Pitch shifting vocals up an octave

I’m not getting very usable results when pitch shifting vocals up an octave: there’s artifacts and glitches and the tone is very unnatural. I’ve heard other’s results which are better, so I know this is possible, and wonder if anyone can offer any advice.

I’m using a Rode NT 1 at a good level, with no noise, no reverb etc. I’ve tried a variety of algorithms (any advice here?) and tried changing the formant by varying amounts. The artifacts are too extreme to be hidden with processing. No amount of EQ (etc) can fix poor source audio!

Thanks in advance,


Did you do it with variaudio?

One octave is of course a hell of a lot. I use melodyne in the more “sophisticated” cases.

BR, Ernst

I recently had to pitch a vocal down a 6th and tried Cubase, Melodyne, Pitch n’ Time and Ableton Live.

The best result was from Ableton Live. If you’ve got it, try it out, you might be surprised. If so, I would recommend using either the complex or complex pro algorithm.

Thanks all. I have Melodyne, but was hoping to just use Variaudio. Granted, an octave is pushing things, but I’ve watched a few youtube videos where this was accomplished satisfactorily in Ableton and was hoping that my DAW of choice was up to the challenge.

I’ve taken to recording the vocals a 4th or 5th higher and using Variaudio to move it the rest of the way, but this isn’t the best workflow (having to transpose the guide tracks) and doesn’t yield the best results from the vocalist, who is then outside their tessitura.


try Steinberg’s own Pitch Correct, it works good.



Get yourself a trial of this plug-in…Can be great for backing vocals, and lots of fun!!!


But for sounding real, I do what you did, make a guide acoustic track a 4th/5th higher and use varioaudio to push the rest.

I watched a youtube video a while back (can’t recall who) where the producer said for a quick edit he’d use Pitch Correct, but for critical performances he’d use variaudio, so I was under the assumption that variaudio was a superior pitch treatment. I’ll certainly take your advice and give Pitch Correct another go, and A/B the results.

Many thanks for the suggestion, Ian

Thanks nikhollis, I’m right on to it!

You could give this a try as well:


Isn’t elastique 2 algorithms built into Cubase via the timeline tools? i.e. on an audio event/region level.

Have you tried, selecting the event you want to pitch. Then use the info line to pitch +12, and trying out the different algorithms ?

Thanks guca02, I’ll give that a try

Thanks peakae, that works! I still can’t use variaudio with any algorithm other than standard solo (message is “Algorithm switched automatically to Standard Solo as variaudio requires it”).

Just to clarify, MPEX is only available for audio warp, not variaudio? I can only access MPEX (to change between its varieties) on timestretch via the preferences, as it’s not in the dropdown. Just checking this is all as it should be, as the manual isn’t clear; even mentioning pitch shift on the MPEX page.

Yes that is correct only standard solo in variaudio. Unless something has changed in 10.5 I’m still on 10.

There’s another kind of pitch shifting I use.
Check audio in the Pool and choose algorithm from the drop-down menu.
Make a transpose track in the project, check Global transpose (of a specific track) to “follow” and maybe You’ll find good result.



Thanks trito, I’ll give that a go. Great to hear there are several ways to tackle the issue from within Cubase, as well as plug-ins that can yield different results. Now I just have to find the time to experiment with them all…