Tuning Vocals 

Melodyne is a really useful tool. Whether it’s for slightly cleaning up vocal takes, fixing pitch errors or just recreating different melodies or harmonies. However it’s usually best used subtly, if used to much it can start to sound obvious and make the vocalist start sounding like a robot. Here is an example on how to clean up a vocal take.

Melodyne is usually pretty accurate. However it can still sometimes detect a note wrong. Firstly make sure that all the notes are where they should be. I have found that the most common error is when a vocalist goes between notes on a single word, the software often doesn’t split these notes but detects it as lots of vibrato. If you notice this use the split tool and it should change to the correct note. 

Next step is to snap to the key of the track. Once you have done this listen through and make each part has moved to the right note. At this stage I find it’s best to just use your ear and shift things until it sounds right. The final stage is to increase the pitch centre and drift. How far to take this really depends on the track, some genres call for more perfect sounding vocals than others. I find it best to look away from the screen and increase it until it sounds right. 

Some people disagree with tuning vocals and can see it as cheating. I wouldn’t say that I use it all the time, it fits some genres more than others and there is the occasional vocalist that really doesn’t need it. I always feel that it’s the end result that matters and the tools you use don’t!


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