Pitch Correction Plug-ins

Alternatives to Antares?

I am working on a project where the vocalist has retired to Costa Rica; making retakes difficult. There are some pitch problems on the vocals and I am trying to figure out how to deal with them. I borrowed a hardware version of the Antares algorithm and played around with it last night but found that it does not have enough control to completely solve the problems (it does improve things).

The plug-in version looks more interesting and has the equivalent of “envelopes” for what looks like really good manual control over each event. The problem is price. While I don’t mind spending the dough, I won’t be able to scrape it together for a while and wonder if it the best solution anyway. (Of course the best solution is a singer that is always on pitch but this particular singer is also a good songwriter and guitarist as well as an all-around nice guy.)

The on-line prices I have been seeing for Antares Auto-tune are in the range of US$300 for the plug-in (typically more expensive than the hardware version - go figure).

Adobe Audition has a similar effect included for “free” if I spend about US$350 for the whole program. Of course for that you get a bunch of other stuff including a good wave editor which would be useful.

I am currently planning on using the 10-day free trial to evaluate the Antares approach and we have Audition at work so I can bring in files to work on here.

The question is whether there are alternatives which are better or equivalent but less expensive (or better and less expensive which would be ideal)?

I am particularly interested in being able to edit the correction with envelopes or some similar mechanism. The problem with the “automatic” modes is that at least some of the problems include short transitions that span several notes. If the “speed” control is set fast enough to catch the onsets and fast transitions it introduces “steps” in what should be smooth transitions. By the time the speed is reduced to avoid that artifact it can no longer correct the base pitches in the transitions. It seems as though the envelope type controls would solve this problem although it is possible that a “smarter” algorith might work (perhaps one with “look-ahead”).

Anyway, does anyone have experience with this?

Jim

Eyup!

Google for a plugin called GSnap. Does the same job as autotune, but it’s free :)

Honestly though, if the vocals are more than a little pitchy, you will be disappointed.

Steve

Both Antares and GSnap are dissapointing when used in the auto mode if the pitch of the singer is way off. Maybe manually tweaking could clean things up but it would be a lot of work. BUT I think that both Antares and GSnap can use a midi file that contains the correct notes to help with the pitch correction. I wonder if that would help eliminate some of the artifacts… Anyone out there with experience with that approach?

They’re disappointing if the singing is weak. They work fine if it’s strong clear singing but just off a bit here or there. Generally, if the intonation is off more than 49 cents, chances are it’s not a keeper track anyway.

I generally use two (or more) tracks fed to the same group with all FX except pitch correction in the group, and correction plugged into one track. I put each phrase in the track where it sounds best (with or without correction). Multiple extra tracks are used only if I need different parameters for certain sections. Once when doing someone else’s track the intonation was bad enough I couldn’t run in chromatic mode, had to run in the key of the song. But there were a few accidentals I had to run in chromatic mode.

I absolutely love Celemony Melodyne. The monophonic version (Melodyne Uno) goes for about $160 US and is all you need if you’re fixing monophonic vocal tracks. I use it standalone (not as plugin), but I believe it works as a plugin too. It’s not cheap, but for me it was worth every penny.

It takes a track and separates it into individual notes. You can change the note boundaries if it gets it wrong. Then for each note, you can change pitch, pitch modulation (vibrato) and pitch drift as much or as little as you like. You can change the time position of notes too. And you can modify the transitions between notes, increasing or decreasing the slope of the glide between them.

Finally, the interface in the latest version is very good. They’ve tweaked the mouse and keyboard control to minimize movement. I can completely edit the vocal track for a whole song with one hand on the mouse and the other on the bottom left part of the computer keyboard.

I installed Auto-tune’s demo on my computer and had all kind of problems plus I did not like the sound. Do a google on auto tune and pace security and read before you install the demo.

MELODYNE is the only way to go.

Larrye

In Multi Track Studio there is a function for speeding up or slowing down tracks for matching a slightly out of tune instrument. It’s worth a try especially as the lite version is free.
check it out at multitrackstudio.com.
I tried the Antares trial version once to try and correct a vocal and it was crap, I ended up sounding like cher after a bad cold.

I am not particularly concerned about the auto modes unless they are really good. I already manually tweak individual notes for level so adding pitch tweaks is OK. What I do need is a way of identifying the pitch error so that adjustments can be made more quickly. This makes a good interface important.

While manual adjustment may seem time-consuming, I have frequently found that the “slow” way can be the fastest way to finish the job with an adequate level of quality. One advantage of not being a “pro” is that you don’t worry too much about how much time a project takes. Fortunately, I don’t need to retune all the notes, just the ones that are far enough off-pitch to distract from the rest of the performance. I have found that while the instrumentals are the most interesting parts of these tracks, the listeners will sometimes focus on the vocal problems and miss out on the instumentals.

KBUB,

From the Celemony site it is not clear how much control you have over the transitions within and between notes. In Auto-tune it seems as though you can manually draw in the corrections, using the detected pitches for guidance, is this also true in Melodyne?

I am dissapointed that the demo soundclips on the site do not include any vocal correction examples, only polyphonic examples which do not require detection of pitch and are the standard pitch/time shift sort. I may download the demo and install it on my internet PC. I don’t like to put demos on my main DAW.

Thanks for the replies,
Jim

Gsnap, as mentioned above, especially as Flavio modified n-track so that a MIDI track of the melody could be sent to the wav track with Gsnap on.

I’ve also got OBTune (not available anymore I think) which is a cut down (auto mode only) version of Autotune.

I tend to just use these things surgically on parts of a track (by duplicating the bits I want to tune). Works well. Sometimes I’ve found a gentle tune-up over the whole track can make the vocal sound a little more “confident” - similar to that that compression can give.


Mark

learjeff Posted: April 10 2006,22:10<!–QuoteBegin>

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I generally use two (or more) tracks fed to the same group with all FX except pitch correction in the group, and correction plugged into one track. I put each phrase in the track where it sounds best (with or without correction).
Wish I’d thought of that approach before… You could correct one track using chromatic mode, create another coup corrected using the scale for the song, and leave one unprocessed, then cut and paste to a fourth track, and then hand tweak. I bet that could save a lot of time and work.

By the way, I didn’t mean to knock GSnap. It really works quite well if the pitch of the singer is not way off, and then a lot of the problems you run into using the auto mode could be solved using the approach that learjeff suggests, although you can’t use GSNAP to manually tweak individual notes like kbub suggests.

That’s exactly the way I tend to use Gsnap/OBtune…

It works.

Quote (jimbob @ April 11 2006,14:01)
KBUB,

From the Celemony site it is not clear how much control you have over the transitions within and between notes. In Auto-tune it seems as though you can manually draw in the corrections, using the detected pitches for guidance, is this also true in Melodyne?

For most of the vocal track tweaking I do, I just let Melodyne handle the transitions automatically. If you move a note vertically (change its pitch) or horizontally (change timing), Melodyne stretches/compresses/inverts the transition as needed. You can also manually change the note boundaries, which causes the interpretation of transitions to change. The only manual editing of transitions I do is to change the slope, which sounds fairly natural for subtle tweaks. I don’t know what deeper transition editing you can do, sorry. I could check.

<!–QuoteBegin>
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I am dissapointed that the demo soundclips on the site do not include any vocal correction examples, only polyphonic examples which do not require detection of pitch and are the standard pitch/time shift sort. I may download the demo and install it on my internet PC. I don’t like to put demos on my main DAW.

I actually don’t like the demo soundclips nearly as much as I like the product. Celemony markets Melodyne as a more drastic editing tool than just pitch correction. You can use it to change melodies, create harmony parts, etc. So their demo clips tend to go too far for my taste.

The demo version of the software is pretty cool, though. It inserts a really loud, annoying noise every 15 seconds or so and doesn’t let you save files. But you can work on your own files and find out if it will do what you want pretty quickly. It sold me.