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Using Macros in Melodyne
Using Macros in Melodyne

Editing Pitch In Melodyne | Using Macros

In this article, we explain how Macros work in Melodyne, and show you how easy it is to start correcting pitch, timing, and levels for vocals and instruments. These powerful features can save you time, and clicks, by allowing you to move the notes you choose by the amount you choose, in order to achieve your ideal results.

Using Macros In Melodyne To Correct Pitch, Timing, and Vocal / Instrument Levels

Welcome to Part 2 or our 3-part Series of Tutorials on Melodyne. The simplest way to start editing is by using one of Melodyne’s built in Macros.  A “macro” is an automated sequence meant to replace a repetitive series of mouse and/or keyboard actions for the purpose of simplifying or automating a task. Melodyne has 3 fundamental macros for you to choose: Correct Pitch, Quantize Time, and Note Leveling. Each macro is utilized for a different editing process. Let's take a look at how these macros work, and how you can start using them in your production.**

To start using macros you first need to get your audio into Melodyne!
.
**Refer to Part I of our tutorial to see how this can be achieved: Part 1 Understanding Melodyne

Correct Pitch Macro

The Correct Pitch Macro allows you to correct the Pitch Center of a note, Pitch Drift over time, as well as a Snap To Chord Scale feature. These features can be applied to only selected notes, as well as all the notes in the editor. Let's take a look at how to use the Correct Pitch Macro:

Pitch Center

1. To edit Pitch Center, first make a selection of the note, or group of notes you wish to edit.  If you make no selection, all notes in the Note Editor will be affected.

Pitch Center in Melodyne

2. Click on the "Correct Pitch Macro" icon at the top of the Note Editor.

Correct Pitch Macro icon

Once selected, the “Correct Pitch Macro Window” will appear, offering you the following options.

    1. Pitch Center: slider – Allows you to apply overall pitch correction to an entire note or group of notes, to varying degrees.  0% which applies no pitch correction, up to 100%, which applies absolute pitch correction, perfectly aligning notes to the nearest semitone on the Pitch Grid.
    2. Pitch Drift: slider – Allows you to compensate for the overall change in pitch over time.
    3. Snap to chord scale: – When selected, this option aligns notes to the nearest pitch of a detected, or manually determined musical chord.
    4. Include notes edited manually: – In normal operation, Melodyne’s macros will ignore any notes that you have previously edited manually.  By selecting this option, Melodyne will adjust any notes that you have selected regardless of their manually edited state.

Correct Pitch Marco WIndow
Correct Pitch Macro Window

3. Adjust Pitch Center by clicking-and-dragging the "Pitch Center" slider to the desired degree.

Note: Pitch Center values will move the selected note more, or less, to the nearest semitone based on the amount. 0% = No pitch correction, 50% = half-way from the note value to the nearest semitone, 100% = absolute correction 

Pitch Center window in Melodyne

4. The note should move toward the closest pitch lane.

Melodyne Macros
Note: Original (assumed to be Sharp)

Melodyne Macros
Note: Pitch Center Correction

Snap To Chord Scale

By default, Melodyne aligns notes to the nearest chromatic semitone.  However, if chords have previously been established in the Chord Ruler of the Note Editor, checking the “Snap to chord scale” option will align each note to the closest pitch lane that is in the current chord.

Pitch Drift

Pitch Drift refers to the fluctuations in pitch over time. This is more common with Vocals as it is easy to fluctuate sharp or flat while holding a note. Although a note might be perfectly centered in a pitch lane, the actual pitch of the note might not be constant throughout its duration. 

5. Adjust Pitch Drift by clicking-and-dragging the Slider to the desired degree:

Pitch Drift

Melodyne Macros
Note: Original Pitch Drift

Melodyne Macros
Note: Pitch Drift Slider set to 100%

Quantize Time Macro

The Quantize Time Macro allows you to quantize audio based on “Note Separation” points of notes and their relationship to the Time Grid. Just as with the Correct Pitch Macro, Melodyne looks at the notes you have selected to know what to quantize. If no notes are selected it will apply quantize to all notes in the editor.

Note: During the transfer process, Melodyne identifies transients of the analyzed audio and places note separation points automatically.  With melodic material, some of the decisions as to where a note, pitch or word should start is subjective and therefore note separation points can be added, removed, or altered manually.  With percussive material Melodyne does a very good job of recognizing these transients correctly, however, this is something that should be checked before applying the Quantize Macro function.

1. First make a selection of a note, or group of notes, you wish to edit. If you make no selection, all notes in the Note Editor will be affected

Melodyne Macros
Snare Drum Selection

2. Click on the Quantize Time Macro at the top of the Note Editor

Melodyne Macros

Once selected, the “Quantize Time Macro Window” will appear, offering you the following options.

    1. Set Groove Reference: – Allows you to choose the resolution of subdivision to which you would like to quantize your audio.
    2. Intensity: – Allows you to adjust amount of quantization you would like to apply.  Just a touch, or perfectly locked to the grid at 100%.
    3. Include notes edited manually: – In normal operation, Melodyne’s macros will ignore any notes that you have previously edited manually.  By selecting this option, Melodyne will adjust any notes that you have selected regardless of their manually edited state.

Melodyne Macros
Quantize Time Macro Window

3. Select the appropriate subdivision resolution for the material to be quantized

4. Adjust the amount of quantization by clicking-and-dragging the "Intensity" slider

Melodyne Macros

In the example below we use a Snare Drum. Look at the timing of the original, then the timing once Quantize Time has been applied. You'll notice the drift in timing of the original has been solved.

Melodyne Macros
Snare Drum - Original

Melodyne Macros
Snare Drum - Quantized

Note Leveling Macro

The Note Leveling Macro allows you to easily “even”, or “level out,” the relative amplitude of a selection of notes. This macro allows you to reduce volume differences of notes on a track. It does this by making the quiet notes louder, or the loud notes quieter. While this seems similar to what a "Compressor" does, it is not compression. In Pro Tools it is similar to "Clip Gain", or the ability to raise and lower the amplitude of an audio selection.

Note: When a group of notes are selected, Melodyne analyzes the amplitude of each note and calculates the average.  Any notes that fall above the average amplitude can only be made quieter.  Any notes that fall below the average amplitude can only be made louder.

1. Make a selection of 2 or more notes you want to edit. If no notes are selected Melodyne will affect all notes in the Note Editor

Melodyne Macros

2. Click on the "Note Leveling Macro" icon at the top of the Note Editor

Note Leveling Macro

Once selected, the “Note Leveling Macro Window” will appear, offering you the following options.

    1. Make quiet notes louder: – Allows you to increase the amplitude of notes that fall below the average amplitude of all notes in your selection.
    2. Make loud notes quieter: – Allows you to decrease the amplitude of notes that fall above the average amplitude of all notes in your selection

Melodyne Macros
Note Leveling Macro Window

3. Increase the amplitude of notes that fall below the average by clicking-and-dragging the "Make Quiet Notes Louder" slider to the desired degree.

Melodyne Macros

Melodyne Macros
Vocal - Original

Melodyne Macros
Vocal - Make quiet notes louder set to 100%

4. Decrease the amplitude of notes that fall above the average by clicking-and-dragging the "Make Loud Notes Quieter" slider to the desired degree.

Melodyne Macros

Melodyne Macros
Vocal - Original

Melodyne Macros
Vocal - Make loud notes quieter set to 100%

Now that you've seen how these Macros work, start applying them in your own work. As with any audio tool, you will find creative uses for these functions the more time you spend with them. Don't be surprised if you use the function in different ways based on the material you're working with. Stay tuned for our series next week on manual tuning and pitch correcting in Melodyne

 

THREE SERIES MELODYNE TUTORIALS:

**Refer to Part I of our tutorial to see how this can be achieved: Part 1 Understanding Melodyne

 

Author: Chris Wainwright

Chris Wainwright
Chris WainwrightChief Engineer, Instructor at Interlochen School of Arts (Former Asst. Professor Berklee College of Music)
Chris Wainwright is a musician, audio engineer, music producer, and educator with over 25 years of experience. Chris began studying music at the age 5 on piano, trumpet in the symphonic orchestra in school, and finally at the university level as a guitar principal. In 2005, Chris entered Berklee College of Music as a student where he received a Bachelor of Music with honors in 2009, with a focused study on Music Production and Engineering. Aside from studies, his career expanded into a live-sound recording and broadcast engineering, even mixing recordings for the major Jazz Festivals (Saratoga Jazz, Newport Jazz, Bean Town Jazz, etc. including NPR interview with legendary George Wein and Christian McBride). Passionate about education, Chris eventually joined Berklee College of Music's elite group of instructors for the next decade, where he was eventually promoted to Chief Engineer then to Assistant Professor Valencia Campus teaching audio engineering and production techniques in both the Undergraduate Study Abroad and Masters of Contemporary Performance programs. In his role as Chief Engineer, he has had the pleasure of working with and/or recording great artists, producers and engineers spanning a wide gambit including Patrice Rushen, Clark Germain, Susan Rogers, Salomé Limón, George Massenburg, John McLaughlin, Pepe De Lucía, Billy Hart, Chrissy Tignor and Tommy Torres, just to name a few. Over the past few years, Chris decided to depart from his position at Berklee and focus on curriculum development, his family, life, and personal music production and engineering projects. He continues to write, record and produce from his home in Valencia, Spain as well as his commercial studio in Barxeta, Spain. He enjoys spending his summers in Michigan where he teaches Music Production and Engineering at the acclaimed Interlochen School of the Arts.

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ProMedia Training is the premier authorized Avid Training Center since 2002, having prepared more students in Pro Tools than any other organization. We teach Pro Tools on all levels as well as offer exam preparation for Pro Tools Certification exams for those studying audio engineering, recording, mixing and related multimedia training for musicians, producers, recording engineers, worship facilities and corporations. ProMedia has been leading the way in short term, Pro Tools Immersion courses which focus in all areas from beginner to advanced Pro Tools Applications.  Our beginners learn the software for music production, recording, editing, audio engineering, and mixing. Our advanced users focus on cutting edge highly complex HDX systems, new concepts as well as workflow improvements. We also provide on-site training for corporations, Universities, Schools, and worship facilities where professionals can advance their skills while learning in their own working environment. ProMedia also participates in many of the musical associations and related organizations related to the recording arts including ASCAP, BMI, NAMM, TAXI A&R, Youth Organizations, NAB, Promo Only, and more.

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