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Mixdown's Picks: Antares Auto-tune

Distributed by: Antares Technology | Expect to pay: Starting from $24.99 per month

The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs. Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks - a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.

This time around, we're dissecting the huge range of essential effects out there for stage and studio, exploring everything from rugged multi-effects units through to boutique overdrives and vocal plug-ins.

Antares Auto-Tune
Key Features: Without question one of the most recognisable and iconic names in the modern production space, Antares Auto-Tune has been at the forefront of pitch detection/correction technology since the pioneering days of the DAW revolution, in the process becoming quite possibly the first plug-in to achieve genuine ‘Classic’ status (in fact, the new Auto-Tune even has a ‘Classic’ mode, designed to emulate the beloved sound of Auto-Tune 5!).

Whether employed to subtly tighten up a less than ideal vocal performance, or up front to provide that hyper modern, vocoder-like quality that we all know and love, the effect has well and truly taken on a life of it’s own, becoming its own category; not to mention one of the defining sounds of the post-millenia. With it being such an omnipresence in the modern producer’s toolkit, never has there been a better time to become acquainted with the industry standard software and Antares new Auto-Tune Unlimited, is the perfect way to not only get to know Auto-Tune, but the greater Antares lineup also.

Available in both monthly and yearly subscription models, Antares new Auto-Tune Unlimited offers you cart-blanche access to Antares extensive production toolkit, meaning a direct line to some of the most powerful studio tools in existence.

Not only do you get the latest versions of the beloved Auto-Tune family of plugins (complete with new low-latency optimisation features for improved performance/monitoring), but you also get access to the equally powerful AVOX family of vocal processors, providing everything from automatic harmony generation, to some very believable emulations of Classic Mics (in the form of Antares ‘Mic Mod’ Classic microphone modeller). Perhaps one of the most interesting and experimental of these AVOX plugins is the anatomically correct ‘Throat’ plug-in, a physical voice modeller which allows users to process their vocal recordings through adjustable models of the human voice box, complete with adjustable lip, mouth, throat and vocal cord parameters.

But the main course here will always be the Auto-Tune plugin suite, whose audio engine still goes unsurpassed in its ability to provide extreme vocal processing and pitch correction, free of artefacts or any of the sonic nasties that usually accompany this kind of heavy handed processing. It’s not just the heavy handed types either who benefit from Antares mastery of all things pitch either, their Auto-Key function is still one of the most reliable and handy tools for the budding songwriter, really helping to clean up demo recordings and keep the creative process flowing as quickly and unimpeded as possible.

Mixdown Says: Already an industry standard in studios the world over, Antares Auto-Tune is a bona fide classic - both as effect and get out of jail free card for the modern producer. It’s one of those plugins that every producer needs in their arsenal regardless of genre, simply as a matter of insurance. Even if you’re not of the T-Pain persuasion, its ability to salvage an otherwise perfect take remains unparalleled and the quality of its audio engine, (coupled with Auto-tune’s super intuitive, easily automated display) makes it an absolute necessity. Particularly impressive is the new AVOX plugins that accompany the new Auto-tune Unlimited subscription, and the combination of the two serve as the basis for what might be the most powerful collection of vocal processing tools ever assembled in the one bundle.

Overall: An absolute must for anybody looking to work in the commercial recording/mixing space.