How to Use GSnap Autotune Hardcore Vocals

By Simon Foden
Auto-tune is sometimes referred to as the

Digital audio workstations, such as Mixcraft and Pro Tools, enable you to record, mix and edit your music on your computer. One benefit of digital production is the range of software plug-ins you can use to enhance your sounds. One such program is GSnap, a free virtual studio technology, or “VST” pitch-correction plug-in. It emulates the effect of Auto-tune, the infamous vocal effect used by artists including T-Pain, Cher and the Black Eyed Peas. You can “abuse” the parameters to create a variety of intense, hardcore vocal effects.

Hardcore dance music is characterized by robotic sounding vocals.

Visit the official GSnap download site, www.GVST.co.uk/GSnap and click “Download GSnap.” Click “Save” when prompted. Select a suitable location, such as "Desktop."

Open your preferred digital audio workstation, for example Logic. Open your VST library. The method for accessing the library varies by workstation, but you typically click “Effects,” “Preferences” or “Library” to access the VST folder.

Click “Import” and select the downloaded GSnap file. Alternatively, drag the GSnap file from the desktop into the VST library folder.

Click on the vocal track you want to effect, this assigns subsequent edits and modifications to this particular track.

Click “Effects” and select GSnap from the drop-down menu.

Determine a threshold. The threshold is the amount of deviation from perfect pitch your vocal must have before GSnap kicks in. GSnap works in a similar fashion to a guitar tuner, digitally detecting correct pitch. When a note isn’t perfect, GSnap will digitally adjust it. Adjust the threshold dial to a low setting. By setting threshold low, GSnap becomes very “picky” and corrects anything that isn’t perfect.

Click your cursor on the “Speed” virtual dial. This parameter governs the retune speed, which is the rate that GSnap corrects original note. The quicker the adjustment, the more robotic the effect. In her song “Believe,” Cher’s voice was Auto-tuned with a retune speed of zero to create an immediate pitch-shift.

Manually adjust some notes. For an intense, hardcore sound to your vocals use the piano interface on the left of the GSnap dialog box to manually select a new note. As the song plays, the current note appears as a waveform in the box on the left. Pause the song at the note you want to adjust and select a note from the keyboard. The further away from the original note, the more hardcore the sound will be. Convert a low to a very high note for the “Chipmunk” effect, which is a distinctive characteristic of hardcore dance music.

Tip

Add vibrato for a hardcore, "wobbly" vocal sound.

About the Author

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.