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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.
There are many ways that you can edit in Melodyne, but one of the approaches that we'll look at is editing everything live, which essentially means that we're going to walk through each section of the song and very carefully edit all of the different aspects as we go. So we're going to make our note separations, correct our pitches, and correct rhythm all in the same pass with this approach. In this course we're going to look at three different approaches for editing, but there are many different ways that you can do this in many different combinations, so these are not, by any means, the only ways to use Melodyne. And of course the more you use Melodyne, the more new ways you'll find to work with it and new approaches you'll find that really work best for what you're trying to accomplish.
So now let's open our Edit window again, you can either double-click on the track that you want to edit, by double-clicking on the note blob, or we'll close that, and you can open the Editor window by Shift+Command+E or Shift+Ctrl+E, and there is our lead vocal for that track. And using the key command that we set earlier, in this case Option+A or Alt+A, and it may be different if you set a different key command earlier. I'm going to show the entire track. So now I have a view of the entire track that we're going to edit on this pass. So let's zoom in, I am going to hold Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt, bring up the magnifying glass.
I'm going to zoom in until I get it kind of centered how I want the view to look, and I'm going to start listening. (music playing) So if you want the music to play along you can choose Play arrangement, if you don't, you can leave it on Play visible. I am going to start with that, but just set it however you're comfortable with it, and we're going to basically start editing every section of the vocal live as we go through. So I like to start with my Main tool, or my Pitch Correction tool, so that I can see the pitch on which each note blob is centered. So I'm going to listen to the first phrase.
(music playing) And basically the first thing I'm going to do is go through and just pitch and fix each thing here. So I have got a little bit of a vocal side that I'm going to want to separate. I'm going to take my esses and plosives out so that those aren't getting pitch corrected. And then I can select each note and double-click it to correct the pitch, and that's going to snap the center of the pitch, or what Melodyne detects as the center of the note variance, which is the line that you see that essentially squiggles up and down around the center of each pitch.
It's going to snap the center of that to the closest pitch that it detects as being the pitch center. And sometimes that's correct, unless the pitch is actually a little bit closer to the next note, in which case it may snap to the wrong note and so we have to listen to determine that. So using this approach we can do single notes at a time, or we can make a selection and double-click to snap all of them at the same time. Now I notice that there's a breath on the end of this that I want to separate. So I'm going to click here and double-click with the Note Separation tool using whatever key command you set to select that tool, or you can right-click and select the tool you want to use from that pop-up menu.
And then selecting that breath that we have already accidentally tuned you can choose a key command--which we already set earlier--but under Edit Pitch > Reset Pitch Center to Original. So whatever key command you have set for that we're going to invoke that now, and if there was any change to that pitch that will reset it, so it looks like we're safe on this one. So now we can have a listen to what we have just changed. (music playing) Pretty good. Now given that this is the first line of the song, and that this is a pretty poppy song, I may want to tighten it up a little bit more and make the pitch variation, or the pitch drift, a little bit less.
So, to do that I can choose my Pitch Modulation tool by right-clicking and using the pop-up menu or by using the shortcut that we set earlier, and I can just kind of tighten them down by clicking and dragging to make a little bit less variation happen on each note. And this may or may not be the effect that you want, but for a song like this we do want it to sound a little bit tighter and more poppy. (music playing) Now if you really wanted to go into an auto tune effect, you can undo, select the notes that you want to alter. One thing to note is if you select multiple notes with the Pitch Modulation tool or certain other tools, it may not actually select the notes, in which case, switch to your Main tool or your Pitch tool and then you can select the notes.
So we can select those notes, switch to our Pitch Modulation tool, and simply double-click on either one of the two notes with the Pitch Modulation tool, and it will snap the line so that it looks perfectly centered, and that will give us an auto-tune-like effect. So let's have a listen to what that sounds like. (music playing) Now you can also exaggerate that by using the Pitch Transition tool here and simply dragging the pitch transition all the way so that it's a sharper transition. You can soften that by going the opposite direction.
But in a case like this it's so tight already because we're using that auto-tune-like effect that it doesn't really make a difference. So let's undo the auto-tune-like effect-- I'm going to undo a few times until I'm back to where I was--and then we can listen to the effect of this on a less tuned example. So I'm going to tighten this up a little bit again like I did before we use the auto-tune-like effect, and now we can listen to a softer curve... (music playing) ...which is more like a slide or a harder transition... (music playing) ...or an even harder transition. (music playing) So you can kind of get that auto-tune sounding note transition without actually making the notes themselves so perfect.
Now in this case I don't want to make this so auto tuned sounding so I'm going to put it back kind of where it was, or I can simply undo or better yet I can select the two notes, and I can go to Edit > Edit Pitch and select Reset Pitch Transition to Original, and now we're right back where we started. Now if you find that that you use that quite frequently you may want to make your own custom shortcut so you don't have to go into the menu every time. Now let's keep listening. (music playing) So in the next phrase where she says, let it be known, let's take a look at editing that.
Doesn't look like we have any breaths to worry about here but we do have a couple of different notes that we need to separate out and then we can-- well let me grab that breath at the end there. Oh and one thing to note here, I accidentally double-clicked with the Note Separation tool while several notes were selected. And you'll notice what it did is it actually removed all of the separations within that selection, and that can actually be a very useful tool. But in this case that's not what I meant to do, so I'm going to undo that and just select the note that I actually want to separate. And I'm going to take that breath and use my key command to reset the pitch center to original--looks like it already is there-- and now again I can switch back to my Pitch tool and correct those pitches, and let's have a listen to that.
(music playing) So not bad, again I want to tighten it up a little and make it a little bit more poppy. So I'm going to go to my Pitch Modulation tool. I can tighten the whole thing up by leaving it selected, or I can tighten up certain sections of it by different amounts by selecting only those sections of the note blob. And we can also use a different tool here to straighten out some of these notes. So by right-clicking and selecting the Pitch Drift tool--or by using the key command you selected earlier--we can tilt an entire pitch drift one direction or the other. So for example, on this note blob, if I wanted the entire thing to be as centered a little bit more flat or a little bit more straight instead of starting flat and ending sharp, if I wanted it to start a little closer to the center pitch and end a little closer to the center pitch I can click on one end or the other of the region and drag it up or down, and you can see how it shifts the pitch by doing that.
So I can do that on both of these notes that actually have a little drift if I want them to be a little more flat. And let's have a listen to that. (music playing) Cool. So another thing that I often do which can be actually very useful if there are low notes in a song I'll actually switch to the Edit Amplitude tool by using the key command or by right-clicking and selecting the Edit Amplitude tool from the menu. And I can click and drag upwards to make the note blob louder or downwards to make it softer. So it's kind of like pre-automation, you may or may not want to do this depending on what your level of production is in your original session.
This may actually not help you out at all, but it may actually help you a little bit if you haven't mixed anything yet. So we can make that louder just so we can hear how that note would stick out if it were already louder. (music playing) So maybe that's too much. Let's put the difference so we can leave it how it was. And the other thing that you can do is oftentimes in a note like this, which is really kind of like a slide down into the note, you may want it to start on a different note or maybe it starts a little sharper than the center of the pitch, you can also explore moving the pitch off of the center line. So in some cases like this, you may want the note to peek at the center line rather than center on the center line as it does here.
So by holding Option or Alt, we can click on the note, and drag it up or down to move it free from the grid. So we can have a listen to that effect. (music playing) And then I'm going to move on and continue editing this vocal in the same fashion. And I usually do like to have the instrumental track playing if there are any rhythmic fixes that I need to make, because it's really hard to hear if the rhythm is perfect without that musical ruler against which you are comparing the beat of the vocal. So we can listen back to those sections to check it. (music playing) So that works pretty well.
I might want to mess with this little transition here a little bit better and explore what other options I have here. (music playing) And it was actually better before, but maybe this first note could be a bit of a slide into the second note and maybe I'll tighten up the second note. (music playing) And it's getting closer. I just kind of want to make it really tight and really poppy. (music playing) And it's getting kind of in the direction. And the other thing is you're maybe not going to get it perfect and exactly where you want it the very first pass, so it's always a good idea to go back through and listen again.
Oftentimes with fresh ears or maybe even the day after or several hours after you have already finished editing. Let's go ahead and finish editing the rest of this track using this approach, and you can practice catching as much as you can as you go through. In the next video we'll look at a different editing approach.
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