Steinberg Pitch Correction vs Auto-Tune EFX 3

I’m a little frustrated with Cubase’s included Pitch Correction plugin. I more often use VariAudio because it’s better sounding and more accurate, but it’s not “automatic” and takes a lot more time.

Auto-Tune is $400, not in my budget right now.
But there’s this “lite” version called Auto-Tune EFX 3 that’s around $99. Does anyone here use it? Any thoughts on whether it’s easier to use, or how good it sounds? (I rarely go for the “Cher” effect, and want pitch corrections to be fairly transparent.)


I have the “2” version of EFX - It’s kind of designed as a deliberate effect. Unless it has become a lot more transparent in version 3, I’m not sure it will suit your needs.

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The original waves tune has been going on sale quite a bit now that they have a new “live tune” version out
I’ve had it a while and it works pretty good.
But I use the reatune plug that comes with reaper most of the time. It wasn’t included in the free reaplugs bundle the last time I checked. But reaper is $60 for the whole daw.
I think that the newest wave live tune plug is $99-129 or something like that and looks pretty awesome.

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Hell no dude. If Cubase has the same Vari-audio engine that Nuendo does don’t waste your money. The new vari-audio is insane ridiculously good. The Waves tune light is the next best option imo, but if you have 90 min or 2 hours worth of vocals spread out over a session it can only see the first 10. And thats very annoying. Nuendos autotuner absolutely KILLS the ones in Logic and Protools too.

I love Vari-Audio in Cubase, and yes, AFAIK it’s the same as Nuendo.

Love the fact that it’s directly integrated with the audio editor. So easy to use although there are a few tricks to know if you want to make your tuning more transparent…
I’ve tried Melodyne and found it a bit too complicated, and the workflow with Cubase is not great.
Might give you better result if you’re really technical, but honestly Vari-Audio is already sounding great, so I don’t think I need more…
You can also create fake harmonies with it and go crazy with it, Cubase will also create harmonies for you if you use a Chord track (not always convincing but it can give you some starting point ideas), and you can also tune several audio relative one to another right in the same editor, which is really nice as well.

No auto-tuner is going to compare to manual tuning though. It might take no time but the result will never sound 100% natural the way they can if you use Vari-Audio.
So in short, it might take a little bit more time, but the end result is really worth the effort IMHO.

@holster / @cptfiasco I could probably write an article on how best to use Vari-Audio…
I remember there was a blog post on RR at some point and that I did learn from it.
There’s a few things to take care of if you want the best results, but it’s possible to do very transparent tuning that sounds great right in the audio editor.
Not sure if this is too much of a ‘specialized’ article, as this is completely Cubase oriented. Just tell me if there’s any interest…

I’d gladly set you up if you’d like to do an article!

No rush, but I’ve put that on my TODO list…
Will need to do some screen shots and some audio snippets beforehand.

I’d love to hear more.

To clarify, I’m very pleased with the sound quality i get from variAudio, and find it very easy and convenient for short clips or for correcting the occasional pitchy note in an otherwise good take.

My complaint is how time-consuming it is if there’s a lot of correcting to do.

The Pitch Correction plugin is much faster, and sounds good if you don’t overdo it, but is not as reliable. (Or maybe I just haven’t learned his to use it effectively?)

What I’m saying is that it’s the nature of automatic correction to be less reliable and to give you more “false positive” and artifacts…
If you want natural, transparent, free from artifacts, there’s no way around manual editing.
Time consuming, yes perhaps, but it’s entirely possible to do an entire song in less than an hour, and the result is so much better that it’s totally worth the effort IMHO.

I’d say “be happy you are not manipulating tape or punching harmonizers”, if it didn’t show my age…
But to say something somewhat useful…
If you want better results with automatic settings, Chop up the takes into parts that “absolutely need correction” and “absolutely do not” and hit the offending parts with minimal correction. Then make multiple passes on smaller and smaller bits until you are happy. It can go pretty quick.
If you have a good ear, you can work this backwards and just tune the smaller/worst parts and work your way out until happy…
have fun

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I love Melodyne and find it very easy and intuitive. It is extremely transparent. Some of the best money I have spent on music making.

Hadn’t heard of Vari-audio before, will probably investigate…

Vari-audio is Steinberg proprietary, only available if you’re using Cubase or Nuendo.

I bought Melodyne (essentials) a couple years ago. I tried to use it, but found the way it interfaces with Cubase frustrating. It demoed great, but was just too cumbersome to actually use.

Ah-- thanks for that key fact Kyle.

Totally understand about workflow, there are a couple plugs I gave up on for the same reason. Fortunately in Mixcraft using Melodyne is super simple. In fact, there is a big update coming any day now, going from v7 to v8, and they’ve struck a deal with Melodyne for them to build it right in to the new version. Looking forward to seeing how they implement that…

Have you taken a look at Izotope Nectar and its Pitch Correction Plugin? Still $299 for the Professional addition of Nectar, but I feel it is worth it if you have the money for it. It has both options for Automatic and Manual pitch correction.

Not a Cubase user, but ReaTune from Cockos Reaper quite do a good job. IMHO. And it’s free by the way. :beers:

Unfortunately ReaTune is not included in the free plugins bundle, and it doesn’t appear to be available for sale. Might be worth spending $60 for Reaper to get it, but does anyone know if it will even work in a host other than Reaper?

I haven’t used it, but have used a few other of the “Rea” plugins, from the free bundle, in Mixcraft, for whatever that’s worth. They were just .dll files like any other plugin. If the same is true for ReaTune, I’d expect the same behavior…

My entire life is cumbersome. :smiley: But seriously, I’m seriously pondering buying Melodyne Essentials and running it with my Cubase 9 Elements (if the pitch correction stuff that comes with Elements doesn’t cut it).