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Melodyne Essential, Review by Eric Parsons

Melodyne Essential, Review by Eric Parsons…

Overview

Melodyne Essential is Celemony’s entry level product into the world of pitch and timing correction.  Being Celemony’s most affordable pitch correction software (MSRP $99.00), it is limited to single voice or monophonic instrumentation – which is quite suitable for the majority of bass guitar parts.  Melodyne Essential works as a plug-in (VST, AU, RTAS) in a Digital Audio Workstation or can be used in stand-alone mode

For the purposes of this review I downloaded the 64-bit version of Melodyne Essential and inserted the plug-in into my DAW.  Once activated and inserted into my system, a pop-up window launches with links to the manual, tutorials, various videos and demo arrangements for the first time user to practice on.  The support documentation is expansive, detailed and presented in an easy to understand manner.

How it Works

In a nutshell, Melodyne automatically slices up the selected waveform into individual notes and graphically displays them with pitch designation on the vertical axis and note location on the horizontal axis.

Individual or multiple notes can then be selected and moved to adjust the melody or just fine tuned to adjust minor flaws in pitch.  These adjustments can be performed manually using drag and drop or via a macro by selecting a group of notes and then selecting the “Correct Pitch” button which will bring up a pop-up window to allow an incremental adjustment of the selected notes that Melodyne has determined may be in need of adjustment.

I must stress that it is critical for the user to make all final decisions based on listening to each adjustment and not relying on the visual display.

Even though Melodyne Essential is the most basic version of the Melodyne software, it still offers a wide array of capabilities and can be used for:

  • manual or automatic correction of timing errors
  • refashioning of melodies, timing and rhythm
  • transposition including adjustment to scale
  • pitch shifting and time stretching
  • quantization

In the event that a user desires increased capabilities, such as the editing of polyphonic material, Celemony has an upgrade path to their more advanced products.

How it Sounds

I recorded myself learning the soli portion of the electric bass part on Sade’s song “Smooth Operator” on my fretless bass along with a version that I grabbed off of someone’s YouTube page. The song is in the left channel and my bass is in the right channel.  Much to my annoyance, I am out of tune during a good deal of this – which is great for evaluating this software – but pretty tough on my self-esteem.  Ouch!

I have provided both the pre and post edited versions for your review:

Melodyne Essential Pre Edit Bass Track_1

Melodyne Essential Post Edit Bass Track_2

I found the software to be fairly easy to use in both the manual and macro mode.  The macro did make some decisions that did not work for me, so I then went in and manually adjusted a few notes more to my liking.  In my opinion, Melodyne Essential allows the user to adjust the intonation of a note without deleteriously altering or damaging the original character of the note- which is a big plus in my book.

More information is available on this product at www.celemony.com

 

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