How to transpose audio (vocals) and not sound weird

My vocal range is very limited and I often struggle reaching low notes.

I’ve tried transposing the audio to hit the lower notes that I can’t reach naturally but it sound very weird as you can imagine.

I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on how to achieve this. I’ve tried manually manipulating the pitch with Variaudio but it still doesn’t sound natural. I had in the past used melodyne and I think this vst made vocals sound more natural but I don’t own it anymore.

Any tips??

I agree that Melodyne works better than Variaudio - but not by much for basic pitch shifting. Of course Melodyne is in the same price range as Cubase and can manipulate sounds in a variety of ways that Variaudio can’t. So ya get what ya pay for.

The reality is that shifting pitch beyond a couple of half-steps is gonnna leave behind noticeable artifacts. Although going down generally works better than shifting up - so that’s good for you.

There are 2 approaches you can take. One is to reduce the artifacts themselves. The second is to obscure the artifacts. And of course you can mix & match different techniques if that works.


  • Rewrite the vocal line so you can hit (or get closer to) more of the notes thus needing less pitch shift.
  • When recording vocals have a VSTi play the melody in your phones, this can make it easier to hit notes at the edges of your range. I use Halion’s ‘Mellow Tremolo Git’ in only my left ear for this.
  • Try all the different algorithms to ID which works best for your voice on the lower notes.
  • Try recording your problem notes separately on their own track to give you more control over them.
  • Explore the ‘tape’ based algorithm where speeding/slowing the tempo raises/lowers pitch.


  • A harmony line with lots of artifacts can sound ok blended with another non-shifted line (we tend to hear the normal over the artificial).
  • Double track your vocal and pitch correct both. This could either highlight or obscure the artifacts.
  • Use effects to mask the artifacts - some distortion, a chorus, ADT, etc. can help blend everything together.
  • Drop the level of just the artifacts - cut the Audio Part tight around the artifact and pull its volume lower for just a moment.
  • Blunt the attack. Similar to the level above. Some artifacts stand out because they have a noticeable attack. Cut the audio just before the attack and extend the fade-in to tame it. This works well for deessing and plosives too.
  • Mask the artifacts with your arrangement. For example a well placed cymbal crash could cover it up. Or even just having other instruments playing the same note might be enough. Remember a percussive/rhythmic sound may cover better than a sustained sound - and vice-versa.

Thank you, that was extremely helpful!