Melodyne Advanced Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

Correcting pitch automatically


Melodyne Advanced Techniques

with Skye Lewin

Video: Correcting pitch automatically

Melodyne also offers automatic pitch correction so that large sections of a performance can be edited all at once. And this can be a really handy tool if you want to do a quick rough pass and then go back and fine-tune the details like removing the breaths and making the sibilances not corrected, you can also correct notes and rhythm later. Another use for this tool is taking another track and actually doing a quick pass on it just like we just talked about to match another track like, in this case, our Lead 1b would be compared to our Lead 1a. So let's unmute Lead 1b.
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. What you should know before watching this course
  2. 26m 6s
    1. Setting Melodyne preferences and keyboard shortcuts
      4m 28s
    2. Utilizing Melodyne with your digital audio workstation (DAW) through Melodyne Bridge
      6m 42s
    3. Utilizing Melodyne with your DAW through ReWire
      6m 9s
    4. Using Melodyne in a standalone workflow
      8m 47s
  3. 1h 3m
    1. Editing the lead vocal
      2m 5s
    2. Exploring the live editing approach
      9m 49s
    3. Using the "separate first" approach
      9m 31s
    4. Correcting pitch automatically
      10m 48s
    5. Correcting lead vocal pitch
      13m 16s
    6. Correcting lead vocal rhythm
      9m 34s
    7. Finishing up the lead vocals
      8m 55s
  4. 1h 11m
    1. Correcting background vocal pitch
      9m 56s
    2. Correcting background vocal rhythm
      11m 1s
    3. Correcting harmony vocal pitch
      18m 2s
    4. Correcting harmony vocal rhythm
      13m 6s
    5. Creating new background parts
      3m 50s
    6. Creating effects using the Pitch Modulation tool
      13m 44s
    7. Creating effects using the Formant tool
      1m 24s
  5. 6m 31s
    1. Exporting your edits from Melodyne
      3m 17s
    2. Importing your edits into the DAW
      3m 14s
  6. 26m 31s
    1. Revising your edit
      5m 47s
    2. Making further edits using the Melodyne plug-in
      3m 17s
    3. Using Direct Note Access (DNA)
      5m 55s
    4. Changing the tempo of your audio
      1m 35s
    5. Using Melodyne with instruments
      2m 1s
    6. Using MIDI to edit or perform a recording
      5m 47s
    7. Using Melodyne to trigger an instrument
      2m 9s
  7. 36s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Melodyne Advanced Techniques
3h 17m Intermediate Sep 14, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, producer and engineer Skye Lewin reveals the techniques that professional musicians and producers use to get the best-sounding results from Melodyne. The course covers digital audio workstation (DAW) and session preparation, and shows how to perform rhythm and pitch corrections on both lead and background vocals. It includes lessons on importing and exporting tracks between the DAW and the standalone version of Melodyne, as well as utilizing Melodyne as a plug-in, through ReWire, and through Melodyne Bridge. Skye also shows how to use a MIDI keyboard to edit the pitch of a recorded performance in Melodyne and how to trigger a MIDI instrument using an audio recording.

Topics include:
  • Preparing for a standalone Melodyne workflow
  • Setting up a session
  • Using a live editing approach for vocal correction
  • Batch correcting vocals
  • Correcting the pitch and rhythm of vocals
  • Creating new background parts
  • Adding special effects
  • Revising an edit in Melodyne Studio
  • Changing the tempo of your audio
Audio + Music
Skye Lewin

Correcting pitch automatically

Melodyne also offers automatic pitch correction so that large sections of a performance can be edited all at once. And this can be a really handy tool if you want to do a quick rough pass and then go back and fine-tune the details like removing the breaths and making the sibilances not corrected, you can also correct notes and rhythm later. Another use for this tool is taking another track and actually doing a quick pass on it just like we just talked about to match another track like, in this case, our Lead 1b would be compared to our Lead 1a. So let's unmute Lead 1b.

I am going to navigate to our Full Song marker, so I can see the full song, and I am going to open the Lead 1b track. Now if I want, I can also select Lead 1a, so I can see them both in the arrangement and by having Play visible selected, I can hear them both at the same time. But if you really want, you can just have Play selected, which will only play the currently edited track. So let's do that first, so we can hear what this sounds like. I am going to quickly take a listen to the pre or unedited vocal. (music playing) And just skip ahead here. (music playing) So you know its pretty close, but you hear some pitch stuff.

(music playing) But if we wanted to correct all of that in one pass, using this technique is a really quick way to do it and then we can go back and fine-tune it. So using our main tool or our Pitch tool, we'll drag to select the entire section that we want to edit and then using the key command, Command+Option+P or Ctrl+Alt+P, we can open our Correct Pitch menu. Now in this menu, you have two options, Correct Pitch Center and Correct Pitch Drift. Pitch Center is really the strength of how close to the center each note is going to be snapped in this process. With zero being the source as recorded and 100 being snapped all the way so that the center of the pitch is right on the center of the grid.

With Correct Pitch Drift, the same thing applies with zero being as recorded and 100% being corrected to the center of the drift. With a pop song like this, we may want to keep them both at a 100%, but we may also want to soften it up a little bit and keep it a little bit more natural. Now if this was not a pop song, and we were working on something with a lot more natural sounding vocal, we probably wouldn't want to go anywhere near 100%, maybe we'd start at 60 or 70% and even less for the drift. But it's really just a matter of getting the right sound without making it sound like you have tuned it unless that's your goal.

For a pop song like this, sometimes that effect is actually what you want, and we are going to play around with that in this song. So for now, let's start with this, maybe around 85 or 90% and see what it sounds like. So now, we can zoom back in a bit, and we are going to listen to those same sections we just heard. (music playing) And you can hear that stuff that was needing a little correction before it has already been corrected. (music playing) But we still need to fine-tune it a bit.

So what we'll do is we'll go back through that stuff and make some more tweaks to it. So if we missed any sibilances or breaths that we want to exclude from being corrected, we can do that now, and that's a good idea because when you correct an S or a P or a breath, sometimes the change in pitch can actually cause a little bit of a phasing sound to be introduced, which is oftentimes very noticeable. And on a natural song, definitely not something you want to introduce. On a song that's a pop song, you may want to keep that effect, so it may be useful, and it's really just a matter of knowing what you're looking for. So now, let's take a look at this.

We are going to edit this so that it matches our other Lead Vocal 1a a little more closely since this is doubling Lead Vocal 1a. So I am going to zoom in and make a separation here, closer to the original performance. And I can kind of change the pitch to match the same curve of Lead Vocal 1a, which I can see in the background, because I have it selected. Now if don't just go to the list, select Lead 1a, and it's now selected and switch back to Lead 1b, and you can now see Lead 1a in the background.

(music playing) So that's kind of the curve, but I am going to need to tighten it up a little bit more to make it match the tightness that we did on the other vocal. So I'll squash the modulation down a bit and maybe change the drift here, so it's flatter. (music playing) And again, maybe make the same sorts of separations that we did on the other vocal. (music playing) Maybe I'll tighten this up just a hair, take a little bit of the warble out of the vocal. (music playing) Move onto the next line and essentially go through note-by-note and change the things that we want to change to make it more like what we are going for.

(music playing) So here, we have got a couple breaths and esses that we want to remove, a couple of note separations, and you can see again I'm separating notes in advance because generally I prefer to do that just as a matter of course. It makes it a lot easier to make sure you don't miss them. (music playing) So I can take a look at the other Lead Vocal and see what happened there, what it sounds like. (music playing) So it's actually staying on that top note whereas this one, I initially had it dipping down, we'll move this one up to that top note and see what we have got.

(music playing) There we go, and it looks like there may be some timing differences between the two vocals. So we are going to come back and correct that later. I am just going to continue tightening this up a little bit. (music playing) Tighten that up just a hair more on the end move onto the next phrase and essentially just going through section by section and getting what we are looking for out of this vocal. (music playing) Looks like I need to get that breath out in this first note, we can just use the same techniques we used before to make little corrections.

(music playing) We want to take that S out of our pitch corrected note. (music playing) And this is pretty good just tighten these up a little more, so the vibrato sticks out more. (music playing) I am just going to go back through and make sure I didn't miss any other Ps, I think there is P in the player here. (music playing) Take that out as well. And we are going to more on, grab this breath in this.

(music playing) And the S in use. So again, we are just going to through and making little adjustments here and there, separating out the esses and the breaths, separating notes out that we may have missed with our batch pitch correction, because basically the batch pitch correction was a quick pass, it may not have gotten everything 100% of the way to where we want it, but sometimes it does, and it's just a quick and dirty way to get the broad strokes done. (music playing) I am going to tighten this up a little bit here. (music playing) Let's squish that down a bit, bring this pitch down so it's more like a half step.

(music playing) Then I'll tighten these guys up just a hair and tighten that up again so the vibrato pops out a little bit more. (music playing) Cool. So there is a couple of things in there we'll quickly catch, one being the end of this vibrato, we want to bring it down a little bit closer to match the rest of that performance. We are basically separating each section of the vibrato.

(music playing) And tightening it up, so that it sounds like the vibrato that we want. (music playing) So I am going to tighten up certain of these notes just a hair more than the setting we chose when we did our batch pitch correction because we set it to 90 and 89% so, in some cases, you may want it a little tighter or a little looser. And so we have the opportunity to go through and make those changes now. Let's take one more listen to that. (music playing) Cool. So now we have tuned the pitch on Lead Vocal 1b, which is basically our Lead Vocal double all the way up through the chorus.

Let's now take a listen to that playing along with Lead Vocal 1a, so we can see how they sound together. So I am going to choose Play selected and switch that to Play visible and since both Lead 1a and Lead 1b are selected, we will now hear them both play. And, as you can see, Lead 1b only doubles parts of Lead 1a in the verse. And then in the pre-chorus, they sing in unison. So let's have a listen. (music playing) So pretty good so far. (music playing) But there I do have some rhythmic issues.

So let's take a quick look at tightening up the rhythmic issues. There is a couple of ways you can do this, one of which is moving the two tracks on a separate note, so you can see it. The other is just listening and adjusting, which is sometimes hard when the two notes are actually the same note as they are in this case. So now we can switch to our Move Notes tool and Option+click at the head of the region to actually shift the timing earlier, and you can see that that actually stretches out the note so we need to shorten the end, in this case, to make it match, and we may need to move other notes as well.

In this case, it looks like the next note might start a little bit late and even the following notes might start a little bit late. So we can select all of that material, go back to our Move Notes tool and slide it earlier and so it looks like it's close to where we want it and have a listen. (music playing) Now it's better except the cause, something still not quite right about that. So it's either still a little late or a little early, let's try moving it a little earlier first. (music playing) Now that's good obviously now, part of what we are hearing is that they are on different pitches, so let's put them back so that they are on the right pitch and listen again.

(music playing) Yeah, it's much better. So we are going to look at more rhythmic detail later, but for now we have gotten that section pretty much where we want it. Let's take a listen to the next sections and see how they play. (music playing) Okay, a little bit of change here, and we might want to fix on the vibrato of the last tude.

(music playing) And a few little rhythmic elements that we are going to want to fix later, but we'll come back to that in the video where we actually address the rhythmic stuff a little more. So if you are in a time crunch, this is often the fastest approach to use. Just make sure you listen really carefully to correct any unwanted phrasing or artifacts introduced by changing the esses or the Ps or the breaths within a performance, and if you need to separate them out to remove those artifacts just make sure you do.

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