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Melodyne... The 8th Wonder of Modern Software?


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This month's EQ features a very complete review (by our own Craig Anderton) on this marvelous piece of software called Melodyne . I went to their website for further info and the video section totally blew my mind!

 

It works as a standalone application, or as a plug-in for pretty much every popular DAW out there. It's really impressive what you can do with it. I know... it's a little pricey... on the $800 range... worht it? I think so.

 

Anyone using it yet?

 

< Interesting interview with Melodyne creator here >

Who Put The ' M ' In MySpace?

don\'t_click | day_job

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I'm looking forward to reading the review...

 

I remember we were discussing this software quite a while back when it was first released... the consensus was that it was cool in concept, but buggy and problematic as all get out in the implementation - of that version anyway. Hopefully they've squared all of that away and have it kicking butt now, because it really did look promising. I have to run to a session, but I'll see if I can dig up the thread(s) later - it might have been on GM's old forum.

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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

I'm looking forward to reading the review...

 

I remember we were discussing this software quite a while back when it was first released... the consensus was that it was cool in concept, but buggy and problematic as all get out in the implementation - of that version anyway. Hopefully they've squared all of that away and have it kicking butt now, because it really did look promising. I have to run to a session, but I'll see if I can dig up the thread(s) later - it might have been on GM's old forum.

I think I remember that.

 

Jesus Is Coming, Make Music, Get Ready!

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Here are my comments about bugginess from the review:

 

"While it may sound like using MelodyneBridge is awkward, once you get used to it the flow makes sense. However, at first there were some fairly spectacular crashes. A useful FAQ on the web site indicated that how you set the Melodyne Preferences is a make-or-break proposition apparently its essential to have a bigger buffer size in Melodyne than in the host. Once I did that, all was well. Read the manual, even if it means going online to find it."

 

and...

 

"Melodyne was not exactly ultra-robust; it crashed several times when I didnt play by the rules. In one instance, when it tried to register some plug-ins it didnt like, it crashed and after doing that, also insisted that I re-enter the serial number and license key. If you learn how the program works, Melodyne will cooperate. But save often, because if you do something 'illegal' it could be reboot time."

 

and the conclusion is...

 

"Celemony is fond of running a Peter Gabriel quote in their advertising: 'Melodyne allows me to do things I'd always dreamed of.' Well, I gotta say Mr. Gabriel has some pretty interesting dreams. In some ways Im kicking myself for not discovering Melodyne earlier, but then again, its only with recent versions that the program has blossomed from a brilliant, but quirky, program into something more universally applicable.

 

"This program must have taken a huge amount of effort, and is specialized enough that it probably wont sell a gazillion copies to help amortize that effort hence the price. But it has an extremely high genius factor, and once you wrap your head around some of the operational oddities, youre home free with a tool that both fixes problems and unleashes your creativity. If, like me, this program has flown under your personal radar, give it a try. Its amazing."

 

Of course, that's just a fraction of the review, you'd have to read the whole thing to get the complete flavor. But I gotta say, it's the kind of program where you put up with the occasional quirk just because it's so damn useful when you need it. A lot of times you can get around any problems simply by bouncing a "Melodyned" program to an audio track, then closing Melodyne.

 

Cre8 looks interesting -- most of the functionality for far less. But make sure you read the sidebar, "Just Because We Can." That's an important part of the review.

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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

I'm looking forward to reading the review...

 

I remember we were discussing this software quite a while back when it was first released... the consensus was that it was cool in concept, but buggy and problematic as all get out in the implementation - of that version anyway. Hopefully they've squared all of that away and have it kicking butt now, because it really did look promising. I have to run to a session, but I'll see if I can dig up the thread(s) later - it might have been on GM's old forum.

Here it is:

 

Melodyne - I got my money back

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Wow, after reading that thread I'm definitely glad I waited this long before checking it out in depth!

 

Vocals worked very well for me. Of course, if you shift pitch a lot and move formants around, there are bound to be some changes compared to the source. Honestly, though, I was surprised at how well it did...decidedly better than most pitch shift algorithms.

 

Interestingly, I was also very pleased with how it worked with bass and lead guitar.

 

I debated long and hard over whether Melodyne deserved an EQ award. On the plus side, what it does is mind-blowing. On the minus side, it's costly and yes, it does have some rough edges. Because an EQ award winner has to be unambiguously cool, I passed -- but still wonder if I did the right thing, given the level of innovation.

 

The bottom line for me is that Melodyne is the only program that does certain functions which, from time to time, are essential for the kind of work I do. It may not be rock solid, but it's more than solid enough for me to get work done...I just save often . Which I do anyway!!

 

But again, I urge you to read the sidebars if you're interested in the program. When you spend close to $1k on a piece of software I think there's a tendency to want to use it a lot. But IMHO Melodyne should be used sparingly as a "last resort" if the vocalist can't nail a part by redoing it. Just as noise reduction works best on tracks that don't have a lot of noise, pitch fixers work best on tracks that don't need a lot of fixing.

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But hey -- why wonder? Go to http://www.celemony.com > Products > Demos and you'll find this:

 

"Please download this demo version of Melodyne 2.1 Studio Edition. It is fully functional, but does neither support the MelodyneBridge and ReWire client mode nor does it allow to save or export. Like the full version, it requires a PowerMac or a PII400 class Windows PC. We recommend 512 MB RAM, a 1 GHz processor and the latest operating system version."

 

So try it yourself and see what you think -- and post your opinions here!

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WHY in the hail would I want a buggy, RESOURCE HOGGING, program that NEEDS to be saved a lot, which CANNOT be saved in DEMO mode?

spend all that time uploading and resetting preferences and figgering out the bugs ?

For what? something I only can use every now and then?

NO

give me my cubasis,Ntrack and cakewalk and NERO SIX and I'm good to go..

I want My cubasis,Ntrack,cakewalk and NERO SIX..

Frank Ranklin and the Ranktones

 

WARP SPEED ONLY STREAM

FRANKIE RANKLIN (Stanky Franks) <<<

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Originally posted by gmstudio99:

Originally posted by Alndlnbot:

Iv'e never tried this software,but I guess I shy away because from others responses it seems to be in eternal beta stage.

Wow, I wasn't aware that it was a Native Instruments product! :D:D:D
Not to hijack the thread, but why do people bash NI like this. It's not uncommon. FM7, B4, Pro-53 are all stable, solid programs that never even got updated past version 1.x (because they didn't need to). I know Reaktor has had some issues on the Mac side, but personally I have not had problems with their software (on the XP side) at all. And with Komplete 2 I still haven't had any problems (well, one weird registration thing, but that got resolved). I when I tried to contact their tech support recently in a panic (over that registration issue), I didn't hear back for a day so I left like 3 voicemails, a few emails and posted a couple of requests on their forums. That was a Thursday/Friday ... On Tuesday I received phone calls from 3 different people, emails from another two people and got a couple of responses on their site ... all to answer my same question. I felt a little ashamed, even. So, I think they're a great company, making (at least for me) very stable and mature software. Obviously, YMMV ... and it seems like it varies for a lot more people than you as well.

 

Anyway, back to Celemony...

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<>

 

But none of them can do what Melodyne does. And really, it's not that bad. It hogs less resources than some soft synths, and as I said, once I got the buffer thing figured out -- which to be fair, WAS pointed out in their FAQs -- it's been working just fine. As to making a demo where you can't save, hey, if you could save why would you need to buy the program?

 

As to NI, I agree that their stuff is by and large great. I think the only reason they get that mistaken rep for flakiness is that they try for compatibility with a zillion platforms and operating systems. So when a product first comes out, usually something doesn't work on some platform, so they have to fix it.

 

I think when they decided to support OS X and XP only that was a very good move. I also bet it will lead to more stable operation overall. I participated in the beta list for Guitar Rig, and I can assure you that they give maximum effort to squashing all possible bugs and they pay a tremendous amount of attention to user input.

 

Back to Melodyne--anyone else out there using V2.1?

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I had the opportunity to try out Melodyne when it was still on version 1.0. It was buggy then but the pitch shifting algorithm was to die for. I haven't checked out version 2 yet.

Yes the Studio Edition is costly. But there's always the Cre8 version. Supports up to 24bits mono only (can play back stereo but unable to edit it) but pretty much has all the functionality of the Studio Edition in half the price.

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Geoff, thanks for digging up that thread.

 

Boy, I must have been having a very bad day or something - :eek: - I think I'm normally a bit more reserved than that. I think the reason I was so "hot" on that thread is because I saw the demo at NAMM and wanted to get that software... and was a bit shaken by my close call - it very well could have been me who lost a grand on something that worked fine as far as the demo version, but showed serious sonic problems once you saved - which of course, you can't do with the demo, so how would you have known? And then the way they didn't get back to Chris, that really concerned me too.

 

I would like to give the demo of the new version a try... Craig, have you noticed any problems with the audio once you save? Has that been addressed in this version?

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Originally posted by Anderton:

<>

 

But none of them can do what Melodyne does. And really, it's not that bad. It hogs less resources than some soft synths, and as I said, once I got the buffer thing figured out -- which to be fair, WAS pointed out in their FAQs -- it's been working just fine. As to making a demo where you can't save, hey, if you could save why would you need to buy the program?

 

Back to Melodyne--anyone else out there using V2.1?

You are the expert after all. I'm just a dude that got on the RADIO ahahah useing cubasis,Ntrack and cakewalk. NOT MELO BUY ME IF YOU"RE LOADED DYNE.

Maybe it would work for an EXPERT GEAR SHRINK like greg anderson but I'm only a novice wannabe and for me, those other programs and assorted VST effects including a decent pitch shifter work best.. Maybe if I had the EIGHT HUNDRED AMERICAN dollars to wa er invest I might spend it on a uh who am I kiddin'? I'd NEVER spend that kind of money on a program.. ahahaha!

I'd wait two years and try to get it cheap. after ALL the reviews are in from USERs.

I just realised I'm a cheapskate..

Frank Ranklin and the Ranktones

 

WARP SPEED ONLY STREAM

FRANKIE RANKLIN (Stanky Franks) <<<

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<< I'm just a dude that got on the RADIO ahahah useing cubasis,Ntrack and cakewalk. >>

 

And frankly, that's what it's all about. More power to you and if you're an expert at Cubasis, NTrack, and Cakewalk, that's all the expert you need to be!

 

Melodyne is definitely a specialized program but it's still impressive as hell.

 

Phil, I noticed no negative issues with saving audio, but I tend to use it within Sonar and render the track...I like everything to end up as audio tracks, even soft synths. I want archived files to use as few plug-ins as possible (yet have the data for them, "just in case").

 

I'd be curious to see what you think when/if you check out the 2.1 demo. (And speaking of which...did you ever check out the HarBal thing? I just got the V1.5 rev, I still think it's a great tool.)

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Ugh. I downloaded the demo last Monday and I could see (sort of) why people wouldn't want/need a product like this. I can also understand the skepticism, and the fact that it's expensive (I can't afford it right now).

 

But jeez, if you own sample libraries, or deal with vocals at all, how is it that this thing flies under the radar? People just must be happy.

 

Which is great, but I was excited as hell as about Spectrasonics' SAGE technology. I still am (in a Spectrasonics' proprietary way) but, achem, this is the real deal.

 

I've only spent about 8 hours working with the demo, wondering about if I'm hearing different aural space with the pitch/time changing. But that bit of uncertainty could probably be squashed by Craig's review.

 

But I'm definitely buying it, even if I only use it for experimental purposes: it's that valuable to me.

 

"It's Only Love" (early Lennon) was the first song I sang and drew up a sample mock-up of with Melodyne. Damn, one of you happy guys should remake that tune and make it a hit.

 

Check out the demo.

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Originally posted by Anderton:

I'd be curious to see what you think when/if you check out the 2.1 demo. (And speaking of which...did you ever check out the HarBal thing? I just got the V1.5 rev, I still think it's a great tool.)

Well actually, they did end up sending me a time limited full Fs demo to eval... and I wound up buying the software. Just got 1.5 the other day myself, which has some nice improvements, although I'd still like to see a few things that are not "in there" yet... I planned on doing a write up on my thoughts on it - in my "spare time". :) But in short, the original website marketing hyperbole aside, it is a pretty cool little program. I'm looking forward to seeing the VST version come out.
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<>

 

The pitch/time changing can make some subtle differences to the sound, it depends on a whole lot of factors. But all that matters to me is whether the difference is objectionable, and to my ears, it isn't -- assuming reasonable use of the technology. I mean, you can't transpose something up a fifth and expect it to sound exactly like the original, only a fifth up. However, I am surprised at how close they've come to attaining that goal.

 

The "flying under the radar" comment...in my review, I listed the three reasons why I wasn't that interested in Melodyne initially (stand-alone, Mac only, expensive). I knew it existed and was impressed, but it never fit into my setup well enough to where I paid much attention to it. I'm paying attention now :)

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The pitch/time changing can make some subtle differences to the sound, it depends on a whole lot of factors. But all that matters to me is whether the difference is objectionable, and to my ears, it isn't.
Oh yeah that's it in a nutshell. But I'm not a professional, I'm just opinionated. :)

 

Working with Melodyne yesterday I was wondering how I would deal with the - and I hate using the word here - artifacts in terms of production.

 

The answer is I'll happily go along with them.

 

Thanks for the response Craig. I look forward to your review. Working with the Melodyne demo, I can't help but wonder how I could make it sound outside of it.

 

I still don't care, this thing is lights out fantastic. If it were to crash my system (it hasn't) every 15 minutes I still wouldn't care either.

 

It's that incredible to my ear. Can you imagine a Melodyne 5.0 Live? It's going to be very real, very soon. Insane.

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I'm glad you appreciate the program. As I said, there's nothing else like it, so if you need what it does...I'm just happy it exists and it works!

 

However, I've heard rumors that version 8 of Sequoia and maybe Sampitude Pro will have some Melodyne-type functionality. I'm curious to see how well integrated it will be within the program.

 

Meanwhile, I really have a feeling that Melodyne 3 is going to be The One. Look at the difference between Sonar 2 and 3, or Live 2 and 3, or Halion 2 and 3...seems like there's something special about that number .

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Originally posted by Anderton:

I'm glad you appreciate the program. As I said, there's nothing else like it, so if you need what it does...I'm just happy it exists and it works!

 

However, I've heard rumors that version 8 of Sequoia and maybe Sampitude Pro will have some Melodyne-type functionality. I'm curious to see how well integrated it will be within the program.

 

Meanwhile, I really have a feeling that Melodyne 3 is going to be The One. Look at the difference between Sonar 2 and 3, or Live 2 and 3, or Halion 2 and 3...seems like there's something special about that number .

3,..... is the magic number... yes it is,... it's the magic number.

Fan, nu pissar jag taggtråd igen. Jag skulle inte satt på räpan.

http://www.bushcollectors.com

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One thing I noticed in version 1.0 was when editing vocals with significant amount of bleed or the slightest touch of reverb produces a lot of artifacts when pitch shifted. Is this true for version 2.0?
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Meanwhile, I really have a feeling that Melodyne 3 is going to be The One. Look at the difference between Sonar 2 and 3, or Live 2 and 3, or Halion 2 and 3...seems like there's something special about that number
I agree. Celemony is doing some great things. I think I'll be ready to dabble in it come v3.0 myself. I'm curious to how i'm going to be able to distort my sax playing and other sound design features.

 

FrankieP nice avatar gotta start'em when they're young!

 

;)

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<

 

Yes, as it says in the review:

 

"It doesnt like polyphonic files; even reverb can screw things up. But it will handle complex monophonic sounds (e.g., sax), not just harmonically simple ones like voice."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Craig I just read your review in EQ, and enjoyed it very much.

 

I also read that Celemony's doing a Liquid Sax now, and I never thought I'd pay around $200 for sax phrases, but I never believed I'd think any sax samples I used would sound real to anyone either.

 

But I dunno, the Melodyne demo is continuing to kill me: I do believe they could pull this Liquid Sax off.

 

Equally, I've been very curious what I could pull off with Melodyne with the GPO. The GPO is an incredible deal at $249 and the way it manipulates it's samples is beyond clever. But that cleverness has inherent limitations/peculiarites for the way I think most who use samples at all are used to working.

 

I'd say almost half of the GPO users lament the attack on the horns (otherwise they're great) and I see that problem being non-existent if you have Melodyne. No more problems getting the right vibratto with the solo strings either.

 

I assume Melodyne could be a revolution for almost any sampling library, but just because the GPO's accomplished very cool things with a very different approach, I can see it being the the only orchestral library I'll ever need.

 

I was planning on buying the GOS (eventually) and at the upgrade price of $499 that's 69% of the cost of Melodyne Studio (Guitar Center $679, Creo's going for $259).

 

I've done a lot of searches on many forums about Melodyne, ironically the most positive responses I found were at kvr. Supposedly Melodyne Uno was hinted at during Winter NAMM (approx $149) and yes that's a one-track limitation (at no doubt 24 bit, at 44.1mh).

 

Maybe it's been nixed or it was just a rumor but if it becomes true (of course eventually it will, if not Celemony then someone else) I think it will turn heads like I'd think this demo would be doing now.

 

Craig, you're above comment about perhaps Melodyne3 being the "one" could be true but I won't wait that long to buy it (knock on wood).

 

And after reading your EQ review, is there any chance you might be showing off some lead guitar solo manips on Celemony's site? They really downplay the experimental benefits of Melodyne on their site (although the Gabriel quote's a big clue). And no, I don't believe you didn't successfully break the rules at least a few times :-).

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry I'm getting into this without reading every word in this thread ... Geoff Grace linked it somehow to me. Anyhow ... after going to AES in Berlin last what, march or april ? ... I decided to give it another go. Quite frankly, I didn't see all that much improvement sound wise. I simply imported a vocal track into melodyne and exported it back without doing a thing with it .... no processing whatsoever. Sorry, but the change in sound is simply unacceptable for a professional software that claims to be what it is. Don't get me wrong. Melodyne is great, it offers things no other soft offers within miles. And sometimes one shouldn't care about the sound too much either. But in case you spent precious time getting a good sound into whatever you use to record, and you are keen on keeping that sound, one should keep it FAR away from melodyne imho.

 

And besides. The thing that imediately ticked me off bigtime is that one cannot control the sample 'sample accurate'. Melodyne kinda decides all by itself where it puts the imported file and when exported you have virtually no control over the length / start / etc etc .... it seems to work 'treshold' based where it simply ignores a 'silence' in the beginning of the audio file. Not very pro either.

 

Still believe in it though ... I'll definately keep my eyes open for it ... just hope someone else doesn't 'steal' it away from them and makes it realy work like it should .... now that wouldn;t be the first time.

Chris Lambrechts

http://www.sos-recording.com

another nice place to hang out :

http://www.gearslutz.com

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