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Automatically Adjusting Vocal Pitch with the Sonar V-Vocal Voice Processor
Written by Scott R. Garrigus - 2005, Cengage Learning. Reprinted with Permission.
This article is an excerpt from the following books: The Cakewalk SONAR Power! Book Series

V-Vocal is a vocal processing effect that adjusts the pitch, timing, loudness, and timbre of monophonic vocal audio recordings.

Automatically Adjusting Vocal Pitch
When adjusting the pitch of a vocal part, the first thing you'll want to do is let V-Vocal try to make the corrections automatically. The results can be very accurate if the vocal part isn't too far off pitch to begin with. Here are the steps for using V-Vocal's automatic pitch correction features:

1. With the V-Vocal clip created and the window open, click the Pitch Edit Mode button.

2. To have the audio waveform shown under the V-Vocal waveform markings, right-click the Waveform display and choose View > Waveform from the pop-up menu. This will give you a better idea of the vocal part section you are editing.

3. Make sure that the Pitch Follow parameter in the Forman Control section is set to 0. This ensures that the timbral characteristics of your vocal will not change when you change the pitch. If you set the Pitch Follow parameter above zero, it will give you a munchkin-sounding type of vocal. If you set the Pitch Follow parameter below zero, it will give you a strange low-voice type of vocal.

4. To only correct the pitch of one section of the clip, choose the Arrow tool and make a data selection. Otherwise, V-Vocal will pitch correct the entire clip.

5. In the Pitch Correction section, adjust the Note, Vibrato, and Sense parameters. The Note parameter controls how close the notes in your audio will be moved to the correct pitches. You would think you'd want them moved all the way, but depending on how far off your notes are to begin with, moving them too much can cause artifacts to be introduced into the audio. I've found the best setting for the Note parameter is between 70 and 90, but if your original audio isn't too far off, a setting of 100 could work. The Vibrato parameter controls how much of the original vibrato you want to keep. Most of the time, I keep this set to 100 because when I start lowering it too much to try to remove vibrato, the vocal ends up sounding artificial. The Sense parameter controls the amount of pitch correction applied. The higher the value, the closer your audio is changed to fit an exact pitch. I've found the default value of 30 to work nicely most of the time. If you set the Sense parameter too high, it will make the vocal sound very artificial.

6. Click the Correct button to apply the pitch correction. If you don't like the results, undo them and try again.

TIP: Artificial Vocals Effect
Remember that Cher song called 'Believe' where you she had those strange-sounding vocals? Well, you can get the same effect with V-Vocal. Just set the Note parameter to 100, the Vibrato parameter to 0, and the Sense parameter to 100. Click the Correct button. Voila! Instant artificial vocals. Isn't technology fun?

7. V-Vocal can also automatically conform your audio to a musical scale. Click the Scale button to activate the Scale feature. Choose either Maj or Min option to choose a major or minor musical scale. Then click a key on the tiny keyboard display to choose the root note for the scale. If you want to define your own scale, you can click the notes to include (blue color), exclude (gray color), or bypass them (red color). Click the Correct button. To set the scale feature back to its default values, double-click the Maj or Min option.

TIP: Note Selection
Click the note names in the Pitch Correction Key (shown on the left of the Waveform display) to include, exclude, or bypass notes.

8. Close the V-Vocal window when you're finished.

* Find more great V-Vocal information in The Cakewalk SONAR Power! Book Series. You'll learn how to fine tune vocal pitch corrections, use the Pitch to MIDI function, adjust vocal timing, adjust vocal dynamics, change the timbre of your vocals, and more.

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