Auto-Tune. To some, it’s a dirty word; to others, it’s a necessity and/or a creative tool. Whichever way you feel about it, there’s no denying that Antares Auto-Tune has earned a significant role in the audio production world.
Although it’s been around for over 10 years, I myself don’t rely on it much for studio projects. However, when it comes to mixing concerts, it can literally save a take. I recently was able to run the new Antares Auto-Tune Evo through its paces on a live recording and came away with some interesting observations.
As an update from Auto-Tune 5, Evo ($399 list for Native, $649 list for TDM) has a handful of new features, which I’ll briefly focus on for this review. First and foremost, under the hood there are updated algorithms including throat modeling, pitch shifting (Native only) and formant correction that take advantage of fast computers. The new Graphical Mode window can be resized (limited only by your monitor size), and Global transposition of all notes is now available.
My personal favorite feature is Note Objects; by clicking the Make Notes button on the bottom of the interface, Evo will analyze selected audio and create notes like a MIDI sequencer. It makes editing, fixing, stretching/shrinking and/or re-pitching notes quite simple (especially with a large Graphical Mode window). Also, the new Notes Tool can be used to draw Note Objects in, and the allimportant transition between notes can be smoothed out with the Curve Tool.
I also like the real-time display of output pitch and the Pitch Graph display mode. The Pitch Graph display mode creates easy to view “lanes,” grid lines that make it visually easy to correct notes (again, like a MIDI sequencer).
In practice, I found myself automating the Retune Speed (which can be individually assigned for each note), Humanization and Natural Vibrato to help fix the live concert vocals. In order to avoid the so-called “Cher” effect, sometimes more or less was needed, so I simply drew in the amount, literally, on a per word/phrase basis. It did a nice job, giving me natural-sounding results and truly saved a few nasty passages that would have been cut.
Auto Tune Evo is available for Mac and PC use on RTAS, TDM, VST, and AU platforms. Grooveboxmusic.com offers intro/tutorial videos for Evo, and I also went on to the Groovebox site and checked out the extended tutorials. Yes, it does cost a small fee to do so, but the time saved learning all the functionality of Auto-Tune was well worth it.
Overall, Evo is a fully matured piece of software that has a large number of wellthought- out features. You can either go easy with Auto mode or deep with Graph mode. While it��s not the only game in town, it’s a tool I’m glad to have when I need it. Now, if these artists would just sing in tune...
Contact: Antares Audio Technologies | www.antarestech.com