The pitch grid and scales

In this tour, you will learn about Melodyne’s pitch grid and find out how to select different scales for the grid.

Melodyne's scale functions

In Melodyne, you can change the pitch of notes either continuously or in such a way that they snap to a grid. If the snap function is active, notes can only be moved to pitches allowed by the grid. The grid can be based on the chromatic scale, the scale of C Major or any other scale.

Choosing the pitch grid

The context menu on the pitch ruler offers you three basic settings for the snap function:

The scale and reference pitch rulers

To select and use scales, choose Scale Editor from the context menu of the pitch ruler and check the option Selection and Master Tuning. Now, to the left of the pitch ruler, two new columns appear.

Adjusting the master tuning

The narrow column on the very left is the reference pitch ruler. Drag up and down the mark alongside any note – A4, for example. A frequency ruler appears for you to consult as you fine-tune the note in question – and with it, of course, all the other notes of the scale. What you are doing here is adjusting the master tuning for the entire pitch grid. A tip: increase the vertical zoom factor, as this will make it easier for you to locate the value you want.

By right-clicking any of the marks on the ruler, you can open a small context menu. This offers a number of pointers to help you bring the pitch grid swifly into line with a particular tuning:

The various values for A4, incidentally, can be found quickly by clicking the tuning fork icon at the top of the reference pitch ruler. By typing into the box immediately below this icon, you can assign to A4 any frequency you like.

Selecting the tonic and scale variety

The wider ruler next to the reference pitch ruler is the scale ruler. Here you can select the ‘tonic’ (i.e. the first degree or keynote) of the scale as well as its mode or type. First click on the note you wish to use as the tonic. The following menu opens:

Tip: Initialize the key prior to the transfer/load: In the case of monophonic or polyphonic audio material, Melodyne also recognizes the key of the music. With short melodic phrases, however, the key chosen is often not the one intended, simply because too few notes are available for a correct appraisal. To prevent this happening, you can set the key using the Scale ruler of an empty instance of the plug-in or an empty document (if using the stand-alone implementation of the program) before the transfer or loading of an audio file. To do this, simply click on the desired keynote in the scale ruler and select the desired scale from the context menu. Melodyne will then retain this initialized value, regardless of its own subsequent analysis.

The Open Scale window

Melodyne’s open scale dialog offers a variety of scales you can select, listen to, and use.

Just click on the desired scale to select it and on the loudspeaker icon if you wish to hear it played through.

If you have activated the option Notes Follow Scale Changes, during playback you will hear immediately the effect of applying the scale selected to your audio material. The window allows you to try out (or ‘audition’) different scales quickly and easily. If you wish to adopt the changes, exit the window with OK; otherwise click Cancel.