Wow and flutter describes speed irregularities that are heard as garbled or warbled sound. They can be caused by defective devices deviating from their rotational speed (turntables and analog tape recorders), or failing media. Wow manifests itself by slow pitch variation resulting from small speed variations; flutter refers to rapid speed variations.

Can it be fixed?

  • If the wow and flutter can be traced to the source recording, it can be corrected to a degree using pitch adjustment tools in an editing program
  • For more precise correction, there is a professional tool called Capstan that can remove wow and flutter from musical recordings automatically
  • If the wow and flutter is the result of a malfunctioning playback deck during digitization, have the deck serviced
  • Jamie Howarth developed the Plangent Process to remove wow and flutter.


Listen to a tape with wow and flutter on SoundCloud

Another example of a tape with wow and flutter on SoundCloud

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