How to Get Auto-Tune on Your Mic


For better or worse, Antares Audio Technology's Auto-Tune has become mainstream for fixing vocal performances both live and in the studio. Curiously, the effect was developed by an Exxon researcher as a device to analyze seismic data. Released in 1997 as both a software plug-in and a hardware unit, Auto-Tune has become synonymous with pitch correction via digital signal processing.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital audio workstation software
  • Audio interface
  • Microphone
  • PA mixer
  • Stereo phone plug Y-adapter
  • Mono phone plug cable


  • Install the Auto-Tune plug-in on your computer as required by your digital audio workstation (DAW) software--either VST, TDM or RTAS plug-in capability. Auto-Tune does have a stand-alone version of software, but plug-ins are most frequently used in home studio situations.

  • Record a vocal or solo instrument performance to be treated. Create a backup or safety copy of your track by copying to another track, or virtual track, depending on your DAW software's operation. Saving an untreated copy of your performance allows you to start over or try different approaches.

  • Open the Auto-Tune plug-in for the track to be treated. Set the parameters of the Auto-Tune effect, in accordance with the version of your plug-in. For a performance that requires only a few touch-ups, work on those sections only for the most natural effect.


  • Connect the hardware unit to your PA mixer. Antares' current unit at time of writing is the AVP-1, which connects via 1/4-inch mono phone plugs. Connect the 1/4-inch Y-adapter's stereo plug to the "Insert" jack on the mixer's channel strip for the microphone to be treated.

  • Route the "Send" plug from the Y-adapter (usually the "Tip" plug) to the input of the AVP-1. Route the "Return" plug to the "Main" output. Use the 1/4-inch mono patch cable to route the "Double Track" output to a second channel strip on the mixer, if you choose to use this feature.

  • Connect the AVP-1 alternately by using auxiliary routing, direct outputs or busses to use the AVP-1 with more than one mixer channel. See your mixer's instructions for connections.

Tips & Warnings

  • The AVP-1 hardware unit can be used in a computer-based DAW systems when connected to a mixer as described, or in line after an external preamp. The AVP-1 does not have a preamp, and it is therefore unsuitable for directly connecting a microphone at its input.

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