How to Use Melodyne to Get AutoTune Effect
By Simon Foden
Updated September 22, 2017
Melodyne is an audio arrangement and correction program from Celenomy. It is available as a stand-alone program, or as a plugin that you integrate into your preferred program, for example Logic. The Melodyne pitch-correction interface allows you to approximate the controversial “Auto-tune effect.” By “abusing” the pitch-correction controls and setting the parameters high, you can create a distinctively processed and “robotic” sound, similar to that made famous by T-Pain, Cher and The Black Eyed Peas.
Click “File,” “Open,” “Audio File” and select a monophonic audio file from your library. Once the file is loaded, the Melodyne edit window opens automatically. This comprises a grid. The horizontal axis represents time and the vertical axis represents pitch. Notes are represented by “blobs” on the grid.
Click on a blob and drag it to a new grid cell. It’s up to you whether you go higher or lower. The degree to which your edit deviates the note from its original pitch influences how unnatural and robotic-sounding the effect is.
Click and hold the “Edit Pitch” tool on the top tracker bar to open a sub-menu. Click on the “Vibrato” effect, illustrated on the sub-menu by a horizontal wave intersected by a vertical, double-ended arrow. Drag the note downward to create the distinctive “wobble” to the Auto-tune effect.
Import the vocal audio.
Click “Pitch Correction” and adjust the “Pitch Drift Center” parameter. Pitch drift center is the note value to which Melodyne automatically corrects errant notes. For example, set it to 100 percent and Melodyne will correct any note that isn’t chromatically “perfect” to the exact pitch. This setting automatically manipulates any note that isn’t pitch-perfect and makes it so, removing almost all of the human “feel” from the vocal.
Click “Pitch Snap.” This parameter lets you select which note value Melodyne corrects notes to.
Set it “Semi-tone.” This configures Melodyne to adjust any “note-drift” to the nearest semi-tone. Note-drift is a perfectly natural phenomenon that even the most technically accurate singers exhibit. By removing it, Melodyne makes the vocal sound very computerized.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.