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How to Make Melodyne Sound Natural

How do you tune your vocals in Melodyne without sounding like T-Pain? 🤔

What we DON'T want to do is use the Pitch Macro to apply a blanket correction to the entire vocal.

After tuning thousands of vocals, I've found that the key is to preserve certain "imperfections" around the notes that we choose to correct, namely the transitions between notes and omitting specific notes that fall outside of a given scale. These imperfections can be crucial to the emotional qualities in a vocal recording.

Our brains have developed an acute sense for the idiosyncrasies in the human voice. In a vocal performance, the more abrupt the transition between notes, the more fake it feels to our ears.

An easy way to avoid this is to use the Note Separation Tool to divide the intended note from the path it took to arrive there. Allow the expression to come through the transition and focus on where the pitch lands. This also allows us more leeway with the strength of the pitch correction since we're achieving a better balance with the imperfections in the vocal recording.

We also need to avoid correcting musical embellishments such as the blue note into the traditional scale of the song. Vocalists bend in and out of notes just like guitar players do - it's part of the performance. There are times where the melody sits between two semitones, which provides a strained emotional quality that will be ruined if corrected.

Every note sung by a singer is a creative decision, and the second we open up Melodyne, we have a responsibility to the artist to preserve the qualities in the performance that make it sound natural.

With digital software, we have to be careful to use our ears instead of our eyes when we make changes that affect the natural characteristics in a vocal performance. This process does take extra time and effort, but if you really care about how it turns out, Melodyne is a powerful to have at your disposal.

Unless of course you want it to sound like Future, in which case, ignore all of this.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions at all!

Pick up a copy of Melodyne here!

Sensho Music Producer | Audio Engineer | YouTuber

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