Best Pitch Correction Software

It’s been a long time since Cher introduced the world to Autotune, but from the moment she believed in love the world became enamored with the tool turned production toy, but we’ve come a long way from what was the best pitch correction plugin.

Over the years we’ve been introduced to a myriad of pitch correction plugins, all made in the image of their predecessor, each learning from Antares’ mistakes or making them worse.

The space of almost 20 years since it’s original release has given time for new players to become experts and old giants lose market share.



When choosing the best pitch correction software, there are a few key factors to look at:

  1. CPU Load – Depending on the type of music you’re working on, the type of vocalist your working with, or a producer or engineers tracking choices, you can end up with a session that has seemingly endless vocals, which means you need a computer powerful enough to deal with being run on every vocal track that’s in use. There are multiple ways to make sure that a plugin is lean as possible, but it begins with the developer, but can be enhanced by the use of external DSP devices, or with the new integration of the ARA 2 software integration developed by Celemony.
  2. Real-time or Manual – Autotune made a name for itself by literally “auto-tuning,” chromatically in real time, and this is an important aspect to have in certain studio situations, such as tracking with a vocalist who isn’t the best. Inversely, while real-time tuning applications are great for mixing, they are not great for fine-tuning a vocal or a final mix.
  3. Editing Capabilities – When it comes to tuning, what you need may be dependent on what you’re mixing, but it’s generally cannon that more options are better when it comes to choosing the best pitch correction tools.
  4. Inherent Sound – The one thing you learn about tuning is that everything has a sound. The most apparent of the majors is, of course, Autotune, but as seamless as Ceremony touts Melodyne to be, it too has a sound. It’s always best to test what typing of tuning you’d like on a vocal and see if it’s right for you if you have the chance, which you should because all of the major tuning plugins have trials available.


The Auto-Tune Effect: How to get that Future & Migos Sound

As much as it pains me, I know that a lot of you reading this don’t actually care about perfecting your vocals, but as they say, “give the people what they want” and what you want is Antares Auto-Tune EFX 3. This stripped down version of Auto-Tune is exactly what it sounds like, it is a tool to get the AutoTune effect made popular by Cher, T-Pain and most-recently Future and the Migos.

AutoTune EFX is one of the cheaper tuning plugins because it’s extremely bare bones and includes only 3 modes:

  1. Hard EFX
  2. Soft EFX
  3. Legato, which used to be Pitch Correct

Unlike previous incarnations, Auto-Tune EFX 3 actually includes adjustments for both Humanization and Retune Speed, so if you aren’t looking to go through your vocals with a fine tooth comb, and you want to tune to the beat, this one’s for you.

Best Pitch Correction Software for Beginners: Nectar 2 Pitch Editor from Nectar 2 Production Suite

Bundled in Izotope’s Nectar 2 Production Suite, Pitch Editor is a welcome addition to the Nectar family. This easy to use pitch correction tools includes all of the basics, in a simple package that doesn’t have all that much of a learning curve. Just like the native pitch correction in Nectar 2, you can work within scales, one octave up and down, formant control, and work from correction speed times of 0ms for the “Autotune Effect” all the way to 60ms for more natural sounding corrections. Other great characteristics of Pitch Editor include

Correction Speed: 0ms to 100ms

Correction Strength Control: Yes

Note Transition Control: No

Formant Control: -/+ 12 Semitones

Formant Preservation: Yes

Editing Tools: Select, Split & Merge

Key Detection: Note Detection Only

Snap to Note: Yes

Vibrato Control: Enhance or Reduce

Real-Time: Only in actual Nectar 2 Plugin, not available in Pitch Editor

Correction Type: Printed edits or position synced.


Best Cheap Pitch Correction Plugin: Waves Tune

Waves is known for the excellent array of engineering tools, often bring in big names to make partnering plugins, but a thing many people may overlook from Waves is the dynamic Waves Tune plugin. Where other tuner’s shine bright [in a bad way], Waves Tune hides but still get’s the job done. Out of all of the tuner on the list, it is the most transparent reproduction. If you’re looking for an effect, this is not it. Waves Tune has the same ease of use as Nectar 2’s Pitch Editor, with the added bonus of having a plethora of surgical editing options a la Melodyne, and with an even smoother correction.

Correction Speed: 0ms to 300ms

Correction Strength Control: Yes

Note Transition Control: 0ms to 800ms

Formant Control: -/+ 12 Semitones

Formant Preservation: Yes

Editing Tools:

Key Detection: No

Snap to Note: Yes

Vibrato Control: Enhance, Reduce, Shape and Note Tolerance

Real-Time: No

Correction Type: Printed edits or position synced.


Best Simple Pitch Correction Plugin: Waves Tune Real-Time

A little over 2 years ago, Waves wanted to create their AutoTune killer, Waves Tune Real-Time isn’t that, but it is a much smoother real-time tuner than AutoTune itself. The sleek design is extremely straightforward and has an array of tools to keep your tracks in line.

Correction Speed: 0ms to 800ms

Correction Strength Control: Yes

Note Transition Control: 0ms to 800ms

Formant Control: No

Formant Preservation: Yes

Editing Tools: Flex Pitch, Mic Mod, Throat Control, Graph and more.

Key Detection: No

Snap to Note: Yes

Vibrato Control: Enhance, Reduce, Shape and Note Tolerance

Real-Time: Yes

Correction Type: Real-Time.


Best AutoTune Plugin: Antares AutoTune 8 + Upgrade to Pro

AutoTune Pro

Antares lead the pitch correction revolution, but soon got left behind by their competitors. Though still the most well-known and best-selling product in the category, Autotune has lost some of its luster from its heyday, which makes the announcement of the new AutoTune Pro.

AutoTune Pro picks up where AutoTune Evo and 8 left off, Evo being the companies last great step forward. With a sleek new redesign and a hoard of new features, AutoTune Pro includes instant key detection, a smoother form of their flex pitch engine, and Celemony’s ARA technology which makes the already non-latent AutoTune run even more smoothly.

Correction Speed: 0ms to 60ms

Correction Strength Control: Yes

Note Transition Control: Variable

Formant Control: -/+ 24 Semitones

Formant Preservation: Yes

Editing Tools: Flex Pitch, Mic Mod, Throat Control, Graph and more.

Key Detection: Yes (in Pro)

Snap to Note: Yes

Vibrato Control: Enhance, Reduce and Note Tolerance

Real-Time: Yes

Correction Type: Real-time, printed edits or position synced.


Best Manual Pitch Correction Software Celemony Melodyne

When the world was introduced to Melodyne, it was a necessary addition to the world of engineering. This seemingly-seamless formant shifting tool worked in both a graph format and a waveform spread across the piano roll predates AutoTune’s introduction of EVO or their Flex Tune technology which is specifically modeled off of Celemony’s Melodyne. Though not perfect, Melodyne is the standard in surgical tuning, allowing dramatic shifts that are generally unattainable in other pitch correction plugins.

Correction Speed: Variable

Correction Strength Control: Yes

Note Transition Control: Manual

Formant Control: -/+ 36 Semitones

Formant Preservation: Yes

Editing Tools: Graph, waveform and more.

Key Detection: Yes

Snap to Note: Yes

Vibrato Control: Enhance, Reduce, Shape and Note Tolerance

Real-Time: No

Correction Type: Manual, printed edits or position synced.