Obviously there’s a catch. It’s only “free” if you get the trial versions of Ableton Live and Antares Auto-Tune, the two programs you’ll need to sound like T-Pain (or Lil’ Wayne on “Lollipop,” Kanye West on “Put On,” or Snoop Dogg on “Sensual Seduction”). The trials last 14 and 10 days respectively. Otherwise it will cost you a combined $800-1000 in software alone. Daaaammn.
You will need:
- A computer (duh). Mac or PC – it doesn’t matter. I’ll do this tutorial for Mac cause that’s what I’m on.
- Ableton Live. Version 6 or 7. I’m using Ableton 6. You can get the Ableton Live 7 demo here. It lasts 14 days.
- Antares Auto-Tune 5 plug-in. Read on for more info on that…
- A mic of some sort.
- Yo’ self. More specifically, your voice. Hell, you don’t even have to be good! That’s the beauty of it.
Alright, lets get started. Get the Ableton Live version that’s right for you (Mac or PC). Install it – use whatever the default install mode is. Get Antares Auto-Tune 5 demo here, which lasts for 10 days. (Check the “Auto-Tune 5” box, check “Audio Units” as your plug-in format.) Install it. On Mac, it automatically installs to a default location in your Applications directory. Start up Ableton. I’m going to assume the installation process is the same for you PC folks.
Go to Ableton’s preferences to set up your mic as the preferred input source.
Go to Plugins to enable usage of Audio Units.
Restart Ableton (you might not have to do this, but for some reason, I had to in order to see the Auto-Tune plugins). Click the plug-ins tab, and drag Auto-Tune 5 (Stereo) to the first Audio panel.
Click back to Ableton after the Auto-Tune window opens up, and hit the record button under the first Audio panel.
Your speakers should be monitoring your mic now. Mess with the input and output volumes to get it loud enough. Back in the Auto-Tune window, select the vocal range you can sing in. If you don’t know what your range is, your best bet is to use Alto/Tenor if you’re a dude, and Soprano if you’re a girl.
Turn the Retune Speed dial in Auto-Tune all the way to the right (so there’s no correction delay). Start singin’ like T-pain!
With the key in C, and your scale being chromatic, Auto-Tune will correct to the nearest note on the piano keyboard. When you start singing, you can see the piano keys light up.
With the “Keyboard Edit” button switched to “Remove,” you can click on the piano keys to “deactivate” that specific note. That is, Auto-Tune won’t correct your voice to the note you deactivated. If you know the notes to the song you’re trying to sing, click on all the piano keys that aren’t in the tune (i.e. the “wrong” notes). Your voice will only get corrected to the right notes of the song. You’ll find out that its
- Pretty damn amazing how well the software works, and
- Stupidly easy to sound like you have talent.
Go ahead and try it.
Auto-Tune can correct your voice to any key or scale by clicking on the respective drop-down bars. Watch the beginners tutorial to learn more.