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Synchro Arts RePitch

Pitch-correction Plug-in By Sam Inglis
Published February 2023

RePitch in action. The yellow lines at the top left under the time ruler indicate areas where significant editing has taken place.RePitch in action. The yellow lines at the top left under the time ruler indicate areas where significant editing has taken place.

Vocal pitch correction is fundamental to modern production styles, and now there’s a fresh alternative to the established heavyweights.

Synchro Arts have long been a familiar name in post‑production circles thanks to VocAlign. Designed to automate the tedious task of editing one vocal take to match the timing of another, VocAlign quickly became a standard tool for tasks like dialogue replacement. Word spread, and savvy music producers realised that it was also a handy time‑saver when it came to tightening up sung vocals. Synchro Arts, meanwhile, were beavering away to create ReVoice Pro. An all‑singing, all‑dancing vocal processing package, ReVoice Pro was designed with music producers in mind from the start. It has been through several major revisions, and version 3, back in 2015, added pitch correction alongside the existing ability to match pitch variation from one part to another.

ReVoice Pro is incredibly capable and powerful, but it’s also quite complex, and can’t operate as a real‑time plug‑in. For music producers who want something more streamlined and immediate, not to mention more affordable, Synchro Arts have now spun off the pitch correction features into a separate product. Unlike ReVoice, RePitch is fundamentally a plug‑in rather than a standalone application, and it comes in both real‑time and ARA versions. If you use the real‑time version, you will need to perform a ‘capture’ playback pass to load the vocal into RePitch. The ARA version can get to work straight away, though at the time of writing, ARA is supported only in VST and AU hosts, and not yet in Pro Tools. If you’re already a VocAlign user, it’s also possible to tag‑team both products such that RePitch changes you make to a vocal loaded as Guide in VocAlign can automatically be cascaded to the Dub parts (see 'RePitch To VocAlign' box). RePitch is authorised using iLok: you get two licences, and don’t need a physical iLok dongle.

Blobbies On The Beat

It seems Synchro Arts have studied the competition fairly closely in the creation of RePitch, and if you’re familiar with Celemony’s Melodyne, you’ll find that a lot of things work the same way here. For example, most of the same zooming functionality is supported within the main window, including the vertical and horizontal bars with handles that can be grabbed to zoom in and out, and there are similar local playback options for when you want to hear your selected audio independently of the rest of the mix and the DAW’s song position. Detected monophonic audio (RePitch does not support polyphonic correction) is displayed in Melodynesque fashion as a series of blobs with a line representing the detected pitch running through them, but RePitch does add its own touch, in the shape of the coloured rectangle that surrounds each blob.

RePitch colours this rectangle green if it’s unable to reliably detect any pitch information within a segment, as might be the case for example with breaths, or sibilants and other consonants. Pitch processing can’t be applied to these ‘unvoiced’ elements, but they follow timing adjustments made with the Warp tool (of which more presently). Where a pitch is detected, RePitch draws a blue rectangle with ‘handles’ at the left and right that can be used to adust the length of the note, and a third one at the top that increases or decreases the depth of any vibrato and other pitch modulation. Clicking and dragging elsewhere in the rectangle allows the pitch to be shifted up and down, at least if you have the default pointer tool selected. Modifier keys also change the behaviour of the handles, so if for instance you hold down Option and click and drag one of the end handles, you can ‘tilt’ the overall pitch of the note.

Several other tools are available, either by clicking on icons in the toolbar or typing the appropriate shortcut. The Center Notes tool simply brings up a pop‑up window with sliders for Correction amount and pitch Drift whenever...

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