Audio Editing & Pitch Correction Using FL Studio’s NewTone

So you're in FL Studio 12. Let's say you want to edit audio, or want to correct or manipulate pitch of an audio file. What effect will you turn to? FL Studio's NewTone of course. Here's why.  

If you want to edit and manipulate your audio's pitch in FL Studio, you're going to need to look into using its NewTone effect. In this article, we'll look at adding the NewTone effect to your audio, as well as how to correct and edit the pitch data on that audio.  

Adding NewTone 

To add the NewTone effect, choose an insert track on your Mixer and then click on one of the effect slots. Choose NewTone from the effect window that pops up. 

Add Newtone

Now to get the audio you want to edit into NewTone, you can drag the audio clip from your browser into the NewTone interface. This will analyze the audio, and then add it to the interface. If the audio track you want to use is in your FL Studio project, you can export it out and then drag it into the NewTone effect. 

Pic 2: Analyze Audio

Once it is analyzed, it will be displayed as pitch note data within this window. You’ll see a piano roll on the left showing you the note pitch and then blobs in the timeline area showing you the pitch of each recognized note. 

NewTone acts as its own player, so when you press the play button in its user interface, it will be separate to FL’s playback, but you can link the two together. In NewTone, click the icon on the right with the two squares connected; this is the Slave playback to host function. So now when you use FL Studio’s transport playback, NewTone will playback its audio as well.

Pic 3: Slave playback to host 

Editing Pitch 

To edit any of these pitches, you can hover over the blob and then move it either up or down. There will be a little contextual box that launches displaying the updated pitch data as you move the note. 

Pic 4: Edit Pitch

Also, if you hover over the sides, you’ll see that you can drag the out or in points to change the length of this note. But bear in mind that this also changes the length of the note before and after it. 

On your audio, you’ll see a wavy orange line, which represents the pitch variation over the clip. The orange outlines around the audio clip are the current representation of the pitch of that note. And the orange filled block shows the nearest correct pitch center to that note. If you right-click a note, it’ll shift it to the nearest correct pitch. 

Here’s my vocal part before any pitch correction: 

Pic 5: Vocal Before

And here it is after clicking the notes and shifting them to the nearest note pitch:

Pic 6: Vocal After

Just slight variations. But these tweaks can make a huge difference to your mix's result.  

Global Parameters 

You have three global parameters on the top right. When you tweak center, it’ll move the notes to their detected pitch centers. Then you have two extra options: pitch variation, which changes the shape of the modulation, or vibrato within the notes and pitch transition. This affects how each note relates to each other. Tweak these global parameters until you’re happy with the result. 

Pic 7: Global Parameters

 Advanced Mode 

You can get many more options if you enable the Advanced mode. This is the second button just under the Variance rotary knob on the right. It will light up purple when enabled. Now hover over a note and see the range of options you now have. You have advanced controls that sit on three layers. Let's take a look at the options on each layer

In the middle of the top layer, you have the volume editing of the note. Then you have volume ramp in and ramp out adjustments. For the volume, increase grab the orange bit in the middle and drag this either up or down to change the volume of just this note. This can be a simple way to edit your clip, instead of using automation. 

Pic 8: Advanced Options 

The middle layer on the left is the pitch position, so you can shift the notes left or right. The middle is pitch shift, you can use this to either drag up or down, and the last on this layer is the formant. I’ll take a look at that later in this article.

Then on the bottom layer you have pitch in and pitch out on the left and right respectively. The middle is pitch variation. When you drag this up check how it evens out the fluctuation of pitch in the audio. So this works wonders in evening out the pitch variances in a song. Be careful, a little can go a long way with this setting. If you flatten these out you get that ‘auto-tune’ type sounding vocal. And increasing this will give you more vibrato in your audio and vocals. 

Pic 9: Variance Shifting

 

Creating Harmony with Duplicates and Formant Changes

Let’s create a vocal harmony and then let me show you how you can use the formant shifting in NewTone to create a different voice style of the harmony. On a new insert track in the Mixer add another instance of NewTone. Drag the same audio into this instance. I’ve selected all the audio in the clip and have used the Global Center knob to correct the pitching of this part. Now with all the audio still selected drag it up five semitones. 

Active the Advanced mode, and then on a note drag up on the middle right part of the click. This will increase the formant of the audio. Formant changes the tone or throat size of your audio. If you drag up the audio part will sound more like a female vocal part, and if you drag down, it’ll lower the register to be more in the male vocal tone. I’ve dragged my formats up for a higher-register vocal on the part. 

Pic 10: Formant Shifting 

Here’s a quick example of what the main vocal and harmony part sound like together: 

Conclusion

That’s how to use FL Studio’s NewTone effect to edit and manipulate your audio. With its pitch correcting capabilities, it helps you to get the best out of your vocal parts in your songs. You can edit the pitch on each note, plus you can create harmonies with duplicate parts, and use formant shifting for different voicings. So try this out in your next production's vocal parts.  

Gary Hiebner is an enthusiastic South African Sound Designer and Apple Tech Head! Gary has been involved in the South African music industry for the decade, and in this time has also been involved in the sound design and music production for many advertising agencies and media houses. Gary is a devoted Logic and Ableton user, but he al... Read More

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