The Melodyne editor, which promises to make working with audio as fluid as working with MIDI, has long had some impressive technology under the hood. But it’s as the tool gradually matures in terms of workflow and usability that I think it could win some additional converts.

Melodyne 2.0 is a major update to the editor all around, with additional timing and tuning options and better usability, and the addition of ReWire (atop plug-in compatibility) is a big plus for some. It’s easiest to just see the videos, but the overview of what’s new in this release:

  • Attack Speed tool for editing transients. (That could make this a lot more interesting creatively.) New Time Handles for changing time in the notes. These tools have special applicability to percussion and vocal phrasing, respectively, but may have some other interesting alternative applications.
  • Edit notes in other scales, temperaments, and tunings. (Re-tuning to alternative tuning systems, anyone?)
  • Keyboard shortcuts work in plug-in mode, display and highlight is improved.
  • Work via ReWire with hosts that lack plug-ins. Read: Reason. And that could make this an interesting companion to Reason’s record workflows.

Now, sure, all of this is often understood to be for people who just want to obsessively correct pitch and rhythm of recorded audio. But I remain interested in creative applications, just because the upshot of this is having audio you can modify after it’s been recorded.

There’s just one bottom line: will this stuff be compelling enough that you add an additional tool to your DAW just to get it? I still have yet to hear from die-hard Melodyne users, so if you’re out there reading, I’d love to learn how you use the tool, particularly if you go a bit beyond the way it was intended to be used. (That’s always interesting.)

US$/€399, $99/€99 upgrade, or free if you registered after October 1. More vids:

  • Jeff Brown

    I am indescribably happy about this.

  • aCes

    I have been having a blast with Editor 2.0 inside Studio One V2. Lately, I've been creating long varying rhythms(midi>audio with freeze) with MicroTonic  in Live(using some Max fun) rewired into S1V2. In S1 I command-m that .wav and start messing around with pitch/formant/timing/attack with Melodyne……..ridiculously fun. I then cut up the sections and throw them back in Live's session view and go to town with Touchable or Launchpad. Can't wait until QuNeo drops. ADD FTW. ;)

  • http://bono-media.com Tekknovator

    Will this be in Studio One 2?

  • http://bono-media.com Tekknovator

    aah, should read the post above before posting. @aces thanks for sharing!

  • http://danielottinimusic.tumblr.com/ Danielo

    Wow…only 4 previous comments on this topic! Melodyne is a game changer and the upgrade seems even more so. I have to admit that I ignored it for the longest time (“I don’t do vocals, what do I need it for?” – maybe the bias explains the responses) and then I saw it for a good price and thought I would give it a try. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what can be done with it creatively…as a guitarist and electronic musician I try to combine the two in my work, and Melodyne is great for that (it also “improves” my guitar playing :-) ). Definitely you can move notes around, raise/lower them, change the scale…”tune” any noise more precisely (for those “Industrial” pieces). I don’t always use a MIDI guitar, so the note-to-MIDI functionality is spot on for converting a riff to sequencer/pad fodder (very good conversion).

    I would like to stop buying myself stuff for Christmas, but this defiantly makes it to the front of the list (Kontakt/Guitar Rig 5)…

    P.S. Disappearing blog posts again, i'm afraid, Peter…

  • jake

    For anyone else wondering "But can it import Scala files?", here is an interesting tidbit from the Melodyne Studio manual (not sure if the Editor has the same capability):

    "You can also import tuning systems in ‘scala’ format. Scala files have file ending*.scl. The Scala Home Page (http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/scala/index.html ) offers a library of over 3000 scales in *.scl format, which you can import into Melodyne for your own use. Certain of these scales have more than 12 notes; these are not currently supported by Melodyne. With the others, the Scala format defines neither the scale degrees used nor their absolute pitch. For this reason, Melodyne uses the following system when importing them: if a Scala file contains exactly 12 notes, these are assigned to the existing 12 notes of the chromatic scale and the scale itself (the 7 degrees that are used) are set to the 7 tones of the major scale. If, on the other hand, a Scala file contains fewer than 12 degrees, these are assigned to the nearest degrees to them in the even-temperament scale and the other degrees left as multiples of a 100. At the same time, the notes defined by the file automatically become the scale degrees used."

  • http://soundcloud.com/stepstone Philip Arbon

    I use melodyne for my vocals to create strange/robotic/otherwordly backing voices to my vocals.

    Also mixed right it can create amazing harmonies superior to any pitch shifter or anything.

    Also sometimes I like to create total "robot" style voices, that have a totally different flavour to horrible autotune voices.

    You can check it at http://soundcloud.com/stepstone however keep in mind my mixing is a work in progress.