Essential Melodyne Shortcuts (Plus Some Sneaky Tips and Handy Tricks)

Disclosure: Some posts contain affiliate links, which earn us a commission if you make a purchase through them.
  • Increase workflow and accuracy with simple tips, tricks, and shortcuts
  • Learn how to use the “correct pitch macro” and “quantize” tools
  • Understand the optional display information and how it helps you
  • Learn how to correct analyzing errors made by Melodyne’s algorithm

Keyboard Shortcuts for Quick Tool Access

There is a list of very useful shortcuts available within Melodyne.  To access these shortcuts click on “settings”, “preference”, then “shortcuts”.

Here’s a small list of some shortcuts I use the most:

F1- Main Tool

F2- Pitch Tool

F5- Time Tool

F6- Note Separation Tool

If you press on the shortcut keys more than once it will toggle between the different functions of that particular tool.  

For example:

F2(pressed once)- pitch tool

F2(pressed twice)- modulation tool

F2(pressed thrice)- drift tool

Try to get comfortable using as many of these keyboard shortcuts as you can.  They will help you to increase workflow and productivity, and can even help to prevent hand fatigue, especially when working on lengthy projects.

Additional Functions, Tools, and Tips

Use “show blob info” for easy note referencing

Open the “options” menu, click “note editor”, then click “show blob info”, and when you’re adjusting the vocals you’ll see a display of notes alongside it.  This will make it much easier to reference what notes you’re adjusting the vocals to.

Use “scale snap” to help identify notes within a key faster

Now open the “options” menu, hover over “pitch grid”, and select “scale snap”.  Now the vocals will automatically snap to the corresponding notes of your key signature. The scale will also be represented by the lighter squares located to the right of the sidebar notes.  See the image below for a reference.

If you cannot see the scale displayed like it is in the picture above then look in the bottom left corner of Melodyne. There should be an icon like the one highlighted below.

By selecting this icon the “scale editor depth” will open, and this will also allow you to change the key signature by clicking on a note and selecting either major or minor.

Don’t forget to zoom in on your work area

Use the side and bottom scroll bars to zoom in closer on your working area.  Simply hover your mouse over one end of the scroll bar until you see a magnifying glass.  Then, just left-click and drag the scroll bar to zoom in or out.  The closer you zoom in, the more accurately you’ll be able to pitch correct.

Use “correct pitch macro” for faster tuning

If you’re working with a vocal that is really close to being on pitch for the entirety of the track, or you have a small selection you want to correct faster, then this next tool might be useful for you.  I don’t always suggest using it only because there are a lot of different variables that can interfere with its accuracy and usefulness.  It’s mostly up to you to make a judgment call on when it might be ok to use, and the more experience you get with Melodyne the more easily you will be able to determine when to use tools like the “correct pitch macro”.

See the highlighted icon in the image above to locate the “correct pitch macro”.  Now, with a portion or all of the vocals highlighted within Melodyne click on the “correct pitch macro” button.  

You should see a screen like the one above.  Then click “Snap to (key signature)”, and if you’ve already edited notes within your selection you can also click “include notes already edited manually” so those will also be affected if that’s what you want.  Both sliders, “correct pitch center” and “correct pitch drift”, do exactly what they say they’ll do.  “Pitch center” will attempt to center the vocal blobs, and “pitch drift” will attempt to smooth out any drifting pitches from their assigned note. 

As mentioned earlier, it’s mostly up to you to decide how much to apply to the vocals, and where.  Again, I don’t recommend using this tool, but it can be helpful in some circumstances.

Understanding and using the “quantize tool”

The tool next to the “correct pitch macro” is called the “quantize tool”.  See the image below for a reference.

Its purpose is to move the vocals closer to a more precise point within the time signature.  With this tool you’ll want to make sure your vocals are properly divided from one ending of a word to the next; otherwise, the quantize tool will most likely move incorrect portions of the vocals around and do exactly the opposite of what it’s meant to do. 

Highlight a portion or all of the vocals you want to quantize.  I suggest if you’re going to use this tool, to work in small 10 second increments to decrease the possibility of mistakes.  Click on the “quantize” button, and you’ll see something like the image below.

Depending on how far off the timing is on your vocals will determine which groove reference you’ll choose.  If the vocals are off by more than an 8th note I would suggest choosing the “1/4” reference.  In the instance where you choose “1/4” and also slide the bar to 100%, Melodyne will take any part of the vocals, from the start of their separations, and slide them over to the nearest downbeat within a 4 beat measure.  If you have them properly separated, it might work fine; however, this is one of those tools you need to learn and understand when it’s best to use it.

Use note assignment mode to fix analyzing errors

This next tool is, from my experience, very rarely needed, but can make a huge difference with troublesome notes.  Sometimes Melodyne will analyze a pitch incorrectly, and place it where it shouldn’t be.  Check out the image below.

The highlighted area is where Melodyne incorrectly analyzed a pitch.  To fix this, let’s go to note assignment mode. 

Click on the tool highlighted in the image above to access note assignment mode.  Then click and hold on the note you want Melodyne to analyze again, and bring it closer to where it should be. 

Melodyne will re-analyze the note once you go back into “edit mode”, and this will in turn make it easier to correct the pitch of that note without creating unwanted artefacts.

Final Thoughts

There are so many instances where multiple tools can fix the same issue, but one tool will do it best.  That’s where your intuition comes into play from experience.  So make sure to practice as often as you can, even if it means practising on your own voice, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

READ  How To Use Melodyne 5 (Vocal Pitch Correction From Start To Finish)