Things You'll Need
- PC or Mac
- 2GB RAM
Auto-tune is a distinctive-sounding pitch-correction plug-in for digital musical production programs such as Mixcraft. It can be used two ways, either as a corrective tool to bring slightly sharp or flat notes into tune, or as a creative tool to create a characteristic “robotic” sound. The vocals on “Believe” by Cher feature a well-known example of Auto-tune. You can use Auto-tune with Mixcraft to add a sense of quirkiness to your recordings or simply correct bum notes to eliminate the need for rerecording.
Double-click the “Mixcraft” icon on your desktop.
Open a session. Click “File” and select “Open Recent.” Select the session you want to work on from the drop-down menu.
Click on the vocal track to be Auto-tuned to highlight it. Subsequent edits will now be assigned to this track.
Click the “S” icon to “Solo” the track you want to work on. This mutes all other audio so you can hear the results of Auto-tuning the vocal more clearly.
Click “Effects” and select “Auto-tune” from the drop-down menu. This opens up a separate window containing the Auto-tune control parameters.
Hit “Play” so you can hear the influence of Auto-tune in real time.
Click on “Input Type” and select the option that most closely matches the voice that you are correcting. For example, “Soprano” or “Alto.” This configures Auto-tune to correct within a certain register.
Click the “Learn Scale From MIDI” button. This sets Auto-tune to auto-detect mode, which calculates the scale of the audio from the MIDI notes present in the track. If there are no MIDI notes in the track, turn this off and manually select a scale.
Set the “Tracking” dial one third of the way between “Relaxed” and “Choosy.” The former moves out of tune notes close to the correct pitch, the latter moves them to the exact correct pitch. The distance between the two determines the degree of intensity for each parameter. Set “Retune” speed toward the “Slow” end of the scale. A fast retune speed sounds robotic. These parameters will subtly correct out-of-tune notes.
Click on “Input Type” and choose a vocal register that doesn’t match the register of the singer. For example, select “Baritone” if the vocal recording is alto. This “confuses” Auto-tune into making large, sweeping pitch corrections. This creates the distinctive “sweep” sound.
Set “Retune Speed” to zero. This makes all corrections instant and removes any natural pitch movement in the voice.
Set the “Vibrato” rate to around 5. This creates the distinctive “wobble” that characterizes the music of T-Pain, an artist famed for his use, or “abuse,” of Auto-tune.
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.