Autotune is an essential music production tool nowadays. With anything from heavily autotuned Pop/Hip Hop, to bands & solo artists, you'll find autotune on pretty much everything in 2022.
It's mostly used as a pitch correction tool, to smooth out the errors in a vocal performance, making the performance sound more in key. It can be used for a heavy T-Pain style effect, and can also be used to smooth out vocal performances subtly.
Although autotune is mostly a vocal editing tool, it's not limited to it. You can run samples through autotune to change the key, and paid plugins like Melodyne and Antares Auto Tune allow you to individually select notes and change them.
However, these tools can set you back a pretty penny. So, that's why in this article we're covering the best free auto tune plugins available in 2022.
We've made sure to include the most feature rich free autotune plugins, and a wide range of options for both Mac and Windows users. Whatever your pitch correction needs are, you'll leave this article with a free Antares auto-tune alternative that will help you achieve what you need.
Autotune is an effect that's used to correct out of key vocal takes, and was invented by Antares in 1997. Since then Antares have trademarked the Autotune name, but there are many other pitch correction tools out there that do the same thing.
You can get some pretty great free and paid pitch correction plugins that will do a similar thing to the original Antares Autotune. And, most will give you that hard-tuned sound you're looking for.
Autotune is best used on vocals, but you can use it on instrument takes, and in sound design for some awesome creative possibilities.
What Is Autotune Used For?
It's for people who can't sing… Just joking.
Autotune is a live pitch correction for an audio signal of your choice. It's commonly used on vocals to get a pitch perfect sound, but can be used on a number of instruments, melodies or chords.
It's a mixing tool that helps to even out recordings that aren't entirely in key, by pitch shifting them in real-time. You've probably heard autotune used in most Hip Hop & Trap chart toppers. This is the most common use for autotune, but isn't the only area you will see it getting used.
It might come as a shock to you, but pitch correction is an extremely useful engineering tool for even the best singers, & is used in a lot more music genres than you think.
“Quite frankly, [use of Auto-Tune] happens on almost all vocal performances you hear on the radio”.
(Marco Alpert, Antares Auto-Tune Vice President)
You can find autotune being used on Indie music, Rock, RnB, Pop and so many other genres, because it's an extremely useful tool. When a vocalist gives an incredible performance emotionally, but the pitch just isn't perfect, using autotune can ‘save' the performance from sounding out of key, and keep that much needed emotion in.
Autotune is used to put out of key performances in the right key, by pitch shifting in real-time.
Are The Free Autotune Plugins Actually Any Good or Should I Invest?
Free autotune plugins are great, and they will cover your basic needs. If you want a hard-tuned sound, then you'll be fine with any free autotune plugin. However, if you want more transparent vocal correction, you'll need to invest in a paid plugin like Melodyne or Autotune.
The top 3 plugins on this list are great at pitch detection (as you'll hear when you hear my terrible signing in the examples), and work perfectly for a hard-tuned and even transparent sound.
Some of the plugins below number 3, will start to get the pitch detection wrong, and the controls won't be as useful. And, a lot of them won't work on 64-bit DAWs, and Windows + Mac environments.
If you want greater control over your vocal editing, it's best to invest in something like Melodyne or Antares Auto-Tune.
These will allow you to change the pitch of individual notes using a MIDI roll, completely change a sample's key, change the time, and even detect and remove sibilances. A paid autotune plugin is going to be much, much better for professionals.
What Are The Best Free Autotune Plugins in 2022?
Here's the complete list of the best free autotune VST plugins updated for 2022:
For more software goodies, check out our huge list of 250 free vst plugins.
1. Graillon 2 – Best Autotune Plugin (Auburn Sounds)
Compatibility: Mac, Win, 64-bit, AU, AAX, VST, VST3
Graillon 2 is hands down the best gratis autotune VST on the market and is one of the only plugins that offers compatibility for VST3.
It's a simple, efficient & easy to use autotune plugin that comes in either VST or AU formats, meaning you can use it on both Mac & Windows.
Not only has it got a beautiful GUI that you'd see on most paid plugins, but the results it produces are nothing short of phenomenal – especially as it's free and for most autotune plugins you are paying above $100.
With Graillon 2, autotune is as simple as putting the plugin on your audio track & turning on the ‘pitch correction' module. There are also a tonne of controls for Graillon 2 that you can use to effortlessly fine tune your vocal sound further.
For instance, if you wanted more accurate results, you could lock Graillon 2 to a particular set of notes, or scale. You could also use the formant shifting to preserve the original tone of your performance, while still transposing it.
You can get both natural and artificial results out of Graillon 2 &, thanks to the wide range of controls, the creative possibilities are endless.
With Graillon you can Bitcrush, alter the Dry/Wet, change the pitch, preserve the formants, lock to a key & even have a tonne of fun with Pitch-Tracking modulation (which is unique to Graillon).
Whether you want to make throat like, robotic sounds, enrich a vocal performance, or even use it for sound design on instruments – Graillon 2 can do it all.
To get your hands on Graillon 2's pitch correction VST, just head to the Auburn Sounds website & download the free edition!
How Does Graillon 2 Sound?
Graillon 2 has a fantastic autotune style sound, and is exactly what you're looking for, if you want the Cher/T-Pain effect on your vocals. It can also apply subtle autotune to help slightly out of key signers remain in key, sounding fairly natural.
Here's what Graillon 2 sounds like before & after, alongside a beat (excuse the awful singing):
2. VOLOCO – Best Autotune App & Plugin for iOS & Android
Compatibility: Mac, iOS, Win, 64-bit, AU, AAX, VST, VST3
Voloco is 2nd on the list because of it's sheer simplicity & wide range of incredible sounding presets, that are useful in any situation.
You can choose from 8bit, Daft Punk style vocals & a tonne of other wicked sounding presets that will spice up your audio on the iOS app.
In the VST plugin you have 6 presets to choose from, & we've left sound examples of 2 below:
- Super Vocoder
- Alien Warlord
- Big Chorus
- Night Chorus
Voloco works best at the unnatural tuning sounds, and creates a fantastically good Cher/T-Pain effect.
Unlike the other free autotune plugins, Voloco is also available on iOS and adds a bit more than just autotune to your audio signal in the app. You can additionally use the auV3 autotune plugin for GarageBand instead of the built-in pitch correction.
For instance, the Daft Punk & 8bit modes add LFO volume modulation & gate-like effects to your vocals – instantly making them sound awesome.
It can be useful to get the app because there are a lot more options creatively, and you can save audio from it, then airdrop it to your Mac for editing later.
Voloco works by choosing a scale that you want to lock your audio to, and you can change the key from major to minor, + also change the amount by which Voloco pitch corrects your audio (kinda like a dry/wet control).
Check out this wicked video of the mobile version below (the plugin has a similar capability).
It's not the best free autotune VST, but Voloco is definitely worth downloading for creative purposes, rather than clinical mixing alterations.
You can download it from the Voloco website.
How Does Voloco Sound?
Voloco is fantastic for hard tuning effects, but doesn't do too well on the natural tuning side. You have multiple settings on Voloco you can choose from including a Vocoder, Hard Tune, and even an Alien Voice setting.
Here's how Voloco sounds before & after (excuse the singing please):
3. MAutoPitch Free Pitch Correction Plugin (MeldaProduction)
Compatibility: Mac, Win, 64-bit, AU, AAX, VST, VST3
MAutoPitch is a free pitch correction plugin by MeldaProduction, that just had to be on our list.
Check out our full, in-depth review of MAutoPitch for a bigger overview of why it's so good.
Even though we've placed it 3rd, don't let that fool you. MAutoPitch is an extremely capable autotune VST plugin, offering almost the exact same pitch correction features as Graillon 2, but with a bit extra included.
These extra tools can make it a slightly better choice for ease of mixing, as it includes an automatic gain control, limiter & stereo width adjustment. But, it's a pain to install.
MAutoPitch comes as part of a free suite that contains 37 separate effects, analyzers, eq's & a load more.
Although you're probably thinking “that's awesome! more free plugins!”
It's actually more of an annoying process to remove the plugins you don't want, and then you've got the added extra MAudio bloatware that's 581mb of space.
It also slows down download time.
If you do want the full suite, a lot of the MeldaProduction range are extremely good free plugins that can help improve your mixes. But, a lot of the time, having that many plugins, just gets in the way of what you're supposed to be doing – making music.
MAutoPitch, however sits in that very sweet spot of being extremely simple to use, while not restricting any essential features & sounding great.
It has everything you'd need & should expect in a free autotune plugin, with options to lock to a certain scale, & automatic pitch detector, Dry/Wet knob, formant shifting, a preserve formants knob and more.
Formants shifting is a pretty wicked feature that MAutoPitch has over Graillon 2. By shifting the formants, you can make your sound deeper & more masculine or the other way around. If you alter this too much though, it will sound plain awful.
With everything considered, MAutoPitch is a great pick up for people looking for a free pitch correction plugin that's simple to use & has an intuitive GUI.
You can use MAutoPitch in AU or VST formats, meaning that it's both Mac and PC compatible.
Pick it up this free pitch correction device, from MeldaProduction's website as part of their 37 free creative FX plugins pack.
How Does MAutoPitch Sound?
MAutoPitch is great at both hard tuning and natural autotune sound. It's also pretty great at picking up the pitch and correcting it properly. Not all free autotune plugins are as good at this, and can often reassign notes wrongly.
Here is a before an after sound example of MAutoPitch free autotune plugin:
4. GSnap – Open Source Autotune Plugin
Compatibility: Mac, Win, 64-bit, AU, AAX, VST, VST3
This was the first pitch correction tool to be offered as freeware to producers & audio engineers out there.
GSnap is an extremely clever auto tune VST plugin that has the unique ability of being able to ‘snap' to MIDI that is fed into it.
What does that mean?
Imagine a scenario where you want to auto tune the vocalist, but you're not sure what key you need to be locked into, or when you choose a scale – it just sounds a bit off.
Here, you can use the MIDI from another element in the track.
So, for instance, take the synth line, the chord data, or anything else & GSnap will tune your vocals to the notes that are being played in that section.
It also works on any other piece of audio that you want to tune.
GSnap has a pretty simple interface & is easy to use + understand. Unlike the other free autotune plugins on this list, it shows you how much it's correcting the notes by. This is shown in red & green.
Red = original
Green = adjusted
But unfortunately, it doesn't have any option for formant shifting, or preserving the quality through formants. This is something that is found in both Graillon & MAutoPitch.
One thing that GSnap does have, that the others don't, is a vibrato control. This can be pretty cool if used correctly in certain situations.
GSnap is a great pitch correction VST to try out and add to your collection. It's available to use in VST formats on the GVST website.
How Does GSnap Sound?
GSnap isn't as good at detecting pitch as the others on this list, and often corrects things out of key. Some of it will be in key, and other parts will be out. Maybe this is due to having to tweak a lot more settings, but it's pitch detection and sound isn't a patch of Graillon or Voloco.
One thing to note is that GSnap tends to crash a lot on Windows. It's kind of annoying when you're trying to work. However, this may be system dependent, so try it out on your machine before you take that as 100% proof it's unstable.
We haven't seen anyone else run into the problems we had, so it could be a machine issue.
Here are some before & after examples of GSnap free autotune:
5. KeroVee Autotune (Free)
Compatibility: Win, 32-bit, VST
KeroVee is free autotune software that was created by a Japanese developer: g200kg, which is similar to GSnap.
In KeroVee you're able to choose from a list of scales to snap pitch to, or choose the notes you want to tune to individually.
It includes pretty much everything you'd expect it in a pitch correction plugin, and most of the features found in the previously listed autotune plugins on this list.
However, KeroVee has a few more features for control.
As you can see, you have a vast selection of scales to choose from, alongside a huge selection of knobs.
KeroVee gives you control for natural or robotic like sounding autotune, the ability to change tune speed, allowing for more hard tuned or natural sounding effects, and a master calibration knob that is automatically set to 440Hz.
This is all included in the plugins above, but KeroVee has a cool “Tone” section, where you can formant shift, fine tune and transpose your autotune.
Each Tone knob has volume and panning as well, and it sounds like it is controlling the tone of the autotune, applying what we think is subtle tube saturation to vocals.
The GUI is pretty basic and honestly doesn't look the best. The usability of the plugin is also flawed as opposed to the others on this list. KeroVee still produces that autotune sound you're looking for extremely well, and has better control than GSnap, but is only 32-bit.
KeroVee is available to download for Windows from the KVR Audio website.
How Does KeroVee Sound?
KeroVee produces a really nice autotune sound, and the Tone control sounds fantastic. It adds a nice, almost tube style saturation effect to vocals, and gives them a little bit of bite. It's great at picking up the pitch and locking it in place, so you'll never go out of key too.
You can use KeroVee for natural or hard tuning effects, and it's a great pick if you're on Windows that contends pretty well with the above.
Here's some before & after sound examples of KeroVee autotune:
6. X42 Free Autotune Software
Compatibility: Mac, Win, 64-bit, VST, LV-2, Standalone
X42 Autotune is a freeware VST plugin that has been based on the ZITA-AT1, which is a linux based autotune plugin. The page says it's a VST, but upon downloading and installing the plugin you can only choose LV2, or Jack file formats.
This means you could open the plugin as a Standalone application, but it only works as a plugin in Linux environments.
The main difference between the X42 and the other plugins listed above, is that it's better used in a situation where you need a bit of fine tuning, rather than a full Cher-like robotic sounding voice.
It has most of the controls you'd expect on a free version of autotune, but comes with some added benefits over the ones above (also some drawbacks we'll explain later).
Added features include:
- Bias – allows your vocal to go off-tune more than usual. This is helpful when you don't necessarily want the vocal to snap exactly to your MIDI input & make it sound more natural.
- Offset – adds an offset -2 or +2 semitones on the pitch correction. This means the vocal can go out a few semitones.
- Filter – sets the amount of smoothing on the autotune.
X42 also has a nice pitch error meter, that shows you how the vocal is reacting with the autotune & includes a MIDI input, so you can lock vocal takes to a specific scale.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have the ability to shift formants or preserve them (like with the other free plugins) & the interface isn't as nice.
However, if you want light, natural autotune – this does a great job.
You can download this free pitch correction tool over on X42's website.
How Does It Sound?
X42 is a pretty good piece of kit, and can apply autotune that is heavy or even natural. It's pretty good at the natural tuning, and we were quite surprised at the capability of this plugin.
We've left a video from unfa below, who uses X42 to autotune his vocals inside ardour, in a Linux environment. The video is set to start when the audio examples play.
7. BeatLab Free Autotune (Ableton)
Compatibility: Mac, Win, 64-bit, Ableton 11+ Only, Max4Live Needed
Don't let this being low on our list fool you. The only reason we included it lower is because of it's lack of compatibility for any other DAW than Ableton 11.
It's a simple Autotune plugin that can give some incredible results.
It has all the features you'd expect like, being able to lock to a scale, having a dry/wet control & amount knob & correction settings. When using BeatLabs AutoTune we were pretty shocked at how good it was for free.
It's fantastic at applying that T-Pain, Hip Hop style effect a lot of producers and rappers look for these days. However, it's not too great at being subtle.
The one drawback of using this is, it might be a bit too basic if you're looking for something to have full control over.
BeatLab's autotune comes as part of a free Max4Live pack, which you can download on Ableton's website, but unfortunately it's only available for Ableton Live 11 now. So, if you're on 10 (or lower), you won't be able to access this anymore.
It's a pack of pitch & time machines that comes with a range of other wicked plugins that you can use creatively for sound design and vocal tuning.
How Does Beatlab Sound?
As you'd expect, the Ableton M4L plugin sounds fantastic, and works really well at tuning vocals to a key of your choice. It's great at both hard tuning and natural tuning, and you should pick this over any of the others if you have Ableton Live 11.
Here's a video of Beatlab Autotune in action:
Budget Autotune VST Plugin Recommendations
Although free autotune VSTs are great, sometimes they just don't cut it, & can't give you the results you want without introducing audio artefacts, & a load of other stuff you don't want in your recordings.
In this instance, it's better to look at some alternatives to those eye-watering-free autotune devices.
Here are some budget options to take a look at:
- Antares AutoTune Access (basic version of their pro range)
- Soundtoy's Little Alterboy (creative autotune)
- Waves OVox (vocal synth)
Here's the essential list of the best free autotune plugins updated for 2022:
Whatever you need autotune for, this article is a great place to start. It covers a range of awesome, free autotune VST plugins that you can use in your mix sessions or for creative sound design.
Whoever you are, we're certain there'll be an autotune plugin you'll grow to love with time & lots of affection.
What Autotune Do Rappers Use?
The most common and industry standard autotune plugin for Rappers is Antares Auto-Tune. This provides a hard-tuned sound that gives certain Hip Hop styles the signature sound.
You may also run into Rappers using Waves Tune or Newtone. These are cheaper versions of Antares Auto Tune that provide a similar sound, but lack features when compared.
Most vocalists will use Melodyne, Flex Pitch, or another graphical pitch editor for more subtle pitch correction.
What's The Most Industry Standard Auto-Tune Plugin?
The two most industry standard autotune plugins used by professional mixing and mastering engineers are Auto-Tune by Antares and Melodyne by Celemony. Auto-Tune is best used for hard pitching and creative effects for Hip Hop, R&B, Rap etc. Melodyne is the best use for natural pitch correction.
There are alternatives to Melodyne and Auto-Tune and these pitch correction plugins that do similar things, however Auto-Tune and Melodyne are the absolute best in their field.
We've done comparisons of all the top competition so you can decide which autotune plugin is best for you if you want to purchase one:
How Can I Get Antares Auto-Tune Free?
Antares Auto Tune is a paid plugin. However, you can get Antares Auto Tune for free by making use of the free trial offered.
If you can't afford Auto Tune's full package, you can check out the rent to own options on Landr, or the the monthly payment plans found on Antares' website.
What Is The Best AutoTune App? (iOS & Android)
The best Auto Tune apps for iPhone and Android are Voloco, Spire and RapChat. These Apps allow you to record vocals to a library of beats that are available. They also give you access to EQ, compression and other great tools to use your phone as a portable studio!
Typically AuV3 plugins will be better for people who want to make music seriously. Apps are usually quite gimmicky and don't offer a full solution to beat-making and vocals.
How About AuV3 Auto Tune Plugins?
The best AuV3 auto tune plugins you can get for iOS are Voloco, LE03 AudioTune and Waves Tune. Waves Tune is only available for Cubasis. Voloco and LE03 can be used with Garageband and any DAW that supports AuV3.
AuV3 plugins are a better alternative to apps because you can use them in a DAW like Garageband to pitch correct your vocals. With a DAW you can write and compose music as well as mix and master it. It opens up a lot more doors creatively.
To use auV3 plugins you must know how to install plugins in Garageband, so make sure you're clued up on that before downloading.
Is The A Free Version of Auto-Tune?
There isn't a free version of Antares Auto-Tune. However, there is a free trial you can use to try Auto-Tune before you purchase. There are also free plugins that mimic Auto-Tune's effect extremely well, but they are not the true, authentic Auto-Tune®.
With the free Auto-Tune alternatives on this list, you can get a very similar hard-tuned sound that's almost indistinguishable from the Auto-Tune® sound.
You will not get the same level of features, or the authentic sound, but it's 99% of the way there with some of the free Auto-Tune alternatives available.
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.