To put it simply, here are the main differences between the different versions of Auto-Tune:
- Auto-Tune Access: Basic automatic pitch correction
- Auto-Tune EFX+: Basic pitch correction with more control and added vocal FX
- Auto-Tune Artist: Advanced pitch correction, designed for live-performance
- Auto-Tune Pro: Advanced automatic pitch correction, with graphical pitch and time editing
- Auto-Tune Unlimited: Every Auto-Tune tool, as well as AVOX effects on a subscription basis
What is Antares Auto-Tune?
Antares’ Auto-Tune is probably one of the most famous music production tools ever made. Transcending the circles of music production, even your mother probably knows what auto-tune sounds like.
The hard pitching, T-Pain style sound that the VST plugin is so well known for, has become a staple in a lot of modern music.
But that’s not all Auto Tune is for, it can also deliver seamless pitch correction to refine your vocals, without making them sound artificial.
In addition to this, Auto-Tune works in real-time with next to no latency, meaning you can use it for live performances to tune singers in real-time.
And, for this, it’s perfect. Delivering awesome results at lightning speed, while giving you the choice of how you want to sound.
An absolute industry standard, Antares’ Auto-Tune has been popular since the 90’s, and is still going strong today!
What Is Auto Tune For?
Just like any other plugin, there are almost countless controls and features to check out, but for this, we’ll stick to the basics.
The core of Antares’ Auto-Tune are three controls:
- Re-tune Speed – controls how quickly the plugin corrects for wrong notes. a fast re-tune speed will give you that Cher – stronger kind of sound, while a slower speed will give you a more natural tune-up.
- Key selection – controls which key your auto tune will lock into.
- Humanization control – applies a slower re-tune speed during sustained or longer notes, so that the entire performance sounds both natural, and in tune.
The best way to use Auto Tune is on vocals.
You can use it on low re-tune speed settings, and higher humanisation control, for more natural-sounding pitch correction, for performances that might need a little bit of pitch help.
Or you can use it on full settings for that classic, robotic sound.
Auto Tune Pro specifically comes with a graphical note editor, meaning Auto Tune will analyse your audio file to find what pitch it’s at, and map these pitches on a MIDI roll. In this way, it’s similar to Melodyne, where you can edit your pitches independently and even change the entire key of a sample or performance.
It also has things included like throat modelling, vibrato and other features that can be used to get more robotic, daft punk-like sounds, or auto motion control that can be used to put a little bit more movement into your pieces.
Different Auto-Tune versions have other awesome features, like the FX section of Auto-Tune EFX or Auto-Tune Pro’s graphical editor, but we won’t get into those now.
Auto Tune is both a fantastic creative tool, and precise vocal pitch editing plugin.
Do You Need Auto-Tune?
The necessity for Auto-Tune entirely depends on what kind of music you tend to work on. If you make primarily instrumental music, there won’t be much need for Auto-Tune in your toolkit.
That being said, if you do anything with Vocals, Auto-Tune can be a really helpful tool, to refine and perfect your vocal lines.
In addition to this, not many plugins can achieve exactly the same kind of hard tuning characteristic that artists like T-Pain are so famous for.
Lastly, if you’d like to have pitch-correction in a live performance setting, Auto-Tune is a no-brainer.
If live-performance isn’t your thing, you could also check out Melodyne!
Auto-Tune vs Melodyne
Auto-Tune and Melodyne are the two giants of the pitch correction industry. But, they are quite different tools.
While Auto-Tune focuses on automatic, real-time pitching, Melodyne requires a lot of input and tinkering.
That being said, when it comes to transparency and tuning quality, Melodyne has the upper hand.
A graphical pitch and time editor is much better when you want to get your vocals sitting exactly right, without having to tune your entire recording.
While it’s true that Auto-Tune Pro comes with a Graphical pitch and time editor, it’s not as fully spec’d as Melodyne is.
So the criteria you need to decide for which is right for you is, whether you want to have in-depth control in your studio, or automatic tuning that can be used in real-time!
Antares’ Auto-Tune is one of the most important VST effects plugins ever made. Not only for the quality and innovation it brought to the table, but the amount of influence it’s had on modern music.
Whether you’re a fan of it or not, one has to admit that Auto-Tune is a hell of a beast. If you like how that sounds, you should probably try it out, you won’t regret it!