Get your vocals in tune or get that very popular Auto-Tune® sound with 13 free and paid plugins from Antares, iZotope, Waves, and others. PC, Mac, and mobile options are included. If singing is the most important part of your music production, you’ve probably thought about using the best pitch correction plugins and apps to make sure your vocals are in tune or to create the synthetic vocal effect made famous by Cher on her 1998 song “Believe.”
Software makes it easy to tune vocals, and many tuning apps can also do the Auto-Tune effect, which is still very popular in many types of music. In this list, we’ve put together the best pitch correction plugins and apps, all of which can either tune your vocals to perfection or give them a synthetic sound.
Antares’ Auto-Tune plugin was used to make the Auto-Tune effect for the first time. Since the effect has been popular for more than 20 years, it’s not surprising that a lot of other plugins and apps can now make it happen. While the original Auto-Tune is still one of the best in terms of features and ease of use, similar plugins are becoming more and more popular. These plugins vary a lot in price and features; some are just for that effect, while others have a lot more.
In this buyer’s guide for the best vocal tuning plugins and apps, we’ll look at plugins for both types of automatic tuning: those that make vocal tuning sound natural and unnoticeable, and those that make it sound more robotic.
Some DAWs already include these kinds of plugins. Flex Pitch, which is made by Logic, is a great example. Steinberg’s Cubase also has a plugin called VariAudio that can help you tune everything. But in our buyer’s guide, we only include third-party plugins that work with every DAW or that can be used as tuning apps for mobile devices.
If you want that Auto-Tune effect, the original is still, in many ways, the best. Antares Auto-Tune is still doing its thing in an even smoother environment 24 years after Cher made it famous. The Pro version has all the bells and whistles, including “live” tuning for when you’re on stage and instant tuning for when you’re recording.
Brainworx bx crispytuner(opens in new tab) and Waves Tune Real Time(opens in new tab) are the best Auto-Tune pretenders. Waves Tune Real Time is often on sale for ridiculous amounts of money.
Soundtoys Little AlterBoy(opens in new tab) is a cheap way to get robotic vocals and other cool effects. Its simple but beautiful Auto-Tune-style effects, as well as its great male-to-female and female-to-male formant editing and more, make it stand out.
Celemony’s Melodyne(opens in new tab) will always be the black magic plugin that amazes with how well it can change pitch. But it costs money, so if you want its basic features plus a lot more, iZotope’s Nectar 3 Plus(opens in new tab) is a great choice. It has a lot of modules for editing vocals, the amazing Vocal Assistant feature, and even a version of Melodyne.
Voloco is one of the best apps to try if you want to change your voice on your phone, and it’s free to start (opens in new tab). It’s a lot of fun to use on your phone, and since it works on multiple platforms, you can also use it to make music on your computer. So let’s se in depth two of the best pitch correction plugins and apps.
- Antares Auto-Tune Pro
Auto-Tune, which Antares made in 1997, was the first step toward automatic tuning. Like the other Auto-Tunes, Pro takes an incoming signal and fixes any pitching problems. This makes a singer who is out of tune sing in tune. It can do this in a clear way or with the famous “Cher/T-Pain-style” sudden jumps in pitch.
It can be used in one of two ways: Auto or Graph. Auto lets you change the pitch automatically in real time, while Graph lets you make detailed manual changes. You can also choose between the Basic and Advanced views. With Basic, you can choose a voice type, set the target key and scale, and choose which pitches to get rid of (or leave unchanged). You can also use the Auto-Key plugin to find out the key and scale of the sounds in your track and send that information to all instances of Auto-Tune that are already running.
Advanced view has a few extra features, like Create Vibrato, which is great for adding a bit of wobble with an LFO. There are also options to set minor and major modes, edit across multiple octaves, and edit MIDI input.
Auto-Tune Pro is the most powerful and useful version of this standard so far. It easily keeps the software’s position as one of the best retuning tools on the market, and it may even turn out to be the best toolbox for changing the pitch of a song.
- Brainworx BX CRISPTUNER
Like the other vocal tuning plugins on this page, bx crispytuner is aimed at Auto-Tune and can tune both naturally and like a robot. It can be run “live” so that vocals can be processed without any delay. This is useful for live vocal recording or live vocal performances on stage. Or, you can just play your vocal into the plugin to get an analysis and see all of your notes laid out on a piano keyboard for offline editing.
bx crispytuner works best with bx crispyscale, which is included for free. With crispyscale, you can find a scale and apply it to bx crispytuner, but crispyscale is not required. Using them together, on the other hand, lets you apply a scale to multiple crispytuner instances, which is great for large vocal sessions.
Auto-Tune and bx crispytuner are very similar in that they both have timing controls that let you make your tuning sound more natural or more artificial. Even better, they both sell for the same price, though crispytuner might look a little better. And it’s almost better than Auto-Tune at making that synthesized vocal sound. It’s not subtle, but maybe that’s what you’re going for.
These were two of the best pitch correction plugins and apps! Hope you enjoyed.