I wrote a post about why autotune is not always a bad thing, and I want to expand on it here. Like it or not, Autotune is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. If you can’t put a stop to it, you can use it to improve your singing. I’ve been using it to help me improve my session singing performances, and I’ll show you how it can do the same for you:
How to Use Autotune for Better Singing
I use Melodyne to analyze and improve my voice, so just know that this is the program I’m familiar with. There are others and I’m sure they work as well, but this is all personal experience using Melodyne.
1). Autotune Can Help You Identify Your Weaknesses
Just by analyzing your vocals, you can pick up on habits you have and work to improve them. For example, I’ve learned that if I have to hold out a long note (for harmonies or something), I tend to run out of breath halfway through and rely on vibrato to push through. Since I’m out of breath, the vibrato tends to drop in pitch and can be slightly off key. This is good to know, because now I know I need to work on my breath support.
Could I have learned this without analyzing it in autotune? Sure, but having a visual aid to see what’s happening has been really helpful for me.
Exercise: Analyze your voice in autotune. Write down 1-3 ‘weaknesses’ you’d like to improve over the next few months. Try redoing the performance and analyzing it again after you’ve worked on it!
2). Autotune Can Give You A Visual Picture of Your Vocals
How do your runs look? Are they sharp and detailed or smooth and scoopy (is scoopy a word?)? When you hit high notes, do you reach up to hit them or do you attack them right on pitch? These aren’t even things you need to change necessarily, they are just things you can use to analyze your singing technique.
Exercise: Write down a few key characteristics you’ve learned about your voice. You can use these to describe your music and book gigs as well!
3). Autotune Can Help You Learn Harmonies
Yes, there are other plugins for this, but you can use Melodyne as well. Simply import your lead, select all and move the notes up or down to your desired interval. You won’t be able to use the new vocal (unless you like that robot sound), but it will give you a pretty exact idea of what your harmony lines should be.
Exercise: Try creating new harmonies with Autotune. See how many arrangments you can make!
4). Autotune Gives You Honest and Immediate Feedback
You can ask your friends, producer or client for feedback on a take, and while that’s certainly important, they will have plenty of biases. They may not want to insult you, or they may be overly critical. They may be evaluating purely from emotion and not analyzing the performance rationally. Autotune is impartial. It is not trying to be your friend or push you onto greatness. It simply tells you where your strong and weak points are.
Once you’ve analyzed your voice, you’ll be able to go back and make changes. You’ll also have a list of things to work on for your next performance.
Exercise: After reviewing your performance in autotune, redo the voice or punch-in those trouble spots. See if changing those things improves the overall feel of the song!
Autotune will always be a ‘hot-button’ issue for some people, but it really doesn’t have to be! If you don’t feel like using it to improve your song, it’s a great tool to improve your craft and help you become a better singer.
Do you use autotune? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet!My thoughts on Autotune: Click To Tweet