Recording audio in Melodyne Stand-Alone

In this tour you will learn how to record audio with Melodyne Stand-Alone and what you need to bear in mind when doing so.

Audio settings

Before you record anything for the first time with Melodyne Stand-Alone, you should take a look at the Audio tab of the Preferences property sheet to check the settings.

In the upper pane, you will see the general audio settings. If you have already loaded, played back and edited files with Melodyne and everything functioned, you can just leave the existing settings. (On the Mac, the internal Core Audio hardware is used by default; on the PC, the ASIO driver of your audio hardware should be selected).

In the lower pane, you can select the audio inputs of the audio hardware you wish to use. This parameter is naturally only relevant if your audio hardware actually has multiple inputs. From the list box, you can select the bit-resolution for recording, popular choices here being 16- and 24-bit linear. Below you can select the folder in which your recordings will be saved.

We recommend you to select a general ‘Temp’ folder, as the recording folder referred to here simply serves as a buffer for your work until you save it. There is no reason yet to choose a dedicated destination for your recording session; you decide the final destination of a recording when you come to save it.

Tempo and metronome

Before you begin recording in Melodyne, you should think about the tempo. There are two possible modi operandi: either the grid follows the music (in which case Melodyne interprets variations in tempo as evidence that the song tempo varies and stretches and/or compresses the grid accordingly); or the music follows the grid, which in this case will be uniform, so where deviations occur notes will lie sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right, of the gridlines nearest them.

When you create a new empty document (File > New) in Melodyne, the default tempo is 120 BPM. If you now, without changing the Tempo parameter and without switching on the metronome, begin recording and then stop the recording at some point, in the course of the ensuing analysis, the tempo throughout the recording will be detected. This option functions well and reliably as a general rule, but will usually lead to tempo fluctuations in your performance being interpreted as changes in tempo. In consequence, the Tempo display will change in the course of playback and the grid in the editing area will also expand or contract in response to tempo fluctuations in the recording.

If you would rather use a fixed tempo and uniformly spaced gridlines as the basis of your recording, simply set the desired tempo manually prior to recording and/or activate the metronome. As soon as you do either or both of these things, Melodyne will conclude that you want a uniform tempo. In this case, the Tempo display will not change during the recording and the grid will remain rigid; any tempo fluctuations in your performance will be revealed, when the analysis is complete, by the fact that certain notes are offset from – i.e. lie between, or not precisely on – the gridlines.

To activate the metronome, click the combination control shown below. By dragging it with the mouse, you can set the volume of the metronome.

Starting and stopping the recording

Move the playback cursor (or recording cursor in this case) to a position slightly to the left of the place you wish to begin recording. Since there’s no count-in, this will give you an aural cue and the tempo prior to your entry as you record. Now click the record enable button in the transport pane.

The record button will light up and the meter beneath the transport keys will indicate the level of the incoming audio signal. Adjust the output of your mixer or playback device until the maximum level is reached before the onset of clipping.

To begin the actual recording, click the play button.

You can stop the recording at any time by clicking the record enable button a second time and resume by clicking it yet again; it’s a toggle, in other words, that allows you to punch in and out at will during the performance. Clicking the stop button also ends the recording, stopping the cursor at the same time.

A recording can begin and end in the same places as a previous recording, in which case the earlier recording will be erased – unless, that is, after a bad performance you use the Undo command to roll back to the previous take.

You can listen to a recording even when the detection analysis is still underway and undo it in the same way.