You can either love or hate adding autotune to your vocal tracks, but one thing is for sure; it is a tool that can help enhance and make pristine vocals. Using autotune does not mean that your vocalist or singer is not good. It is simply a correction tool that you can use to create unique sounding vocal tracks.
Autotune was popularized by modern artists such as T-Pain, Kanye West, and The Black Eyed Peas. I think there is nothing wrong with using autotune for live and studio tracks.
Mastering autotune is an art that requires skill. Even with autotune, you still need to sing in tune, or else the melody will go in random directions.
Other than pitch correction, autotune has so many practical uses in the music studio. You can use it to experiment with vocals and other acoustic instruments as well. You can make your voice sound futuristic or just simply correct the pitch using your same natural voice.
If you want to experiment with autotune, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will show you the 7 best free autotune VST plugins that you can add to your plugin arsenal. These different VSTs will differ in features, user-friendliness, latency, and design. But one thing remains constant; all of them are free software you can download right now.
Before we get into the list of the best autotune VST plugins, I will briefly discuss how AutoTune works and what to expect.
Autotune and its Features
Autotune is an essential component for any producer, beatmaker, and sound engineer. Artists who use autotune back in the day were frowned upon by listeners. However, we are living in a modern era of music, and those days are over. Using autotune doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t skilled in their craft. It’s an integral part of their style.
Autotune is not only used for just pitch correction anymore – you can also use it for synth patches, acoustic instruments, and even drums. Applying autotune to these instruments can either have a subtle or noticeable effect.
For example, you can use autotune if you notice some off-notes on your vocal tracks. Applying a little bit of pitch correction can fix the problem without compromising the quality and tone of your vocal tracks. You can also use autotune’s pitch correction for guitar solos that may have hit a noticeably off note.
How to use Autotune
The results of using autotune may vary from instrument to instrument. It will also depend on which autotune parameters you adjust, and the effects will also vary from each plugin.
Most autotune plugins are designed to correct minor pitch mistakes. With that in mind, you can only correct minor errors without compromising the natural tone for better results.
On the contrary, some autotune VSTs produce noticeable and flashy effects that can help create digitized vocals. You can either use autotune to create futuristic tones, layers, delays, and even change octaves. Aside from the typical pitch correction, some autotune plugins add a dramatic effect to create unique vocal tracks.
These types of autotune applications are commonly used for electronic genres.
When to Use Autotune
For pitch correction, you do not need to use autotune for the whole track. Instead, you can only use it to address minor problems in selected sections of the track. The key here is experimentation.
You can also try autotune to tighten up the elements, instead of using it for pitch correction only. By doing this method, your tracks will likely be more coherent, assuming that the parameters are adjusted accordingly. In most cases, you can use the piano roll to program the notes you want the tracks to hit.
Some autotune software can set you back hundreds of dollars, and it is challenging to find a free one that functions well. Lucky for you, I went ahead and tried out several autotune VSTs and came up with this list, so you don’t have to.
The 7 Best Free Autotune VST Plugins
The 7 plugins below can help you tremendously, especially if you don’t feel like investing into Antares Autotune just yet. Without further ado, let’s get to the list already!
MeldaProduction is well-known for creating some of the best free and paid virtual music technology software. The MAuto Pitch is one of them. This VST plugin is a well-developed powerful studio tool that you can use for enhancing and mastering your tracks.
This plugin focuses on aspects such as speed, depth, and detune controls. Despite its specializing on minimal aspects, this autotune VST has more features than any of the other free software you can download.
At first glance, the user interface has a very modern look, which makes you wonder why a well-crafted software like this is free. MAuto Pitch features the traditional controls you would find in an autotune software such as depth. Depth controls the amount of effect. It is kind of like controlling the level of the overall impact of the plugin.
Detune can add a vibrato effect that you can adjust, so you don’t fall off-pitch too much. It also has a speed knob where you control the speed of the autotune effect. If a singer cannot sustain the note, you can slow down the speed level, so that you add a sustain kind of effect.
Adjusting the speed from slow to fast can add a futuristic tone that is highly noticeable when you crank it up.
Overall, The MAuto Pitch is a fantastic plugin with a lot of features that focus on correction and traditional autotune parameters. It also has a width setting to make your tracks more full, giving it a full stereo effect. A formant setting that can alter the pitch is also present.
If you need visual aides to monitor the level of effects, this plugin also has a visible detector that provides a graphical interpretation of the notes. This plugin is a part of a free bundle collection that is worth downloading.
Check my MAutoPitch Review.
The GSnap’s user interface at first look seems a little old school, but this autotune VST puts its energy on functionality.
One thing that I liked most about the GSnap is the MIDI functionality. You can use a MIDI controller to play the notes you want the vocals to hit. You can also use the MIDI piano roll to input the MIDI information and tune the vocal section.
The interface will display the pitch in red text, and it will also display the corrected version in green for reference. The information it shows makes the interface is beneficial and easy to understand.
Aside from the usual autotune effects, this plugin includes a vibrato effect, which can add a flutter effect when you adjust the speed. It also consists of a gate setting which you can use to control the plugin effect level.
The GSnap is an excellent plugin overall. The manufacturers did an awesome job crafting this autotune VST.
This next VST may be the most unique autotune VST on the list. It has the traditional autotune and pitch correction, but it also features voice morphing effects. I fell in love with the vintage modern user interface.
This powerful autotune VST can be used for both recording and live performances. The correction mode is the main component. You can expect to get pretty good results just by turning it on. Features like inertia control the speed and threshold. The smooth setting determines the waveform or the smoothness of the autotune transition from one note to another.
The bitcrusher is one of the more unique features of the Graillon 2. You can use this feature to distort your voice digitally. You can control the levels to add a subtle or outrageous effect.
For a free VST, the Graillon 2 is fascinating and compelling. You can pitch shift, change octaves, and alter the formant controls to modify a track that is already recorded. You can also do these fantastic voice changes that some of the other items on the list do not have.
Created back in 2010, the KeroVee plugin remains as one of the top autotune VSTs today. This incredible autotune VST defines effectiveness and function.
It does not have a lot of flashy effects or visuals. The KeroVee focuses on function rather than its physical aesthetic. Beneath the mediocre interface design, lies an intelligent and powerful autotune software that is capable of precise tuning.
The display will show you graphical info about the sound, including the original note, and the corrected version. It also lays out relative note options you can experiment with. The calibration setting can adjust the overall pitch of your tracks.
It also has a lot of fine-tuning controls for precise tune editing. It may be a little complex at first, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it after several tries. It also has a nuance parameter, so you can leave natural tones as they are.
What this plugin lacks in features makes up for it in precision. If you want a precise pitch correction software that can fix pitch without compromising the nature and quality of a recording, you should definitely download the KeroVee.
This next autotune VST is specially made to correct a lightly off-tune vocal recording. It works by resampling and looping the signal. Because it does not include any formant settings, you can only use this plugin for correcting minor errors.
Although it was primarily designed to correct vocal tracks only, you can still use it to correct guitar and bass line mistakes. It may not have settings for transposing the whole song, but the X42 definitely excels at fixing minor errors.
This autotune plugin has a unique bias feature. This feature will retain some natural characteristics and dynamics the singer sang on purpose as an embellishment. It also has an offset feature that adjusts how far the vocalist can stray out of the notes that you programmed. It works as a pitch threshold before the autotune kicks in.
The X42 may be the oldest software on the list, but it is still relevant up to this day. This autotune VST is the very definition of function before style.
The next item on the list is considered to be one of the best autotune VSTs ever to come out. A talented engineer created it before it was reprogrammed as a VST plugin.
After thoroughly exploring the features of this plugin, I found some rich features. You can use this autotune plugin for almost anything from slight pitch correction to full-blown futuristic and digitized vocal effects.
You can add life to dull tracks with the LFO and Vibrato settings. The LFO also includes effects to create some sort of a chiptune or bit crushed sound. It also has formant controls to adjust the pitch of the entire song.
Overall, the Autotalent is the perfect combination of traditional pitch correction and highly creative effects.
AAS Autotune is the last item on this list extravaganza. One unique thing about this plugin is that it does not have a user interface. In other words, this plugin is invisible.
You are probably wondering how a plugin such as this one would work without a GUI. Well, basically, all you need to do is install the plugin, turn it on, and that is it. It does not have all the flashy features and adjustments. It is the true definition of the word “auto” in autotune.
I recommend this autotune VST if you want to create digitized vocal tracks for hip-hop, trap, or EDM. It is aimed at creating the T-pain or Chris Brown autotune style that we first got familiarized with when autotune became popular.
Because it does not have any parameters or any features at all, the AAS Autotune does not take up a lot of space on your RAM and hard drive. But despite that, it gives you fantastic results.
- Aside from autotuning, how can I correct the pitch of my vocal tracks? Some DAWs have built-in pitch correction. DAWs such as Reaper and GarageBand all have their own take on pitch correction. I find the built-in pitch correction quite useful to fix a few flat or sharp notes in your vocal and instrumental tracks.
- What other vocal effects can I use to make them sound unique? If you are into creating futuristic vocal tones, you might want to try using a vocoder or a talk box. Some analog synths include a vocoder, and you can use it to create Daft Punk style futuristic vocal effects. A talk box, on the other hand, is excellent for creating vocal synth and guitar solos.
Some reputable autotune software such as Melodyne can set you back by hundreds of dollars. Still, it has fantastic features that are worth every penny. However, if you are new to using autotune, I suggest that you download one of the best free autotune VST plugins on the list first. If used alongside many other plugins, you may notice lags, which sometimes indicate you need to upgrade your computer or laptop.
Once you get used to how autotune works and when to use it, you can go ahead and purchase better software. I’m not saying that the items on the list are not good. In fact, I think that some of these plugins are better than some of the paid autotune VSTs.
Not every genre of music will need autotune. Still, If you are looking to move forward and gain more experience in music production, I suggest that you cover every learning curve possible. Besides, even if you do not need pitch correction, you can use autotune for other purposes. You can apply it to thicken vocals, add impact, add sustain, vibrato, and even harmonize your vocals.
Because autotune is here to stay and has already become a significant component in the music production industry, I think you and I should make use of it.
Last update on 2021-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API