the job if you want to learn these evolving complex style riffs.
Master of Puppets I mainly tested for Kirk Hammet’s lead work. One of the big appeals of Riffmaster Pro is learning difficult fast runs and complicated lead work. In my early days of playing guitar I found it impossible to work out these fast runs. These days, it’s much easier but using Riffmaster Pro you can really slow it down and work guitar solos out piece by piece without much hassle. The solos in Master of Puppets all ring out and sound crystal clear and are still pleasing on the ear when slowed down.
I tested out A Perfect Circle’s The Hollow as I wanted to hear the ‘Super Vocal Reducer’ for myself. Sometimes, a vocalist will be singing or screaming over a very cool riff or passage and the distraction of the vocals makes it hard to focus on the guitar part you want to work out. That’s why this bit of software could be awesome.
It is almost brilliant, but unfortunately it’s not quite there. Don’t get me wrong the Super Vocal Reducer does work, but as it uses EQ to cut the vocal range and boost other ranges we hear some frequencies distorting which is understandable. It would be even better to have more options to control what we are hearing on this section such as a multiband compressor inside the software or something similar to give the user a bit more control and therefore reduce the noise.
Overall, it does work well. Just use it on a very low setting and it will work ok for most things.
I used to use Reaper which is a Digital Audio Workstation to slow down songs for me. Reaper costs significantly more than RiffMaster Pro and is designed to do a hell of a lot more than speed up or slow down songs, so it can be a bit awkward if you just want to slow down a song. Also Reaper doesn’t have the capabilities that RiffMaster Pro has (although with a bit of knowledge of EQ and compression you could do the same thing), but why bother when Riffmaster Pro takes all the complications out of the way for you.
The fact that the Riffmaster Pro effectively slows down (and speeds up) songs without a hitch, has the Super Vocal Reducer feature and allows you save your new version of the songs makes it a winner. With a little bit more control of certain parts of the song it would have got 5 stars but go and give it a try. I’m sure you will find it useful too.