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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.
Let's take a look at how we can use Melodyne Editor's revolutionary feature, Direct Note Access, or DNA. From our File menu we can choose Open or use the key command, Command+O or Ctrl+O, and let's locate the DNA Examples folder within our exercise files and choose Girl Got Attitude_Abridged_Ex1. If you don't have the exercise files, you can use any stereo recording that has a single vocal, or possibly even a couple of vocals. The idea here is that we're going to be editing a vocal within a finished stereo file.
So let's open our file, and Melodyne will detect the pitch and the content of that file. And we can see here Melodyne has displayed the different pitches that are detected in the file, and you can also see that it's detected a tempo of 122.351. Under the Algorithm menu, you have a few options. We can choose Melodic detection, which is really intended for monophonic melodic recording, such as a single vocal. You have Percussive, which is really intended for percussive or rhythmic material, and Polyphonic, which is what we're using, which is intended for audio that contains multiple pitches playing at the same time.
So now let's take a look at our song. I'm going to go ahead and scroll over to I think it's about bar 16, where our pre-chorus starts and take a listen. (music playing) So you can see in the content displayed in the Editor window the bottom is mostly the rhythmic material, the bass line and the various elements of the track itself, and on the top you can see the melody itself. So let's zoom in a little bit and center ourselves around the two pitches that we're going to work with.
I'm going to zoom in a little bit more vertically, so I can see that part of the melody within the track. (music playing) Using DNA we can edit within a stereo file just like we would within a monophonic file. We can use the same tools that we're familiar with, only we're now editing the vocal that's already part of the final mix. And this is just an example, this isn't actually a final mix, but it serves the same purpose for this course. So we can just tighten up the notes just like we would if we were editing them separately.
And do our same note separations. (music playing) That note is a little sharp, put it where it should be. And the word use is a little sharp, put that where it should be. In other words, we're basically making the same choices that we might make if we were editing the vocal by itself, but given the power of DNA, we're able to do that within a finished mix or within a file that contains other audio elements.
(music playing) One thing to note when using this is that if you make really drastic changes--or even sometimes not so drastic changes--phasing might be introduced, because when you change the pitch of one element within the file, it's actually changing overtones or harmonics from other elements within the file that share those same harmonics. Now if we're going to use this to actually make changes to an audio file, you can simply Save As to save a copy of your exported work, you can save a Melodyne project document if you'd like, an AIFF or WAV of your finished work, or if you wanted, you can export a MIDI file even, which you could then import back into your DAW, which would give you a MIDI output of the pitches and rhythms that were detected in the file.
Let's go ahead and close this, and let's open a different file. I'm going to click Discard, since this is just for an example, and now let's open Girl Got Attitude_A Capella_Example2. And again, Melodyne is going to detect the polyphonic pitches within this file, and this file is essentially going to serve as an example. Let's say, for example, you are recording live to two, and you had three or four singers all around the same mike, and you wanted to be able to edit that performance. This is obviously the same song we have been working on, and that's not how it was recorded, but let's just use it as a fake example of perhaps that was the case.
So we can take a listen here. (music playing) So we can not only hear, but we can also see the different pitches being sung by the different singer. We're just imagining it's a different singer, because in this case we know it's actually the same singer. But again, the point here is that we can edit those pitches, even though they're combined into the same recording. So we can just snap them into the new center, we can just change the pitch that they're supposed to be on. (music playing) So if, for example, we wanted this to be a different pitch...
(music playing) ...we can just move it within the recording, and there we go. (music playing) And that's not what we're going to do, but the point is that you can and the power to be able to do that is extremely useful. We can use all of the same tools we're used to if we want to flatten out the modulation of the pitch. (music playing) Or if we wanted to apply the same auto tune like effect that we have been using before, we can do the same thing here. (music playing) It's a very simple matter, and we're basically using the same tools that we have been using the whole time.
Only this time we're using it on multiple pitches in the same recording. (music playing) So if we moved on to a little bit later in the song... (music playing) ...you can choose to play around with this and edit the lead vocal and the harmony vocals throughout this little example. Feel free to play around with the rest of this song, and if you want, you can go ahead and edit the pitches of the lead vocal and the harmony vocals that are contained in this example. Another thing to note is that you can use the plug-in, which is essentially Melodyne Editor in a plug-in form to achieve the same result and directly in a DAW, without having to import and export the files.
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