‘Auto-tune’ videos hit the limelight in 2010 due to Youtube hits such as ‘Bed Intruder’ or ‘Charlie Bit Me Auto-tuned’ But its certainly not a new thing. Earlier incarnations of voice alteration such as the vocoder have been around in popular music since the 50’s and in more recent times ‘pitch correction’ is used and overused by many of the talentless fashion models that fill up the music charts.
The type of ‘auto-tune videos’ that have become popular on Youtube and other video sharing websites work by taking samples, normally of someone talking, and then altering their pitch to meet a predefined set of parameters such as a musical scale or matching the voice to a tune. Producers of these types of video often combine auto-tune techniques with other forms of manipulation such as quantization, which enables them to speed up or slow down a phrase to match a certain tempo.
So if you want to make your ow auto-tune video what will you need?
Firstly you’ve got to start with some good content to manipulate. Things like speeches and news interviews are very popular.
Secondly you’ve got to have an idea of how you want the song to sound, it might help if you make a list of some of the key phrases you want to include.
Next comes the more technical phases:
1) Rip the audio track from the original video or find a separate version of the audio track
2) Import it into some audio editing software such as Cubase, Logic, Garageband or a free one like Audacity and cut up the track into shorter samples depending on what phrases you want and where
(From this point there are a few methods you could use, I like this way…)
3) Assuming you have already composed or chosen a tune that you want to match the samples to (If not you should get to work with a synth, sequencer or another existing tune) overlay them at the appropriate points. I find the best method is to make a mono track with the melody you want the samples to match.
4) The next step of matching the samples to the melody will depend on your software. There are a few options for you here. Generally using a specific VST plugin will give the best results, but many audio software packages come with internal mechanisms to create the auto-tune effect. You may want to look at Pro Tools, Audacity or Garageband to name a few.
5) Once your samples have been altered to follow the melody of your arrangement you can start to add the rest of the music such as a beat, instruments and even some harmonies of your original samples by using altering the melody.
6) Once you’ve got thee audio track done you will need to cut up and edit the video track and then put the two together.
Its a long process if you want to do it well and it takes a bit of musical and technical skill, but some of the results can amazing and become truly viral.