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Extreme Auto-Tune effects made easier

Extreme Auto-Tune effects are everywhere in pop music. But how difficult does it have to be to get the right sound?

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Whatever you think about the use of extreme Auto-Tune effects, the public seems to like it. And the public has money. Please the public and they will give you their money. That's a good thing.

So once in a while it wouldn't hurt to listen to the most popular music in the world, which is, as you might expect, to be found conveniently listed in the Billboard Hot 100 and the Official UK Singles Top 100, and in similar charts in your own locality of course.

So if you would like to give your own track an extreme Auto-Tune twist, first fire up your Auto-Tune plug-in. No, don't say you never use it. Everyone in the industry uses Auto-Tune for vocal pitch correction. It's our shameful secret that we would prefer the public didn't know about. But the public isn't reading this. Well, I don't think they are...

Achieving the extreme Auto-Tune effect is easy. Just set the Retune Speed to zero. You can play with the other settings for fine tuning, but Retune Speed is the key player here.

Achieving the extreme Auto-Tune effect is one thing. Getting it to work well in a musical fashion is totally another. Extreme Auto-Tune is extremely hit and miss. Most of the time it will produce garbled nonsense. But as the evidence of the pop charts shows us, it is capable of creating sounds that the public will pay for.

One thing is for sure. Unless you are Owl City then you will want to keep extreme Auto-Tune effects for very occasional highlights. Too much Auto-Tune really can be too much.

So you could think really hard about where Auto-Tune will work best in your track, then try it out and find that it produces the previously-mentioned garbled mess at those points.

Or you could do it the easy way...

Simply print a copy of the whole vocal with extreme Auto-Tune applied, then listen to it and see where it works well. Then edit those sections into the un-Auto-Tuned track.

Hopefully you will have a finished vocal with extreme Auto-Tune applied with taste and precision.

And if there is a particular place where you really must have an extreme Auto-Tune effect, but it doesn't seem to be working for you, you can go into Auto-Tune's graphic editor.

Unfortunately the easy part of applying extreme Auto-Tune effects is now over. In fact, you could say that it's a whole new world of T-Pain ;-)

By David Mellor Monday January 30, 2012
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