Let's face it: musical talent we hear on the radio just isn't all that natural anymore.
With the advent of modern computing, auto tune pitch correction has become the norm. While the Antares VST pitch corrector, Auto-Tune, costs hundreds of dollars, you can actually download a similar pitch corrector for FREE! This article will show you how you can be a celebrity with your processed voice.
In order to use the pitch corrector to change your own voice, you'll need a microphone. This article assumes you have one. You can find a PC microphone for as low as $10, and they are loads of fun to play with!
1. Download and Install Audacity
Audacity is a free, open-source all-in-one music application. Even compared to many commercial products, Audacity is a very high-quality program that is quite easy to use. Download the Audacity 1.3 beta edition to get started using your pitch corrector.
Once you have it downloaded, run the installer. Keep the installation path at C:/Program Files/Audacity 1.3 Beta (Unicode).
2. Download GSnap
GSnap is the free pitch corrector that we're going to use to make you a superstar! It's kind of amazing how this excellent program can compete with Antares software, which is professional-grade and costs hundreds of dollars!
Download GSnap VST and unzip the files to the C:/Program Files/Audacity 1.3 Beta (Unicode)/Plug-Ins.
3. Load Audacity
On your first load of Audacity, it should automatically check for all VST plug-ins located on the computer. However, if it doesn't, go to Edit > Preferences, and hit the Effects button on the left. Check "Rescan VST effects next time Audacity is started," and restart the application.
To check if the plug-in is loaded, go to the Effect menu on the top. Below the separator you should see GVST: Gsnap...
4. Sing a song
It's time to whip out that microphone and prepare for the auto tune pitch correction software to do its job. Plug it into the mic jack or USB port, whatever your microphone's interface is, and go to Edit > Preferences. In Devices, make sure that, under Playback, your speakers are listed. Also make sure that under Recording, the Device selected is your microphone. Hit OK.
Then, all you have to do is hit the big red circle to record! Sing whatever tune you'd like. I, personally, am going to sing none other than Lady Gaga's "Just Dance."
If you're like me and hate the sound of your voice, you'll want to do this step as quickly as possible. First, go to Effect > Amplify. Audacity will recommend an ideal amount of amplification; it may be 0. Once you have properly amplified your song, you're ready to use the free pitch corrector, GSnap.
6. Find the Key
If you aren't a musician by heart, you probably won't know the key of the song you just sang. The good news is that Google probably does. Type in (song you sang) key. For instance, I would type "just dance lady gaga key," without the quotes. You should get your answer in the first few results.
You will need to know this bit of knowledge: # means sharp, b means flat, and m means minor. Since our Antares VST substitute pitch corrector only offers natural (neither # nor b) and sharp (#) pitches, you'll need to know what to select if your song is in a flat key.
If your song is flat, go down one letter and make it sharp. For instance, Db is the same thing as C#, and Ab is the same thing as G#.
7. Fix the pitch
Now we get to whip out GSnap pitch corrector. Go to Effect > GVST: Gsnap... The interface may look intimidating, but we just need to get the basic settings set to use this free version of the Antares plugin.
First of all, you probably want a decent amount of pitch correction, so change the preset to "Not So."
Next, find the "Select Scale..." button and use the two dropdown menus to select your scale. In the right dropdown menu, your focus only needs to be on Major or Minor.
Then, hit OK and wait a minute. Once GSnap pitch corrector has done its job, listen to your T-Pain'd voice! Hollywood, here you come.