Auto-Tune is a great tool for both natural pitch correction and the legendary “Auto-Tune Effect.” In this blog post, we’ll show you how to use the essential features found in all of the Auto-Tune plug-ins, including how to use Auto-Tune and Soundtrap.

How to Use Basic Auto-Tune Features

Record Clean

For best results, try to record your vocal track as cleanly as possible. Auto-Tune works best with a single, well-isolated, solo voice or instrument.

The Key To Success

Auto-Tune works best when it knows the song’s key and scale

If you don’t know the key of your song and your music software supports plug-ins, you can use Auto-Key to find the key of your song.

How to select Auto-Tune key and scale in Antares Auto-Tune plug-ins:

  1. Find the key/scale of your song (such as “C Major”, “G Minor”, etc.)
  2. Add an Auto-Tune plug-in to an audio track
  3. Select the key from the “Key” menu
  4. Select the scale in the “Scale” menu

The Key/Scale Menu in Auto-Tune Access

How to select Auto-Tune key and scale in Soundtrap:

  1. Find the key/scale of your song (such as “C Major”, “G Minor”, etc.)
  2. Select an audio track or region(s) of an audio track
  3. Select Auto-Tune in the Edit Menu
  4. Select the key and scale in the pop-up menu found in the Auto-Tune Dialog

Setting the Key/Scale for Auto-Tune within Sountrap

Auto-Tune’s default is to correct pitches to a chromatic scale. This pitch correction is not as noticeable and can still leave room for notes that sound “off.” In this example, the song is in C Major so we would set the Key/Scale menu to C Major.

Custom Scales

To customize Auto-Tune pitch correction even more, you can create custom scales that match your intended melodies. By turning off certain notes of a scale using the keyboard interface, Auto-Tune will skip that note and correct to the next closest note in your custom scale. 

In the custom scale shown below, we have turned off the D, E, and B notes in the C major scale. As a result, any incoming note that is close to B would get corrected to A or C.

A  Custom Scale in Auto-Tune Access

A Custom Scale in Auto-Tune for Soundtrap

Time To Tune-Up with Retune Speed and Humanize

Now that Auto-Tune knows the key and scale of the song, you’re ready to start tuning your vocals or instrument track. 

In Antares’ Auto-Tune plug-ins there are two main controls to consider: the “Retune Speed” and “Humanize” controls. 

Retune Speed will determine how fast Auto-Tune reacts and tunes the note. Humanize helps the vibrato in sustained notes sound more natural when using faster Retune Speeds.

Note that in Antares Auto-Tune plug-ins for DAWs there are separate controls for Retune and Humanize, while in Auto-Tune for Soundtrap there is a simplified “Light” to “Heavy” setting that controls both of these parameters.

Going “Au Naturel”

For getting a more natural-sounding pitch-corrected vocal, your Auto-Tune Retune Speed settings should be “Medium to Slow” in Antares plug-ins or “Light to Medium” in Soundtrap. 

We recommend experimenting with these settings to determine which works best for any given vocal or instrument track.

Getting the “Auto-Tune Effect”

The Auto-Tune Effect has become a huge part of modern music as heard on pop, hip hop, EDM, and more. For example, one artist might use the Auto-Tune Effect with other effects such as distortions and echo, while other tracks might warrant using the effect more sparingly. Often these two approaches can even be found in the same song on different parts or takes.

Auto-Tune and Soundtrap

To learn more about how Auto-Tune and Soundtrap work together, check out this video in which Auto-Tune settings are applied to a prerecorded audio file.

Auto-Tune as a Plug-In

To learn more about how an Auto-Tune plug-in works in traditional DAWs, check out this Auto-Tune Access review by Matty at mixandmastermysong.com. Auto-Tune plug-in users benefit from real-time processing, greater control over pitch correction and vocal effects, plus the ability to use the same plug-in across multiple DAWs.

Example Auto-Tune Tracks

To spark your creativity, here is a Playlist with artists who have incorporated the Auto-Tune Effect into their tracks.