Handbuch essential 1-8.qxd

Handbuch essential 1-8.qxd
user manual version 1.8
© Celemony Software GmbH, 2007
Melodyne essential user manual Version 1.8
This printed documentation refers to Melodyne essential 1.8. Please check your
program folder for updated documentations in pdf format. In addition, the latest
documentation can always be downloaded from www.celemony.com.
Author: Uwe G. Hoenig
Translation: Ewan Whyte
Celemony Software GmbH
Valleystr. 25, 81371 München, Germany
[email protected]
The manual and the software described therein are supplied under formal licence.
They may be used and copied only under the conditions of this licensing
agreement. The data contained in the manual only serves for information purposes
and may be changed without prior announcement. The information contained in
the manual does not constitute a legal obligation of Celemony Software GmbH.
Celemony is not responsible for any eventual faulty or inaccurate information
contained in the manual. The manual and any parts thereof must not be
reproduced or transmitted without the prior and explicit permission of Celemony
Software GmbH.
All product and company names are registered trademarks or brands of the
respective companies. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Macintosh and Power
Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Windows 98,
Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP and DirectX are either registered
trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
© Celemony Software GmbH, 2007
All rights reserved
Melodyne essential user manual
What is Melodyne essential? ............................................8
Installation, Activation and
Getting Started ..........................................................10
Installation .............................................................................10
Melodyne plugin – at a bargain price .........................................11
Activation and myCelemony......................................................11
Online or Offline Activation ......................................................13
Online Activation.....................................................................13
Offline Activation ....................................................................14
Temporary Activation ...............................................................16
Online Deactivation .................................................................16
Offline Deactivation .................................................................17
No Internet?............................................................................18
Background Information on Activation .......................................19
Choice of audio drivers.............................................................21
General ...........................................................................22
Loading and editing audio –
the first steps .............................................................30
Analysis and note blobs............................................................30
Editing the pitch .....................................................................31
Automatic pitch correction .......................................................33
Scale Snap .............................................................................36
Any tempo you like ..................................................................38
Editing timing .........................................................................40
Note separators .......................................................................43
Lengthening and moving notes..................................................45
The behaviour of contiguous notes and segment separators..........46
Automatic timing correction .....................................................47
Creative re-quantization: an example .........................................49
Melodyne essential user manual
Editing audio using the Expert tools ..............52
Main tool ................................................................................53
Expert tools for pitch editing.....................................................53
Expert tool for editing formants.................................................58
Expert tool for editing the amplitude .........................................60
Expert time editing tool............................................................62
04-06 Expert tools for note and segment separation ................................64
Other matters of importance .............................66
Correcting the automatic note detection.....................................66
ReWire ...................................................................................73
The function ‘Spot to Pro Tools’ ................................................75
Melodyne essential and the other versions of Melodyne ...............78
Keyboard Shortcuts ..........................................................79
Melodyne essential user manual
Melodyne essential is constantly being improved and further developed.
Make sure that you are working with the latest version of the program.
Clicking Check for Updates in the ? menu offers an easy way to do this.
You will find the latest version of the program in your myCelemony account:
Melodyne essential user manual
A Step into the World of Melodyne
A Step into the World of Melodyne
A warm welcome to Melodyne essential! Presumably you obtained this version of
Melodyne through the purchase of a hardware product. We are pleased that you
are interested and have taken the trouble to open this manual. Let us first just
explain quickly what Melodyne essential is all about.
Melodyne essential is not a product you can buy independently; it is only available
bundled with a hardware product. However, although Melodyne essential may not
have cost you anything extra, it isn't just a demo version; it's a program you can
really work with.
Melodyne essential offers you very special editing possibilities that are unmatched
in terms of sound quality for your vocal tracks and other recordings of melodic and
rhythmic instruments: with Melodyne essential you can correct the pitch and
timing of notes in audio material in a very musical and intuitive way, or even fully
refashion the material if you wish. In other words, it offers you the most essential
of the functions that have made Melodyne software famous throughout the world.
Melodyne essential is therefore your first step into the world of Melodyne. All you
need do is register the software on the Celemony web site and then activate it on
your computer — this doesn't cost you a cent. Once the program has been
activated, you can use the function set of essential without limitations. With your
Melodyne essential, you can also test some of the functions of the larger versions
of Melodyne in demo mode.
If you like the special possibilities that Melodyne technology offers for the
handling of your audio material, Celemony has a number of upgrade options that
are available on favorable terms to registered users of Melodyne essential.
These are well worth looking into.
Have fun with Melodyne!
Your team at Celemony
P.S.: On the next page is a quick guide to the versions of Melodyne for which
bargain upgrades from Melodyne essential are available. You will find more
information and the prices at www.celemony.com; in fact, if you follow the link in
the Help menu of Melodyne essential, it will take you straight to the web page
containing the upgrade offers.
Melodyne essential user manual
The Melodyne Family
The Melodyne Family
A sample editor of a
special kind: the smart
Melodyne uno
The fast way to perfect
From one voice to a
whole choir; from a
violin to a string
quartet: the multi-track
Melodyne cre8
Integrates even multipart material into the
Melodyne working
environment: the full
Melodyne studio
Melodyne uno is the single-track and most affordable version of
Melodyne. Like essential, in terms of its concept and way of working it
corresponds to a sample editor; but it can also be integrated into host
applications via ReWire. With your Melodyne essential, you can test in
demo mode the entire range of functions offered by uno. These additional
functions are described here in the essential user manual.
Melodyne plugin integrates the most important of Melodyne's functions
directly into a host sequencer. Correct pitch and timing, quantize audio,
restructure melodies and more – it has never been so easy. Thanks to its
musical display, unique time-stretching and pitch-shifting algorithms,
unmatched sound quality and intuitive operation, Melodyne plugin makes
the resolution of timing and intonation problems child's play, thereby
simplifying, and increasing the efficiency of, day-to-day music production
in the studio.
Melodyne cre8 offers up to eight parallel audio tracks as well as
numerous other functions and possibilities over and above those offered by
Melodyne essential, uno and plugin (including, for example, audio-toMIDI). Since Melodyne cre8 supports multi-track operation, this version is
particularly suitable for the creation of multiple parts from a single
melodic line. Melodyne cre8 provides an entry into the world of multi-track
audio sequencing with Melodyne and can be connected to other
sequencers via ReWire or the Melodyne Bridge plug-in.
Melodyne studio contains all the functions of cre8 but differs not only in
offering an unlimited number of tracks and greater format compatibility
(sampling rates up to 192 kHz) but above all in the provision of an
additional algorithm that allows you to work even with multi-part signals.
With Melodyne studio, you can also time-stretch or -squeeze material such
as piano or guitar parts, choral music and even complete mixes as well as
doing a great deal else to such material including requantizing it or giving
it a shuffle rhythm. No other software offers you comparable possibilities
for the handling of audio.
Demo versions, recorded examples, videos and other information
about the Melodyne product family can be found at www.celemony.com
What is Melodyne essential?
What is Melodyne essential?
The basic procedure when working with Melodyne essential is that of any
conventional sample editor: you load an audio file, edit it, and save the results to
your hard disc — nothing very unusual about that.
But despite these superficial similarities, Melodyne essential is very different from a
conventional sample editor, the reason being this: Melodyne essential analyses the
audio files you load in order to identify key aspects of their musical content. In other
words, instead of simply displaying the audio data in an editing window, the way
conventional sample editors do, it actually investigates the musical significance of
that data. The upshot, in the case of monophonic audio material, is that Melodyne
essential is capable of recognizing the notes that have been played or sung,
pinpointing the beginning and end of each note, classifying the nature of the
transitions between individual notes, assessing the rhythmic relationship between
notes, and much else besides: to Melodyne essential, a vocal track is not simply a
succession of digital sampling values but real music, the aspects of which it
recognizes, is capable of quantifying and — if the word isn’t too fanciful — can be
said to understand.
The unique Analyse function and the program’s consequent ability to appreciate
the musical aspects of the material form the foundation upon which an elaborate
structure of editing functions (themselves unique) has been erected. You can, for
example, correct the pitch of out-of-tune notes — whether sung or played — with
a single mouse-click; transpose a melody or instrumental solo into a different key
or register without depriving it of its natural sound character; increase the
playback speed of the recording (without altering the pitch) or reduce it to a
virtual standstill, if you like; lengthen individual notes to give them their correct
note values or alter the tempo of entire passages; refashion creatively the rhythmic
pattern of recordings and exploit a wealth of possibilities that go way beyond mere
slicing for the creation of new loops…
Melodyne essential user manual
What is Melodyne essential?
You can do all this and more with Melodyne essential — quickly and easily, and
(most importantly) achieve results the sound quality of which has made Melodyne
famous and which essential takes to a higher level still.
This introduction aims to give you the basic information required to work with the
program. Should you need it, you can find more detailed information, which is
constantly updated, on our web site: www.celemony.com
Tip: for your first experiments with Melodyne, we recommend the Experience Tour,
which you can open from essential’s “?” menu. The Experience Tour provides a
brief guide to the most important functions of Melodyne essential; not only does it
explain how the program works; it is also interactive, so you can try out the various
functions as you go along.
Please read this introduction through at least once, even if you are already familiar
with Melodyne; there are almost certainly functions here that you haven’t yet
discovered; and it would be decidedly annoying (would it not?) to realize too late,
when the production was already in the can, that there was an easier or better way
of doing something than the one you used.
Try whatever comes to mind; experiment as much as you like; no harm can come
of it: Melodyne has a multi-level Undo function that allows you to backtrack if the
changes you have made don’t turn out the way you wanted. Besides which, unless
and until you actually save your work (and to a file of the same name), none of the
changes made in the course of an entire session has the slightest impact upon the
original file on your hard disk; it remains unaffected; what you are editing is a
copy of the file in RAM.
We begin this Introduction with some quick tips on Installation before getting
down to the nitty-gritty: the key functions of the program.
We hope you will enjoy working with Melodyne essential and that it will help you to
attain your musical objectives.
Melodyne essential user manual
01-01 Installation, Activation and Getting Started
01 Installation, Activation and
Getting Started
01-01 Installation
To install Melodyne, launch the installation program, which either you will find on
your Melodyne CD or you will have downloaded from the Celemony web site (it
may be necessary to unpack the installation program with a double-click). Simply
follow the onscreen instructions for the installation. Once the installation program
has stored the files on the hard disk, you can launch Melodyne with a doubleclick.
Under Windows, a de-installation program is available, which you can use to
uninstall Melodyne. To do this, proceed as follows:
1. from the Start menu, open the Control Panel;
2. double-click on "Add or Remove Programs";
3. from the list of installed programs, choose Melodyne and click "Remove".
For further information about installation and the files that are stored in the
course of it, consult our FAQ at www.celemony.com/faq.
Note: Melodyne is continuously being improved. During online activation, a check
is made to see whether a later version is available than the version installed.
Afterwards, please check from time to time to see whether a newer version is
available than the one currently installed on your computer. One easy way to do
this is by choosing "Check for Updates" in the Help menu. Alternatively, you can
do this by visiting www.celemony.com/mycelemony. Via Melodyne's Help menu or
the Celemony web site, you can also contact Support or consult our FAQ. If the
computer you use for music is not connected to the Internet, here's how to
discover whether or not an update is available for your Melodyne:
- find which version of Melodyne you are using; this can be discovered by
selecting the "About…" item in the menu;
Melodyne essential user manual
01-03 Activation and myCelemony
- visit the download area of the Celemony web site and check to see whether a
newer version is available; all the current versions are listed there; if there is a
newer version, log in to your myCelemony account (see below) and download the
relevant installation program.
01-02 Melodyne plugin – at a bargain price
Melodyne plugin is a practical edition of Melodyne that you can use directly from
within your sequencer as a (VST, AU or RTAS) plug-in. In this way, you can correct
vocals quickly and without complications as well as editing other instruments with
the most important Melodyne tools.
As a registered user of Melodyne essential, you can purchase Melodyne plugin at
an especially favourable price. Here's how to obtain your copy of Melodyne plugin
at a bargain price and install it:
- register and activate your copy of Melodyne, if you have not already done so. In
the process, you will create a myCelemony account at www.celemony.com;
- purchase the Loyalty Offer for Melodyne plugin from your local music dealer or
our Web Shop. You will obtain a serial number for the plug-in;
- log in to your account at myCelemony using a browser and navigate to the
options of your registered Melodyne;
- alongside the corresponding option, enter the serial number of your Melodyne
plugin. The myCelemony server will then create a new product entry for the plugin on your myCelemony account;
- download the latest Melodyne plugin installation program for your platform from
myCelemony (use the download link next to the plug-in's name) and perform the
installation. The plug-in is independent of your Melodyne and can if desired be
installed on a different computer. Once the installation is complete, Melodyne
plugin must be activated; to do this, load the plug-in into your host and follow
the onscreen instructions given by the activation assistant.
01-03 Activation and myCelemony
Before you can use Melodyne on your computer, you must register at myCelemony
as a user and activate Melodyne. This procedure usually only takes a few minutes
and need only be performed once.
"Registering" means opening a user account in the myCelemony section of the
Celemony web site. This happens in conjunction with the activation of Melodyne
Melodyne essential user manual
01-03 Activation and myCelemony
(see below). You can then access this account from any computer hooked up to
the Internet by entering your user name and password
(www.celemony.com/mycelemony). Your myCelemony account consists of a
customer profile and a hierarchically arranged product display. There you can:
- see all the Celemony products you have activated as well as their activation
- download the latest installation programs for your products as well as the
corresponding updates;
- in some cases, download other Celemony products at a favourable price or else
free of charge;
- choose which type of Celemony newsletter you wish to receive and edit your
other user data.
An activation assistant
integrated into Melodyne
guides you through all the
necessary steps for
registration and activation.
"Activation" is the process of authorizing the use of your copy of Melodyne on a
particular computer. You have to activate Melodyne before you can use it for any
length of time. We distinguish two ways of activating Melodyne:
- online activation, whereby Melodyne establishes a direct link with the
myCelemony server and therefore requires your music computer to be hooked up
to the Internet;
- offline activation, which is done by exporting and importing small files, and only
requires you to have access to the Internet from a computer (office, Internet
café, …).
Melodyne essential user manual
01-04 Online or Offline Activation
An activation assistant integrated into Melodyne offers you all the abovementioned options and guides you through all the necessary steps for registration
and activation. The assistant runs automatically the first time you launch
Melodyne and can be opened later
through the 'License' entry in the
'Window' menu. When you first
launch Melodyne after the
installation, you see the Welcome
page of the assistant:
01-04 Online or Offline Activation
This makes it possible to activate Melodyne on a particular computer. A single
Melodyne serial number can be activated on a maximum of two computers at the
same time. After selecting this option, click "Continue". The assistant will then
display the activation page, where you must first enter your serial number. You will
find this either in the printed Melodyne User Manual or in the e-mail that
confirmed your purchase from our Web Shop. Now choose whether you wish to
perform the activation online or offline or else activate Melodyne temporarily to
start off with (see below). When you have made your choice, click "Continue".
Online Activation
If you have not yet registered your Melodyne serial number, the assistant will
launch your web browser, find the myCelemony web site and open the customer
profile page. On the Mac, you will be asked in the course of the activation to enter
the administrator password for your computer; under Windows, you must log on to
an administrator account in order to activate Melodyne. This is necessary so that
Melodyne can store the license file from myCelemony in the root area of your
Melodyne essential user manual
01-04 Online or Offline Activation
Note: If you already have a myCelemony account, you do not have to open a
second one (and should avoid doing so, in the interests of clarity). Instead click
the link on the customer profile page that takes you to the Login page for
myCelemony, where you can then log in by entering your user name and password.
This will ensure that your new Melodyne is registered in your existing myCelemony
On the myCelemony customer profile page, enter the requisite data and confirm
by clicking "Continue Activation". On the confirmation page that follows, you will
be requested by myCelemony to return to the activation assistant within Melodyne
where you should click "Continue". Melodyne will then download the activation
data from the myCelemony server and conclude the activation process.
If you have already registered Melodyne and wish to conduct a second or new
activation (for your laptop, for example, or after changing your hard disk), after
entering your serial number, select "Activate Online" and click "Continue".
Melodyne will then communicate automatically with the myCelemony server and
conduct the activation itself.
Offline Activation
Offline activation involves 3 steps:
1. exporting an activation request file from the activation assistant
2. transferring this file to a computer that is capable of connecting to the Internet
and uploading the file to myCelemony
3. downloading the activation file and dragging it to the activation assistant and
dropping it.
If you have opted for offline
activation, the "Export request
file" page will appear:
Melodyne essential user manual
01-04 Online or Offline Activation
Export the file by drag 'n' drop to your hard disk and transfer it (for example, using
a USB flash drive) to a computer with Internet access. The request file is a small
HTML file with a local web page that should open your browser when you doubleclick on it. If it fails to do so, open the file manually from your browser (the
relevant command should be called "Open Page" or something similar). On the
local web page displayed, you will see a button. Click on this to establish the
connection with myCelemony and transfer the data required for the activation.
Then enter the necessary data in the customer profile of your new myCelemony
account and confirm your entries by clicking "Continue Activation".
If you already have a myCelemony account, you do not need to open a new one
and doing so will only cause confusion. Instead, click the link on the Customer
Profile page that takes you to the Log In page, and then log in using your existing
user name and password. Your new Melodyne will then be registered to your
existing myCelemony account.
As soon as the data has been transferred to the myCelemony server and processed,
myCelemony will offer you the activation file to download. Clicking the link will
commence the download. Where exactly the downloaded file is stored on your
computer depends upon your browser settings. Please check these, if you cannot
find the file after downloading it.
Take this file to your music computer and launch Melodyne. When the activation
assistant appears, simply drag 'n' drop the activation file into its window. You will
be asked again for the administrator password of your computer, whereupon the
assistant's status page will appear to confirm that the activation has been
Once you see this page, you know the
process of activation has been
concluded. You can now close the
assistant and work with Melodyne
without restriction.
Melodyne essential user manual
01-05 Temporary Activation
01-05 Temporary Activation
If you cannot decide right away which form of activation to use, Melodyne allows
you time to think about it: after the first installation, you can use the software for
ten days after entering the serial number, which makes it possible to begin work
immediately. Temporary activation is only possible after the first installation of
Melodyne on a computer.
After selecting this option, click "Continue". The assistant will then inform you
that Melodyne has been activated for a period of ten days. You can now close the
assistant and use Melodyne. We recommend, however, that you undertake the
definitive activation as soon as possible. Otherwise, the temporary activation
period is liable to expire at precisely the wrong moment…
01-06 Deactivation
If you are selling your computer or no longer wish to use it for making music, you
should deactivate Melodyne. (Obviously this is only possible if Melodyne has been
activated on the computer, not if you are using an iLok to activate it.). Once you
have deactivated Melodyne, your myCelemony account can be credited with a new
activation. Deactivation is performed using the activation assistant. Please note
that you will not be able to launch Melodyne again after the deactivation! You can,
however, get started again with a deactivated computer by activating Melodyne a
second time on it. This assumes that another activation is available on your
myCelemony account.
Online Deactivation
In the case of online deactivation, a new activation is automatically credited to
your myCelemony account. From the "Window" menu, select "License" to open the
activation assistant. You will see the status page confirming that Melodyne has
been successfully activated. Click the "Deactivate Melodyne" button. The
deactivation page appears. Select there the online deactivation option and click
"Continue". Now you must enter the administrator password for your computer and
confirm a security question. After a short pause, a dialog box will inform you that
the deactivation has been successful. When you close this dialog box, you will
automatically quit Melodyne. Your myCelemony account will also automatically be
credited with one activation.
Melodyne essential user manual
01-06 Deactivation
Offline Deactivation
When you select offline deactivation, you must upload the data from a small
HTML credit file from any computer connected to the Internet to myCelemony;
only then can your myCelemony account be credited with an activation credit, so
please do not forget this important step.
From the "Window" menu, select "License" to open the activation assistant. You
will see the status page confirming that Melodyne has been successfully activated.
Click the "Deactivate Melodyne" button. The deactivation page appears. Select
there the offline deactivation option and click "Continue". First you must enter the
administrator password for your computer and confirm a security question. The
page for the export of the credit file will then appear:
The assistant page shown here allows you, for example, to drag the credit file
directly to a USB flash drive, which you can then take to a computer that does
offer Internet access. At the same time as the Export credit page appears, the file
is placed on the desktop of your computer. It is not absolutely necessary to use
the drag 'n' drop option, so don't worry if you have accidentally closed the
assistant window. You will in any case find the credit file you need on the desktop
of your computer.
To upload the data and obtain an activation credit, proceed as follows:
- transfer the credit file to a computer that has access to the Internet;
- double-click the credit file; this is a small HTLM file with a local web page that
Melodyne essential user manual
01-07 No Internet?
should open your browser when you double-click on it; if it fails to do so, open
the file manually from your browser (the relevant command should be called
"Open Page" or something of that kind). On the local web page displayed, you
will see a button. Click this in order to establish a connection with myCelemony
and upload the data. Once the data has been transferred to the server, you will
be credited with one activation. You will see it indicated beside the relevant
product entry in the overview.
01-07 No Internet?
If you have no access to the Internet, you can request an activation by post from
Celemony. Proceed as described above under "Offline Activation" and export the
request file for the activation. Burn the file onto a CD and sent us the CD. You will
then receive back from us an activation file on CD, which you will then be able to
import exactly as though you had downloaded it from myCelemony. Please do not
forget to send us your address! Our address is:
Celemony Software GmbH
Valleystrasse 25
81371 Munich
Melodyne essential user manual
01-08 Background Information on Activation
01-08 Background Information on Activation
Celemony has taken pains to make the activation process as simple and as
transparent as possible for users. In the following section, we would like to answer
some of the questions you might perhaps want to put to us.
What does Celemony do with the personal data I had to enter in order to open an
account at myCelemony?
Your data is treated as confidential and is not passed on to any third party. It is
used by Celemony for the management of your myCelemony account as well as
making it possible for us to send you, if you wish, an e-mail newsletter that takes
your nationality into account.
What data is transferred to my myCelemony server in the course of activation?
The data exchanged is the same regardless of whether you opt for online or offline
activation. The following data is transferred to the myCelemony server in the
course of activation:
- the edition of Melodyne to which the activation relates (i.e. essential, uno,
plugin, cre8 or studio)
- the version number of the software (so that the server can keep you informed
about updates)
- an automatically generated computer serial number – which serves as a
'fingerprint' to identify your computer (formerly known as a 'User ID'; depending
upon the equipment of the computer, there could be several of these)
- the name of your computer; this is displayed by myCelemony to make it easier
for you to keep track.
The files described above are transferred automatically in the case of online
registration. In the case of offline activation, this is included in the request file to
be uploaded to the myCelemony web page. This is a simple HTML file, the
contents of which can be inspected in any text editor. The contents of the HTML
file are transferred to myCelemony as soon as you establish a connection with the
server using the button in the browser.
What data does the myCelemony server send back for the activation?
myCelemony sends an encoded file back. You receive an activation code that
allows your Melodyne software to run without restriction on your computer. The
contents of this file too can – in the case of offline registration – be opened and
inspected in a text editor. Since it is encoded, however, it contains nothing you
can read.
Melodyne essential user manual
01-08 No Internet?
How long and under what circumstances does the activation on a given computer
remain valid?
The activation for a particular computer is based upon its 'fingerprint', which is
generated for the computer at the time of the activation request and transferred to
the myCelemony server. As long as this 'fingerprint' does not change, the
activation for your software will also remain effective. The 'fingerprint' and
activation are therefore unaffected when:
- you update the operating system or install a new one;
- change hardware components such as your hard disk or monitor (with the
exception of your network card);
- update your Melodyne software (provided it is a free update);
- reinstall your Melodyne software.
What needs to be borne in mind for a successful iLok activation?
If you are using, or wish to use, an iLok from Pace for the activation of Melodyne,
you need to be aware above all of the following points:- once you have opted for iLok activation, you can no longer request any computerspecific activations from myCelemony. Your iLok, in other words, becomes the
exclusive 'key' affording you access to Melodyne.
- Celemony can accept no liability in the case of loss or damage for a license that
has been transferred to an iLok. Please make sure that your iLok is suitably
insured. You will find information about this, too, at www.ilok.com.
If you have any further questions concerning activation, please consult our FAQ at
www.celemony.com (which you can also access from inside the program using the
Help menu). If you have any problems with the activation, consult our support at
[email protected] Please contact us if you purchased your Melodyne
second hand, so that we can change the registration for you.
Melodyne essential user manual
01-09 Choice of audio drivers
01-09 Choice of audio drivers
Under Mac OS X, Melodyne automatically uses the Core Audio drivers and the
integrated audio hardware of the Mac. If you have connected other audio hardware
to the computer, you can select it using the Preferences dialog
Under Windows,, a small window appears from which you can select a driver. The
default is DirectX, since this audio interface is present in most PCs. DirectX
drivers, however, are seldom optimised for delay-free audio playback. If you have
other audio hardware available that is equipped with ASIO drivers, we recommend
that you use this rather than your DirectX device.
If problems occur, check to see whether a buffer size smaller than the default
functions with your system (if the buffer size is too small, the result may be little
clicks or playback interruptions). Smaller buffers mean less latency and audibly
increase the speed at which Melodyne responds to your actions at the controls.
You will find more information about these setting options in the section dealing
with Preferences.
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
Master volume control
and level display
(mono or stereo)
Melodyne essential's transport
controls, including Record
Enable and Cycle buttons
Key Signature,
Tempo, Click Volume
and Stretch controls
Time Ruler
The time in bars and
beats or seconds
The Stave icon
toggles the Notation
display on and off
Melody Display
The Edit pane of a
Melodyne essential
window plotting Time
(x axis) against Pitch
(y axis)
With monophonic
audio material,
Melodyne is capable
of identifying and
displaying the
individual notes
constituting the
melody – for the
pitch, refer to the lefthand margin
Note Ruler
When Scale Snap
mode is activated,
click on the tonic to
identify the tonality
and the [Shift] key to
toggle between major
and minor modes
Scale Snap
When the Scale Snap push button is
selected, blobs snap to the nearest
degrees of the selected scale
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
Correction Macros
Buttons to access the Correct Pitch
and Quantize Time parameters
Quantization Grid Switch
Activates or de-activates
the quantization grid
Quantization Grid Selector
List box from which to select
quantization factor / grid size
Zoom Buttons
Zoom/Scroll Bars
Increase / decrease the
vertical (y axis) and
horizontal (x axis)
resolution of the display
With the scroll bars, you can move
forwards or backwards in time as well
as upwards or downwards in pitch
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
02 General
Before we begin to examine the editing possibilities of Melodyne essential, we
would like briefly to discuss the structure of the program as well as making a few
preliminary remarks concerning the user interface and file handling.
Melodyne is available for both the PC and the Mac, and the keyboard shortcuts for
both versions are essentially the same. However, where in this manual, you see the
word ‘[Command]’ (i.e. in square brackets), Mac users should understand this to
mean the Apple key and PC users the Ctrl key. There are no other complications;
‘[Alt]’ means the Alt key and ‘[Shift]’ the Shift key on both platforms.
First of all: to what type of audio material is Melodyne essential best suited? In
principle, Melodyne essential is suitable for the editing of any material provided
that it is monophonic in the sense of comprising a single unaccompanied melodic
line; it may be, of course, that the accompaniment is provided by other tracks (in
the case of a multi-track production); that poses no problem. The essential thing
is that the track to be edited should not contain chords. The human voice,
obviously, is monophonic, as are instruments such as woodwind and brass
String instruments are also suitable, though with certain qualifications: doublestopping (in the case of bowed instruments) and the plucking or strumming of
more than one string simultaneously (in the case of the guitar) introduces a
chordal element that can throw Melodyne essential’s note recognition algorithms,
as can the vibration of open strings in sympathy with those carrying the melody.
The piano could be used as a source provided no use were made of the sustain
pedal and only one note were played at a time; but this, of course, would hardly
be playing to the instrument’s strengths.
Instruments such as the harp, the strings of which – even when plucked
separately – take a long time to decay, also cause problems, since more than one
string is usually sounding at any given moment; arpeggios on the Spanish guitar
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
pose the same problem; but lead guitar solos, consisting of a single melodic
line plucked with the plectrum, can be edited with Melodyne essential
provided there is not too much droning of open strings in the background.
Percussion instruments of all kinds, drum loops and speech provide ideal
material, whereas, as we have said, recordings of more than one performer
(unless playing or singing in unison) and finished productions (unless of
monophonic material) are obviously unsuitable.
Note: Melodyne essential can only edit files loaded from mediums that are
capable of being written to, such as hard disks: please don’t try to load audio
files directly from a CD-ROM.
With Melodyne essential, you can open and edit audio files in the following
– WAV, AIFF, SND or Sound Designer II (Mac only)
– 8- to 24-bit resolution
– sampling rates of 22.050, 44.100, 48.000 or 96.000 Hz
– mono or stereo
By default, when you save a file using Save from the File menu, the original
file will be overwritten; this is standard behaviour for sample editing software.
If you wish to retain both the original and the newly edited version of the file,
you have two alternatives: you can either assign a new name to the newly
edited version (using the Save As dialog) or tell Melodyne essential to rename
the original file and assign the original name to the newly edited version. To do
the latter, open the Preferences dialog (Menu Edit>Preferences); select
Configuration from the list box; and click the Keep original files when saving
check box. As long as this option is checked, the original file will be renamed
in the course of each save operation and the original name assigned to the
newly edited version of the file.
In the main display, notes are represented by blobs the (vertical) thickness of
which is indicative of their amplitude; as a result, each blob displays the amplitude envelope of the note to which it refers (i.e. the way the volume changes
over time). The average pitch of the note over the course of its duration can be
discovered by referring to the scale in the left hand margin — as is intuitively
obvious, the higher the vertical position on the screen, the higher the pitch —
whilst the precise pitch at any one point in time is indicated by the thin
continuous line (the ‘Pitch Curve’) threaded through the blobs.
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
This is how audio is displayed in
Melodyne essential; if you
prefer, you can hide the Pitch
In addition to the blobs, Melodyne essential is capable of displaying notes on a stave
in the conventional manner (Menu View > Show Score Notes or click the Stave icon
in the top left-hand corner of the Edit window to toggle the display on and off).
Notes can also be displayed in
conventional notation; click
the Stave icon at the left-hand
end of the Bar / Time ruler to
view or hide the stave
After selecting one or multiple blobs, you can delete them (using the delete key,
[DEL]), or else cut or copy them with a view to pasting them into the same or
some other document (you will find all three commands in the Edit menu). The
first of a sequence of notes inserted in this way will appear at the current cursor
position (the cursor being the vertical red line that moves from left to right across
the screen as the audio plays back) with the others following at the expected
The copying of blobs from one document to another is realized ‘intelligently’: if
Scale Snap is activated in the recipient document, the new notes will adapt to the
selected tonality and mode; if the Stretch box in the Tempo pane (to the right of the
Transport controls) is checked, the blobs will be stretched or squeezed to suit the
selected tempo; if there are minor deviations from the set tempo in the original — a
note falls, for example, a semiquaver (16th note) before the beat in 4/4 time —
these will be respected when the notes are copied to a different document, provided
the quantization factor in both documents is the same (i.e. 1/4). If, on the other
hand, you want the note in question to fall on the beat, change the quantization
factor (to the right of the Bar/Time Ruler) to 1/16 in the receiving document prior
to pasting. You can, of course, always correct the position of a pasted note
manually — just like any other.
To position the cursor, click in the upper part of the ruler; to commence playback
from the new cursor position, press the space bar. To combine both operations,
double-click in the upper part of the ruler, and playback will commence
immediately from the new cursor position. By clicking in the top part of the ruler
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
and dragging the mouse to the left or right, you can scrub through the file in the
Editor in order to scrutinize different parts of it, freezing the playback on a single
cycle of the waveform if you wish so that the music comes to a complete standstill
— an impressive example of the power of Melodyne’s Local Sound Synthesis!
You will doubtless be familiar with the Transport Controls, if not from a
sequencing application then from your cassette or video recorder. You can also use
the Space Bar ([Space]) of your computer keyboard to pause or resume playback
of the entire audio file as well as [Alt]+[Space], if only part of the file has been
selected, to play back that part only. It is also possible to step through the audio
file in either direction hopping from blob to blob like stepping stones using the
left and right arrows ([<-] and [->]) of your computer keyboard.
Near the top left-hand corner of the window, you can see the Volume fader and the
Level display: a single horizontal meter in case of a mono file or meters for both
the left and right channels if the file is in stereo.
In the Transport panel, in addition to the Start, Stop, Fast Forward and Rewind
buttons, you will see a Record button (you can record directly with Melodyne
essential) and a Cycle button, which, when depressed, causes Melodyne essential
to loop between the left and right locators like a conventional sequencer.
You can position the left and right cycle locators by clicking and dragging in the
lower (darker gray) deck of the Bar/Time ruler: either click at the start of the
desired loop and drag the mouse to the right (to mark the end) or click at the end
of the desired loop and drag the mouse pointer to the right (to mark the
If no blobs are selected, double-clicking anywhere in the lower deck of the ruler
will cause the left and right locators to move to the beginning and end of the
recording - or rather (to be more precise) to the grid lines just to the left of the
beginning, and right of the end, of it. If blobs are selected, the locators will move
to the beginning and end of the selected notes (without snapping if the Alt key is
held). The locators otherwise always snap to the nearest grid lines, though they
can be moved to intermediate positions if the [Alt] key is held.
Melodyne essential’s Bar / Time
ruler showing the left and right
locators and the cursor
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
The beginning and end of the audio file, and therefore its extent, are indicated by
the grey “S” (Start) and “E” (End) delimiters (i.e. boundary markers) which (if you
uncheck Lock File Range in the Edit menu) you will see in the top deck of the
bar/time ruler. The same information can be inferred from the main display, as the
background in the area spanned by the audio file is duller than that of the rest of
the display. The boundaries of the file are elastic, expanding to accommodate new
material whenever audio material spills into an area lying outside the previous
limits — as a result, perhaps, of a move, copy or stretch operation. If you do not
want to extend the bounds of the audio file in the course of editing (perhaps
because you have already integrated the file into a sequencer arrangement), check
Lock File Range in the Edit menu.
The grey Start (‘S’) and End (‘E’)
delimiters as well as the bolder
shading of the background in
the Edit window indicate the
extent of the audio file
By dragging the grey ‘I’ marker in the vertical centre of the bar/time ruler, you can
realign the ruler with the audio data: the ruler will move, in other words, whilst the
audio data stays put. Double-click the small grey ‘1’ and type in a value if you
need to move the ‘1’ by two or more bars.
Where only part of the audio file is displayed in the window, you can see what lies
to the right or left of the area displayed, or above or below it, by holding the
[Command] key and dragging the display in the desired direction using the hand
that appears in place of the mouse pointer. If you hold down the [Alt] key at the
same time, the hand becomes a magnifying glass, and functions as a zoom tool.
Melodyne’s zoom tool, however, works differently to those of other programs:
– to zoom the display horizontally and vertically at the same time, drag the pointer
diagonally towards the top left (to zoom out) or bottom right (to zoom in) of the
– to zoom either horizontally or vertically (but not both), drag the pointer sideways
(left to zoom out; right to zoom in) or vertically (upwards to zoom out;
downwards to zoom in)
Melodyne essential user manual
02 General
Melodyne also offers you horizontal and vertical scroll bars, which can also be
used to alter the display resolution: drag the middle of the sliders to scroll the
display and the sides of the sliders to zoom in or out. You will see in the slider a
miniaturized representation of the pitches or note positions; material that lies
outside the pitch range at the selected zoom resolution (or that would do if you
scrolled there) is grayed out.
The horizontal and vertical
Zoom / Scroll sliders
Drag the centre of the
slider to move the
display window and the
sides to increase or
decrease the display
Melodyne essential user manual
03 Loading and editing audio – the first steps
03 Loading and editing audio –
the first steps
We would now like to show you the basic functions of Melodyne essential, so you
need at this point to load an audio file; please use the file “vocal.wav”, which you
will find in the “audio files” sub-folder of the “melodyne manual” folder. You can,
of course, choose some other file if you prefer, but make sure it is one with a
single melodic line, such as an unaccompanied solo on a monophonic instrument
such as a saxophone or flute or something of that nature, as it is upon this type of
material that Melodyne essential’s editing functions can most usefully be
You open an audio file in the normal way; note the keyboard shortcuts ([Cmd(Mac)/Ctrl(PC)]+[O] in
this case) alongside each command
03-01 Analysis and note blobs
Once you have selected a file from the Open dialog and clicked OK, Melodyne
essential will open and analyse the file. This analysis is a background process that
is essential to the unique editing functions offered by Melodyne; loading a small
file into a fast computer, you may scarcely be aware that it is taking place, but if
the necessary processing requires more time, a progress bar (a rectangle that is
gradually filled, from left to right, with the system highlight colour as the
Melodyne essential user manual
03-02 Editing the pitch
operation proceeds) will appear to give you some idea of how long the process can
be expected to take.
FYI: Melodyne essential stores the analysis data in a separate analysis file in the
same folder as the source file and with the same name (except that the filename
extension is “.mdd”); this obviates the need for Melodyne essential to analyse the
file a second time when you reload it the next day. Melodyne essential creates an
analysis file for each new audio file you load.
Once the process of analysis is complete, the Edit window opens, replete with
Melodyne’s famous blobs displaying the exact pitch centre and amplitude
envelope of each note.
03-02 Editing the pitch
Move the mouse pointer to the centre of one of the blobs. You will notice that the
appearance of the pointer changes to indicate that it is now in Pitch Editing
mode: click on a blob and drag it to the rectangle above; when you release the
mouse button, you will find that you have raised the pitch of the note one
semitone, as effortlessly as if the note were MIDI and you were using a sequencer.
Using this drag ‘n’ drop method, you can transpose notes upwards or downwards
by any number of semitones. Melodyne’s scrub mode is activated as you are
moving the note, which means that if you move the tool to the right or left as you
are dragging a note, you can hear the waveform at the points through which it
passes. [If you find this distracting, uncheck Monitor Note Pitch on Editing in the
You aren’t, of course, obliged to move notes one at a time: you can rubber-band an
entire phrase and transpose it upwards or downwards in the same way: to do this,
visualize a rectangle encompassing only the notes you wish to select; click in any
of its four corners; and drag the pointer to the corner diagonally opposite.
If you click in the centre of a
blob, you can drag it any number
of semitones up or down
Melodyne essential user manual
03-02 Editing the pitch
Unless you were pretty ham-fisted or forgot to hold down the left mouse button (in
which case you ‘moved’ the pointer rather than ‘dragging’ it) you should find that
all the notes within your imaginary rectangle have lost their creamy yellow
tummies; this means they have been selected, and when you move any one of
them, they will all move — en bloc. Try it: drag any one of the selected notes
upwards or downwards. That’s how easy it is to transpose a phrase in Melodyne
essential; and transposing an entire file is even easier: instead of rubber-banding
the blobs, use the shortcut [Command]+[A] to select all of them instantly.
Tip: when you have loaded a really long file, the blobs may be too small to be
easily manipulated; in this case, click on the Horizontal and Vertical ‘Zoom In’
icons in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to increase the display
When you transpose a note or series of notes over some interval larger than a
semitone — a fifth, say — you will notice that the characteristic timbre of the
source, be it a voice or instrument, is preserved: instead of the dreaded
‘Chipmunk’ or ‘Darth Vader’ effects of conventional transposition tools, you get
something that sounds remarkably similar to the same voice singing, or the same
instrument playing, in a different register.
If you are familiar with the acoustic principles at work here, you will have guessed
why this is so: when it transposes audio, Melodyne essential leaves the formants
(its acoustic fingerprint, if you like) where they are, thereby obtaining a far more
realistic effect than conventional pitch shifters, which simply increase or decrease
the frequency of the waveforms, moving the formant structure into the bargain.
Note: it can happen from time to time that Melodyne essential fails to identify
correctly the intended pitch of a note, usually confusing it with the same note an
octave higher or lower; in such cases, as we have seen, the error is easily corrected
manually with the Main tool in pitch-editing mode. This subject is dealt with in
greater detail in the section on correcting detection errors.
If the sound source is the human voice or an instrument like the violin that is not
always easy to play precisely in tune, you may notice that Melodyne essential plots
the exact pitch of each note, and that if, instead of a G, you sing or play a note
halfway in pitch between G and G#, that is precisely where Melodyne essential
will display it: on the line between G and G#. With some other instruments — the
digital piano, for example — the intonation looks after itself, and each blob will
land precisely in the centre of its lane.
Melodyne essential user manual
03-03 Automatic pitch correction
This note can’t seem to decide
whether it’s an A# or a B
In the opposite case, as with the note illustrated here (which is neither fish nor
fowl), you may have to make up its mind for it. Here, moving it exactly a semitone
would not resolve the ambiguity but simply move it: instead of being midway
between A# and B, it would be midway between B and C; what is needed, then, is
the fine-tuning option, which allows you to move notes through intervals smaller
than a tone (called ‘microtrones’ or ‘fractional tones’): hold the [Alt] key and drag
the note precisely to the centre of the lane of whichever note (A# or B) it is
supposed to be. That’s how easy it is to correct errors of intonation with Melodyne.
Easy, isn’t it?
03-03 Automatic pitch correction
It would be even more practical, of course, if, instead of having to correct each
out-of-tune note individually, you could just tell uno to correct the pitch of all
notes automatically — and, in fact, you can: commence playback of the recording
(if you haven’t done so already), click somewhere in the background to deselect all
notes and then click the Correct Pitch button in the top right corner of the
This button is used to open the
Correct Pitch dialog
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
In what follows, the functions highlighted in color are only available in Melodyne uno and also —
together with considerably extended possibilities — in Melodyne cre8 and Melodyne studio.
They can, however, be tested in demo mode with Melodyne essential.
Demo only
03-03 Automatic pitch correction
The Correct Pitch dialog opens, displaying two slider controls (or ‘trackbars’).
The Pitch Correct dialog
with trackbars governing the
extent to which errant notes
should be moved (top bar)
and/or drift within them
eliminated (lower bar)
The upper trackbar is used to specify the extent to which the ‘pitch centre’ of
errant notes — in the case of a note to which vibrato has been applied, this would
be the axis about which the oscillation occurs — should be moved closer to what
is assumed to be the intended pitch. At concert pitch, for example, the A above
middle C has a frequency of 440 Hz, whilst the frequency of the note above
(A#/Bb) is 466.16 Hz ; if the pitch centre of the note actually sung or played is
450 Hz, therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the performer was aiming for A
rather than Bb, so (depending upon the setting of the Pitch Centre slider) after
correction, the new pitch centre of the note will be (to give a few examples): 449
Hz (10%), 445 Hz (50%), 442 Hz (80%), 441 Hz (90%) or 440 Hz (100%).
This process is sometimes called ‘pitch quantization’.
The default setting (100%), you will observe, leaves all blobs bang in the centre of
their various lanes, whilst more moderate settings improve the intonation without
imposing what might seem an overly ‘mechanical’ perfection. Move the slider and
experiment until you find the balance that feels most satisfying musically.
With the 100% setting, the axis
of each blob lies perfectly in the
centre of the lane
Melodyne essential user manual
Melodyne uno makes an important distinction between vibrato, which is usually
intentional, and drift, which is not. When string players and classical guitarists,
for example, deliberately shake the hand stopping the string, they do so in order to
impart vibrato (a rapid fluctuation in the pitch of the note that gives the sound
greater fullness and vibrancy); good singers can achieve the same effect by other
means; and when Melodyne uno corrects the pitch of out-of-tune notes, it is
careful to do so without removing the vibrato, which is an important element of
musical expression.
When singers drift out of tune on long notes, on the other hand, this is seldom
intended but usually the result of poor breathing technique or inattention. For this
reason, Melodyne uno offers you the possibility of correcting any unintentional
drifting from the correct pitch without removing the vibrato. You can, of course,
remove the vibrato too, if you wish, or tone it down, but we will deal with that
Pitch drift covers the case not only of singers (or instrumentalists) gradually going
sharp or flat on long notes but also of performers with a tendency to err in both
directions in the course of a single note. “How is this different from vibrato?”, you
might ask. The answer is that vibrato is rapid — good orchestral violinist favour a
rate of around 6 or 7Hz — and cyclical, whereas the type of aimless wandering
Melodyne uno’s Correct Pitch Drift function is designed to eliminate is far slower
and probably irregular, too, in terms of both frequency and amplitude.
The two pitch correction parameters, Correct Pitch Centre and Correct Pitch Drift,
are completely independent: you can set any intensity (from 0-100%) for each
parameter. If and when you are satisfied with the results, exit with OK; if you
would prefer to leave things as they were before you opened the Correct Pitch
dialog, exit with Cancel.
Note: if no notes are selected at the time you open the Correct Pitch dialog,
Melodyne uno understands you to mean ‘correct the pitch of all the notes’ —
otherwise your action in opening the dialog would be pointless; if, on the other
hand, one or more notes are selected, they and only they will be affected by
whatever changes you make. As well as selecting notes by rubber-banding them
(as described above), you can use the Select drop-down menu (Menu Edit >
Select) to select e.g. only the notes between the two locators, only those notes not
currently selected (i.e. to invert the selection) or only notes of the same pitch as
the note selected, and so on.
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
03-03 Automatic pitch correction
03-04 Scale Snap
03-04 Scale Snap
We have seen how the intonation of single notes, groups of notes and even all
notes can be corrected manually or automatically and how unwanted wavering
from the correct pitch can be reduced or eliminated altogether; we saw, too, how
errant notes can be made to snap to the nearest semitone; but if the resulting note
is not, in fact, part of the scale, this may not be the result desired: you may, for
example, have sung the note F# so flat that you are closer to F than to F#;
nonetheless, if the key is B Major (in which the note F is used somewhat
infrequently…), you might find it more useful for the default behaviour of the
program in such cases to be that the note snaps to F# (the dominant of the key)
rather than F (which is not even part of it) even though F may be closer to the note
you actually sang. This is one reason why Melodyne essential provides a Scale
Snap function whereby notes snap to the nearest member of the scale rather than
the nearest semitone, on those (hopefully rare) occasions where the two are
The snapping of note blobs in the editor to the nearest semitone can be disabled
in the same way that you can disable snapping to the vertical (time) grid lines.
There is, therefore, a menu at the bottom left of the note ruler offering the options
No Pitch Snap, Note Snap and Scale Snap.
The menu for enabling
and disabling the Pitch
Snap function
The Scale Snap
function is now active
and the Note ruler
can be used to select
the tonality and the
Melodyne essential user manual
03-04 Scale Snap
If the key is F# minor, we describe F# as the ‘tonality’ and ‘minor’ as the mode; to
select the key of F# minor, click F# (to select the tonality); then [Shift]-click to
select the mode — you will notice that repeatedly [Shift]-clicking toggles between
the major and minor modes. The difference would be important, say, in the case
of a note closer to A# than to B: in F# minor, it would snap to the B; in F# major,
to the A#.
Besides being useful for the correction of wayward intonation, the Scale Snap
function can be used to change the mode of a melody — from major to minor or
minor to major — as well as for the generation of harmonies: to double the melody
at the third or tenth, for example — a harmonic technique known as the
‘thickened line’ — you would simply make a copy of the part, activate the Scale
Snap function (remembering to set the correct key) and then drag the new part up
a third. Without the Scale Snap function, this wouldn’t work properly, as you
would either have major thirds the whole time or minor thirds the whole time,
whereas the musical effect you are aiming for requires the superposition of major
thirds on certain degrees of the scale [in the major: the tonic, subdominant and
dominant] and minor thirds on the rest.
Now that you have the mastered basic pitch editing functions of Melodyne
essential, it should be pointed out that these only work as described for
monophonic audio material (we’re talking here about the number of parts not the
number of speakers); with monophonic material, there are no chords, so if more
than one performer is involved, they are by definition singing or playing in unison.
The problem with material composed of two or more parts is that Melodyne
essential has no way of isolating the individual notes that make up each chord, in
the case of homophonic material, or, in the case polyphonic material, of assigning
notes correctly to the various parts; so the set of functions available for editing the
pitch are rather more limited; nonetheless, the program does offer some
interesting pitch editing possibilities even for these types of material, as you will
soon see.
Before we move on to consider Melodyne essential’s Expert tools for the editing of
pitch, we will briefly introduce you to a number of other fundamental and no less
fascinating functions: this time for editing the tempo and timing of the audio file.
Melodyne essential user manual
03-05 Any tempo you like
03-05 Any tempo you like
We turn now to the general playback tempo of the audio file: in Melodyne, this is
variable — a fact that will hardly astound you in the light of what you have seen
already. The sound quality that Melodyne essential is able to achieve whilst
implementing the most extreme degrees of time-compression and –stretching (of
monophonic material in particular) does, however, astound even hard-bitten audio
professionals and further vindicates the technological approach adopted by
Above the data display and next to the transport controls, you will notice a pane
displaying the key signature and tempo parameters.
The Tempo pane displays not only the
tempo but also the time signature
In the course of its analysis of the audio file, Melodyne essential finds out a great
deal not only about the pitch of the notes but also about the rhythm and tempo of
the music; when the analysis is complete, the information displayed in the tempo
pane will very often be correct; in the event, however, that further adjustments are
needed, they are easily made. Take the case of the two-bar loop displayed below.
The tempo displayed here
is incorrect
As you can see, Melodyne essential has not interpreted the rhythm of the loop
correctly, and as a result it appears to extend over two and a half bars instead of
only two. Never mind; in Melodyne essential such things are fixed easily and
Melodyne essential user manual
03-05 Any tempo you like
First make sure that the Stretch box in the Tempo pane is unchecked and that the
stretch function is therefore deactivated.
Now click on the Tempo box and drag the pointer in the vertical plane; you will
notice that the calibration of the bar/time ruler as well as the chequered pattern of
the background display in the Edit window expands and contracts depending upon
whether you drag the mouse upwards or downwards, while the left-hand edge of
the ruler, indicated by the "1" marker in its upper deck, remains nailed to the start
of the file, serving as an anchor.
Now that the tempo has
been adjusted, the
bar/time ruler indicates
the true length of the loop
What we need to do in this case is reduce the tempo (by clicking on the Tempo
control and dragging downwards); this will cause the grid to expand until the grid
lines match the audio data (as shown in the illustration); the correct tempo, it
transpires, is just under 90 BPM.
What we have just done, it should be noted, has nothing whatever to do with timestretching: we haven’t yet changed the tempo of the loop; all we have done is
correct Melodyne essential’s reading of the tempo, so that the display now
matches the data. Having performed that task (which, as we have remarked, is
seldom necessary, as Melodyne essential usually gets the tempo right
automatically), we can proceed, if we wish, to the actual business of timestretching.
To switch to time-stretching mode, check the Stretch box.
When the Time-stretch function is active, not only the
bar/time ruler but also the data itself expands and contracts
as you click on the Tempo box and drag the mouse pointer,
respectively, downwards or upwards
Melodyne essential user manual
03-06 Editing timing
Now, as you increase or decrease the indicated tempo, the extent and position of
the notes moves along with the grid and you can hear the playback tempo
Tip: You can enter percentage values (e.g. 50 %) in the Tempo field. The
percentage is in each case that of the last applicable value; for example, if the
tempo set is 100 BPM, typing in "50 %" will reduce it to 50 BPM. If you want to
double it (so that it returns to 100 BPM), enter "200 %" (not 100 %).
This makes it possible to use Melodyne essential as a simple tool for modifying
the tempo (and therefore the length) of samples and loops: just load the file;
stretch or contract it to arrive at the desired tempo (or length) and save the edited
version; the tempo of the saved file will be the tempo displayed in the Tempo pane
at the moment the file was saved.
If audio files contain information about the tempo (as do Apple Loops and Acid
files), this is automatically adopted by Melodyne essential.
03-06 Editing timing
Melodyne essential allows you to adjust not only the overall tempo but also the
timing of individual notes.
Since Melodyne essential allows you to modify the pitch of individual notes, it
must obviously know where one note ends and the next begins; if you select
Always Show Note Separations from the View menu, this information is displayed
in the form of thin vertical lines.
You may have noticed when you were editing the pitch of notes that the
appearance of the mouse pointer varies as it passes over different areas of each
blob: in the centre, it assumes the aspect of the Edit Pitch tool, whereas when you
move it to the beginning or end of a note, it changes shape again to become the
Edit Time tool. By clicking with this tool at the beginning of a note and dragging
the pointer to the right, you can move the beginning of that note, with the result
that as the note is shortened, the one that precedes it is lengthened, and by the
same amount.
Melodyne essential user manual
03-06 Editing timing
The thin vertical lines indicate
the boundaries between notes
We move the beginning of a
note to the left...
... or to the right; the lengths
of the two notes are
complementary: shorten the
one and you lengthen the
One use for this type of function, obviously, is tidying up the timing of sloppy
performances; hesitation attributable to memory lapses or defective technique can
be removed from recordings simply by lengthening or shortening notes as
Being able to stretch and squeeze notes at will has creative implications as well:
you can make both minor and radical changes to the rhythm simply by cutting and
deleting here, compressing there, and filling the resulting gaps by pasting from
the clipboard or stretching the notes on either side. With commands like Cut,
Copy, Delete and Paste in the Edit menu, and the standard shortcuts used by
word processors, Melodyne essential makes audio files as easy to edit as text.
Melodyne essential user manual
03-06 Editing timing
As you will doubtless have noticed in the course of your own experiments, the
default behaviour of the program is to quantize note lengths: in other words, the
Edit Time tool normally increases or decreases note lengths in a series of discrete
steps rather than continuously.
The minimum amount by which you can increase or decrease the length of a note
depends inter alia upon the display resolution: a quarter of the distance between
the grid lines if the resolution is reasonably high; less if the display is more
cramped. Since the grid lines are generally spaced at crotchet (quarter-note)
intervals, this means you can normally only increase or decrease the length of
notes by so many semiquavers (sixteenth notes) at a time; if you need still higher
sensitivity, you can reduce the quantize factor (increasing the density of the mesh)
or override the quantization altogether by holding down the [Alt] key in the normal
Note that what is happening here is that the quantization factor is determining the
amount you can add to, or subtract from, the length of a note; this is not the same
thing as saying that note endings must coincide with, or lie a specific distance
from, grid lines. If the blobs are adrift from the grid lines to begin with, they will
remain adrift, unless and until you decide to fine-tune their position by [Alt]dragging them to the appropriate grid line.
Note: the mesh of the grid is also zoom-dependent, since if you zoom a long way
out, reducing the display resolution considerably, Melodyne essential may
sometimes be forced to display fewer grid lines than you would normally expect to
see, given the setting in the Quantize Factor list box.
Clicking on this
button toggles the
quantization on and
off; in the off
position, the bar/time
ruler turns pale to
indicate that
adjustment of note
lengths is now
Melodyne essential user manual
To change the quantization
factor (as indicated by the
mesh of the grid), click and
hold (or drag) this button to
open the Quantization list box
03-07 Note separators
03-07 Note separators
When you move the Arrow tool to a note separation, it changes shape to become
the Note Separation tool. You can use this to move the boundary between notes
freely to the right or left; by ‘freely’, I mean ‘independently of the current
quantization factor’; the boundary does not, in other words, snap to the nearest
grid line.
The Arrow also becomes the Note Separation tool, when you place it just above or
below a note; if you now double-click, the note will be split at that point and a
new note separator created. This in itself will make no difference to the sound, but
allows you, for example, to change the pitch of the first part of the note (the part
to the left of the newly created separator) without changing that of the second
part, or vice versa. Suppose, for example, you wish to introduce an échappée or a
cambiata (or any other ornament for that matter) that isn’t contained in the
original performance.
The note to be split
Now split the note (we’ll say it’s a minim) with the Note Separation tool to create
two crotchets (quarter notes).
The original minim has
been split into two
Now you can drag the second half in the middle with the Edit Pitch tool and
transpose it independently of the first.
Melodyne essential user manual
03-07 Note separators
Here we have introduced
an échappée
When you create a division within a note, Melodyne calculates the average pitch of
each of the two parts separately and then tries to select the most appropriate split
point. This may cause the newly created separator to appear slightly to the right or
left of the point at which you clicked. You can, however, override the split point
chosen by dragging the separator to the exact position you want.
If you double-click an existing note separator, it will disappear. If you hold the
[Alt] key and move the pointer to a note separator, it will become the Segment
Separation tool; in this case, if you double-click on the note separator, it will
become a segment separator, which is denoted by a pair of square brackets placed
back to back.
“What is a segment separator?” you are probably asking. Good question.
Unfortunately, we can’t answer it quite yet, because there are one or two other
things that have to be explained first.
Note: whenever you select the Main tool, the note separators will be displayed
(even if Always Show Note Separations is unchecked in the View menu).
Melodyne essential user manual
03-08 Lengthening and moving notes
03-08 Lengthening and moving notes
So far, we have been dealing with contiguous notes, and we have seen that since
by default neither gaps nor overlapping are permitted, the end of one note and the
start of the next are by definition the same thing: if you shorten the first note
(bringing the note ending forward in time), you automatically bring the start of the
following note forward in time by the same distance (and to the same place), and
since the ending of the second note remains unchanged, its length (obviously) is
increased. For notes that stand in isolation, on the other hand, different rules
– If you drag the start of an isolated note to the left, the note simply moves, rather
than stretching.
– If it has an immediate successor, however, dragging its start to the left causes it
to stretch.
Dragging the start of an
isolated note or one with no
immediate successor moves
it without altering its length
Dragging the end of a note
stretches or compresses it.
As it changes from moving
notes to resizing them, the
appearance of the mouse
pointer also changes
Pause for a moment to practice moving and resizing
notes; if there are no isolated notes in your file, delete a few notes to give yourself
more room in which to work. For the time being switch off the quantization. Once
the use of the tools has become second nature, move on to the next paragraph.
If you select two or more adjacent notes, they behave as one: if you drag the start
of the group, the entire group moves; if you drag the end of the group to the right,
all members of the group are stretched.
Melodyne essential user manual
03-09 The behaviour of contiguous notes
What if you select three or more adjacent notes and drag one of the internal
partitions? The answer is that the notes on either side of the partition in question
form into two groups: if you move the partition to the right, the notes to the left of
it are stretched and the notes to the right move (if there is space for them to move
into) or are compressed (if there isn’t); if you move the partition to the left, the
opposite occurs. Note that when quantization is active, only the partition you are
dragging is governed by it; the partitions within the left and right hand groups
adjust in such a way that the relative lengths of the notes within the group are
maintained – regardless of the position of the grid lines.
03-09 The behaviour of contiguous notes and segment
As we have mentioned, and as you have doubtless observed in the course of your
own experiments, contiguous notes in Melodyne essential remain contiguous: no
gap is created when you shorten a note; instead, the following note begins earlier
and is lengthened to take up the slack.
With the human voice and most instruments other than keyboard and percussion
instruments, the start of a note is dependent upon what went before: the note at
the beginning of each phrase is liable to have a sharper and cleaner attack than
the notes that follow, which tend to melt into each other – often with a more or
less pronounced portamento (a gliding from note to note) between them.
Depending upon the nature of the audio file you have loaded, this may be obvious
from a glance at the Pitch Curve. To Melodyne, no note is ‘an island entire unto
itself’ unless it really is isolated to begin with; otherwise, as you move and resize
notes in Melodyne, care is taken to ensure that the transitions retain their true
musical character.
Contiguous notes in Melodyne
essential are not treated as
independent entities; the nature
of the transitions between them
are always respected
Most of the time, this is what you want: to be able to tidy up the rhythm of a
performance without a gap appearing whenever a note needs to be shortened; but
there may be contexts in which you really would prefer to modify the ending or
beginning of a note without this affecting the notes around it; in other words, to
Melodyne essential user manual
03-10 Automatic timing correction
be able to treat each note as an independent entity. This is where the Segment
Separation tool, to which we alluded earlier, comes into its own. Segment
separation works like this:
– If you double-click with the Segment Separation tool or the Note Separation
tools whilst holding the Alt key on an existing note separation, you turn it into a
segment separation, the symbol for which is a square bracket that is slightly
thicker than a normal note separator. The result is to detach the note in question
from those on either side, allowing you to move it without this affecting them.
– Double-clicking on a segment separator changes it back into a normal note
separator. But take care: this is only possible in places where the adjacent
note(sections) were touching before the segment separation. If this was not the
case previously, the segment separator between them cannot be removed.
You can create segments in another way: select a blob (or several); then cut and
paste it into the same place. This will also sever its connection with the adjacent
blobs and create a new segment. You can now
move the blob(s) without dragging the adjacent
blobs at the same time.
03-10 Automatic timing correction
As with the correction of pitch, Melodyne uno offers the possibility of correcting
timing errors automatically; this means that, instead of laboriously correcting each
note in turn, you can just leave it to the program to make musically intelligent
adjustments to the timing of all or selected notes.
If you have read the sections above dealing with adjusting the length and position
of notes, you will probably have guessed what this involves: the beginnings of
notes snap to the nearest grid line, whereupon Melodyne uno makes whatever
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
In what follows, the functions highlighted in color are only available in Melodyne uno and also —
together with considerably extended possibilities — in Melodyne cre8 and Melodyne studio.
They can, however, be tested in demo mode with Melodyne essential.
Demo only
03-10 Automatic timing correction
further adjustments are necessary to preserve the naturalness — in terms of pitch,
timbre and volume – of the transitions between them.
Try out the function now. Select a few notes the timing of which needs improving,
or click in the background of the Edit window to cancel the current selection
(equivalent here to Select All), and click on the Quantize Time button.
The Quantize Time button at the top
right-hand corner of the screen is
used to access Melodyne essential’s
automatic timing correction functions
The Quantize Time dialog opens, displaying the Apply Groove Reference group in
the upper pane and the Quantize Timing slider (with its default setting of 80%)
You can experiment with
different settings without
closing the Quantize Time
You could, if you wanted, exit immediately with OK, effectively correcting all the
timing irregularities in the file or selection with two mouse-clicks, but for the time
being experiment with different settings and try to develop a sense of the musical
If you watch the blobs as you move the Quantize Timing slider, you will notice that
the extent to which they move, stretch or contract in order to conform more closely
to the grid lines is dependent upon the position of the slider.
Now let’s turn our attention to the group box at the top of the Quantize Time
dialog; beneath the words ‘Apply Groove Reference’, you will see a row of push
Melodyne essential user manual
As you can see, the default option is ‘None’, in which case Melodyne uno makes
an intelligent guess (based upon its prior analysis of the audio material) as to
where each note is supposed to begin and how long it is supposed to last; usually,
you will find, it gets it spot-on and most of the notes end up in their intended
places and with the correct note values, but occasionally you will need to correct
one or two notes by hand, using the Edit Time tool.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to set the quantization factor (the fineness of the
mesh) by hand, click the appropriate push button; you will observe the effects at
once: grid lines appear at the intervals you have specified and the beginnings and
ends of all selected notes adjust accordingly.
If you have ever used a MIDI sequencer, you will doubtless have done much the
same thing with MIDI data; but here, there is one important difference: Melodyne
uno quantizes intelligently, not mechanically, so you are not obliged to set the
quantization factor to the smallest note value of the piece; the fact that you have
set the quantization factor to 1/8 T (i.e. 12/8 time) does not mean that smaller
note values will automatically be rounded up and that all note beginnings and
endings will snap to the nearest grid line (or move whatever percentage of the way
is stipulated by the Quantize Timing slider); instead Melodyne uno tries to
interpret the underlying rhythm and rhythmic emphasis; this is something far
more sophisticated and tolerant of musical expression than the Procrustean bed
inflicted on it by conventional quantization algorithms.
03-11 Creative re-quantization: an example
Melodyne uno’s Quantize Time functions are further proof of the musical
intelligence of the program. They offer not only powerful editing functions for the
swift correction of timing problems but also a wealth of creative possibilities. To
give you an idea of just some of them, we will show how the rhythm of a tabla loop
can be radically transformed with a few mouse-clicks.
– At this point, please load the file "tablaloop.wav", which you will find in the
"audio files" folder. You will see the following two-bar loop displayed in the Edit
window. The original tempo is 104 BPM.
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
03-11 Creative re-quantization: an example
Demo only
03-11 Creative re-quantization: an example
– Begin playback of the tabla loop and open the Quantize Time dialog by
clicking on the button of the same name in the top right-hand corner of
the window
– Click the 1/8 push button in the Apply Groove
Reference group and set the Quantize Timing
control to 100% (not that this makes much
difference here, as the performance is
reasonably tight to begin with).
– Now push the 1/16 T (semiquaver triplets)
button and the tabla loop will begin to ‘swing’,
though in a somewhat stilted fashion at first:
move the Quantize Timing slider to somewhere
between 30% and 60% for a pleasantly
understated swing.
– Another interesting perspective is offered by the
setting 1/4 T (crotchet triplets) with the
Quantize Timing slider moved all the way to the
right (100%)…
… now the rhythmic emphasis is transformed and the entire feel of the loop
changes. It may not be visually obvious that any transformation has occurred but
the loop now has a very different groove.
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
03-11 Creative re-quantization: an example
– Now let’s see what happens when we change the
time signature. Exit the Quantize Time window
with Cancel to return to the original rhythm.
Change the time signature to 5/4, make sure the
Stretch check box is cleared (we don’t want to
change the playback speed) and increase the
tempo from 104 to 130 BPM.
Now the background of the Edit window shows the loop extending over two bars of
five beats each. The notes, naturally, do not correspond with the grid.
– Now open the Quantize Time dialog; push the
1/4 button in the Apply Groove Reference group
box and move the Quantize Timing slider all the
way to the right (100%)
Finally, the loop really is in 5/4 time and the notes correspond with the grid lines.
Melodyne essential user manual
04 Editing audio using the Expert tools
Demo only
In what follows, the functions highlighted in color are only available in Melodyne uno and also —
together with considerably extended possibilities — in Melodyne cre8 and Melodyne studio.
They can, however, be tested in demo mode with Melodyne essential.
04 Editing audio using
the Expert tools
In the preceding chapters, we encountered Melodyne uno’s default tool, the
aspect of which, you will remember, depends upon whether it is in the centre of a
blob, the beginning or end of a blob, or some other part of the screen. With this
multi-function tool alone, you have a powerful and unique set of editing options;
but these are by no means all that Melodyne uno has to offer. In this chapter, we
will be looking at the Expert tools, which offer additional ways of editing audio
To begin, select Show Expert Tools from the Edit menu.
The Expert toolbar is
accessed via the View menu
When you check the option Show Expert Tools, a new toolbar appears beneath the
Volume slider and Level meter.
The Expert toolbar
further facilitates
editing and navigation
Melodyne essential user manual
You can access the same tools by right-clicking (PC) or [Ctrl]-clicking (Mac)
anywhere in the edit window.
Once the Show Expert Tools option has been selected, you can
access the same tools by [Ctrl/right]-clicking anywhere in the
Edit window
04-01 Main tool
Let’s look more closely at some of these tools . The one on the left, the mouse
pointer, needs no introduction: it’s Melodyne uno’s context-sensitive Main tool,
which can be used for selecting objects of all kinds as well as altering the pitch,
length and position of notes as well as note and segment separations.
Main tool
At the beginning of a
note: alter position (if
the Alt key is held:
without snapping)
In the middle of a note:
alter pitch (if the Alt
key is held: in steps of
a cent instead of a
At the end of a note:
alter length (if the Alt key
is held: without snapping)
Above / below a note: create a note separation (where none
exists); otherwise, delete (double-click) or move one. If the Alt
key is held, segments can be created or reunited; the latter
presupposes, of course, that they once belonged together.
04-02 Expert tools for pitch editing
The next tool in the series should have a familiar enough look to it: it’s the Edit
Pitch tool we met in section 03-02; there, however, it was a context-sensitive
avatar (manifestation) of the Main tool: it appeared as you moved the arrow over
the centre of a note and disappeared just as rapidly when you moved it away.
When you select it from the Expert toolbar, however, it stays put. Whenever you
select this tool, incidentally, the Pitch curve will appear — even if you have
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-01 Main tool
Demo only
04-02 Expert tools for pitch editing
unchecked the option Always Show Pitch Curve in the View menu.
The Edit Pitch tool
What is nice about using the ‘expert’ version of the Edit Pitch tool is that you get a
read-out in the Inspector area (to the right of the Expert toolbar) of the exact pitch
(to the nearest cent) and frequency of the selected note: you can see, for example,
that your A (a’) is 14 cents (hundreds of a semitone) flat and oscillating at 436 Hz
instead of the 440 required by concert pitch. The name of the note and the
number of cents (if any) adrift of concert pitch are displayed in text boxes,
allowing you to type in the desired values; you may find this easier than fiddling
around with the mouse.
Melodyne essential provides a precise
read-out of the pitch and frequency
of the selected note
When this tool is active, at the semitone nearest to each blob, you will see a blue
box containing an outline of the same blob. This ‘ghost’ blob indicates where the
real blob would be if the note to which it refers were perfectly in tune. To correct
the tuning of a note, simply double-click on the blob with the Edit Pitch tool and
it will snap to the position indicated by the outline (i.e. the ghost blob). To
quantize the pitch of multiple notes in this way, select them and double-click any
note in the selection.
As with the Main tool, Melodyne’s scrub mode is activated as you are moving the
note, which means that if you move the tool to the right or left as you are dragging
a note, you can hear the waveform at the points through which it passes. [If you
find this distracting, uncheck Monitor Note Pitch on Editing in the Preferences.]
Melodyne essential user manual
As you move the Edit Pitch tool to the end of a note, its shape changes and it
becomes the Pitch Transitions tool.
When singing or playing the violin
in particular, musicians often
glide from one note to the next.
This is called portamento.
Melodyne indicates a portamento
transition by means of a blue line
linking the two notes affected. If
this ‘transition’ is deactivated,
the pitch curve from this note to
the next is ‘cut through’ and is
not adjusted when adjacent notes
are transposed.
If ever, for creative reasons or
after altering the pitch of a note,
you wish to introduce a
portamento, double-click the end
of the first of the two notes or
activate with the first note
manually the ‘Transition’
checkbox and drag the blue line
that appears linking them
upwards (for a slower
portamento) or downwards (for a
faster one).
Transitions between the adjacent
notes of an entire selection can
be created and edited
simultaneously in the same way;
first make the selection, then
create and/or edit the transition
between any pair and similar
transitions will appear throughout
the selection.
Discontinuities in the Pitch
Curve can be observed at the
end of the selected note
Here a smoother transition has
been achieved by
doubleclicking and dragging
with the Pitch Transition tool
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-02 Expert tools for pitch editing
Demo only
04-02 Expert tools for pitch editing
If you click and hold the Edit Pitch tool, two sub-tools appear beneath it, these
being the Pitch Modulation and Pitch Drift tools.
The Pitch Modulation tool can be used to augment or diminish the amount of
vibrato applied to the selected note or notes.
The amplitude of the vibrato
applied to this note, for
example, …
... can be reduced to
nothing with a simple drag
of the mouse.
If you carry on dragging in a
downward direction, you
can even phase-reverse the
To increase the amplitude of the vibrato of a selection, click on any note within it
and drag the pointer upwards.
The Pitch Modulation tool provides an interesting way of modifying one crucial
aspect of the musical expression of a performance; not only can you tone down
the vibrato throughout the entire track (or wherever it descends into a tasteless
warble), but you can also add it in areas where a performance perhaps lacks lustre
or seems thin. Double-clicking a note using the Pitch Modulation tool toggles
between the original vibrato and no vibrato. You can read the existing vibrato
intensity from the box next to the tool bar or enter a new value if you wish.
Melodyne essential user manual
The second tool down is the Pitch Drift tool. ‘Pitch drift’, you will remember, is the
term reserved for divagations in pitch other than vibrato, the difference being
primarily that vibrato is faster. The Pitch Drift tool works like the same parameter
in the Correct Pitch panel with the added possibility of increasing or reversing the
pitch drift. This makes it a more powerful tool for redrawing the pitch envelope of
a note. Double-clicking a note using the Pitch Drift tool toggles between the
original drift and no drift. You can read the existing drift intensity from the box
next to the tool bar or enter a new value if you wish.
The context-sensitive Pitch Transitions tool is also available with the tools for
Pitch Drift and Vibrato.
Note: whenever you select one of the Pitch tools from the toolbar, the pitch curve
will be superimposed on the note blobs, even though you may have unchecked
Always Show Pitch Curve in the View menu.
Tip: it can happen — as a result of drift or vibrato editing, the cutting up of notes
and transposition of the parts — that discontinuities appear in the Pitch Curve,
introducing a harshness or jerkiness to the transitions. That may be the effect you
intend, but in the event that it is not, you can use the Pitch Transition tool to
smooth the transitions. What this does is to introduce a portamento (the intensity
of which you can control) between adjacent notes.
Pitch tool
At the beginning or middle or a note:
double-click quantize pitch to the nearest
suitable semitone (blue frame)
At the end of a note: control
the pitch transition to the
next note. Double-click:
transistion on or off
Sub-tools (for pitch modulation — i.e. vibrato — or drift:
These tools are not context-sensitive: double-clicking on a
note removes the vibrato or drift altogether or restores it.
In the Edit > Edit Pitch cascading submenu, you will find a number of other
functions. The majority, you will observe, are designed to help you reverse
whatever changes you have just made to the selected notes, by allowing you to
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-02 Expert tools for pitch editing
Demo only
04-03 Expert tool for editing formants
reset the pitch center, pitch modulation, pitch drift or pitch transition to their original
state; they are more flexible, however, than the Undo tool because they allow you, for
example, to reverse the first of a series of four editing steps without reversing the
second, third and fourth. You could, for example, by selecting Edit > Edit Pitch >
Reset Pitch Modulation to Original, restore the original vibrato of the recording
without sacrificing whatever other editing you may have done subsequently.
Reset all Pitch-related Changes to Original can be used when needed to reset the
pitch, modulation and drift in one go to the original, saving you having to use the
corresponding individual commands.
The command at the bottom of the Edit > Edit Pitch submenu, Add Random
Offset to Pitch Center, is of a different kind: this can be used to create a choruslike effect; by copying the same part several times and adding random offsets to
the notes of each file (except the first), you can simulate the effect of several
musicians singing or playing in unison.
04-03 Expert tool for editing formants
The next tool in the toolbar is dedicated to
the editing of formants. Formants are
groups of emphasized harmonics arising,
in the case of the human voice, from
resonances in the vocal column; they are
the same whatever the pitch of the
Crude transposition tools, such as samplers, when they transpose the
fundamental, transpose the formants along with it, creating — in the case of a
transposition upwards — an unnatural timbre, as though the speaker or singer had
just inhaled helium; this is known as the ‘Chipmunk effect’ and the converse
(produced by transposing formants downwards), as the ‘Darth Vader effect’. No
disrespect to either gentleman, but something better than this is called for in a
musical context.
That is why Melodyne, as a rule, leaves the formants in place when transposing
audio files, yielding considerably more natural results. You may wish on occasion,
however, to make minor or (for special effects) even major adjustments to the
formant structure manually, and this is where the Edit Formant tool comes in.
Melodyne essential user manual
When you select the Edit Formant tool, a horizontal beam appears in the middle of
each blob. If you drag the beam upwards, you transpose the formants upwards,
giving the voice a more feminine sound; do the same to a musical instrument and
it is equivalent to giving it a smaller resonating chamber, turning a guitar into a
ukulele or a viola into a violin. Transposing the formants downwards is equivalent
to giving an instrument a more voluminous resonating chamber. Again, you can
apply the same changes to all, or only selected, notes and type in the desired
value in cents for the latter, if you prefer that to using the mouse. If you wish to
restore the original formants of a note, simply double-click on it with the Edit
Formant tool.
The formants of this note have been
transposed upwards; the steepness of
the blue line indicates the speed of
theformant transition
The Edit Formant tool is context sensitive: when you hold it over the last part of a
note, it governs formant transitions. This tool works in much the same way as the
tool for pitch transitions. With the formants, transitions are created automatically
whenever you shift the formants of a note. Here, too, the blue lines appear
representing a transition. As with the pitch transition tool, by dragging the mouse
pointer upwards or downwards (level with the end of a note), you can set the
speed of the formant transition to the next note, with the blue line between the
two notes becoming correspondingly shallower or steeper.
The Edit > Edit Formant cascading submenu offers two options, Reset Formants
to Original and Reset Formant Transition to Default that are useful because they
are independent of the normal Undo function.
Formant tool
At the beginning or middle of a note: alter
formants (bear in mind that this is only possible
with ‘melodic’ material). Double-click: restore
formant beams to their original positions
At the end of a note: control
formant transition to the
next note
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-03 Expert tool for editing formants
Demo only
04-04 Expert tool for editing the amplitude
04-04 Expert tool for editing the amplitude
Dynamics, obviously, play a vital part in musical expression, so Melodyne offers
powerful functions to help you edit this aspect of a performance. They are
implemented with the help of the Amplitude tool.
The Amplitude tool
If you click on a note with the Amplitude tool and drag upwards, it becomes
louder; downwards, softer; the amount of change in decibels being indicated in
each case in the Inspector area.
Dragging upwards increases the
amplitude of the note …
… whilst dragging downwards has
the opposite effect
The red means that Melodyne essential’s output
is overloaded; at least one note must be too loud
Melodyne essential user manual
As usual: one note, selected notes, or all notes, can be edited with a single
movement of the mouse, or else, if preferred, by entering the desired value in the
edit box near the Toolbar.
As with pitch and formants, you can edit the amplitude transition between notes
to introduce subtle variations into the dynamics of a performance. After dragging
to alter the amplitude of a note, blue lines appear indicating the steepness of the
amplitude transition to the next note. This, too, can be modified by dragging the
lines in the normal way.
When you double-click with the Amplitude tool on one or a selection of blobs, the
note or notes in question are temporarily muted and their blobs replaced by a
straight line. Double-clicking a second time, unmutes the notes in question.
The selected notes
have been muted
here with a double
click …
... but it is still
possible to select
and edit them
The Edit > Edit Amplitude cascading submenu contains the items you would
expect: commands for resetting the amplitude to the original, the amplitude
transitions to the default and the mute state of the selected notes.
Amplitude tool
At the beginning and middle of a note: alter
amplitude. Double click: mute or else unmute
notes (toggle)
At the end of a note: control
amplitude transition to next
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-04 Expert tool for editing the amplitude
Demo only
04-05 Expert time editing tool
04-05 Expert time editing tool
The next tool in the toolbar is the Time editing tool. This works in exactly the same
way as the Main tool when positioned at the beginning or end of a note.
In this case, however, outlines in little blue frames indicate the positions that
Melodyne’s analysis has identified as the ‘ideal’ rhythmic positions for the blobs
and that are represented by the notation. The blue frames also indicate the target
positions for quantization that can be carried out using the Quantize Time macro.
Important: these positions will only make sense if the tempo has been correctly
identified and the grid properly aligned (how to adjust the tempo to the material
and realign the background where necessary is explained in §03-05 Any Tempo
you Like.
The little frames
represent the target
positions of the
notes for
The following experiment will help you to understand the
blue frames. Select the Time tool and make the notation
visible. From the Quantization drop-down menu to the right
of the Bar/Time ruler select a smaller or triplet quantization
factor. Then select all notes and choose Edit > Edit Note
Separations > Reassign Notes to Beats. This will cause the
blue frames to jump to new positions in line with the newly
selected quantization factor. The little blue frames and the
notation jump to new positions representing the new target
positions for quantization.
These positions of the notes can be changed by dragging a
note and moving it in a horizontal direction — the exact
distance being dependent upon the current quantization
factor; the notes in this case are always moved by the current quantization factor
(the horizontal difference between gridlines), not onto the grid. Double-clicking on
Setting the
quantization factor
Melodyne essential user manual
a note, or selecting multiple notes and double-clicking any one of them, will cause
the selected note or notes to snap to the nearest grid line and be stretched or
compressed if necessary.
From the Edit > Edit Notes Time cascading submenu, you can reset the various
Time parameters of selected notes to their original values.
– Reset Relative Time Course to Original re-establishes the original time
relationship between notes, leaving their total length unchanged in the event
that the area has been stretched or compressed
– Reset Time Course and Duration to Original restores both the position and the
length, though the original length of notes that have been compressed can only
be restored if enough space exists behind them to allow them to expand without
invading the space occupied by another note.
– Add Random Offset to Time Course is the companion to Add Random Offset to
Pitch Center (which we met in the Edit > Edit Pitch cascading submenu; both
serve the same purpose: to introduce minor variations to one or multiple copies
of a part, so that when these are played back together, the effect is of a choir (or
‘chorus’) rather than a single voice, or of two or more instruments playing in
unison (like the first violins in an orchestra, for example), rather than a single
Time tool
At the beginning or middle of a note: alter
position of note (if the Alt key is held: without
snapping). Double-click: quantize to the next
suitable time unit (silhouette in the blue frame)
At the end of a note: alter
length (if the Alt key is
held: without snapping)
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-05 Expert time editing tool
Demo only
04-06 Expert tools for note and segment separation
04-06 Expert tools for note and segment separation
The last pair of tools in the Expert toolbar are the Note Separation and Segment
Separation tools.
You can use the Note Separation tool to move the boundary between notes freely
to the right or left; by ‘freely’, I mean ‘independently of the current quantization
factor’. If you double-click, the note will be split at that point and a new note
separator created. If you double-click an existing note separator (without holding
the [Alt] key), it will disappear. If you hold the [Alt] key and move the pointer to a
note separator, it will become the Segment Separation tool; in this case, if you
double-click on the note separator, it will become a segment separator. The
Segment separation tool is also available as a sub-tool of the Note separation tool.
In the Edit > Edit Note Separations cascading submenu, you will find the
following commands:
Separate Note as Trill reinterprets a note containing a strong vibrato as being in
fact a trill and accordingly what was displayed previously as a single note is
broken down into a succession of individual notes alternating in pitch and capable
of being edited individually. Without more, however, the command has no
influence upon the sound.
A note with vibrato
Melodyne essential user manual
The same note
reinterpreted as a trill
The command Separate Note as Slide is designed to separate notes created, for
example, when a guitarist or bass player slides the finger stopping the string up or
down the string — in other words, it breaks a rising or descending glissando into a
series of discrete semitone steps. Where the potential for a glissando exists, a
continuous rising or falling pitch curve is displayed which, with fretted
instruments, may take on a step-like appearance; for it to be recognized as such
by Melodyne, a slide must cover at least three semitones, with the first and last
notes defining the range of the slide.
The note range that you wish to treat and separate as a slide should initially be
separated from any preceding or following ‘main note’ and consist of only one
note. Select this slide note followed by the command Separate Note as Slide. The
slide will then be broken down into its constituent notes.
The command Reassign Notes to Beats will cause the blue frames to jump to new
positions in line with the newly selected quantization factor. The little blue frames
and the notation jump to new positions representing the new target positions for
Note separation tool
Create a note separation (where none exists);
otherwise, delete (double-click) or move one. If the Alt
key is held, segments can be created or reunited; the
latter presupposes, of course, that they once belonged
Melodyne essential user manual
Demo only
04-06 Expert tools for note and segment separation
05 Other matters of importance
05 Other matters of importance
5-01 Correcting the automatic note detection
The analysis of the audio material conducted by Melodyne essential each time you
load a new file is the key to the powerful editing functions offered by the program;
it distinguishes automatically between melodic and percussive material,
recognizes where each note ends and the next begins, as well as identifying the
precise pitch and amplitude envelope of each note. For the most part, the results
of this analysis are very accurate, but with certain types of audio material, things
can nonetheless be misinterpreted.
– Notes are sometimes placed in the wrong octave; this can happen, for example,
if as a result of filtering, poor choice or positioning of microphones, or some
other defect in the audio chain, the fundamental is absent or too weak to be
detected, and the first harmonic is therefore wrongly interpreted as the
fundamental; conversely, the roughness of certain sounds can result in the
fundamental being mistaken for the first harmonic. The result, in the former
case, is that Melodyne essential assigns the note to the octave above, and in the
latter, to the octave below, the correct pitch. Pitch recognition errors other than
the placing of notes in the wrong octave are extremely rare.
– Notes that ought to be separate are sometimes conflated
– Melodic material is sometimes mistaken for percussive and vice versa, though
this is hardly surprising: often it’s a very fine line (think of scat) and even the
human ear can be pushed to decide often where speech ends and singing begins
and as to whether or not a sound has a definite pitch. The significance of the
distinction is this: if Melodyne essential decides that a sound is percussive
rather than melodic, it will move the formants in the course of transposition and
prevent you correcting them manually — unless and until you have corrected the
classification error.
Melodyne essential user manual
5-01 Correcting the automatic note detection
Fortunately, Melodyne essential offers a special editing mode that allows you to
reclassify notes wrongly identified as percussive (Edit > Correct Detection).
Correct Detection
mode is entered
from the Edit menu
When you check the item Correct Detection in the Edit menu, the blobs in the
Edit window turn yellow and the Pitch Curve, a brighter red.
In Pitch Correction mode, the blobs become fainter and the Pitch Curve is more boldly delineated
As is the case in normal Edit mode, the mouse pointer in Pitch Correction mode is
multi-functional and changes its appearance depending upon its position relative
to the blobs and upon the function it is performing. When you move the pointer to
the centre of a blob, it becomes the Pitch Correction tool.
Melodyne essential user manual
5-01 Correcting the automatic note detection
The Pitch Correction tool
Although you can move blobs up and down in pitch with this tool exactly as you
did with the Edit Pitch tool in normal Edit mode, the effect of your actions in the
two cases is quite different: when you correct a wrongly identified note, you are
telling Melodyne essential to search again for the pitch in the position indicated.
In this way, you can help the program with difficult material by indicating
manually where it should look. Once it has found the note you have told it to
search for, it will redraw the Pitch Curve to take account of it.
In Pitch Correction mode, blobs do not snap to the centre of lanes and, unlike the
case with normal editing, it is the analysis file (the one with the file ending ‘mdd’)
rather than the audio file that is affected. As a result of these revisions to the
analysis file, when you next load the audio file itself, whatever notes you have
corrected will appear at the correct pitch.
When you move the pointer in any direction from the centre of a blob towards its
outline, it changes from the Pitch Correction tool to the Note Separation tool.
With this tool, just as in normal Edit mode, you can create new note separations or
move note boundaries.
When Melodyne essential is in correction mode, the Inspector area displays
various parameters to assist with correcting the results of the analysis.
The Note Separation tool
Melodyne essential user manual
05-02 Preferences
The setting of the Separations slider affects where Melodyne essential inserts note
separations; the closer the Separations slider is to its maximum setting (“more”),
the more likely it is that minor discontinuities will be interpreted as evidence that
one note has ended and another begun: a greater number of individual notes will
therefore be detected. If the ‘Use Pitch’ option is cleared, evidence of the
existence of note breaks will be based primarily upon variations in amplitude; if
selected, the pitch will be taken into account; which option is most useful
depends upon the type of material being edited.
The options ‘Percussive’ and ‘Melodic’, selected from the Play Algorithm dropdown list determine which of the two playback algorithms should be used,
enabling you to correct classification errors where melodic material has incorrectly
been classed as percussive (making it impossible thereafter to edit the formants)
or vice versa. This parameter acts upon segments of the audio material. (See the
section on the Note Separation tool of the Expert toolbar).
If, with a note selected, you click the arrow to the left of the Play Algorithm list
box, you will find the option ‘Separate Note as Trill’, which fulfils the same
function as the equivalent entry in the action menu of the Note Separation tool in
the Expert toolbar; it could prove useful in Correct Detection mode as well, which
is why it is made available here.
Note that (as was the case with corrections to the pitch detection) corrections
relating to note separation affect the analysis (*.mdd) file: next time you load the
file, you will find whatever changes you have made manually have already been
taken into account.
05-02 Preferences
We would like briefly to familiarize you with the Preferences dialog. On the PC, this
is accessed from the Edit menu; on the Mac, from the Melodyne essential menu.
The Preferences dialog comprises three pages; unlike a standard property sheet,
these are accessed via the list box at the top rather than using tabs.
Note: if you are using Melodyne essential with ReWire, you will see the ReWire
parameters on this page rather than those illustrated here and described in the
following paragraphs (for the differences, see ReWire below).
Melodyne essential user manual
05-02 Preferences
Accessing the
Preferences dialog on
the Mac
If not using ReWire, you will see
The Hardware page
of the Preferences dialog
the following parameters:
– Device Driver On the Mac, this will usually be the Core Audio driver for the
integrated hardware, unless you are using optional audio hardware; under
Windows, you should select an ASIO driver if one is available; otherwise use
– Sample Rate This is where you select the sample rate to be used during recording
and playback — always assuming your audio driver offers you choice; it does
not have to be the same as the sample rate of the audio files you are using,
though you will achieve better audio quality if the two rates are the same.
– Buffer Size This parameter determines the size of the buffer used for
communicating with the audio hardware. The smaller the value, the lower the
latency; but there is a trade-off here, because the lower latency is achieved in
some cases at the expense of a more sluggish response from the user interface
or dropouts in the course of playback. If using DirectX, 2048 is a sensible size,
whilst 512 is recommended for all other drivers. The degree of latency is also
partly dependent upon the hardware and the sample rate selected: the higher
the sample rate, the lower the latency.
Melodyne essential user manual
05-02 Preferences
– Output If you are using multi-channel audio hardware, you can select the output
pair for Melodyne essential to use when playing back files.
– Input This setting determines the input channel of your hardware when
recording. If you choose to record a mono file (see file format parameters below),
Melodyne essential records from the selected input. If you choose to record a
stereo file, Melodyne essential records from the selected input and the next
– Ignore buffer underruns If Melodyne essential is running on a very slow computer,
you can elect (by checking this box) to endure the occasion pop or crackle
during playback in preference to a dropout – as the lesser of two evils, so to
speak; the point being that certain sound cards react badly to such dropouts, on
occasion even causing the computer to crash. You should only check this box if
you really are encountering problems; most users will never need this option and
can safely ignore it.
The next page of the Preferences dialog is devoted to the Default File Format for
When you load and edit a file using Melodyne essential, it is always saved in the
original format. The Default File Format page of the Preferences dialog is therefore
only used when you are recording or creating files from within Melodyne essential
The Default File Format page only
governs the format of files created by
Melodyne essential
Melodyne essential user manual
05-02 Preferences
The parameters are as follows:
– File Format Melodyne essential can save files in any of the formats it is capable
of reading: i.e. AIFF, WAV, SND and Sound Designer II (Mac only)
– Resolution The word length of the audio file in bits: 8, 16 or 24
– Sample Rate The sampling frequency to be employed: 22.05, 44.1, 48 kHz or
96 kHz
– Channel Format You can elect to create either a mono or a stereo file
– Recording Folder Selects the recording folder.
The Configuration page of the Preferences dialog is concerned with file
management and the user interface.
The Configuration page
of the Preferences dialog
The options are as follows:
– Keep original files when saving When you select this option, Melodyne essential
renames the original file before saving, reserving the name you have chosen for
the latest version. In renaming the file, the characters “.orig” and a number are
added to the original filename; successive versions of the file are numbered
incrementally (orig1, orig2 etc.) allowing you to backtrack in the event that
things go awry.
– Create Empty File on Start-up If you select this option, when you launch the
program, Melodyne essential will automatically give you a blank sheet (so to
speak) to work with.
Melodyne essential user manual
05-03 ReWire
– Monitor Note Pitch on Editing When this checkbox is selected, the local sound
of the note is played (this is called ‘scrubbing’) when you drag blobs upwards or
downwards in the Editor — i.e. edit their pitch.
– Show Tool Tips With this option selected, as you click and hold on the right-hand
side of a tool, a small text box appears displaying the name of the tool.
– Show Slider Values while Editing With this option selected, as you move the
Volume slider (and also the Click rotary control that provides you with a
metronome when recording), their values are displayed in small pop-up
windows beside the control.
– Enable Spot to Pro Tools With this option, you can manually activate or
deactivate the Spot to Pro Tools function, which is described below.
– Master tune Melodyne essential’s Master tune setting.
– Language This is where you choose the language of the user interface.
05-03 ReWire
Instead of running Melodyne essential in
stand-alone mode, you can run it as a
ReWire Client in conjunction with a
You should see this message
First start the ReWire host program, then Melodyne essential.
In the ReWire Preferences, which are
only accessible in ReWire mode, you
will find two options: Fast Playback
Start and Opening Files takes Tempo
from ReWire host.
When the program is run as a ReWire
client, the Hardware page of the
Preferences dialog looks like this
With the former option, you can
ensure that Melodyne essential
synchronizes with the ReWire host
after a constant and considerably
Melodyne essential user manual
05-03 ReWire
shorter delay than in earlier versions. Of course, considerably more RAM is
required to implement this option as it involves reading the file from the hard disk
and loading it in its entirety into RAM. If your computer has a less than abundant
supply of RAM, it may be obliged to use virtual memory, which involves using
‘page’ (or ‘swap’) files to swap pages of data out of physical memory when
necessary; the upshot being that instead of the hoped-for acceleration, there is a
marked slowdown in performance. If this occurs, it is better to deactivate the Fast
Playback Start option.
The option Opening Files takes Tempo from ReWire host causes Melodyne
essential to adopt the current tempo of the ReWire master when defining the
tempo (Bar/Time Ruler setting) of newly opened files (see below).
In ReWire mode, Melodyne supports latency matching with the ReWire host, if
needed. What this means is that in the event that the position of the song cursor
in Melodyne does not correspond with the heard signal, you can correct the
problem. As a starting point, set the audio latency displayed in your host, or else
just experiment until the position of the cursor corresponds with what you are
hearing. Please note, however: this parameter merely compensates for a possible
discrepancy between what you see and what you hear; the audible signal
transmitted to the host is always in sync!
Tempo setting and synchronization
The tempo in beats per minute (BPM) displayed in Melodyne essential ought, in
principle, to be that of the audio file loaded; (if the file was recorded at 100 BPM,
the tempo displayed should be 100 BPM, and so on). When Melodyne essential
opens a new file, it analyses the tempo of the material and ‘suggests’ a tempo
setting. If this is not, in fact, the tempo of the file, the user should enter the
correct tempo (with the Stretch function deactivated!) and, if need be, drag the
first beat to the beginning of a bar, so as to ensure that the Bar/Time Ruler is
correctly aligned with the audio — a sine qua non of correct timing editing in
Melodyne essential. Doing all this, it should be understood, only affects the tempo
definition – the spacing and alignment of the gridlines or ‘columns’ in the
background display – and not the audio file itself. It may be necessary to move the
beginning of the first bar to the desired position by dragging the little grey ‘1’
marker in the Bar/Time Ruler, (again: with the Stretch function deactivated!).
Double-click the small grey ‘1’ and type in a value if you need to move the ‘1’ by
two or more bars. Hold the Alt key to move it without quantization.
As far as the tempo in ReWire mode is concerned, two situations have to be
Melodyne essential user manual
05-04 The function ‘Spot to Pro Tools’
a) the file to be opened is derived from the ReWire master, where it has just been
recorded: in this case, in all probability, the file will already have the same
tempo as the host, which has already been detected, and it is unnecessary (and
may even be counterproductive) to let Melodyne essential determine the tempo;
instead, you need Melodyne essential to adopt the tempo of the master as the
tempo definition, so select Opening Files takes Tempo from ReWire host;
b) the file to be opened does not have the same tempo as the master; in this case
Melodyne essential should be allowed to analyse the material and suggest a
tempo setting; though, again, it may be necessary to correct this manually.
Once the tempo has been correctly defined, Melodyne essential is able (using a
process that could be described as ‘realtime time-stretching’) to play back the
audio file in time with the ReWire master. During playback, Melodyne’s Tempo
box is deactivated and simply displays the tempo of the master, so you cannot
enter a new value manually. Note that when Melodyne essential adjusts the
playback tempo of the audio file to match that of the host, it is not altering the
audio file itself; if you do want to change the tempo of the audio file, you have
to halt the playback, check the Stretch box, enter the desired tempo manually,
and save the file.
You can find more information concerning Melodyne essential and ReWire, current
compatibility lists and configuration tips at http://www.celemony.com/support.
05-04 The function ‘Spot to Pro Tools’
The function Spot to Pro Tools has an important role to play in streamlining the
workflow when Melodyne essential is used in combination with Pro Tools — especially
when it is used as a ReWire client with Pro Tools — but is otherwise irrelevant.
Note: whilst the option Spot to Pro Tools is shown automatically when a file
containing Pro Tools regions is first opened, it is hidden by default; to show it,
select Preferences > Configuration > Enable Spot to Pro Tools.
Explanation: ‘regions’ is the term used to describe sections of an audio file within
Pro Tools. Technically, they consist of pointers to the beginning and end of all or
part of the file. For every take, Pro Tools defines at least one region encompassing
the entire sound file. The order in which the regions that comprise each track are
played back is determined by a ‘playlist’. When a region is created, it is given an
Original Time Stamp and a User Time Stamp, which are initially identical and
reflect the SMPTE time at which the audio was
Melodyne essential user manual
05-04 The function ‘Spot to Pro Tools’
recorded. The User Time Stamp can later be redefined with the Time Stamp
Selected command in the Regions List pop-up menu. If you open a time-stamped
region in Melodyne essential while it is linked to Pro Tools via ReWire, the data
will be placed in exactly the same ruler position in Melodyne as in the host
application. Once the file has been saved, it can therefore be reinserted with
sample accuracy into the host application at exactly the right place.
How to use Spot to Pro Tools when you are running Melodyne essential as a
ReWire client with Pro Tools
– In Pro Tools, select the audio file or region that you wish to edit using Melodyne
essential. Choose Export Region Definitions from the Audio Regions List pop-up
menu or in the case of audio files Time Stamp Selected from the Audio menu.
Now open Melodyne essential as the first insert effect on the track; the program
should launch automatically.
– If no ReWire channel is selected, please select one. This should happen
automatically in the case of stereo files but has to be done manually when
working with mono files.
– Inside Melodyne essential select Open from the File menu and navigate to the audio
file to be edited or else to the audio file containing the region to be edited.
– When the file to be opened contains a region, Melodyne essential opens a dialog
window from which you can elect to edit the entire original file or a copy based
only one region. It is advisable to work with a copy. Names are assigned
automatically to copies by inserting “.essential.1” in front of the file extension
or channel index like this:
Hallo.aif -> Hallo.essential.1.aif
Hallo.L.aif -> Hallo.essential.1.L.aif
If this name exists already, “essential.2” is used instead, and so on.
This is the window that appears when you open an
audio file containing one or more regions
Melodyne essential user manual
05-04 The function ‘Spot to Pro Tools’
– Open the file or region selected and edit it using Melodyne essential.
– Select Save and spot to Pro Tools from the File menu. This first saves the file
and then instructs Pro Tools (if it is running at the time) to insert the file into
the selected track of the active session. The file is placed at the current cursor
position, so keep the edited region selected to replace it by the edited file.
Even if you opted initially to edit the original file rather than a copy, Melodyne
essential offers you the option of saving the file you have been editing under a
different name, thereby leaving the original file (to which Pro Tools retains access)
If you have been working with a copy, this will be inserted into the track without
further ado. For the file to be played back in Pro Tools, the Melodyne essential
ReWire plug-in must now be deactivated again.
If Melodyne essential saves a file which had regions when being opened, a single
region is exported. As that region is also time stamped, these files can also be
imported and spot in ProTools manually.
Editing audio files in split stereo format
Melodyne essential supports audio files in split stereo format, i.e. files in which
the data for the left and right channels are stored in separate files, with the
suffixes ‘L’ and ‘R’ respectively. Like the Spot to Pro Tools function, this audio file
format is almost exclusively of importance when working with Pro Tools.
Opening split stereo files: If you open a file that is part of a split stereo file,
Melodyne essential will look for and open automatically the companion file (i.e.
the file for the other channel), if it is available. If, for example, one file is called
“Audio.L.wav” and the other “Audio.R.wav”, whichever one you open, Melodyne
essential will open the other at the same time. In either case, the reference of the
file names will be based on the left channel, so whichever you open,
“Audio.L.wav” will appear in the title bar of the window.
Melodyne essential user manual
05-05 Melodyne essential and the other versions of Melodyne
When saving audio files, you can decide whether you wish split stereo or
interleaved files to be created. When you save in split stereo format and the name
does not already make the fact that it is a split stereo file clear, Melodyne
essential adds the letters ‘L’ and ‘R’ to the files containing the data for the left
and right channels respectively. If on the other hand, the name chosen already
ends with an ‘L’ or an ‘R’, Melodyne essential uses this name for the
corresponding channel, and a similar name (substituting only an ‘R’ for the ‘L’ or
the other way around) for other channel.
.mdd files Even split stereo files only require one mdd analysis file. This contains
the information for both channels, even though it only bears the name of the file
for the left channel. In other words, if you open the audio files “Audio.L.wav” and
“Audio.R.wav”, Melodyne essential will create an analysis file
called“Audio.L.wav.mdd” containing the analysis data for both channels.
05-05 Melodyne essential and the other versions of
Melodyne: compatibility and upgrades
As you are perhaps aware, in addition to Melodyne essential, Celemony produces
three other versions of Melodyne: uno, cre8 and the large studio edition. The
essential difference between essential/uno and cre8/studio is that
whilst from the standpoint of functions, Melodyne essential/uno are more like a
sample editor, the two other versions more closely resemble audio sequencers,
allowing the creation of multi-track audio productions — with the familiar
Melodyne essential functions (as well as numerous other editing possibilities)
available in every track. As a result, it is possible to construct complete
arrangements with these versions of the program, assisted by powerful and flexible
editing tools every step of the way.
We would encourage you to download the demo versions of Melodyne studio and
Melodyne cre8 to obtain an insight into the possibilities they offer and would be
delighted if you were to decide to take advantage of one of our attractive upgrade
Note: For Melodyne essential, the audio analysis engine of versions 2.x of
Melodyne has been further improved. As a result, *.mdd files created by Melodyne
essential cannot be read by Melodyne 2.x; so if you are working with both
Melodyne essential and v2.x of cre8 or studio, please make copies of all important
*.mdd files.
Melodyne essential user manual
[4] (num)
[6] (num)
[8] (num)
[2] (num)
[Shift]+[5] (num)
[9] (num)
[7] (num)
[3] (num)
[1] (num)
Main (Arrow, Edit Pitch, Edit Time)
Edit Pitch
Edit Formants
Edit Amplitude
Edit Time
Note Separation
[Enter] (num)
[0] (num)
[*] (num)
Start/Stop playback
Play selection
Play selection from original file
Record enable
Select and audition previous/
next blob
Forward/Rewind one bar
Scroll left
Scroll right
Scroll up
Scroll down
Scroll to current position
Zoom in (horizontal)
Zoom out (horizontal)
Zoom in (vertical)
Zoom out (vertical)
Set cycle locator (left)
Set cycle locator (right)
Set cycle locator (fine)
Macro panels
Exit with OK
Exit with Cancel
View menu
Edit menu
Select All
Correct Detection
Window menu
Edit Pitch tool, [Alt]-drag
Edit Time tool, [Alt]-drag
Note Separation tool +[Alt]double-click
File menu
Save As...
Fine-tune selection
Fine-adjust position / length
Note / Segment Separation toggle
Keyboard Shortcuts
Melodyne essential user manual
.mdd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
playback of the entire audio file 27
Edit Formant . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Edit Pitch . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40, 53
AIFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
analysis file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
edit the amplitude . . . . . . . . . 61
Edit Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40, 62
Expert Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
ASIO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
audio files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
File Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
fine-tuning option . . . . . . . . . . 33
basic functions . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
blobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Buffer Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
formants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Ignore buffer underruns . . . . . . 71
Input . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
characteristic timbre . . . . . . . . 32
confusing it with the same note
an octave higher or lower . . 32
conventional notation . . . . . . . 26
copying of blobs . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Core Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Inspector area . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
key signature and
tempo parameters . . . . . . . 38
keyboard shortcuts . . . . . . . . . 24
Correct Pitch . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Correct Pitch dialog . . . . . . . . . 34
correct the pitch of all notes
Level display . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
automatically . . . . . . . . . . 33
correcting detection errors . 32, 66
correcting timing errors . . . . . . 47
mono or a stereo file . . . . . . . . 72
Cycle button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Default File Format . . . . . . . . . 71
Note Separation . . . . . . . . 43, 64
Device Driver . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
DirectX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Melodyne essential user manual
Pitch Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
very slow computer . . . . . . . . . 71
Pitch Modulation and
Volume fader . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Pitch Drift tools . . . . . . . . . 56
pitch quantization . . . . . . . . . . 34
playback algorithms . . . . . . . . 69
WAV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
playback tempo . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Preferences 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
zoom tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
re-quantization . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Record button . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Recording Folder . . . . . . . . . . 72
regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
ReWire Client . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
ReWire-Host . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Sample Rate . . . . . . . . . . 70, 72
scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25, 36
scrub . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27, 31, 54
segment separator . . . . . . . 46, 64
segments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Slide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
SND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Sound Designer II . . . . . . . . . . 72
Spot to Pro Tools . . . . . . . . . . . 75
step through . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Transition . . . . . . . . . . 55, 59, 61
trill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Melodyne essential user manual
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