Set the Key of the Song FIRST
If you’ve ever tried to change the key of a song in GarageBand after the project was started, you’ve probably gotten really annoyed. There is no way to key of the song without all of your recordings getting changed accordingly. It’s a real pain. Once you change the key, your vocals will either sound like the Chipmunks or unrealistically slowed down vocals that are only used for special effects. If you set the key of the song first, you won’t have to worry about having to re-record your tracks halfway through the process. It will also enable you to do the next point I have…
Limit to Key
When using Pitch Correction in GarageBand, you have a few different controls. You have a slide bar that controls how much correction is integrated into your track. You choose how much on a scale of 0-100. The second control is the choice to limit to the key of the song or not. If you don’t, only pitches that don’t exist on a chromatic scale will be corrected. (The chromatic scale is every key on a piano or every fret on a guitar). Not all notes in a chromatic scale work within every song. Therefore, you need to limit the correction to the key of the song. This ensures that every note you sing or play will be corrected to the closest note within the key of the song. This gives your track a much more drastic “autotune” effect than if you were to not limit the correction to the key.
Sing as Straight as Possible
With more expensive autotune software, singers are able to just talk and everything can be corrected manually. You can’t do that with GarageBand, though. When using GarageBand pitch correction, vibrato or vocal slides aren’t handled well and end up sounding very cheap in the recording. This means you have to work with the pitch correction to get a better effect. You’ll need to sing with as straight of a tone as possible. Don’t use a lot of vibrato or vocal slides if you can help it. I always have to tell myself to sing like a robot to start. This has a much better end result than singing loosely and trusting the software to make your track sound perfect. It takes practice and even some talent to make GarageBand’s Pitch Correction sound good.
What is your advice for users of GarageBand Pitch Correction? Comment below.