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Cubase Pro: Using VariAudio 3 Pitch-correction

Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques
By John Walden

VariAudio 3 massively enhances Cubase Pro's pitch-correction capabilities.VariAudio 3 massively enhances Cubase Pro's pitch-correction capabilities.

Cubase Pro 10's VariAudio 3 competes with the best pitch-correction plug-ins around. Find out how by reading our article and watching the videos.

A headline improvement in Cubase Pro 10 was the major revamp of VariAudio. Despite under-the-hood refinements to its pitch-manipulation algorithms, perhaps the most significant improvements are those which allow a far more efficient workflow. Before we dive in, it's worth saying that while VariAudio's capabilities have improved massively since I wrote about it in SOS August 2009 (https://sosm.ag/cubase-0809), some of the advice I gave 10 years ago still stands. In particular, before you start doing detailed work in VariAudio, try to get other 'housekeeping' tasks out of the way first — things like comping from multiple takes, for example, or editing breaths, plosives or sibilance. Then use the render or export options to generate a new, 'cleaned' audio event that's ready for pitch-correction work.

Smart Thinking

At the heart of VariAudio 3's operation is a large collection of Smart Tools.At the heart of VariAudio 3's operation is a large collection of Smart Tools.

Although the Sample Editor's VariAudio panel contains new options, the first step remains the same: click on the Edit VariAudio button. This activates the initial pitch-detection process that superimposes pitch segments and a pitch curve on the waveform display. But the real workflow magic of VariAudio 3 lies not in the panel but in the new Smart Tools. To get the best from these, select the All option from the panel's small Smart Controls drop-down menu. Now, when you hover over a pitch segment, some 12 controls (the Smart Tools) appear around the edges of the selected segment or segments.

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Published May 2019