In this video I’m going to show you how to use Autotune for rap vocals to achieve a T Pain vocal effect. So if you’re wanting to learn how to make melodic rap vocals this will be the perfect video for you!
Now if you already have Autotune and it’s installed in your DAW correctly then feel free to skip ahead to STEP 4 BELOW. If you don’t know how to get Autotune and install it, I’m going to go over that now.
STEP 1 – Get Autotune and install (pay attention to install location)
When it comes to Autotune you have two main options. You can either get one for free that sounds decent or you can purchase a paid version if you’re trying to get the best sound possible.
BEST FREE AUTOTUNE for PC and Mac – Graillon 2
Now if your money is tight as spandex then the best sounding free Autotune is Graillon 2.
BEST SOUNDING BUDGET FRIENDLY AUTOTUNE For Pc and Mac – WAVES Tune Real-Time
If you’ve got a couple of dollars to invest into Autotune then the Waves Tune Real-Time is a no brainer. You get an awesome sounding Autotune at a fraction of the price you would pay from other companies.
At the time of making this video Waves is running a 40% OFF sale which will allow you to get this Autotune plugin for only $47.99! If you want this plugin and also wish to support my website please use my affiliate link. It won’t cost you anything extra and Waves will give me a small percentage of the sale.
STEP 2 – Install Autotune (pay attention to install location)
Once you’ve downloaded your Autotune software you need to install it on your computer.
Your Autotune software is also called an audio plugin or a VST. VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology and is an audio plugin interface that integrates with most DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstation) suchs a Pro Tools, Ableton, FL Studio, Logic, etc..
I recommend installing your Autotune to it’s default location which is automatically set by your computer. Just make note of where it is because you may need its location in the next step.
On Mac the default install location should be in one of these locations.
On Windows your default install location should be in one of the following locations
VST 2 – Plug-in location (.dll file extension)
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST 2
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins (For 32-bit plugins on 64-bit version of Windows)
VST 3 – Plug-in location (.vst3 file extension)
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST3 (For 32-bit VST 3 plug-ins on 64-bit versions of Windows)
STEP 3 – Scan your DAW for your newly installed VST
Once you’ve installed your Autotune you typically need to tell your DAW to scan for your new Autotune VST. This is known as “scanning VST’s” or “scanning plugins”. The way that you go about this will vary for every DAW so do a google search for “how to scan for new plugins in *YOUR DAWS NAME*
If your DAW is having trouble finding your Autotune VST then this is likely due to it not searching the folder that your Autotune was installed to. This is actually quite common. To fix this, simply add the folder that your Autotune was installed to from STEP 2 to your DAW’s list of VST folders that it scans.
Again this will vary from DAW to DAW. If you’re unsure, just google “how to access multiple vst folders in *YOUR DAWS NAME*
EXAMPLE: STUDIO ONE
For example, in Studio One you would do the following
1 Click ‘Studio One’ from the menu
2 Click ‘options’
3 Make sure ‘locations’ and it’s sub menu ‘VST Plug-Ins’ is selected
4 then you will see all of your VST locations below. If the folder you installed Autotune into isn’t displayed here then you can simply add it by clicking ‘add’
5 then pick your folder location from the browser and then click ‘select folder’.
6 Afterwards click ‘apply.’
7 Now make sure ‘Scan at startup’ is checked
8 And restart Studio One and it will scan the new folder you just added.
STEP 4 – Add Autotune to your Vocal Track
Once your DAW has identified your Autotune plugin you’re almost ready to have some fun! Simply load it onto the track you’re going to be using to record your vocals and arm your track to record.
Studio One Example
For example, in Studio One I would do the following.
1 click ‘browse’
2 make sure ‘effects’ is selected within the browser
3 click the search icon
4 type in the name of the plugin.
Then all I have to do is drag it on to my track I’m using to record my vocals and then arm the track to record.
If you don’t hear the Autotune being applied to your voice live, you may still need to enable live monitoring on your track.
STEP 5 – Detect the key of the song and input it into Autotune
You should now hear the Autotune applied to your live vocals but In order for your Autotune effect to sound good you need to make sure it’s set to the key and scale of the instrumental that you’re using.
The best tool I recommend for doing this is called Tunebat and it’s a web based tool that will detect both the key and the tempo of your instrumental and it’s totally free and compatible with all computers.
Simply drag and drop your instrumental into the blue dotted rectangle and it will take care of the rest!
Once it’s finished simply input the key of the instrumental and whether it’s a Major (maj) or Minor (min) scale into your autotune plugin.
STEP 6 – Tweak Autotune settings
Now to get the T Pain vocal effect simply lower the speed and note transition speed on your Autotune all the way down to 0.1 ms.
If you wish to reduce the T Pain Robotic like effect simply increase the speed and note transition to taste.
STEP 7 – RECORD
Now when it comes to recording, you have two options.
1 Recording Through Plugins
The first option is you can record through Autotune and the Autotune effect will be permanently applied to your vocal recording. This technique is known as recording through plugins. This is great when you’re recording rough draft recordings for your song.
The way you accomplish this technique will vary from DAW to DAW
Studio One Example
For example in Studio one I would apply the autotune directly on my input channel and not on my vocal track if I wish to accomplish this.
But in FL Studio I would apply the autotune directly on my vocal track and select “POST” next to the input for your vocal channel to accomplish this.
So to figure out how this works in your DAW search for how to record through plugins in *YOUR DAWS NAME*
2 Recording Through Plugins
Your second option is you can record while hearing the Autotune on your live voice but without Autotune being applied to your vocal recording. This allows you to make tweaks to the Autotune sound after you’ve recorded your vocals.
This is also great if you wish to leave your vocals raw without any fx on them so that your mixing engineer can make these permanent decisions.
This option is typically how things are setup by default within most DAWS. Just ensure you’ve already enabled monitoring on your track as I demonstrated and step 4 and you should be all set!