Best Autotune plugin / software?

Yep, I know that Cubase has a built-in autotuning features but I’m still curious about the “real” auto-tuning software on the market. I guess it’s between the two: Antares and Melodyne. However I haven’t found any recent review and comparison article of those two.

So which one is better? Or are there more good ones?

Well Antares were the pioneers of auto tune but the last few years more and more seem to switch over to Melodyne, I even just had a customer who wrote a message with an excusing “I’ll do my best but you’ll probably need some Melodyne afterwards”.
That said, I haven’t actually run Melodyne in production, only Auto tune and that on Pro Tools/Mac a few years ago. It was terribly unstable.
For my work VariAudio is absolutely enough and not once I have thought to myself ‘this ain’t good enough, I need to buy the “real deal”’


Melodyne is the best correction tool on the market actually, except for some special autotune efx. In this case, as far as i know, the best is… autotune ! But for some standard corrections, variaudio and pitch correct are ok and complementary.

I second the Melodyne vote for actual ‘heavy lifting’ in transparent pitch correction. For quick FX, Autotune is OK if the singer is close. Variaudio is more versatile for me when you’ve got a rapper who wants to sing :smiley:

Melodyne !!!

This topic has some more info.


I’ve got Autotune8 and Melodyne DNA, yet I actually used Cb Variaudio on my last vocal. Many people want a single clear winner to purchase, but I ended up investing in all 3 for different reasons. I probably use Melodyne the least because of it’s lack of integration with Cubase. I don’t think there’s a clear winner though, I use all 3 at different times.

I ended up with VariAudio last time because (a) I found it quicker to do detailed editing than the others and (b) it’s got more ways to adjust the pitch curve and I needed more control over swoops and things in this particular vocal. Also © it works flawlessly across tempo changes in a song which is something that I found very tricky in Melodyne. Finally (d) it doesn’t need to be recorded back to a track like Melodyne, you can simply render the audio clips (big time saver to be able to just use Ctrl-B!).

That said, it doesn’t sound quite as good. It gets grainier quicker so you have to keep your ears open when using it to make sure the quality reduction isn’t going to be noticeable in the final mix. If I hear problems then I do that vocal section in either Autotune or Melodyne.

Generally my working practice is to use Autotune on the channel during tracking/production/arranging - quick and easy. Then when it comes to mixing I’ll try to render offline using Autotune for a fast result. If I can hear the autotune working or the autotune simply isn’t up to the job then I’ll render using Autotune with a specific scale (on certain sections say). If that’s not up to it or the vocal is just too wild then I’ll either use Melodyne or VariAudio. I prefer VariAudio for the above reasons (useability and speed) even though I bought Melodyne. If VariAudio can’t do the job then I’ll try with Melodyne.

One thing I do is to I make big use of audio lanes while tuning vocals. I also work with shortish audio clips, not the whole song because this seems to cause less ‘instability’. And I always keep safety copies of the original audio (Duplicate Track). I kind of ‘comp’ the various tuning options, e.g. one lane will be AutoTuned, one lane the orig vocal, one lane VariAudio, some other lanes will be other takes, tuned, untuned etc. Then I comp to achieve the best vocal result. I do it all this way because I’m not just tuning the vocal I’ll also be comping for the best vocal performance at the same time.

Blimey, I’ve left out Serato Pitch’n’Time. I think it’s probably the best pitch shifter around, but it doesn’t autotune. However, it is most useful for getting a single dodgy note within the range of AutoTune, thus avoiding those annoying notes that get pulled the wrong way sometimes!


Aloha T,

I have both and I must say Melo is incredible.

That being said I still find myself mostly grabbing Auto-Tune for some reason.
Maybe because got it first. dunno.

just grab them all and salt to ‘taste’.

Life/music is like a gig; good bad or indifferent before you know it, it’s over.

+1 for Melodyne. I do also use the built in one from Cubase too.


Thanks for this, Mike, including the great hints on workflow!

I’m getting to the point where I need to decide between using VariAudio or a 2006 version of Melodyne on my computer that I’ve used in the past (Cre8), and had some decent but a bit dodgy results with (I was just learning about computers then). I’ve totally forgotten how to use the Melodyne Cre8, so really I’d basically be learning both from scratch. I was hoping to read someone with experience on both to say that it’s very reasonable to use VariAudio instead of Melodyne, even for problem vocals with swoops and things, as you did!

The big thing I see VariAudio having a clear disadavantage compared to Melodyne is apparently its (VA’s) lack of formant preservation as described in that other linked-to thread in this post. How do you get around that … or is that when you reach for a non-VA solution?


Two helpful VA vids here, the 2nd one (Greg Ondo for president!) more in detail (and also shows Cubase 6 can do formant editing with a plug-in called PitchCorrect), the 1st one with a little comparison to Melodyne.