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Chapter 9. Advanced Audio Editing > Correcting a Mistake Using Pitch Shift

Correcting a Mistake Using Pitch Shift

Pitch shifting is often used to correct small tuning mistakes in a live musician's performance. Most often, it is used with vocals, but any performance with a small pitch mistake on a monophonic instrument can be corrected in this way. This pitch-correction process is usually called tuning and can be done in many ways. In the Dark Ages, before about 1998, people used hardware samplers as the preferred tool for correcting pitch mistakes, with the retuned words or syllables fired back to tape or disk via MIDI. One of the most famous VST plug-ins, Auto-tune, automated the pitch-correction process, forever relieving vocalists of the pesky responsibility of singing in tune. All of these tools still work, but using only your ears and Cubase you can single out a note and tune a performance.

To correct pitch mistakes in a performance

Turn off Snap, unless your performer made mistakes for precisely one bar or beat.

Listen to the event in question to determine which note is incorrect. Then use the Range Selection tool to select just the note you want to change (Figure 9.24).

Figure 9.24. Selecting the note that needs to be pitch corrected.

Select Audio > Process > Pitch Shift to open the Pitch Shift window.

Now comes the tricky part. When tuning a performance, usually the pitch changes are very minor.

Use the Cents slider or Fine Tune arrows to pitch shift the selection slightly sharp or flat, as needed. Figure 9.25 shows a setting that will raise the pitch 20 cents.

Figure 9.25. Use the Fine Tune arrows or the Cents slider (where the pointer is) to adjust the pitch.

When the pitch-shifted audio sounds right (often it's a good idea to use a correctly tuned piano or guitar as a reference), click the Process button to apply the changes.

You may be asked it you want to create a new event with the processed audio (Figure 9.26). Under most circumstances, you will, and you should select New Version.

Figure 9.26. The dialog box asks if you want to create a new event with the pitch-shifted audio. Usually, you will want to select New Version.



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