Is VariAudio THAT good?

Hello Friends,

I’m thinking about upgrading from Artist 10 to Pro almost solely for the VariAudio feature. I never thought Cubase Pro was for me but then I came across youtube demos of VariAudio. And… my head exploded. For instance this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQDC0ZKTCLs (from 1:42 to the end)

But before I make that jump (and realizing the more costly upgrades forever after) I would REALLY comments from Pro users on how good VariAudio is on a TERRILE vocal.

Let me explain my situation. My goal with my studio setup is to write music as a one-man-band and eventually shop for a real vocal when my project is mature enough. In the meantime I do the vocal duties and I’m bad, really bad, really really bad. I think my vocal melodies are actually quite ok, but what I hear in my head doesn’t come out of my mouth. I’m constantly off-key. With my vocal takes it’s a bit like the Infinite Monkey Theorem and with enough takes on a single phrase I can eventually hit something bearable. Trying to hit the correct singing keys is really the painful part of my music writing process. Writing good arrangements without hearing my vocal melodies is almost impossible and writing arrangements while listening to my off-key voice can get rather painful. I’m not looking for a vocal effect tool and what my voice needs is not real-time pitch-correction adjustments. My vocal takes need complete offline reconstruction just like in the aforementioned video but unlike in the aforementioned video the source audio will be hilariously random.

To me the upgrade to Pro is worth it if I could just track my voice and simply keep a take when I’m happy with my rhythm/phrasing and ignore the pitch problems that I know I can fix later.

And in case my music style makes any difference with VariAudio results… I’m a male with a mid range voice. My music is downtempo blending folk and trip-hop (acoustic guitar and lots of electronics). My vocal lines are soft singing, rhythmic, low intensity, not much sustained notes.

Is VariAudio the best solution for me?

What I don ˋt understand which such posts: How do you think can anybody evaluate, what „a TERRIBLE vocal“ is, and what „I ´m bad, really bad, really really bad“ means. You on the other hand have a video that shows what VariAudio can do, so it is as good as you see on the video ß if that is enough for your singing - who knows… some would say the vocals in the video are not TERRIBLE and also not „bad, really bad, really really bad“.
There are plenty of „variAudio against Melodyne“ threads on the forums already. All the answers you will get here will again range from „It is great“ to „use Meldyne instead“
You do have a USB key and Cubase Artist. So all it takes, is to get a trial code for Cubase Pro, and try it yourself, you will not get any better advice from anyone here, than trying yourself for your specific case.

VariAudio is fine and will work well for you. However, no one can polish a turd. software has its limits.
It is all in the finessing of the audio. That requires LEARNING how to use the software.

The concepts in Melodyne are the same it just has more bells and whistles.

In Cubase I use VariAudio, in StudioOne I use Melodyne since S1 doesnt have a pitch app built in.

As was posted above, a Trial of Cubase Pro is the way to go… :slight_smile: But, do it now.! If you’ve not seen, a 40% discount sale is running for updates, that ends April 30th
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=283&t=186074

Good luck.!

Variaudio 3 is brilliant for vocals, and i prefer it vs Melodyne which most people gravitate to.

Don’t view it as only a correction tool though, as a one man band you can use variaudio to review your vocal performance to learn about your voice, and to try different pitches that you normally wouldn’t sing.

i.e. let’s say that you correct the vocals from a very basic verse, and start to change the pitch to add interest - you can then pipe that track through your headphones as a guide to record the REAL vocals, which then will only need basic corrections.

Plus it’s great for working out quick harmonies. On top of that, if you use the chord track to document your song then the tunings in Variaudio will be automatically coloured based on the chords/key of your song- this is so good for the aforementioned reviewing of a vocal performance.

So for me, it’s much more of a creative tool vs corrective and probably 70% of the reason why i use Cubase over it’s competitors, i just love how it pitch corrects. It’s probably not as good as melodyne for timing corrections - but i rarely need to perform that.

Thanks for the feedbacks. Just to be clear, I never for a second thought VariAudio would make me sound like a real vocal. The end-goal will still be to shop for a real vocal when my project is mature enough. It’s just that I need the vocal lines (currently my voice) to write good arrangments and constantly hearing my off-key voice in loops is extremely painful. If VariAudio can make my vocal takes bearable then it will be more fun to write songs which in turn can make me write better songs. Plus it will be less embarrassing to hand-over a rough mix to my future vocal if at least my voice is not off-key!!

So I’m gonna make the jump to Cubase Pro just for the VariAudio. As a one-man band home musician using cubase as a composition tool I don’t see much use for all the extras bells and whistles of the Pro version. Sad that Steinberg do not sell VariAudio as a stand-alone extension.

I should also have specified that I will not have time for a demo-run before the Pro Update expires. The next two weeks are looking pretty bad for me. I’m one of those IT guys who are actually more busy than usual with the forced work-from-home. So I’ll have to take a leap of faith on this one and buy the Pro upgrade without trying first.

My story is similar to yours (improving my sub-par vocals to use as a demo for real vocalists to follow). I’ve had good success with Variaudio, using its pitch correction primarily, but then using it for more creativity: formant changes, harmonies, doubled octaves and adding melismata (vocal ornaments). Who knows, you might even like your resulting vocals enough to want to keep them! if not, douse them in reverb :smiling_imp:

It will work very well for what you are looking to do with it. The results are excellent and the deep integration into Cubase is very convenient.

BTW, I am in the same boat as you, even busier now since working from home than I was before. Take the leap of faith. You will be happy in this case.

I always prefer melodyne over variaudio. Melodyne sounds much much more natural

Well, if you’ve got a spare 400 Euros lying around, I guess… (or 700 if you need that full Melodyne Studio experience).

For the record, I can’t work miracles, but I can get great (‘natural sounding’) results with VA in Cubase.

Well, I’ve managed to polish several with Variaudio…
I still prefer the workflow and sound to Melodyne for pitching but I prefer melodyne for timing and stretching.

100% pitching is better in Variaudio for me too, in fact, i can’t believe how much better Variaudio 3 is than Melodyne on my vocals. It’s not so noticeable in a mix, but very noticeable when solo’d.

Is there a way to correct pitch in elements? Every tutorial I look up only talks about variaudio whic or course, is only available in pro…

You would have to use a third party plugin such as melodyne to do pitch corrections in elements. Although you don’t get ARA support, you can still use it via the traditional insert method.

Real time tuning plugins exist too such as Wave Tune/LT etc. And Grallion 2 which has free version.
https://www.auburnsounds.com/products/Graillon.html