Which program is better?Melodyne or AutoTune in graphic mode?

Ever since moving to Nashville, engineers look at me crazy because I prefer Autotune in graphic mode for my default program to pitch correct vocals as opposed to melodyne. Truth is, they both have their pros and cons though. The reason I’m drawn to Autotune in graphic mode is because the workflow is extremely fast! I would say 3 or even 4 times faster and it’s less tedious than melodyne. You can simply highlight a word, adjust the retune speed for that word if need be, and it’s right on pitch. It’s incredible. The con with Autotune is if the vocal is a little too far from the note, it doesn’t work the greatest…it sort of changes the timbre of the vocal. But hey, that’s why we are supposed to get good vocal takes in the comping process right? That’s my philosophy anyhow. Another con with Autotune is it doesn’t really work with gritty vocals. Anyone heard of Dave Grohl? Don’t use this program for him! So let’s get on to melodyne…the number one pro for this program is the heavy lifting it can do. You know that one singer that was singing the song way off? Like a whole different key off? Melodyne has them covered. I’ve used melodyne to change a note to 3 notes higher or lower than the singer recorded it and it works. Plus if it changes the timbre of the voice because of how drastic, you can use the formant tool to adjust the timbre. Pretty crazy. You can also use melodyne to create harmonies from the original vocal take. Also very helpful for those not gifted with singing harmonies. Melodyne works miracles with gritty singers so with that being said, Dave Grohl approves. The cons however are pretty serious in my opinion. Melodyne is very surgical, you have to use several different tools to get the right result. Cutting the blobs, using pitch modulation and pitch drift to manually to straighten out shaky vocals, or adjusting vibrato etc. You must have a very good ear for melodyne because it’s very easy to completely miss things. The workflow is way slower, even if you are lightning fast and have been doing it for 10+ years like I have. In conclusion, you need both. I own and use both. Sometimes I get away with just using Autotune in graphic mode, other times I use melodyne then touch up with Autotune graphic. You will come across gritty Dave Grohls and perfect pitch Chris Browns. In a perfect world I would choose to use Autotune graphic alone, but it’s not a perfect world! Let me know your thoughts and questions!

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