Musical pitch has always been putty in the hands of Melodyne. Now, revolutionary features in version 4 promise to make tempo and timbre equally fluid.
These files accompany the Celemony Melodyne 4 article in the February 2016 issue of SOS
I’ve prepared these audio files to illustrate some of the features described in my February 2016 review of Celemony’s Melodyne 4.
To show some of the things that are possible with Melodyne 4’s Tempo Editor, I’ve used a short excerpt from a jazz recording I made last year. This was recorded live in a small chapel. All four players — clarinet, two guitars and double bass — have their own close mic, and there is also a stereo room mic.
‘Jazz__original.wav’ is a rough mix of the files as recorded. I then dropped the source files into Melodyne 4, which calculated the tempo map, and manipulated them in various ways:
‘Jazz_constant_tempo’ is the same section of the same piece, but forced to a constant tempo; ‘Jazz_faster’ is the same section with the original tempo variations, but sped up by 5bpm or so; ‘Jazz_faster_still’ is sped up by a massive 10bpm.
As you can hear, the results are remarkably natural, despite the extent of the tempo changes.
This short excerpt, consisting of string quartet plus saxophone and flute, was taken from a live concert recording. Strings had clip-on mics, winds were recorded using SM58s, and there are also room mics. As you can hear in the raw recording, ‘Strings_original’, there are some tuning issues in the excerpt, particularly when the flute comes in.
In the second example, ‘Strings_tuned_equal_temperament’, I have used the standard Quantise Pitch macro to force all the instruments into equal temperament. However, in the third example, ‘Strings_tuned_dynamic_just_intonation’, I have activated Melodyne 4’s new Dynamic Just Intonation feature. As you can hear, there is a subtle but noticeable difference in the sound of the chords formed by the instruments.
Finally, a file illustrating some of the sonic possibilities of Melodyne 4’s new Sound Editor. This started life as a penny whistle solo. I’ve crossfaded between various different Sound Editor settings before returning to the original sound at the end.