VariAudio Harmonies - You're Kidding Me Right?

So I recorded a little song, and thought, hey why not try out the harmonizer. I watched this real cool video on YouTube and all that…

Now I suppose if you have a professional lead singer who’s hit every note just on, and they’re not singing too fast…

WHAT A JOKE, you’re NOT serious Steinberg? Can you leave this to Antares, or some plug-in mfg. and work on the software basics or something?

  • Didn’t do anything without the a chord track
  • Even with a chord track, it duplicated the lead on what was supposed to be a harmony part
  • The so-called piano scroll looking side bar is worthless if you can’t slide your part to a specific note
  • Enough… what a waste of an hour trying to figure out how to use something that really doesn’t work

A couple of thoughts:-

  1. Honestly, VariAudio really does work and no doubt you’ve seen the vids on YT showing you exactly that fact… So…
  2. Not your concern I know, but maybe what you’re throwing at it is a bit too challenging/avant-garde/experimental/fast, for it to cope with…? In which case the harmonies generated are going to be a bit hit and miss too.
  3. Maybe, if you can, try the material on a demo of some other s/ware (Antares, Re-Voice Pro, Melodyne, etc.,) and see how they cope…? Please post back an update if you get some joy with these… :wink:

The Chord Track is the mechanism used to tell VariAudio how to treat the extra notes generated - no getting away from that I’m afraid. And, finally, you can slide or snap segments to specific notes. Is ‘Snap’ enabled on the toolbar…? check the manual more closely for methods of snapping (Relative/Absolute, etc…)

Good luck,

raise your part a minor 3rd ie from A.minor to C, (3 nudges upwards)
the notes that sound bad raisr them 1 semitone (one nudge upwards)
a small amont of musical knowledge will help but not imperetive … just g with your ears if need be
take time to explore the vari audio possibilitys and weakneses…its not melodyne but hey…its free and very usable
tip…101 the knowledge base on this forum platform is chockablock with stuff that will help you
god luck

I clicked a single button with my mouse and it didn’t instantly give me an amazing set of backing vocals!! You’re KIDDING ME RIGHT? :slight_smile:

Hmmm… There are rules for close harmony, open harmony, lots of principles regarding voice leadings, etc. You would expect the programmers to have followed SOME of the principles of harmony.

When I tried this, I got “harmony” voices NOT MOVING AT ALL, sort of a Johnny One-Note effect similar to one of the official videos I have seen. At least they were on notes of the chord. That’s something, I guess. (Guys, please read up on passing tones.) But I couldn’t edit them, either (don’t know why, may have been some switch I 'm not aware of, can anybody help here?) so it became quickly obvious that it would be way faster to just have the vocalist harmonize with herself.

Funny, my first reaction, JOKE. Second thought was USELESS, but at least the programmers made a try. I’m willing to wait for them to get it right.

I look forward to the day when I can open multiple parts in one instance of VariAudio and edit them simultaneously.

I think in Feature Requests there’s the “Hit Song Now” button, click it and Cubase writes the complete song, contacts key A&R people, negotiates contracts and goes on tour – :smiling_imp:

There is always that option of course, if the vocalist is still on the premises and is willing to try some stuff out (and time and budget allows to do so, etc, etc…). You might have a more fun/enjoyable experience and ultimately get better results, with some real magic in there… :slight_smile:

However, as you can guess I’m about to say, VA does have its many moments/advantages… :wink:

But, to your point about editing specifically:- generate your harmonies, then try duplicating each track and turning off ‘obey chord track’. Or, just copy the events to a new track, and treat like new pieces of audio… turn on VA and edit as desired.

And finally, you’ll know since very recently, you can now select several events and edit all in the same VA window. Ok, not simultaneously (yet…!) but at least you can view all notes pertaining to each part. Makes stuff a bit easier when aligning starts/ends of notes, for example.

Anyhow, good luck - and roll on for more VA enhancements…!

While I’ve dabbled with VA in the past for the occasional pitch correction, I ended up recently taking it for a much deeper dive. I had a friend singing on a homage to an Gilbert & Sullivan style patter song (think 8 bars of back to back 8th notes). The melody consisted of a basic pattern that then moved up and down. There were a handful of places where the singer took it up when it should have gone down or vice-a-versa. I was pretty impressed with how easy it was to modify the lines so they were sung as written. The instrumentation is pretty busy which I’m sure helps mask any artifacts. But listening in context you’d never know the melody heard was not what was sung.

If I were to use VA to generate harmonies (and I likely will) I think I’d probably do the parts by hand rather than having them automatically generated - although I suppose starting with the auto generated part and changing it might save effort. Can someone tell me if the auto generated harmonies put in passing notes and other non-chord notes or does it just stick to chordal tones?

Regarding the criticism that it needed to use the chord track - well duh, it is not unreasonable that you need to provide some info about the harmonic structure if you want to produce a harmony.

Lastly, Melodyne 4 runs $699 USD, while Cubase Pro 8.5 is $599. Is anyone shocked that a more expensive dedicated tool does a better job than one component of a less expensive general tool?

Here’s a link to one of the official tutorials:

From watching it again it looks like using a chord track is what creates the disaster. I haven’t gone back to my project to try this, but it looks like it might be easier than I thought. Generate parts with no chord track present, then (if it works like the video) editing the individual parts to get something useful could be done quickly.

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Nope. Not at all shocked. In fact, the price of Cubase is likely 1/10th what I have invested in total software…

HAHAHA!! Exactly what I was thinking. Millennial generation mentality! The machines must do all the work for me…instantly! I’m to lazy to learn how to use a tool to get my desired results! I want more presets!!!

Your song probably wasn’t worth recording anyway…

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Although I agree with your first comment, there is no need to flame music you apparently never heard yourself in the first place. Please respect someone else’s creativity.

My 2 cts…


Yeh, there was no need for that Adam.

Has any one noticed that the OP has not replied here at all. Hope we didn’t scare them away.

Really dude ? seriously really???

A “board warning” for this, really Steve? I hardly call this a person al attack. He was obviously frustrated making his comments about how a feature that I use successfully everyday is a joke. He was obviously here ONLY to vent his frustration…not to ask for help or advice, or a nudge in the right direction!

Forgive me for venting MY frustration for another useless comment that offers absolutely NO VALUE whatsoever to what many of us here are constantly striving to do. HELP and/or LEARN!

Notice he hasn’t even been back to respond. He doesn’t care.

Considering the aggressive nature of the original post (You’re Kidding Me Right?) or (WHAT A JOKE, you’re NOT serious Steinberg? Can you leave this to Antares,)
I feel that this is a bit harsh.
For what it’s worth.

+1 This was my sentiment exactly! Thanks for having my back!

Frankly, the auto harmonies in Cubase is an amazing feature. You just have to learn how to use it and that takes some time. The first few times I used it, it confused me. Now, I feel more comfortable with it and can get good and interesting results with chord track mapping or by hand placement of the notes.

All I can say is, no, they are not kidding and if you give it a little time, you’ll get good and interesting results from it.

I hear in Version 9 there’s going to be a “write hit song” button and then you won’t have to do anything at all. You’re kidding me, right? Yes. I am.

Good luck and keep working on it.

This sounds like a good use of the program’s features. I like being able to bring in a phrase a capella and then putting up a few harmonies for it. Mostly accent phrases taken from existing samples for it. Fun stuff and I like how easy it is to try out different voicings and rhythms. Been doing some interesting Yelli-like yodeling sounds. The auto harmonies really work well for lots of good sounds. Thanks for a good post and the good ideas on using the auto-harmonies and vari-audio.

Example of Yelli signing – Baka in the Forest - yelli, yodels, forest harp and water drums

Take care and thanks for posting about how you’re doing things, it really helps. :slight_smile: