Cool Tips and Trips- volume “automation” with Melodyne

Posted: 4th April 2011 by Mezzanine Floor Studios in Hot Gear, Tech Ninja

Those that have paid attention to music technology in the past 11 years are probably familiar with an amazing coup.

Antares Autotune had been the pitch correction of choice since the beginning of the Pro Tools era. In the year 2000 a German company called Celemony came along that offered Melodyne, a product with a fresh perspective on detecting and editing pitch correction, timing, and volume.

Their natural, visual way of seeing and manipulating performance was a revolution, and has largely relegated AutoTune to studios that like using tools they are already familiar with and folks that produce vocals a la Black Eyed Peas and T-Payne.

Celemony then blew everyone’s minds a few years ago by releasing Melodyne Editor- software that could accurately detect all the pitches in polyphonic material (where more than one note is played at once.) This made it useful for fixing the one note that a pianist played wrong on a performance, or even for dropping samples/loops that were created in a different key or with a different chord structure into a project and making them work.

One of my favorite simple uses of Melodyne is in fixing volume inconsistencies that can occur with some instruments at different octave. The bass is a good example. Often when a bassist starts playing at a higher octave the notes are quieter than notes at lower octaves (like below.)

Melodyne makes it very easy to deal with this by following a few easy steps:

1. Select the Amplitude tool
2. Select one of the notes you want to change
3. In the menu, choose Edit, then Select Special, then Select Same Notes in All Octave
4. Grab any of the notes that are now selected and drag upwards to increase the amplitude (volume)


The same technique can, of course, be used for editing anything else where the volume is inconsistent. Falsetto sections of vocals sung amidst full chest voice (think The Fray) are perfect for this as well.

- Joshua

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