When searching for the best autotune plugins, you are looking for a tool to help you find that perfect sound. You want a platform that can let you sound like a million dollars.
The best autotune plugins will work as part of a larger vocal effect setup and help correct aspects such as pitch and tone without sounding artificial.
Autotune is vital to any professional singer’s arsenal – no matter how much they use it. And this doesn’t matter if it comes in the official AutoTune branding from Antares or a similarly branded setup.
With that in mind, there are plenty of options to explore when searching for the best way to find the perfect sound. So just, what are the best autotune plugins available today?
What To Look For In An Autotune Plugin
Ease of Use: Finding User-Friendly Plugins
In the complex world of music production, the ease of use of an autotune plugin can be a significant advantage. Plugins with a user-friendly interface allow for a smoother workflow, reducing the learning curve for beginners while providing quick, hassle-free operations for experienced producers.
When selecting a plugin, consider aspects such as intuitive design, easily accessible features, and whether it offers preset configurations to facilitate straightforward usage. User reviews and tutorials can be valuable resources in determining the ease of use of a plugin.
Compatibility: Ensuring Your Plugin Works with Your DAW
Your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is your primary workspace for music production, and it’s crucial to choose plugins compatible with your DAW’s architecture and operating system.
Some plugins work seamlessly with popular DAWs like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, or Pro Tools, while others might have limited compatibility. Always check the plugin’s specifications and, if possible, use trial versions to test the integration with your DAW before making a purchase.
Real-Time Processing: The Benefit of Instantaneous Results
Real-time processing is another vital feature to consider when selecting an autotune plugin. This feature allows you to hear the effects of autotune applied instantly as you record or playback a track, facilitating a faster and more dynamic production process.
Moreover, real-time processing can be an essential tool during live performances, providing instantaneous pitch correction and helping to maintain a polished sound. When evaluating plugins, look for those offering low latency to ensure optimal real-time processing capabilities.
Formant Control and Throat Modeling Features
Sophisticated autotune plugins often come with advanced features like formant control and throat modeling, which provide a deeper level of control over the vocal output.
- Formant Control: This feature allows you to maintain the natural vocal characteristics while altering the pitch, helping to achieve more realistic and harmonious results. By manipulating formants, producers can avoid the overly processed, robotic sound that can occur with pitch correction.
- Throat Modeling: Throat modeling simulates the physical properties of the vocal tract, offering the ability to modify the perceived size and shape of a singer’s throat. This functionality can create unique vocal timbres and characteristics, expanding the creative possibilities in vocal production.
The Best Autotune Plugins Revealed
- This item is shipped as a download card with printed instructions on how to download the software and a serial code to redeem the software online.
- Pitch and Throat: for real-time pitch shifting and throat modeling
- Duet: for realistic doubling, with adjustable pitch and timing variation
- Vocode: for vintage analog vocoder emulations
- Tube Amp: for analog tube distortion modeling
Antares was responsible for first developing Autotune in the 1990s, and the brand is still going strong today. The company’s Autotune EFX kit is still one of the most advanced and reliable platforms used today. Now solely available as a digital app, the kit is perfect for all vocalists to edit how a vocal performance sounds. At this platform’s heart are over 100 different digital effects dedicated to refining your performance. With these looking at aspects such as pitch, tone, and even how you produced the sound – you can analyze and refine your recording to the minutest detail.
Thankfully, Antares has included plenty of other tools to explore as well. The Duet feature allows two vocal lines to be recorded and adjusted to match contrasts and pitch dynamics. A digital vocoder is included within the platform to give more robotic sounds and transform your voice in unthinkable ways. All these tools show that Antares is still at its game decades after first unleashing Autotune.
- Lots of effects to explore
- Multi-layer recording possible
- Built-in vocoder included
- No physical device
- It needs compatible code to be unlocked
- Use: Bring together everything you need for a polished, modern vocal sound, in the studio or live
- Perfect for: Perfect for live performance, house of worship, or studio use, the TA-1VP brings your vocal sound into the 21st century
- Includes: The rackmount processor includes a microphone preamp, compression, de-essing, microphone and tube modeling, and Antares� world-famous Auto-Tune pitch correction
- Premium Sound: Whether you want gentle, transparent pitch correction or the full-strength effect that’s required for pop or hip hop vocals, the TA-1VP delivers this sound for you on stage
- Co-Developed with: The TASCAM TA-1VP vocal processor was co-developed with Antares Audio Technologies
Plenty of vocal processors are preloaded with Autotune support; few do it better than Tascam’s TA-1VP Vocal Producer. This is a great tool to finetune a vocal mix to the nth degree. It comes preloaded with Antares software, including full Autotune technology to alter pitch issues. Furthermore, they have also borrowed Antares’ Microphone samples to mimic and alter many effects from leading mic models. This gives you the perfect way to manipulate sounds without buying a full tech suite at home.
In addition to this, the TA-1VP is designed to work with all types of microphones. Whether you are using high-end XLR devices or a more basic condenser mic, there are ports to support both of these and methods to adjust power output. Tascam has also included the ability to record multiple vocal layers to allow you to manage and support various vocal lines simultaneously—a great all-in-one vocal editing hub.
- Preloaded with autotune support
- Designed for all types of mics
- Simulates many leading microphone models
- Only dual-band equalizers,
- It comes with just one power source lead
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Interface – Software Suite (Download) – USB…
- Elevate your recordings with the single 3rd Generation Scarlett mic preamp,…
- Capture your guitar or bass with unparalleled clarity using the high-impedance,…
- Simplify your workflow and achieve optimal recording levels effortlessly with…
- Experience the true essence of your audio with two balanced outputs, ensuring…
Few audio editing platforms offer the software packages that the Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface does. For those wanting to manage vocal performance, this device comes preloaded with the complete Antares Autotune package to help edit vocal lines. This is just the start, though, as it also syncs with platforms like Spotify and Apple Music to let you re-record smash hits through the device. It’s a great way to access the world of music all in one platform.
As for in-house tech, the Scarlett Interface has an Air mode that reduces background noise and focuses solely on picking up sound waves from your voice. It can also record files at 24-bit quality, giving a similar feel to what is achieved in a professional studio. If you are an instrumentalist, the amp can be linked with various instruments, such as guitars and drums, and manipulate their sounds—a great all-in device.
- Lots of multi-app support
- Reduces background noises
- Supports instruments too
- Not compatible with all computers
- Some latency issues when using guitars
- New rugged, slim, low-profile console design
- Convenient tablet cradle
- 2 Channels of Antares Auto-Tune
- 4 combination XLR/1/4 low noise mic preamps
- Selectable Hi Pass Filter on first 4 inputs
Peavey is a powerhouse in sound manipulation, so it’s no surprise that their PV10 AT Compact Mixer is one of the best vocal editors today. This quad-band mixer comes with Autotune loaded directly into the mixer’s interface, meaning you can use it automatically when doing live mixes. This makes the PV10 AT an excellent choice for anyone wanting to find the perfect sound on stage at any level.
As usual, Peavey has thrown a heap of features to make it appeal to all users. It has a 3-way equalizer to help keep all sound levels balanced and filters on four preamp settings. You will also find that the mixer has Bluetooth built-in, allowing for playback with a range of devices for recorded mixes. These can also be compressed into smaller files, making everything easier to manage when editing—an excellent mixer for any vocal setting.
- Multiple channels
- Bluetooth technology
- Full playback features
- Channel labeling can be misleading
- Some issues with supporting multiple mic types concurrently
- 16 Built-In Effects Pads + Delay, Reverb and Compression
- Harmony Function for adding 2-back-up harmonies
- Key and Chromatic Pitch Correct
- Can be used as an audio interface to record and stream
- Desk-top or mic stand mountable, operating with AC power or 4 AA batterie
You can still find Autotune support even if it doesn’t come with the official software. A great example of this is via the Zoom V3 Vocal processor. This comes via an in-house built pitch corrector that works in any setting or mode when it is active. This allows you to focus on hitting the notes and worry less about any mistakes occurring. This comes as part of 16 different effects loaded into this processor to allow more significant vocal line manipulation. With tools such as reverb and delay available, it has the chance to wow crowds in an instant.
Alongside these multiple effects, this processor allows for additional vocal lines to make it seem like someone is singing alongside you. In terms of recording output, it has excellent quality allowing audio files to be recorded at up to 32-bit quality. Furthermore, it has a dedicated 48V mode for condenser mics for any looking to take the analog approach—a great all-around processing unit.
- Automatic pitch correction
- High-quality recordings
- Separate support for condenser mics
- Limited signal-out jacks
- Restricted harmony range
- Multi-channel mixer: Motorized faders let you control mic, game, music, chat, and more for the perfect Broadcast mix
- Studio quality MIDAS preamp: Make your XLR mic sound great with 48V phantom power, equalizer, compressor, limiter, de-esser, and Gate
- Sampler: Record samples on-the-fly or load your own audio files to engage and entertain your community
- Voice FX: Add reverb, echo, pitch shift, megaphone, Robot, and hard tune to your voice in real time
- GoXLR Windows app: You’re in control with basic and advanced audio parameters, sample import, and voice FX preset library. App required for functionality.
The TC Helicon GoXLR Processor is an all-in-one mixing platform with everything someone could need when laying down vocals. This dedicated pitch-shift feature allows for any weird warbles to be eradicated from your vocal melody. It’s just one of several effects that can be used live with other effects, including echo, reverb, and megaphone. There is also a built-in vocoder to add a robotic edge to your vocals should you need it.
This can also support all types of microphones, with dedicated power outputs for both XLR and condenser microphones. Furthermore, you will find that the GoXLR can add samples to give the impression others are singing with you. It also has direct PC support and a companion app that can help manage effects on various devices. It’s why the GoXLR is an excellent option both on stage or in the studio
- Lots of effects that can be used live
- Add samples for extra harmonies
- Full connectivity with multiple device types
- Not MacOS compatible
- buggy companion software
- The FV01 vocal effects Corrector is primarily a pitch-correction pedal that offers everything from pitch correction to full-blown effects overload when your input is a microphone.
- The FV01 features three separate vocal effects as indicated by the TONE LED displayed prominently in the center of the pedal.
- Singers can switch between WARM, BRIGHT, and NORMAL modes, with each mode indicating the type of EQ manipulation provided by the pedal.
- It can be used as a microphone amplifier or a traditional stompbox. Optional 48V phantom power for condenser microphones.
- Two different output modes for a mixed-signal or individual signals from guitar and microphone.
For those looking to self-manage things on the stage, the FLAMMA FV01 Pedal is essential for any live setup. This vocal processor has a dedicated pitch correction dial allowing you to manage things as you go through a straightforward output. You can adjust these levels accordingly, allowing you to sound entirely natural or have it fully automated. It’s a setup that allows for manual editing on the fly and allows complete control in an accessible format. The FV01 allows for similar control over delay and reverb effects, making this an excellent tool for anyone who likes to control their sound.
The easy-to-use nature of the FV01 is just the start of a great device built for life on stage. You will find a built-in metronome to help you keep your rhythm and ensure that everything stays on even timings. On top of that, FLAMMA has built-in jack support for guitars and other instruments, allowing you to run your entire rig through this processor. With guitars and microphones able to operate on individual channels, you can always be ensured that no clashes will happen with both sound outputs. A significant effects pedal that allows you to stay in control when on stage
- Dials allow for a precise level of management
- Supports instruments too
- Independent channels for mic and guitars
- Power struggles when equipped with guitars
- No manual included
Why should you use an autotune plugin?
Autotune is a divisive tool within the music industry. Some feel it is a cheat code for manipulating sounds, while others feel it takes away from the talent. However, the best autotune plugins show that this isn’t the case. When used effectively, autotune plugins allow performers to add an edge to their overall sound. So why do vocalists use autotune plugins?
For most vocalists, the ability to refine their sound is an opportunity impossible to pass up. When laying down vocal lines, it can be easy for one slight warble to ruin an otherwise excellent recording. Using autotune plugins within an effects board eliminates this worry. It means you can lay down vocals for a song and use this software to help knock out the one anomaly within the track.
This helps streamline the recording process and allows artists to feel more confident in their vocals. That confidence can also transform onto the stage as well. Autotune plugins can help avoid unwanted slip-ups on stage when pushing on more challenging notes. Any mics plugged directly into active pitch-correcting tech will help minimize audiences picking up on these errors.
A different tone
If you want to give yourself an added edge to your sound, autotune plugins can also help. When cranked up to the higher end of its capabilities, it can give a voice a new sound. Rather than having a natural flow to it, you can produce a range of effects that give off almost a robotic voice. Do you ever wonder how rappers like T-Pain or Will.iam make that robotic sound? By cranking up autotune to the max.
This is a more effective studio tool but can work well in some live scenarios. Without a handy vocoder, autotune is more than a suitable replacement for generating a digital sound and wowing audiences with a different sound. It’s why many of the best autotune plugins work just as well on stage as they do in a studio.
How Do Autotune Plugins Work?
Understanding Pitch Correction and Autotune
Before diving into the various autotune plugins available in the market, it is essential to grasp the basic concepts and terminology associated with pitch correction and autotune.
- Pitch Correction: This refers to the process of correcting any pitch inaccuracies in a vocal or instrumental performance. It can be done post-recording using various software where the pitch of notes can be visually displayed and manipulated to match the desired pitch precisely.
- Autotune: Developed by Antares Audio Technologies, autotune is a proprietary audio processor that corrects pitch in vocal and instrumental performances. It has become synonymous with pitch correction over the years, and its functionality extends to enhancing and even transforming vocal deliveries in creative and often extreme ways, creating new vocal effects that have become a staple in modern music production.
Understanding these concepts sets the foundation for exploiting the full potential of autotune plugins, letting you correct pitch subtly to maintain a natural sound or use it as a creative tool for crafting unique vocal textures.
Autotune vs. Manual Tuning: A Comparative Overview
- Pros: Speeds up the tuning process significantly, allowing for quick corrections without going through each note one by one. It can create modern vocal effects popular in contemporary music genres.
- Cons: It can sometimes impart an unnatural, “robotic” sound to the voice, especially when used heavily. Not all autotune plugins offer detailed control over the tuning process, which can result in less natural-sounding results.
- Manual Tuning:
- Pros: Offers a high level of control over the tuning process, allowing for subtle, natural-sounding corrections. It is particularly useful when aiming to maintain the natural nuances and expressions of a vocal performance.
- Cons: The process can be incredibly time-consuming, especially when dealing with intricate vocal performances with many notes.
Do all vocal processors have autotune plugins?
Yes, but it won’t always be branded as autotune. The Autotune brand is only used by those licensed by Antares, which can be a little deceptive. Those utilizing a different technology form will find the pitch correction feature instead.
Can autotune plugins work in a live setting?
Yes – autotune is not just for the studio. Many of the best autotune plugins will work in a live setting and allow you to shine on stage. It has been an excellent addition for many singers of all abilities.
Are autotune plugins a solely built-in app?
As a plugin, you won’t find any sole standalone physical device for autotune. Most plugins are adapted as part of a processor and the effects package. It is a standalone app on some platforms and is a great way to support recordings on smart devices like smartphones or tablets.
Whether devices have official licensing or not, you will find many excellent plugins in the market today. Almost all of these can work in a recorded or live setting and support all major mic types. They are all loaded with extra effects, such as reverb and delay, to give them a range of effects to create a unique sound.
Some devices are loaded with the Autotune license from Antares, making devices such as the Focusrite Scarlett Interface and the Peavey 10AT popular choice for vocalists who know what they are looking for. However, the FLAMMA FV01 and the Zoom V3 Processor have pitch-correcting technology that is just as effective. The star of the platform continues to be the TASCAM TA-1VP which uses a range of different Antares software, including autotune itself, to give a range of effects to enjoy. That is why it is one of the best autotune plugins to shine on stage today.