For better or worse, auto-tune has become a common feature in pop music production. Auto-tune corrects and alters the pitch of vocals and other instruments, and is available as a plug-in for sound engineering programs such as Pro Tools or as rack-mounted hardware for studios and live settings. To be useful in a live setting, auto-tune must be able to process a signal in real-time. The Antares ATR-1a auto-tune intonation processor is one piece of hardware capable of real-time pitch correction.
Things You'll Need
- Microphone cables
- Antares ATR-1a
Set up the Antares ATR-1a. Connect your microphone to the ATR-1a input, connect the processor to a power source, and use a cable to line-out to a DI box or directly to the sound desk.
Set the scale by entering Program Mode, which is the default mode you operate in when you first turn on the ATR-1a. Use the data entry knob and cursor buttons to switch to the scale page. Choose a scale or design a custom scale by setting notes to "Tune" (which tunes off-notes), "Bypass" (which bypasses certain notes), or "Blank" (which omits notes from the scale).
Switch to Song Mode using the data entry knob. Antares recommends using Song Mode in live settings because it enables more intelligent navigational controls compared to Program Mode.
Set the correction speed, which is the speed at which an off-note is corrected. The speed scale ranges from 0, which is the slowest speed, to 25, which is the fastest. Set the notes to a slow speed if you are singing or playing a song with long notes, or to a fast correction speed for short duration notes.
Edit the vibrato speed. Alter the vibrato shape, depth, rate and delay time. Experiment with vibrato settings to determine which settings best suit particular songs.
Edit pitch sensitivity, which determines how strict pitch correction is. A high correction speed corrects notes that are only slightly off, while a low correction speed is more lenient with off-notes. A high correction speed is most suitable for noisy live-setting environments.
Sound-check the auto-tune processor, both solo and with other instruments. Make any necessary adjustments to the auto-tune settings.
Tips & Warnings
- Use the bypass button to stop pitch correction.
- Use stage or in-ear monitors to send the original signal, rather than the pitch-corrected signal, to the musician on stage. This ensures the musician stays in tune better and does not become confused between the sounds he is producing and the pitch-corrected signal.
- Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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