A lot of people have been asking about the use of Celemony Melodyne and the new Selection Based Processing (SBP) feature in Logic Pro X 10.3. Does it work? The answer is yes, but with some caveats to be aware of.
Melodyne and Selection Based Processing
I created a project to test the compatibility between Melodyne and Selection Based Processing.
Here are my findings:
• If you instantiate Melodyne within the SBP window, it won’t work the traditional way. What I mean is, transferring data via Melodyne’s Transfer button and then playing the selection in the Tracks Area will not convert the audio into Melodyne blobs as expected.
• It will work, however, if you use the Prelisten button within the SBP window as the means to start playback for the transferring process.
• Once this is done, if you attempt conventional playback from the Tracks Area, the signal will be multiplied. You will hear both the audio from the host track’s channel strip AND the audio being processed through Melodyne in the SBT window. So, if you don’t alter the Melodyne data, the signal will be amplified. If you do alter some of the blobs, you will hear it simultaneously with the original audio playing back through the track’s Channel Strip.
• If you want to adjust the playback level of the audio coming from the instance of Melodyne in the SBP window, open your Mixer and press the “All” view at the top of the window instead of leaving it in the default “Tracks” view. Doing this will reveal two Audio Channel Strips at the end of your Mixer, right next to the regular Prelisten fader used for auditioning in the Loop Browser.
These two Channel Strips are reserved for the Selection Based Processing Prelisten function. One is for the SBP window’s Channel Strip A, the other for Channel Strip B. Lowering these will lower the level of the Melodyne generated audio playing through the SBP window. These two “All View” Channel Strips are always available when using SBP with conventional plug-ins, to adjust the Prelisten level of the two SBP Channel Strips. They default to solo safe mode so that they will always be heard, regardless of the solo or mute status of other Channel Strips.
• If you want to hear only the audio being generated from the Melodyne window, simply bring down, or mute, the fader of the host track.
• Copying the instance of Melodyne from one SBP Channel Strip to the other and altering the blobs in the copy, sort’a kinda’ works, but controlling playback of them individually is inconsistent.
First, since the two instances of Melodyne contain the same blobs at this point, it is important to keep track of which window you are working in; the one associated with SBP Channel Strip A, or B.
And secondly, in this scenario, there are technically four power buttons on the two SBP Channel Strips. One in each of the Channel Strip headers and one at the left each of the used plug-in slots.
• If you are diligent in controlling selection and the state of the four buttons, it is possible to get each one playing independently, or the two together. Combine this with the audio running through the tracks' Channel Strip, and you can generate three voices simultaneously. Cool! What a great way to experiment with three part vocal harmonies; hearing the results as you are working!
• Hitting the Apply button with one of the Melodyne instances active works. It will render the new audio file with the Melodyne processing applied. It doesn’t matter if the source Channel Strip fader is up or not.
• Hitting the Apply button with both the SBP Channel Strips active will not render the audio with the audio generated from both instances of Melodyne. It will render only what is coming from the SBP Channel Strip that is selected at the time of invoking the Apply button.
• So, my conclusion is not only that it works (with the proper due diligence), but could be interesting for a creative workflow in generating vocal harmonies. With both instances of it playing simultaneously with the original, you can experiment with three part harmonies and hear the results in real time; and all from a single transfer!
• When it's time to render, make a copy of the original in the Tracks Area using the “Convert to New Audio File” function. It it's in the local Edit menu. Move it to another track temporarily.
• Reselect the original region, and render the first harmony part by using the Apply button in the SBP window, in conjunction with the active instance of Melodyne.
• Create another copy of the original audio region, move it to another track, and apply the second instance of Melodyne from the SBP window.
• Make sure to either remove (or turn off) your Melodyne instances from the Selection Based Processing window when you're done. Ensure the three audio files (the two SBP versions and a copy of the original) are lined up and in sync, and you’ll have your three parts!