This emindsca teaches you how to use Audacity to apply an auto-tune effect to vocals. You’ll do this with a free plug-in called “GSnap.” GSnap, contrary to popular belief, is available for both Windows and Mac computers, though installation can be difficult.
Part 1 Installing GSnap on Windows
1. Install the GSnap plugin. In a web browser, navigate to https://www.gvst.co.uk/gsnap.htm, then click the Download GSnap (for 32-bit VST hosts) link near the bottom of the page. The GSnap plugin will be downloaded in the form of a ZIP file.
The 64-bit version contains a bug that prevents GSnap from appearing in the Effects menu.
2. Extract the GSnap folder. Go to the downloaded ZIP folder, then do the following:
Double-click the ZIP folder to open it.
Click the Extract tab at the top of the window.
Click Extract all
Click Extract at the bottom of the window.
3. Copy the GSnap folder contents. In the extracted folder that opens, press Ctrl+A to select the folder’s files, then press Ctrl+C to copy everything.
4. Click This PC. It’s a folder on the left side of the File Explorer window. This will open the This PC folder.
You may have to scroll up in the left-hand sidebar of File Explorer to find this folder.
5. Double-click the hard drive on your computer. This option is usually the OS (C:) option and is located below the “Devices and drives” heading in the middle of the page.
If no drives are listed here, first click the Devices and drives heading to bring them up.
6. Navigate to the Audacity “Plug-Ins” folder. To do so:
Double-click the “Program Files (x86)” folder.
Double-click the “Audacity” folder.
Double-click the “Plug-Ins” folder.
7. Insert the GSnap files. Ctrl+V anywhere in the “Plug-Ins” folder to paste. Both of the GSnap files you copied should now be visible in the “Plug-Ins” folder. You’ll need to enable GSnap now that you’ve added the GSnap plug-in to Audacity.
If prompted, click Continue before the files are pasted into Audacity.
Part 2 Installing GSnap on Mac
1. Download the GVST plug-ins package. Go to https://www.gvst.co.uk/portpage.htm in your web browser, then click the Download GVST plug-ins for Mac (for 32- and 64-bit VST hosts) link below the “Mac OSX – BETA” heading.
GSnap isn’t available as an individual download for Mac computers, which is why you’re downloading all VST plug-ins here.
2. Open the downloaded ZIP folder. Double-click the GVST plug-ins ZIP folder that you downloaded to do so.
3. Copy the GSnap file. Click the file entitled “GSnap”, then press ⌘ Command+C.
- You can also click File and then click the Copy option in the drop-down menu.
4. Select the Go option from the menu. It’s at the very top of the screen. There will be a drop-down menu.
If you don’t see Go at the top of your Mac’s screen, open a new Finder window or click the desktop.
5. Click Go to Folder…. It’s near the bottom of the Go drop-down menu. Doing so opens a pop-up window.
6. Go to the Audacity Application Support folder. Type ~/Library/Application Support/audacity into the text box in the pop-up window, then click Go.
7. Open the “Plug-Ins” folder. You should find this option in the “audacity” folder.
8. Paste in the GSnap file. Click inside of the “Plug-Ins” folder, then press ⌘ Command+V. Doing so will place the GSnap file inside of the “Plug-Ins” folder, thus adding it to Audacity. Now that you’ve added the GSnap plug-in to Audacity, you’ll need to enable GSnap.
You can also click File and then click Paste Item in the resulting drop-down menu.
Part 3 Enabling GSnap in Audacity
1. Launch Audacity. Its app icon is a blue soundwave surrounded by an orange soundwave. The track editor view in Audacity will open in a new window.
2. Click Effect. This tab is at the top of the Audacity window. Clicking it prompts a drop-down menu.
On a Mac, Effect is a menu item at the top of the screen.
3. Click “Add / Remove Plug-ins…”. You’ll find this option at the top of the Effect drop-down menu. Clicking it opens a new window.
You may have to scroll up to find this option.
4. Scroll down and click “GSnap”. It’s in the “G” section of the window.
5. Click Enable. This button is below the list of available plug-ins. Doing so will switch GSnap’s status from “New” to “Enabled”.
6. Click OK. It’s at the bottom of the window. Clicking it will confirm your changes and close the window.
7. Check that GSnap is installed. Scroll down until you see GSnap near the bottom of the menu, then click the Effect tab. If you see GSnap, you’re ready to start auto-tuning your vocals in Audacity.
If you don’t see GSnap, it’s because you installed the 64-bit version of GSnap on a Windows computer. You must remove the GSnap file from the Audacity “Plug-Ins” folder and reinstall the 32-bit version of GSnap.
Part 4 Auto-Tuning Your Vocals
1. Upload your vocals. Click File, Import, Audio…, and then double-click the audio file you want to auto-tune.
If you haven’t already recorded your vocals, you’ll need to do so before moving on. This could entail connecting a USB microphone to your computer.
2. Select your vocals. Click and drag your mouse across the section of the vocals that you want to auto-tune.
You can select everything in Audacity by pressing Ctrl+A.
3. Click Effect. The drop-down menu will appear.
4. Click “GSnap…”. It’s near the bottom of the Effect drop-down menu. The GSnap window will open.
You may have to scroll down at the bottom of the drop-down menu in order to find the GSnap… option.
5. Select a key. Click the SELECT A SCALE… button at the top of the window, select your song’s key (e.g., A), select Major or Minor, and click OK
6. Set the knobs to to auto-tune levels. Though you can play with these knobs as much as you want to get a unique sound, use the following settings to get the “classic” autotune sound:
MIN FREQ: 80 hz
MAX FREQ: 2000 hz
GATE: -40 db
SPEED: Between 1 (choppy vocals) and 10 (smoother vocals)
THRESHOLD: 100 cents
ATTACK: 1 ms
RELEASE: 61 ms
7. Preview your settings. Click the green “Play” button in the lower-left side of the window, then listen to the vocals.
8. Make any necessary adjustments. The two main things to monitor are the “AMOUNT” value and the “SPEED” value:
AMOUNT – 100 percent results in the largest amount of auto-tuning, so lower this value if there’s too much autotune.
SPEED – A low speed results in choppier, T-Pain-esque vocals, whereas a higher number will result in smoother vocals.
You can also remove the sharps and flats by clicking the green circles on the black keys that are on the left side of the window.
9. Click Apply. It’s in the bottom-right corner of the window. Doing so will apply the selected settings to your track.
10. Customize your auto-tune. Keep playing with the settings to find the sound you want, but keep in mind the following:
Larger “ATTACK” and “RELEASE” times make your voice sound more natural.
Adding vibrato can make you sound more natural.
The lower the “THRESHOLD” value, the more robotic you’ll sound.
The farther off-key you are on the recording, the more “auto-tuned” your voice will sound when you’re done.
11. Save your project as a music file. You can export the track as its own song by clicking File, clicking Export Audio…, entering a name and save location, and clicking Save.
If prompted to add tags (e.g., the artist name), you can add them or skip the process entirely.
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