Antares Autotune Review (Still Worth It & Which To Get?)

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Antares Auto-Tune Review
VERDICT
An industry-standard in tuning software since its first release in 1997, Antares Auto-Tune gives you much more control and flexibility than other tuning plug-ins, allowing you to create the exact sound you want.
Controls and Flexibility
10
Sound Quality
9.5
Additional Uses/Applications
9
PROS
Various settings give you an incredible amount of control over the sound
"Auto" and "Grid" modes give you the ability to tune in real-time or manually
Multiple bundle/pricing options that give you access to many other vocal processors
CONS
Pricey, but there are many different pricing options and bundles
Still won't fix a bad performance!
9.5
OUR SCORE

Vocal tuning software has become a must for music production in today’s world. Whether it is used as a creative effect (i.e. in rap) or used to make subtle pitch correction, tuning software is used on nearly every modern recording you hear.

Antares Auto-Tune has been the industry-standard in tuning software since the beginning. Released in 1997, it was the first plug-in of its kind, and many professionals still use it today.

If you’re looking to purchase tuning software today, however, there are a lot of options, and some are more affordable than Antares Auto-Tune. This may leave you wondering…

Is Antares Auto-Tune Still Worth It?

My answer is yes! Antares Auto-Tune gives you much more control and flexibility than other tuning plug-ins, allowing you to get the exact sound you want.

With their new bundle and pricing options, you can get additional access to a wide variety of vocal processors. From subtle enhancement to otherworldly vocals, you can do it all with Antares Auto-Tune!

Antares Auto-Tune Pro

Auto-Tune Pro is the most complete and full-featured version of Auto-Tune, including both Auto Mode, for low latency, real-time pitch correction, and Graph Mode, for more detailed graphical pitch and time editing.

Why We Love It:
  • Multiple bundle/pricing options
  • Complete control and flexibility
View Price on PluginBoutique

Controls and Flexibility – 10/10

Antares Auto-Tune offers you a level of control over your sound that is unmatched by most other pitch correction plugins.

I’ve often struggled with getting a pleasing sound out of other tuning software such as Logic’s stock Pitch Correction or Waves Tune because there is not very much you can control in terms of how the plug-in tunes a vocal track.

But with the original Antares Auto-Tune software, I’ve found it much easier to get the sound I want out of my vocal tracks.

Auto Mode

The standard auto mode of Antares Auto-Tune offers a lot of flexibility to give you the sound you want. Like most tuning plug-ins, there is a retune speed control, which adjusts how quickly Auto-Tune will respond to your source audio.

Setting this at 0 ms will make it respond incredibly fast and give you that “T-Pain” style sound, but for a more natural sound, setting it to 20-30 ms often works great.

In addition to this control, there is also a “Humanize”, “Flex-Tune” and “Natural Vibrato” control if you are looking to get a more subtle sound from this plugin. The “Humanize” function allows for slight adjustment of the retune speed to make notes sound more natural. Without this, things can get a little robotic (but maybe this is what you want!).

“Natural Vibrato” is pretty self-explanatory, as it allows you to preserve more vibrato in a vocal. This is a pleasant quality of a natural voice that can get tamed or completely removed by the software.

The “Flex-Tune” control reduces the amount of quantization to the nearest pitch to a certain degree, which can be useful for things such as vocal scoops which don’t always sound better when tuned to the nearest note.

As you can see, there is a lot of flexibility within the auto mode of Antares Auto-Tune, whether you want that classic T-Pain sound or a more subtle effect.

Graph Mode

In addition to auto mode, Antares Auto-Tune offers a graph mode, which allows you to do manual editing of pitch, similar to Celemony’s Melodyne.

When your source audio is imported into Auto-Tune in this mode, you can actually see how close the pitch of your original performance was to the notes you were aiming to hit.

This is especially useful information if you are looking to keep your vocals sounding very natural. In graph mode, you can manually tune notes that are too far off from the notes you are trying to hit, and leave the notes that close enough completely unaffected to avoid making them sound too robotic.

If I am going for a supernatural sound, I tend to use graph mode over messing with the auto mode controls.

Between the two modes, Antares Auto-Tune offers a lot of flexibility to get the exact amount of pitch correction you want on your vocal!

Sound Quality – 9.5/10

All of these controls are great, but none of that matters if Antares Auto-Tune doesn’t sound good right?

Well thankfully, it sounds great! I believe the amount of control and flexibility you have with this plug-in is what makes it possible to get a great sound. Here is an example of auto mode being used:

Here is an example of graph mode being used:

As you can hear, you can get either a very obvious or subtle auto-tune effect with this plug-in, and both sound great.

A major factor in the sound quality of Auto-Tune is the raw vocal performance you are working with. Contrary to what many people believe, Auto-Tune cannot take someone with no talent and turn them into amazing singers.

This is especially true if you are using Auto-Tune in auto mode. In this mode, the plug-in is essentially “rounding” the pitches being sung up or down to the nearest note.

Being able to select the key of the song in Auto-Tune does narrow down the number of notes it can round to, but the pitch still has to be fairly close to the note you want to hit, otherwise, it may “round” your pitch to the wrong note and it will sound ugly.

The same is true for graph mode as well. I’ve found that I can really only get away with pitching a note a half step or two up or down before it starts to sound unnatural, which is not what I’m going for when using graph mode.

So whatever mode you are using, it is still important to take the time to get a good vocal performance, because that way you will end up with the best results.

Additional Uses/Applications – 9/10

On top of how great the Pro version of Auto-Tune is, Antares offers many different versions and bundles that give you access to additional tools that you can add to your vocal production arsenal.

The most recent bundle Antares has released is the Auto-Tune Unlimited bundle, which includes:

Auto-Tune Pro: The standard version of Auto-Tune.

Auto-Tune Artist: A scaled-down version of Auto-Tune Pro that is optimized for low-latency processing. This version is ideal for live performances because the signal from your vocal mic won’t be delayed so much by the Auto-Tune processing.

Auto-Tune EFX+: This is essentially Auto-Tune Pro with a whole bunch of vocal effects plug-ins added to it, giving you the ability to create unique vocal effects in your tracks. From vocoder to vocal doubling to a melodic pattern generator, the possibilities are endless!

Auto-Tune Access: This version gives you the essential features of Auto-Tune: Key, Scale, Retune Speed, and Humanize. This version uses a much lighter amount of CPU, so it can be useful in sessions where a lot of other plug-ins are maximizing your CPU usage.

Auto Key: The Auto Key plug-in can detect the key and scale of any audio file, and send that data to each instance of Auto-Tune in your session. This can really save you time trying to find the correct key of your track, and speed up your workflow in any session!

Auto-Tune Hybrid: This is a version of Auto-Tune designed for fast performance on Avid DSP systems such as Carbon interfaces, HDX systems, and the Venue S6L live consoles.

Avox Vocal Plugins: This bundle gives you access to a lot of creative vocal effects such as a Talkbox, Choir, and even mic modulations!

The Auto-Tune unlimited bundle is offered as a $24.99/month subscription, or a $224.90/yr subscription, which gives you a discount on the monthly cost. Antares also offers the Auto-Tune Pro Vocal Studio Bundle for $699, which gives you access to Auto-Tune Pro and the Avox Plugins. You can also purchase all of these products individually.

As you can see, Antares offers a lot more than just Auto-Tune Pro, and gives you all the tools you need to take your vocal production to the next level!

Antares Auto-Tune Pro

Auto-Tune Pro is the most complete and full-featured version of Auto-Tune, including both Auto Mode, for low latency, real-time pitch correction, and Graph Mode, for more detailed graphical pitch and time editing.

Why We Love It:
  • Multiple bundle/pricing options
  • Complete control and flexibility
View Price on PluginBoutique

Wrapping Up

Since pioneering the Auto-Tune software in the 1990s, Antares has continued to remain at the top of the pitch correction market, and it’s easy to see why.

Antares Auto-Tune offers you a large amount of control and flexibility, making it a great tool for minor pitch correction or getting that classic Auto-Tune sound we all know and (mostly) love.

On top of that, Antares’ new plugin bundles give you the ability to use Auto-Tune in any studio or live performance situation with various low-latency options.

Overall, Auto-Tune is still a very powerful plugin for vocals. Many imitators have popped up, and while some of them are formidable challengers, Antares still rules the roost in 2021.

(As great as Auto-Tune is, there’s more to vocal processing than pitch correction. Discover more great plugins for vocals in 7 Best Waves Plugins for Mixing Vocals Like A Pro)