Pitch Correction Basics

Last Update: 07/23/2011

This is a discussion of pitch correction as it pertains to the AW Series of Audio Workstation by Yamaha.  We will break this down into two types; 1. overall pitch change where all the data is changed i.e. a key change, and pitch correction and 2. intelligent pitch change where only a specified range is changed. Pitch correction of the first type where all the audio is pitch changed to change the key of a song. This dependent on the degree of change. The further you go in the pitch up direction the tendency is to develop a “Minnie mouse” character to the audio. The further you go in the pitch down direction, the tendency is to develop a “dragging or holding back “ quality. Vocals will seem somewhat “drawling” or lazy tongued. The bottom line here is if you need to change the key of the song and it really is important simply re-record it. If you need to tune the vocal tracks a small amount and you have a quality intelligent pitch device, probably the edit will go fairly well and the results may be satisfactory.

Pitch correction of the second type is the most common and is used to correct slightly out of tune notes on vocal tracks. This is very effective when most of the track is in tune with only a few renegade notes that are not too far astray but are noticeable. An example of devices that can perform this function is the antares autotune. Once again, we have to make a value judgment, If the track has some notes that are really far from the desired pitch, when the autotune adjusts the note, it will generally be discernible. In this case it is preferable to rerecord the track or at least  punch-in the bad parts.

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