Never did a lot of A/B experimenting, but just as in Auto Tune, unless you need dramatic pitch correction it works just fine. It doesn’t get close to the precision you can get with VariAudio (or preferably Melodyne), but that’s not “auto” at all.
…I’ve been using Melodyne for years. I think it’s very quick and very easy to use. I think it is also very easy to understand it… just my 2 cent’s. I’ve used all kinds of pitch correction plugins, but I always seem to go back to Melodyne. The one built into Cubase is a good one to, but I use the Melodyne for most applications.
If you ask me, Melodyne is the king of time stretching, if you like to abuse it and do weird stuff with it.
But most important, it’s much easier to work with. Mainly because of the annoying lack of a hotkey to switch tools in VariAudio, it slows down work a lot. Also, individual control of vibrato (modulation) and pitch drift, formant shifting, amplitude… It’s a great tool.
With their ARA technology, it becomes like an extra ‘built-in’ tool and so yes it all happens in real-time and is continually editable as you desire.
But, the VST plugin version is maybe not quite as friendly. With just the one vocal to work on say, then this could be fine (even with, as we use, the lighter ‘Assistant’ edition). It can be kept ‘running’ (active/editable) until you’re ready to commit your changes permanently.
However, trying to keep several instances loaded (working on BV’s, double-tracks and harmonies etc, etc), and you will see it eat away your resources…! Which means, you will need to keep rendering out your work as you progress and bringing the files back in, then unloading the plugin instance. So there’s a lot of ‘doubling’ of tracks (keeping originals intact) and to-ing and fro-ing, importing/exporting, which is time consuming and a workflow thing.
VariAudio (like ARA) being in-built is very convenient and a big plus - BUT, as has been indicated above, inside it the general workflow with VariAudio is not good; it is just clunky with the constant having to switch modes and those tool selection issues. With Melodyne, the multi-toolbox approach has everything to hand, right where (mouse position…!) you are working on the screen…!! Believe me, once you work with this and then try VariAudio, you will see (feel…!) what I mean.
Yes, there are ultimately more steps involved with Melodyne, and its certainly more time-consuming - but, do you know, I tolerate all that because I enjoy the speed of getting results inside it.
Both by the way, produce perfectly acceptable results sound/quality wise, to my ears. I am not familiar with the workings of Auto-Tune.
I tried something tonight-made small pitch adjustments to my lead vocal just to get everything close, THEN used Pitch Correct. It worked like a charm. Gonna try it that way a few times and see if the results consistently make me happy. I don’t really hear degradation from making the pitch adjustments.
I think the Dirac 3.5 algorithms for pitch shifting work very well too. It still isn’t in the same class as Melodyne, especially since it doesn’t work well with polyphonic material. My vote is for Melodyne Editor.
I do all my tuning… even on major label projects with vari-pitch in Cubase or Nuendo now. I like it better. It sounds better, works better, and is much faster. I really believe they knocked this ball out of the park. Now if they could just get the sliders in the sample editor window to respond to the AI wheel when the cursor is placed over them… I would be in Heaven… well… the Heaven of tuning hell that is.