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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.
By separating all of our sibilances and pitch changes in advance, we can focus on our corrections without having to stop to make separations as we go. Now, this approach, by separating each note first, can help you, because you can go through the entire vocal if you want, make all the separations, and then go back through and really focus on just catching the pitch. Now, this is a technique that I learned from a really good friend of mine, and I find that I do it even when I'm editing live or in any other mode, I really end up separating first, even if it's just on a phrase by phrase basis. So let's go back into our Edit Window and pick up where we left off on that lead vocal.
So I am going to select Lead vocal and leave it on Play visible. Now, here we can see that the initially selected track is also shown in the background, but it's yellow rather than orange, or in other words, a lighter color of the foreground color, because you can actually change that color in Melodyne if you want. And we will pick up where we left off. I'm just going to quickly listen to what we just did. (music playing) All right. So we need to pick up on, she's got the magic. So from thereon let's finish the verse separating first.
So we'll catch all of our S's, she's got the magic, we got that separated, we got our breaths out, any S's or plosives or anything that we need to separate like this note change here. Separate things like breaths, and basically just go through and separate before we do anything else. So with this approach really our goal is to make everything that we're going to fix ready to be fixed before we actually do any fixing. So here we are in the pre-chorus of the song, still just separating, taking breaths off so they don't get pitch corrected, sibilances, pitch changes.
Now, sometimes you'll try and separate a note in one place, and it will happen in a different place. You can just undo it and zoom in and try again and usually you'll get it the second time. I'm just going to do separations up through the chorus, and then we will go back and pick up where we left off and actually correct those things, so that we can see how separating things in advance will help us. So now I'm going to select our scrollbar on the bottom, which in Melodyne is really useful, because you can see the actual waveform, so you can really easily center your Edit Window to your desired location. So now we're back to where we started separating, and we can go through and start correcting pitches and tightening things up as we go.
(music playing) We can double-click. We can switch tools and tighten up. (music playing) If we want to leave some of that in there, perhaps we want to exaggerate it. We may actually want to make them separate notes. (music playing) And we can also play around with doing certain effects like we did earlier with the Auto Tune-like effect, see what that sounds like here. (music playing) We may or may not want to use that. (music playing) In this case probably not, it's a little early in the song to introduce that, but it's always worth trying, because you never know if you're going to like it, or you might stumble upon something that's actually more useful than you might have thought.
(music playing) Again, here I can select several notes in a phrase all at once and double-click to get them all to the center pitch. (music playing) Now tighten up parts of the line. I'm going to change this drift a little bit to make it not quite so noticeable. And I'm going to leave this section here, because I kind of like a little bit about vibrato, but I'm going to tighten it up. So essentially I'm separating that last note, and I'm going to use the Option, or Alt key, to drag it up a little bit sharper, so that the bottom of that vibrato kind of matches the curve of the earlier part of that pitch.
Now, you'll notice that as I drag it... (music playing) ...you can hear the pitch being played, if you will, and you can hear that the pitch changes. And this is a really handy thing, because you can hear the pitch for the note that you're moving so that you can get it just dialed in to right where you want it. And you can actually turn this off if you find it annoying, or you don't want to use it. So you don't actually have to hear the pitch as you move the note. So if you do want to turn that off, you can go to the Melodyne > Preferences, and on the Other tab you can choose to unselect Monitor Note Pitch on Editing.
And now when you move the note, you will no longer hear it making any sound as you move it. I actually do kind of like it, because it's useful even though it is somewhat annoying, so I'm going to turn it back on. And we're just going to continue editing here. (music playing) Okay. So on the line because what she got, there's some stuff we want to tighten up in there. (music playing) And this is a good example for a normal type of usage, because the vocal is already pretty close to what we're going to want in our end result.
Our vocalist is really good, we're just tightening up little things to make it match what we hear as far as what this pop song needs production wise. So I'm just tightening it up a little bit here and there, snapping certain notes into place. We can also use our Pitch Drift tool, tilt the note in certain cases where we want it to start a little closer to the center and end a little closer to the center. We can use our Pitch Modulation tool if we want to tighten up the actual modulation of the note over time. We're just going to go through and kind of correct all the stuff now that we have already separated where those pitch changes happen. (music playing) Notice a few things that are definitely not right there now that I have changed them, so let's fix them.
(music playing) We'll see if that's better. (music playing) I think this note might need to be up there. (music playing) That was right the first time. (music playing) There we go. (music playing) We can also try doing pitch bends in the middle. (music playing) Kind of just get the inflection that you want to get, and for this we'll probably keep it a little tighter.
(music playing) And maybe I don't want a pitch bend on this part of the note, so maybe I'll tighten it up and make the whole thing a little bit more straight. (music playing) And maybe this sounds a little too tuned on the word got. That went a little too far, so I can try softening up the transition, which is better, or I can just back off the Pitch Modulation and drift edits that I made, by going to Edit Pitch and Reset Modulation and Drift to Original, or I could just choose Reset All Pitch Related Changes to Original.
And again, if you find yourself using these frequently, you may want to set a shortcut of your own for them. So I'm going to do the same thing that I did, but just a little softer so that it's not quite as noticeable. (music playing) And again, I'll probably soften up that transition and keep moving on. (music playing) Already pretty close here. I'm going to grab certain sections in one pass. (music playing) Pretty good. I'm just going to tighten up the Pitch Drift a little bit better there.
(music playing) And maybe one more there. (music playing) I actually kind of like the vibrato big, so I might start the vibrato a little softer so that it has a chance to grow. (music playing) Got a few things here we want to fix a little bit. So we're just using that double-clicking technique for now. There are definitely other ways to do it, which we'll look at in a minute. (music playing) So this pitch is too sharp, so I'll just click it and drag it down.
(music playing) That was too sharp as well. (music playing) And again, once we get the basic shape of the melody where we want it, we can just start tightening it up and getting it into the realm that we want. Now, in some songs--maybe not a pop song like this-- you may not want it to be as tight or as tune sounding. And if that's the case, that's one of the best uses for Melodyne, because it can help you do little pitch corrections like that without actually overdoing them or making them sound fake. Granted in a pop song like this Melodyne is really powerful, but using it in a more natural context is also a really powerful way to use Melodyne.
(music playing) I'm going to zoom out a little so I can see this phrase a little faster. (music playing) So again, a couple of note separations that it looks like I did catch, I thought I hadn't, and I'm just going to make sure all these bottom notes are on the same place. Some of them I want to tighten up just a hair, because they get a little bit sharp at the end. (music playing) And again, here we'll make these top notes land in the right place.
That's the main notes here. (music playing) I'm pretty much where we want to be. I might actually reset that one and actually reset the Pitch Modulation that I changed as well. And instead of changing the Pitch Modulation, another approach is just to make the entire note a little bit flatter so that the peak of the pitch stays where you want it to stay. So now, the note center itself is actually flat, but because the Pitch Modulation goes sharp, we have now made that section of the pitch land in the right place.
(music playing) A little bit flat, so split the difference, and you can always listen as you move the notes. (music playing) And there we are in the chorus of the song. So this technique is often the best approach for making sure that all the note changes and sibilance are addressed as you go, and that you don't miss any, but there are obviously endless ways to approach editing a vocal, or anything, in Melodyne. So you'll probably find other ways that you want to work, and you'll probably want to go back and double check your work anyway no matter which approach you use.
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