Antares recently released a new addition to their Auto-Tune range called Auto-Tune Artist that replaces the old Auto-Tune Live plug-in. Rather than just test the new Auto-Tune Artist on its own we thought it would be more helpful to measure its performance and capabilities against a rival real time tuning plug-in, the Waves Real-Time Tune.
We wanted to know how these two products compare as a real time vocal tuning plug-in that can deliver fast creative vocal tunings effects for top line melody lines as well as be a good transparent automatic vocal tuner. However, there’s no way for us to know which of these will be best for you. What we can do is to help by putting these two plug-ins head-to-head to help you make your own mind up.
Let’s take a closer look at these two products, starting with the new kid on the block - Auto-Tune Artist from Antares…
What Is Antares Auto-Tune Artist?
Antares released Auto-Tune Artist in the summer of 2019 replacing Auto-Tune Live. It takes the main automatic real time engine from its bigger brother - Auto-Tune Pro but focusing Artist more towards producing creative and transparent tuning with little fuss for the end user.
What Antares Say About Auto-Tune Artist
Auto-Tune Artist (formerly Auto-Tune Live) is designed to meet the demanding needs of working musicians, producers, and live sound engineers. It includes all of the advanced real-time pitch correction features of Auto-Tune Pro, and is optimized for low latency performance on stage or in the studio.
Auto-Tune Artist is also packed with powerful new features and enhancements, starting with a sleek new interface, redesigned for ease-of-use and optimal workflow. We’ve added Basic and Advanced Views so you can find the tools you need, when you need them.
We’ve also added Flex-Tune for more natural and transparent pitch correction, Classic Mode for the “Auto-Tune 5 sound” and Transpose for real-time pitch shifting. Compatibility with the Auto-Key plug-in (sold separately) means never having to worry about finding the key of your music before tuning. Auto-Key detects the key and scale and sends that information to Auto-Tune Artist with a single click.
Auto-Tune Artist also features Humanize to preserve subtle pitch variations on sustained notes, automatic Formant Correction, adjustable Throat Modeling, real-time MIDI Control, and advanced Vibrato Controls.
What Is Waves Real-Time Tune?
Waves released Real-Time Tune back in 2016. It isn’t the only pitch correction plug-in Waves offer. Waves Tune and Tune LT are the other tuning products that give users a more graphical “offline” workflow. Real-Time Tune, as the name suggests, does most of the heavy lifting for you once a song key is established and some settings are dialled in.
What Waves Say About Real-Time Tune
Waves Tune Real-Time provides smooth, natural-sounding vocal pitch correction instantly and automatically, as soon as the notes leave the singer’s mouth. Designed for live performances as well as pre-production, tracking and mixing in the studio, the plugin’s innovative pitch detection and correction technologies ensure that the tuned vocal retains the vocalist’s natural vocal sound. Producers, engineers and performers can use the plugin for subtle pitch correction, but also as a creative pitch quantization effect – all in real time.
The intuitive controls, simple layout, and touchscreen compatibility are key for engineers who have little time to fuss around and need to quickly get solid and "ready-to-go" vocals.
Waves Tune Real-Time can be easily programmed per song and customized to the singer's articulation. You can control the range, choose a scale, mark in advance specific notes to fix or avoid, control the plugin’s sensitivity, and even tune a singer's vibrato while preserving its natural movement. If you don’t know the scale of the song, you can enter the notes using the virtual keyboard, or set the plugin to follow a melody played in advance or in real time via MIDI.
Waves Real-Time Tune Review
Check out our review of the Waves Tune Real-Time…
Which Real Time Tuning Results Do You Prefer The Sound Of?
For this blind listening test we’ve processed two different vocal performance styles to test the creative and transparent capabilities of both Waves Real-Time Tune and Antares Auto-Tune Artist. We matched the control values in each example between the two plug-ins to provide you with the fairest test possible.
In the poll sections below each audio player, vote for the examples you prefer the sound of the most. We will reveal which example was which plug-in in a follow up results post in the coming weeks.
Test 1 - Transparent Tuning
Test 2 - Creative Tuning
The Results - Published 28th August 2019
Let’s reveal the products behind each of the audio examples:
Example A for both transparent and creative tunings was produced using Antares Auto-Tune Artist.
Example B for both tests were produced using Waves Tune Real-Time.
We asked The Production Expert Community to vote for the examples they preferred the sound of the most. The results for transparent tuning were quite surprising as the votes were very nearly a tie. There was a larger difference in opinion to be found in the results of the creative tuning test with a larger number of voters liking the sound of Auto-Tune Artist. These types of tests are always going to be quite subjective. This test in-particular gave us an idea what both these comparable products can achieve if there settings are dialled in almost identically.
What this test proved to us is that these products, if used tastefully and appropriately, are both very capable vocal tuning tools. If you’re after a distinctive hard and fast sounding real time vocal tuner then either of these products will serve you well but we suggest you download the demos of each and test them for yourselves to find out which suites your workflow the best.