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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.
Now that we're ready to get to work, let's choose a workflow that's best for our needs. One of these options is using the MelodyneBridge, and this is a great way to use Melodyne. Just make sure that your system has enough power to handle running your DAW and Melodyne concurrently, and most systems these days will have enough juice to do that. One of the best parts about using MelodyneBridge is that you don't have to first export the audio from your DAW and then import it into Melodyne in order to work, because you can simply transfer the audio through the MelodyneBridge into Melodyne. So let's look at how we can set this up. We're going to open our Girl Got Attitude Pro Tools session.
If you get a pop-up warning that some paths were made inactive because they could not be assigned to existing path definitions, you don't have to check it out, but if you want to, go ahead and click Yes. I'm going to click No, and I'll show you why we don't need to worry about it in this session. We're going to go to our Mixer with Command+Tilde or Ctrl+Tilde, and you can see here that the Inputs, A 1 and 2, A 1, all across on all the tracks are deactivated, and that was what that warning is about. And since there are all Inputs, and we're not actually going to be recording anything onto these tracks, we don't have to worry about that right now. So you can safely ignore that. Now, if you want that message to go away, you could assign a different Input that is part of your I/O Setup, and that would no longer prompt you every time you open the section.
So let's Command+Tilde or Ctrl+Tilde back to our Edit Window, and we can now see in our session we have got our Instrumental track on top, we have got eight different Lead vocals, we have got an Adlibs track, and we have got 24 different background Vocal tracks beneath that. So if we wanted to put MelodyneBridge on our eight Lead Vocal tracks, we'd go back to the Mixer, and on the track that you want to pipe into Melodyne, you're going to choose plug-in > Other > MelodyneBridge. This will open the MelodyneBridge plug-in, and it will also launch Melodyne. Now, you can see it opened in untitled arrangement. If you already have a session saved that you want to work with, you can simple close Melodyne and open the session that you want to use.
And so now it's going to communicate with this Melodyne session. And going back to our plug-in, you can see Connect to Track 1. So I want to select Connect to Track 1 from the Connect to. Now, one thing that I should point out is that if Melodyne is already open when you launch this, it may not actually find Melodyne in the background, so the best way to do this and make sure you get a consistent result is to make sure that your DAW--in this case Pro Tools--and Melodyne Studio are both quit before you start this. So open Pro Tools, then insert your MelodyneBridge plug-in and let that open Melodyne, and that way you'll make sure you get a connection every time.
Now we have got the plug-in inserted on the Lead 1a track, and it's connected to Track 1. Let's also set up MelodyneBridge on Lead 1b, C, and D. So another quick way to do that in Pro Tools, first let's turn off the Groups, which is Shift+Command or Shift+Ctrl+G. I'm going to select just the three tracks that I want to use. I'm going to hold Shift+Option or Shift+Alt, and I'm going to again select plug-in > Other > MelodyneBridge, and it's going to activate three new MelodyneBridge plug-ins. Right now, I have my Lead 1b track connected, so I'm going to connect it to Track 2 in Melodyne.
I'm going to go to my Lead 1c track, I'm going to connect it to Track 3 in Melodyne Studio. And I'm going to set 1d to Track 4. Now, you'll see that all of these are set to Playback. What we want to do before we actually can do any work in Melodyne is transfer the audio from Pro Tools--or whatever DAW you're using--into Melodyne. So we're going to click Transfer on all of the tracks that you're using in MelodyneBridge, and then you're going to locate your cursor to right before where the audio starts so that you don't have to record a bunch of blank space.
And we're going to hit Play in Pro Tools. (music playing) And so as soon as I hit Stop, you can see that MelodyneBridge plug-in automatically switches from Transfer to Playback, and when I tab back over to Melodyne, you can see that the information that we just recorded into Melodyne is all visible.
So now I can work right within Melodyne, and it's just like using Melodyne in stand-alone mode. But I can also choose to play back from within Pro Tools, and instead of hearing the track that's playing in Pro Tools--and we can show this by muting that track, so now there is nothing playing on this track in Pro Tools-- if I play from that same location in Pro Tools, I'll hear the output of Melodyne coming through that track through the MelodyneBridge plug-in. (music playing) So now any changes we make in Melodyne, and just as a quick example let's make an obvious change, I'm just going to shift this all into a different key so it's really obvious.
So now that we have moved this into a different key, we can listen again in Pro Tools, and we should hear, and this won't sound good, because it's in the wrong key according to the music. (music playing) So we can tell that we're listening to the output of Melodyne through the Bridge plug-in. I'm going to undo what I just did in Melodyne. And basically, we can use this as either a way to patch audio, so if we just wanted to fix certain little sections, this is a really good way to patch that section of audio without having to export the entire track. And it's also a really good way to work with the entire session, if you wanted to just use Melodyne essentially in stand-alone mode but have Pro Tools be able to control playback as well, MelodyneBridge is a great option for that.
One of the downsides, though, is that you only have eight tracks that you can use. So in a session like this, we'd have to do it in separate chunks. So you'd have to have a session for your lead vocals, and you'd have to have a separate session for each section of eight of your background vocals, which is usually fine. However, if you want to be able to ensure that all the audio is perfectly in sync with itself, or you want to work on timing things between multiple tracks, you may choose a different workflow instead. If you do use MelodyneBridge for your workflow, when you're done, you can either export the audio from Melodyne, which we'll look at later in the course, or you can route it back into Pro Tools and record it to a new track in Pro Tools.
And for a quick recap of that, check out the Melodyne Studio Essential Training course. One other thing that I should point out is that when you're using MelodyneBridge, and when you import audio or transfer audio through MelodyneBridge into Melodyne, the audio is going to be stored in a new folder and not the folder that you already set in your Preferences. So let's take a quick look. In our Exercise File Folder, and you can see that a new folder was created, and here are the Track 1, Track 2, all the files that were created from that transfer. In addition to using MelodyneBridge, we can also use ReWire to allow our DAW to work in conjunction with Melodyne. We'll look at that in the next video.
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