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 Post subject: Melodyne Editor with DNA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Tenderfoot
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Location: Australia
Machine type: AW2400
I have had a demo of the new v 1.2 of this and it is mindblowing. Check it out on Youtube. I never thought this was possible.

I have a TCHelicon Voiceworks that I use as a pre-amp/pitch corrector/harmony generator but I ain't seen timing, or pitch correction/manipulation like I saw here. This software is $AUD299 in Australia, currently about the same $US. Amazing, I would have thought it would be thousands. I am definitely in the market, especially for vocals.

Don't get me wrong. I love my 2400 to bits and I know that computers and software are a never-ending money pit but they are certainly making quantum leaps. Also check out the Sonnox dynamics plugin on youtube. It may be $300 but a harware unit to do the same just couldn't compete.

Once you see this and some of the other software out there, you will understand why hardware units cannot compete indefinitely.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Sodbuster
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nice software -remember the days where when you actually had to play and sing it yourself what a novel idea... :lol: Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:53 am 
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Tenderfoot
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Well, I've downloaded it for a free trial and played with it most of the day so I can report as follows.

My vocal files are not as pristine as those on the demo. In fact I think the demo ones may have been cleaned up beforehand.
My file had lots of artifacts and overtones and, with little experiece yet, it is hard to decide which to delete and which to keep.
It is much easier than a WAV editor because you can see the notes as blobs. These can be grabbed, moved, stretched etc without affecting the length of the file. I managed to get around the basic features and substantially improve the vocal for one song but it is time consuming so don't think you can start with a poor vocal and work magic. If you can't sing passably, then it would be too much work. If you can, then you can fix flat notes, alter note drift and vibrato and create harmonies (of sorts).
It has a few macros where you can "tune" the whole song to a scale (It detects the scale of the song for you). If you were in a hurry and wanted to polish a track for a job you were doing for someone, there would be a noticeable improvement I would think.

Haven't tried it on piano or guitar tracks yet but the demos look good. On these, where notes sustain over newly played notes, the software separates all of the notes, even those played as a chord and you can edit each note separately (this is called DNA and it is only available in the Editor version ).
In one demo, they change the key of the guitar piece from A major to A minor and flatten all the thirds, even those in chords.

Apart from vocals, I think it will shine on acoustic guitar and piano and you could use the timing features to tighten up a bass track.

One great aspect is that this software can run as stand alone or plug-in. Since I don't have a DAW, I took my vocal file off the 2400 as a WAV and I should be able to put it back after the manipulation.

HOWEVER

Even as stand alone, it has a latency of about 1 second. (NOTE for those planning to actually RECORD on PC). To fix this I need to use an ASIO driver BUT Windows7 doesn't currently support them as far as I can see. Microsoft is strangely quiet on this and sends you off to a user forum.

So, PC recording in Windows has a way to go before I'm convinced.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:38 am 
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Tenderfoot
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Well a few days under the belt.

I have to say the vocal sounds much much better.
For those of you who have seen a piano roll midi file, this is what this looks like for wav files.
I have been able to fix some dud harmonies by moving individual notes to the correct pitch.
I have been able to add some extra basic harmonies by copy and transpose
I have been able to fix off-pitch notes.
One big plus is that if you stretch the start/end of one note, the adjoining note compresses so the file length doesn't change
There are quantise(1/32 note max) and pitch correction macros which do the whole song in one go but that wasn't for me.

Downsides are

It took over 15 hours for the melodyne editing of the one vocal track
I started to have program crashes after heavy editing so I ended up doing the vocal improvement in 8 segments stopping where there was a natural break, and exporting each one as a different wav.
I edited each wav to take out the overlaps using Wavepad (free). This is also good for silencing noises between phrases and time aligning them (and I found it much easier than audacity)
I then assembled them in Mixpad (free), mixed them down as a WAV and burnt them to CD.
I uploaded the new file to the original song from CD on the same track but to a different VT (so I could use the original automix on my 2400)

Sounds like a lot of work, but the song sounds soooo much better and it was easier than re-recording the vocals ( as I would still have to fix them afterwoods)

The crashes are a worry. I have a new computer running Windows 7 32 bit professional. Seems microsoft release a product then wait for compatability issues to be reported instead of the other way round. When I get these "Unhandled Exception Error" reports, it not only closes the program but I end up with any saved files of the same name at 0kB- so you lose all of your work. So I haven't decided yet whether I'll put up the $AUD300 to register my copy when the 30day trial expires. I've reported the problems to the software user forum but there always seems to be a problem of apportioning the blame between the software and the operating system. I am running this software standalone. It also works as a plug-in but then there are many reported crashes of either this plug-in or the host program. Questions are only added to the forum when approved by the software company so I have been unable to ascertain what any acknowledged bugs are.


From reading many forums, I still think the PC environment is too unstable to be persuaded to rely on PC for a total recording project. And who knows what the next windows update will bring.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Tenderfoot
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UPDATE

Have now resolved the crashes problem. I had a graphics add-on that I had acquired along the way. Disabled that and crashes disappeared. May also have something to do with the recent software update.

I have used this software for editing a recent vocal track. It couldn't be simpler. Unlike traditional vocal correction, this one presents the sung notes in a graphic file something like a midi piano roll. You can just click on the note blob and move it within the music grid which is shown up the left hand side as notes. You can also stretch/ shrink each note to correct timing and edit the formant and amplitude. Very versatile. I've found melodic mode is best and you soon get the hang of scanning the graphics and picking up where the tweaks should be. I think it is worth the investment. Haven't go around to creating harmonies yet but it can be done with copy/paste.

You can download the full version for a 30 day trial. I did this to ensure it worked in my computing environment and that I had the latest version. Downside is that when you authorise it, you have the pay the full retail price.

So, if you are interested, I'd suggest you download the trial to see if it is for you. You can also access their user forum to get a better idea of what people use it for and the problems they have encountered when using it with other software. I should add I have no connection with this company except as a customer.

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 Post subject: Melodyne Editor with DNA
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 2:03 pm 
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The General

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:20 pm
Posts: 3870
guitarman wrote:
Downsides are

It took over 15 hours for the melodyne editing of the one vocal track
I started to have program crashes after heavy editing

From reading many forums, I still think the PC environment is too unstable to be persuaded to rely on PC for a total recording project.


Hello Guit-Fiddler-Dude,

I've demo'd Melodyne, the monophonic version, not the new one. Did you know you can edit all the notes to pitch with one mouse click by double clicking a blob, then "selecting all" and clicking on "correct pitch"?

If you have only a few trouble notes and want to leave everything else unprocessed, you should be able to locate and correct the trouble spots in a few minutes.

When I've used this program I was able to polish a vocal track in less than 5 minutes and that includes importing, correcting, saving and reimporting the "corrected" track in my DAW.

I'm on Windows Vista 64 bit OS and never had a Melodyne crash or glitch. I've had infrequent VSTi (Virtual Synth) glitches in Sonar. As a user of BOTH the "G" and PC in my tracking, mixing and production process I'd have to say that MY PC recording set-up is HIGHLY stable. My "G" has been 100% stable, NEVER had a glitch but my PC DAW has been darn close.

Now if you try to run Melodyne AND your DAW at the same time I'd bet it will cough, spit and possible regurgitate. You'll get terrible IRQ conflicts as both applications will try to command the sound card.

Just my opinion.

Gary


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:40 am 
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Tenderfoot
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I run Melodyne as stand-alone under Windows7. The melodyne forums discuss melodyne as a plug-in and there are issues. A lot of these revolved around tempo changes in the DAW. Melodyne have issued a recent update which addresses quite a lot of these problems with the main players such as Protools etc. However, you have the added problem that Windows7 now doesn't support some of the DAW software that Vista may have.

I was aware of the one-click correction available but I didn't like the results, although they were an improvement. Because singing isn't monophonic, you don't always see individual notes when you glide from one word to another or run words together so a bit of finesse is sometimes required. I don't correct all notes or correct them to 100% if they sound good in context. That's also why I find melodic mode is better than polyphonic for vocals. My latest effort took about 1 hour compared with 15 the first time around. I already have my Voiceworks (which I still use on the way in) and the AW2400 correction but I find this is better.

One application that I was particularly impressed with in polyphonic mode was that I could take a vocal with the harmonies already added on the same track and use this software to separate out the harmonies and correct dud notes without changing the main vocal line. In the demo they also take a guitar track and are able to change the individual notes within a chord to change a major chord to a minor. Don't know why you would need this but it gives you an idea of why the software is different to others that you may see.

I am impressed. It is not perfect but it particularly suits the type of correction I need to do. Not being a great vocalist, it is a relief to hear a vocal track with no dud notes ALL the way through that has not obviously been corrected.

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 Post subject: Melodyne Editor with DNA
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:02 pm 
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The General

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:20 pm
Posts: 3870
guitarman wrote:
Because singing isn't monophonic, you don't always see individual notes when you glide from one word to another or run words together so a bit of finesse is sometimes required.


:D I can only sing one note at a time and don't know anyone who can sing polyphonically (is that a word?).

I'm assuming you mean harmonies recorded to one track when you say "singing isn't monophonic". If you have individual vocal tracks you can load them into a multi-track Melodyne session and affect/correct the individual, monophonic vocal lines as you wish. This allows you to hear the harmonic interplay of the individual parts.

Still....a tool like this is works best and is most transparent when you make subtle corrections. It should move a mostly good vocal track to good. It won't make a bad vocal track good.

You should be able to identify individual "offending" notes in a track, locate and correct them individually (not autocorrect) in 5 -10 minutes total. If it is taking you an hour, either the track has tons of offending notes or you are trying to do too much with the tool.

Just MHO.

Gary


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:44 am 
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Tenderfoot
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This software saved my bacon again.

Had an older recording with the main vocal and two harmonies recorded on the one track. The harmonies were generated through voiceworks and recorded on input. With the benefit of better ears, because the melody moved through several tonal centres and I had the harmony unit set to the main key of the song, some of the harmonies are out of tune with the chord stucture.

I was going to put it in the experience drawer but decided to see if I could fix it. With Melodyne Editor, you can see all of the notes individually (looks like a midi piano roll) and use the cursor to move the errant ones to the correct note. You can also alter the volume of individual notes where the harmony is too loud/soft, copy and repitch or delete notes, and reduce the vibrato on the harmony notes to make them not exact copies of the main vocal. You can also adjust the timing if necessary.

Well, put it down as a learning experience but a good one. The harmonies now sound sweet and in-tune. Pity the song could have been better but that is part of the songwriting journey as well.

Only downside - the software was expensive at 349 euros and they have now jumped straight from v1.02 (total 1 update since purchase) to V2.0 and want another 99 euros for "improved" features I don't want.

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