Pitch correction...

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by tbr567, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. tbr567

    tbr567 Guest

    Is it possible, using Autotune or another similar software, to manually change notes on a vocal track? Not just minor correction... I'm talking extreme vocal makeover. Like taking a vocalist who can sing only half of notes or less in tune, and making them sound as though they sang every note on tune.
  2. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    I bet if you hang around for just a little while there will be someone who can tell you just what you need to buy to do this!
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Smartass answer - only if the vocalist has extremely attractive breasts (or pects).

    The long answer is that it is a standard practice with major label pop artists to "comp" vocals: you take 15 takes of a song and go through word by word and syllable by syllable and pick the best instance from the 15 takes and paste them together. I presume that there are vocalists whose pitch needs correction on a large number of syllables. (I've never done this myself and don't intend to. But many instructional books on using recording software will give you a tutorial on how to do it - claiming that every engineer has to know how to do it. Producers tend to keep mum about it when they are talking about their artists. Draw your own conclusions.)

    So yes, it can be done. Long expensive process. How likely is it that this record will sell a million copies?
  4. dartstothesea

    dartstothesea Active Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    I'm no expert but a friend of mine who's been recording for a while would suggest melodyne.

  5. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Gooollleee Sarge!
  6. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I'm no expert but a friend of mine who has been recording for a while would recommend singing lessons.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Doh! That's what I get for not paying attention to what is going on around here!
  8. tbr567

    tbr567 Guest

    Thanks for the responses. I'm sure that it will be tedious and that it would be easier to just record an artist who can actually sing instead, but... She's pretty, and a good friend of mine. I'm sure it will be tedious but it's work and time that I am willing to put in.

    When you say it's an expensive process, how so?
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    The Auto-Tune series 4.12 can do absolutely remarkable things in automatic mode. Worth the price of admission. Works as a DirectX plug-in for most software's. You don't have to correct every note. It does. Highlight the track and apply the plug-in. This is assuming she is isolated on her own track? That's the only way you can accomplish this. You may have to experiment with the plug-in settings a bit but it will do quite a job. Generally under $300.

    Hope you get laid?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. tbr567

    tbr567 Guest

    I've never experimented with Auto-Tune before, so I have no idea what "automatic mode" is or what it does. It's hard to imagine that a program could automatically make every note in tune with no human assistance... After all, the program doesn't know what the melody is supposed to sound like?

    Of course.
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Despite the spam I own the melodyne VST, and like it. I only use it as a last resort, but it is a powerful tool. I hope thats ok MarkG. ;->
  12. MarkG

    MarkG Guest

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. I found a Jim Neighbors album in my stack of vinyl the other day, and I felt a little sarcastic.

    Link, I actually tried the demo version of melodyne a few years ago and couldn't figure out how to use it. If I could have made it work I probably would have bought and used it (most likely, OVERused it!)
  13. tbr567

    tbr567 Guest

    Based on the Youtube video posted by dartstothesea, Melodyne actually looks surprisingly easy to use. It looks like simple clicking and dragging to me... Is it actually more difficult to use than it looks?

    Keep in mind that I will only be editing vocal tracks here, not full productions.
  14. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Yep its very simple to use, but it does have a few bugs, or at least I have a few issues with it. Mainly, if you apply it, do some edits and save the project. When you close and reopen the pitch changes will not play back correctly. However if you print the changes during the seesion to a new track you can avoid that problem. I think they may have mentioned that issue somewhere on there site or in the manual. But regardless it's a pain...
  15. AdamLove

    AdamLove Guest

    RE: I've never experimented with Auto-Tune before, so I have no idea what "automatic mode" is or what it does. It's hard to imagine that a program could automatically make every note in tune with no human assistance... After all, the program doesn't know what the melody is supposed to sound like?

    I just wanted to respond to this post from tbr567. Autotune can do quite a lot to correct vocal pitch problems automatically when set correctly. You are correct about the melody, Autotune does not know the melody, however the melody of a song is phrased by a vocalist using notes which Autotune does of course understand and this is how it acheives its aim.

    The program is able to detect the pitch of incoming notes and compares it mathmatically to the proposed output values. For simplicity lets say the singer sings a note (slightly off pitch) from A-440Hz. Autotune notices that the frequency of the sung phrase is not spot on 440Hz, but in fact at say 415Hz that of Ab. If we are singing in the key of C, Autotune knows that there are no (b) flats in the key of C, so it modifies the note to the next step up which is 440Hz. To the human ear the note sung now appears to have been sung correctly in tune.

    Therefore it modifies the digital signal to reflect how it would sound if the singer had sung the phrase in tune. That is just a hopefully simple explanation of how software like this works. Naturally it is far more complex than this, but this should be enough for a noob to grip the basic concept of Autotune. I am new on this forum yet an experienced recording engineer of more than 10 years. I look forward to expanding my knowledge. I am also an accomplished vocalist.

    Good to be at recording.org tks :)

  16. Fozzy

    Fozzy Guest

    On the subject of how "automatic mode" can work, it stands to reason that if the tuning error is never as much as 1/4 tone it would be possible to correct by simply choosing the nearest note (chromatic mode).

    If the song is in a normal diatonic key the error could be larger and the software still correct because, as already explained some notes could not have been intended as they don't occur in that key. This means the error can be anything up to but not including a semitone in most cases or a 1/4 tone in the two cases where the legitimate notes of the scale are only a semitone apart.

    So, what happens if the tuning error is greater than this. To me the obvious answer would be for someone to play the correct tune on a parallel MIDI track and the tuning corrector to use that as a reference. I don't know if any current software does this.
  17. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Fozzy's got it correct.
    It's like quantizing for pitch instead of time.
    If the vocal is too far off pitch, then you need to come out of 'Auto mode' and move to 'Graphic mode' - Here you can drag the offending note as close as you want to the correct note.
    It takes a little skill, but stellar results can be had.
  18. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Most "automatic" modes are smarter than the simple round to the nearest pitch option. I wrote one years ago that used a moving time average of the detected pitch to smooth out the intended note. Some have an attack and release control so that if the pitch dips bellow the -1/4 tone threshold for a small amount of time, and then rises above it the pitch is not incorrectly tuned to the wrong note. This is useful for large vibrato, and poor vocalists.

    GSnap, and It's free (Pretty sure Melodyne and Autotune will do this as well.)
  19. 1000heads

    1000heads Guest

    Melodyne is the way to go. I've been sold on this for about a year now. It's like taking the wave file display, and putting on what almost looks like a sequencer for midi-it also analyzes the pitch to get it to the closest note. and it doesnt mess with the tempo when you change the pitch. I was able to make it seem like i was able to hold a note longer than normal. and it works on instruments as well, though i didnt use it for that yet. its pretty crazy. i use to comp my vocal tracks, but now that seems like it takes way too long. you can make almost anyone sound good. it sounds more natural than antares, which i had a rack unit for prior to melodyne until it broke down. i think that this may soon become an industry standard. wait a minute, i sound like an ad. maybe because this software has given me something my studio has really needed.
  20. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    New York
    Autotuning her in realtime won't sound good in this situation will it? I mean, if she's completely off key all of the time, you'll probably have to have really short attack times and whatnot. Then you'll get that effect we've all come to hate so much. :)

    Will Melodyne have these same artifacts? I haven't used it enough to know. If she's really off key, and from what you said I am assuming she is... I second the multiple takes idea. Do 100. You'd have to be able to comp a decent vocal out of 100 takes right? :)

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