Variaudio vs Melodyne 4

positive/negative view of Varioudio vs Melodyne 4 ? :question:


Workflow in Variaudio is much easier by far because of the integration with cubase. Once you get to know variaudio you can get it sounding fantastic. For example it’s often better to cut up notes before you start to variaudio them into segments… If a singer is sliding up to notes… cut the slide, and only edit the note they slide to. Edit note by note - don’t affect whole sections at once…

However… Melodyne does sound better, and can edit audio polyphonically. It’s just awkward to integrate.

Big + for VA is its integration. As Manike mentioned you can get great results when you use it as a tool, not as a robot, reworking the segmenting when needed (cutting sibilants and slides) is essential.

Melodyne 4 is king when you have more problematic or polyphonic material or want to go wild on sounddesign. It allows a unique approach of how the sound can be influenced. Anyway, MDs analysis may also need some manual rework (again: cutting segments, so called ‘blobs’ at sibilants, slides etc. - basically the same story) to get transparent results.

If the job is to tweak a good vocal performance closer to perfection I usually use VariAudio just because it is simpler and sounds great. If something weird is in my mind, I definately use Melodyne - this software has gone a long way from simple vocal correction to… magic mushrooms for your ears :laughing: Absolutely unrivaled in this regard!

Once upon a day I hope we’ll get ARA implementation in Cubase. Then it should be as easy to use just as VA already is:

Yeah, VariAudio has nailed the implementation very well, and as mentioned it’s easier to make natural slides. But it does go towards distortions more easily than Melodyne when challenged by gravelly vocals or spitty delivery.

Personally I have Melo as well as Antares Autotune. I use AT on a slowish setting then use VA for the main job - with AT therefore just doing an extra job of tidying so I don’t have to try too hard with VA. The last album I did like this but I was slightly unhappy with the results in terms of a grainy texture in places.

The previous project used Melodyne and was smoother, but took way longer simply due to the way you have to prerecord everything into Melo first!! I haven’t decided which option to go for on the next album - but I will upgrade to MeloV4 this weekend because it’s on a special offer at the mo :slight_smile:

I would love to see Melodyne ARA implemented, the best of all worlds then!


The upgrade offer to Melodyne Studio 4 before the 30th really is a no-brainer, and with that I don’t miss the integration of VariAudio so much because you can work multi-track; basically render stems, do the heavy lifting in MS4 with everything in context, then just pull the relevant tracks back into Cubase.

The integration of VA in Cubase is the killer feature, but VA has nowhere near the capabilities of Melodyne.

I do love that Variaudio allows you to open up multiple tracks and see the pitches of all selected tracks. I use this all the time when writing to try different harmonies, etc. But for me, getting the timing of the vocals is just as important as the pitches, and this is where cubase falls short. You can somewhat adjust things in variaudio, which is good, but ideally this type of work would be done using audio warp, but doing this via warp in Cubase is a major pain since it only shows you one track at a time! I hope Steinberg update this function to all you to see multiple tracks in one window and allow you to quickly move between them, similar to how melodyne studio works. Then it would be perfect!

To echo what others have said… VA for quick fixes, integration is great and it’s MUCH improved since its initial conception.
Melodyne4… Apart from not having ARA within cubase i cannot think of enough superlatives… it’s like turning your audio into playdough/plasticine, I jumped on the upgrade from Editor2 to Studio4 the day it was released and haven’t looked back… i very often sit here after doing certain operations in MS4 just shaking my head and laughing as it’ll do things ‘you just should not be able to do’… or they should be made illegal! :wink:
I’ve used it on all the ‘obvious’ things like vox, guitars (pre amp sim works best), bass (my left hand ain’t what it was since i got arthritis), turned our sax players sax into a clarinet (as per one of the example videos) and even built several conga ‘performances’ with it creating fills and nuances that weren’t in the original loops (Shovell from MPeople available on loopmasters) MS4 is just one of the most amazing things ever invented IMHO…
If you have the cash available just grab it, VA IS pretty nice these days but for MANY tasks NOTHING beats MS4.

Variaudio does not have formant preservation! Melodyne does (plus a load of other cool stuff)

:laughing: glad to hear it’s not just me then!

The two are not really comparable in what they are capable of. Unless you have used Melodyne, you won’t understand by simple description of the differences.

Yeah - If you dont know now then you never will tomsw :laughing:

Are you sure?

I’ve always had impression that the Solo algorithm doesn’t just do time-preserved pitch correction without formant preserving. I mean every now and then I make artificial backing vocals, even transposing a copy of vocal part up an octave and it doesn’t sound formant-shifted, often it sounds like a vocalist just sung part octave higher.

I’ve just conducted a little experiment. I recorded a piano note from HS preset “Natural Grand”, and tranposed it up an octave using different methods:

  1. VariAudio
  2. MPEX offline transposition with formant preserving
  3. MPEX offline transposition without formant preserving

To my ears, VariAudio sounds much more similar to MPEX with preserved formants (which is no surprise to me). You can listen to the files here:

I think I’ll do the same with a vocal, when I have time.

Yes! Unless they changed it after Cubase 6.5, which I’m sure they didn’t…

I thought I read that the pitching algorithm included a type of default formant adjustment although this is not adjustable by the user…


Have you listened to my examples?

It’s not really relevant whether a variaudio’d piano note sounds similar to an MPEX’d one.
Formant correction is primarily for vocals. You wouldn’t normally use it on a piano, or other instrument (except for a special effect). Try it with vocals and you’ll see.

I don’t see why it’s irrelevant – physical laws are the same for any kind of sounds. As for formant correction applications, I would use it on any solo instrument, not only vocal, and I actually do it sometimes. For instance, on solo acoustic guitar; I once applied it to a clarinet solo, because clarinet sounded significantly out of tune, I did it on flute several times, always with transparent results. Ok, nevermind instrument sounds, I’ve just took a vocal sound from today’s session and conducted the same test. Here are the results, and they are expectedly similar:

I include Melodyne versions this time. You can hear that VariAudio sounds similar to the other two formant-preserving algorithms (Melodyne and MPEX). I even like VariAudio sound more than Melodyne, lol.

EDIT: I also added examples made with WavesTune tuning plugin.

SO if you prefer VA for a particular task then use VA, if you prefer Waves tune then use that, The mpex examples sounded like a six year old castrato huffing helium to me personally, think i’ll stick with MS4 :wink:

Of course I will use whatever I prefer at any given time. But the point of those files I published wasn’t to convince anyone to use anything etc. I just wanted to point out that VariAudio DOES perform formant-aware pitch shifting (while some people in this and some other threads claim it does not). It may sound different or worse or better that Melodyne or anything else, but I suppose formant preserving can be easily heard in my examples. And what sounded like a 6 years old castrato to you is pitch shifting WITHOUT formant preserving, I put this one for comparison.

One can read you know :wink:
One’s pithy comment was intended to point out that this is descending into what one would term a p#ssing contest :wink: