Melodyne in Pro Tools

On this tour, you will learn how to make efficient use of Melodyne within Pro Tools. This tour relates to Pro Tools 11.1.

Please take note also of the information regarding the compatibility of Melodyne with Pro Tools on our website.

Current issues: Tips on switching from Pro Tools 10 to 11

Running Pro Tools 10 and 11 simultaneously: Melodyne is integrated into Pro Tools 11 as a 64-bit AAX plug-in but into Pro Tools 10 as a 32-bit RTAS plug-in. Version 2.1.2 of the Melodyne installation program installs both formats, RTAS und AAX, side by side. Under OS X, you can run both Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 11 on the same computer. Please note, however, that, according to Avid, Pro Tools 11 can only be co-installed with Pro Tools 10.3.7 or higher (under Mac OS X 10.8).

Session compatibility between Pro Tools 10 and 11: Older sessions using Melodyne can be opened in both Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 11, regardless of whether they were saved by Pro Tools 10 or Pro Tools 11. Putting it another way, a “10” session can be imported into Pro Tools 11 and an “11” session into Pro Tools 10. This bidirectional compatibility is subject, however, to one condition: the same version of Melodyne (v.2.1.2) must be installed on both systems (Pro Tools 10 and 11).

Transfer path for sessions: In Pro Tools 11.1, you do not need to worry about the transfer path for your Melodyne files. These are automatically stored within the session hierarchy in a sub-folder within the Plugin Settings folder. (In Pro Tools 11.0 you had to set this path for each new session manually.)

Loading the Melodyne plug-in

Insert Melodyne into one of the plug-in slots of the desired track. You will find Melodyne Plugin in the “Other” category. This is not to be confused with the category “Instrument”, from which the Rewire device (described below) can be loaded.

You are advised, as a rule, to insert Melodyne in the first plug-in slot – before the compressor, EQ or other effects. The reason is this: during the transfer, Melodyne records the input signal you intend to edit – and with it all effects ahead of it in the signal chain, which are then frozen into the signal and can no longer be adjusted. In order to use your compressor, EQ and other effects in the usual way, you need therefore to make sure they come after Melodyne Plugin in the signal chain.

Backing up and exchanging projects

Under Pro Tools 11, Melodyne’s transfer files are stored within the session structure. This means that if you want to be sure, when archiving your project or passing it on to others, that all instances of Melodyne will be able to find the audio files they need, the only thing you need to archive or pass on is the session folder.

When archiving and passing on projects, you do not need to worry about Melodyne’s audio cache, the size and location of which can be selected from Melodyne’s Preferences dialog. Melodyne will automatically restore the parameters found there, so there is no need to archive or copy them separately.

Duplicating tracks

Sometimes you may want to copy a track including its Melodyne instance and Melodyne editing – in order, for instance, to generate a second voice. To do this, use the “Duplicate …” command in Pro Tools' Track menu.

To ensure that not only the track itself but also Melodyne and all the editing you have performed with it are also duplicated, check the “Inserts” box in the “Data to duplicate” section of the “Duplicate Tracks” dialog.

Saving plug-in settings for Melodyne

Just as with an effects plug-in you can store different settings as presets, in Melodyne you can save different edits. You may wish to do this in order, for example, to allow a performer or artist to hear and choose between different edits of the same take. To save and reload Melodyne settings, follow the same procedures as for all other plug-ins.

Click in the upper part of the current Melodyne Plugin window on “Preset” and select “Save Settings As …”. Then assign a name to the current Melodyne edit. You can store alternative edits as additional presets and switch between them using the preset selector.

Bouncing/printing Melodyne edits

When you are using Melodyne in a project and have finished editing, you have two choices:

You can allow the Melodyne instance(s) to remain active until the final mixdown. If you do this, you will retain access to your Melodyne editing and will be able to make further refinements until the very last moment. This is convenient, but as long as the plug-in remains active it is draining the resources of your system.

You can make your Melodyne editing permanent by recording the edited track (or edited passages) to a new audio file (or files). This will deprive you of further access to your Melodyne editing but allow you to deactivate the plug-in and thereby free up resources. Recording your Melodyne edits as audio tracks has the further advantage of allowing you to pass projects on to colleagues who don’t have Melodyne.

To render (i.e. make permanent) your Melodyne editing on a Pro Tools track, proceed as follows:

Using the bypass function in the mixer or insert area of the track, deactivate the affects you do not wish to be included in the recording on the new track. The EQ and compression, for example, are things you will also wish to adjust on the new track, so these should not be included.

Automation is a similar case: decide whether it should be included in the transfer or whether you would prefer to copy the existing automation to the new track later, in order to retain access to it there. If that is the case, deactivate beforehand the automation in the left-hand track area of the edit window.

To begin the procedure, choose “New Track” from the track’s Output menu. Then decide whether you wish to record a mono or a stereo track and assign a name to it. Pro Tools creates a new track, routing to its input the output signal from the Melodyne track.

You have the option of recording either the entire Melodyne track or merely passages from it. If you wish, you can record multiple tracks simultaneously in this way to new audio tracks.

Once you have created the desired re-recordings, copy the deactivated effects by dragging them to the new track(s) whilst holding down the ALT key; then reactivate them. Via Pro Tools' Edit menu, you can also copy the automation data from the original Melodyne tracks to the new tracks.

All that remains then is to decide what to do with the original Melodyne tracks. You can either delete these or choose “Hide and Make Inactive” from the Track menu so that they no longer appear in the track list. If you adopt the latter course, you will retain access to your original Melodyne editing and be able to make further refinements later simply by reactivating the tracks.

As an alternative to re-recording, you can render the Melodyne editing within a session using the Bounce function:

Select “Bounce to Disk” from the File menu. Now switch your Melodyne track to solo. Deactivate as necessary the other plug-ins and/or the automation of this track.

In the Bounce dialog, choose the desired Bounce Source and assign a name and directory to the new file. Be sure to check the option “Import After Bounce” to ensure that the file created by the bounce appears immediately in your session.

When the bounce is complete, choose New Track from the menu that follows. A new track will then be created containing the bounced material. You can now deactivate the original track with Melodyne.

With the arrival of Pro Tools 11, it is now possible to implement the bounce swiftly offline. To do this, check the corresponding box in the Bounce dialog.

Rewire

Generally you will want to use Melodyne as a plug-in in Pro Tools. This is the most convenient way of working and means, moreover, that all Melodyne data is stored within your session structure, making archiving and passing on projects easier. Occasionally, however, you may wish to integrate the stand-alone version of Melodyne into Pro Tools as a Rewire client.

This can be useful if, for example, you wish to adjust samples quickly to the project tempo. When the program is integrated via Rewire, this happens automatically as soon as you drag a sample from the finder or explorer and drop it in the Melodyne window. You can then play back the samples at the correct tempo via Rewire and make further use of them in Pro Tools, enhancing them there perhaps through the application of additional plug-ins.

To integrate Melodyne Stand-Alone into Pro Tools as a Rewire client, proceed as follows:

First launch Pro Tools; then create an aux track and choose “Melodyne” from the “Instrument” category. This will launch Melodyne not as a plug-in but as a stand-alone application integrated via Rewire. The transport functions and tempo of the two programs will also be synchronized.

Now launch Melodyne and select from the Rewire pane in the Melodyne user interface the pair of outputs you wish to use for the audio transfer of this Melodyne document to Pro Tools. If you are working with a single Melodyne document, select within Melodyne “1-2”.

From the Pro Tools Rewire window, select “Left - Right”. You can, if you wish, open multiple Melodyne documents and transfer their audio to separate aux tracks in Pro Tools via multiple channels.

Now load or else drag & drop the desired samples into Melodyne. These will then be analyzed and adapted to the project tempo. When you have finished editing the sample(s) in Melodyne, you can transfer the corresponding audio signals via Rewire from Melodyne to Pro Tools and record them there. Route the aux track via the Output menu to a new track and record the audio signal on it.

Please note that data from Melodyne is not automatically saved along with your Pro Tools session when the two programs are linked via Rewire. To make it possible to recreate an earlier work situation, you must save the Melodyne document manually in the form of an MPD file – ideally in the session folder of your Pro Tools project. When saving, activate the option “Save Audio File(s) in Copy” to ensure Melodyne saves a copy of the sample in the session folder.

Miscellaneous notes

H/W Buffer Size
Under “Setup > Playback Engine” set the H/W buffer size to 1,024 samples. Smaller values lead to a significant increase in the CPU load.

Should you require a smaller buffer, e.g. when adjusting the headphone mix directly in your computer and not via an external channel strip or mixer, switch all instances of Melodyne during the recording to bypass Reactivate Melodyne as soon as you begin editing your new track.

Keyboard shortcuts
If you are running Pro Tools 11.1 under Windows, certain keyboard shortcuts (Select All, Cut/Copy/Paste, Undo/Redo) within Melodyne do not work, unfortunately, as they affect Pro Tools itself and not Melodyne. Instead of these shortcuts, please use the corresponding commands in Melodyne’s menus or the Melodyne user interface.

Exporting as MP3
Exporting audio as MP3 can lead to a crash accompanied by the error message “Set ENV Var KMP_Duplicate_Lib_ok = True”. If this happens, proceed as follows:

Right-click “My Computer” and choose “Properties” from the context menu.
In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab and select “Environment Variables”.
From the User Variables section, select “New”.
Enter “KMP_DUPLICATE_LIB_OK” in the Variable Name field.
Enter “TRUE” in the Variable Value field.
Click “OK” to close the New User Variable window.
Exit successively the Environment Variables and System Properties pages with “OK”.
Restart Pro Tools

Notes regarding earlier versions

Pro Tools 10: Changing the size of the window
You can increase or decrease the size of the Melodyne window by dragging the bottom-right hand corner of the window with the mouse. In the RTAS plug-in version, the window only assumes the new size when you release the mouse button.