This manual serves as a detailed reference for all of the CrispyTuner’s features. If you want to start using the program as quickly as possible, we recommend you to read the quick start guide and come back here later for more in-depth information.
Ever since its invention in the late 1990s, vocal tuning has played an integral role in music production. Its usage has become so wide-spread that these days, a vocal tuning plugin can’t be missed in any musician's repertoire.
The CrispyTuner provides an intuitive and affordable way to apply vocal tuning to your tracks - no matter if you’re a professional musician or a hobbyist who’s just starting out. It allows anybody to set up industry-standard vocal tuning in no time, even without any prior knowledge in the area.
Thanks to its powerful live mode, it is equally suitable for live performances as it is for post-processing of recorded vocals. You can hear yourself with the effect applied while recording a song or rocking the stage, which allows you perform in confidence without having to worry about pitch insecurities.
The CrispyTuner and ScaleFinder are distributed with an installer that guides you through the installation process. It allows you to select the formats in which you want the plug-in to be installed, i.e. VST3 and AU (macOS only). If you know which plug-in format your DAW supports, you can disable the others, but if in doubt, just leave them all checked during installation.
The installer also installs a ReWire device - this is required for the CrispyTuner’s graphical mode to be as user-friendly as possible.
When opening the CrispyTuner or ScaleFinder for the first time, you will be asked to enter your license key. Your license key was displayed to you on the website when you bought the product, and in an email that was sent to the address you provided. After activation, you won’t be asked for the license key again on this device!
First of all, add the CrispyTuner plug-in to an audio track in your DAW.
The CrispyTuner should always be the first plug-in in the effect chain, as it works best on an unmodified audio signal.
We highly recommend you to enable input monitoring in your DAW so that you can hear yourself while recording with the vocal tuning applied; this makes performing much more satisfying, and allows you to explore the different sounds you can achieve with the CrispyTuner more easily.
The CrispyTuner only processes monophonic input, therefore stereo tracks are tuned by taking the average of the two channels as the input signal.
Vocal tuning works by measuring the pitch of your voice, and then correcting it towards the closest note on the song's scale. Therefore, it is vital that you set the right scale when using the CrispyTuner, so that all the output notes fit the song and nothing sounds off-key.
If you don't know the song's scale, you can use the ScaleFinder to automatically detect it. This makes it easy to get started right away.
The transition time and tightness settings allow you to adjust how strongly the CrispyTuner corrects the pitch of your voice towards this scale, allowing you to specify how strong the vocal tuning effect is.
At the top of the user interface, the navigation bar shows you some general settings that allow you to use the CrispyTuner in different ways.
The CrispyTuner’s user interface is divided into three operating modes, which each provide a different way of controlling the vocal tuning. The operating mode can be chosen in the center of the navigation bar. These operating modes are explained in detail later in this document.
The CrispyTuner is optimized to work in a live environment as well as when mixing songs in the studio. To fit your use-case as well as possible, you can switch between live and mixing mode in the right half of the navigation bar.
When you want to hear yourself with no latency, e.g. while recording or performing live on stage, enable live mode.
When you have a recorded vocal track that you want to tune, switch to mixing mode - this will introduce some latency, but gives a slightly better sound.
At the very right of the navigation bar, you can toggle quick help.
When enabled, hovering over any part of the user interface shows a tooltip explaining the feature and how to use it. This is helpful for both new and existing users, as it allows you to quickly get an explanation without having to consult this manual.
Some settings are relevant to all operating modes. These can be found at the bottom of the user interface.
Specifies the reference frequency of the musical note A4. For the CrispyTuner to produce perfectly tuned vocals, this setting must match the tuning of the instruments used in your song. 440hz is the most common tuning in modern music. When in doubt, leave it at that value.
Shifts the pitch of the output signal by the given amount. This can be used to easily transpose the signal, or to detune it for artistic purposes. A common use case is to slightly detune backing vocals to get a richer vocal sound.
By default, the CrispyTuner always tunes the input signal towards the closest allowed note on the keyboard. Sometimes, this can be undesirable, for example when a singer’s pitch drifts off for a very short time even though they intended to stay on the same note. The following two settings, located in the lower right corner of the GUI, allow you to specify thresholds that make the CrispyTuner less eager to change target note - the new note is only chosen when both criteria are met.
The duration for which a note must be held to be chosen as the CrispyTuner’s new target note. Higher values are more forgiving for short pitch insecurities, while lower values may result in unwanted note transitions.
How much closer the input pitch must be to a note for it to be chosen as the new target note. For example, if this value is set to 10ct and the currently held note is an F, the input pitch would need to be 10 cents closer to an F# than to an F for the output note to change.
The simple mode shows only the most important of the CrispyTuner's settings. This makes it easy to get started without being overwhelmed by too many options.
It highlights the two simple steps you need to take to get vocal tuning set up quickly.
As explained in the introduction, it is essential that you set the correct scale. This lets the CrispyTuner know which notes it should tune your vocals to, and which notes to avoid. You can do this by choosing the root key and scale from the respective drop-downs above the keyboard display.
You can also click individual notes to toggle them.
Disabled notes are grayed out on the keyboard, indicating that the CrispyTuner won't tune the voice to them. When tuning the signal, the current output note is highlighted blue.
The Simple Mode offers a tuning knob that allows you to quickly adjust the overall strength of the vocal tuning.
Setting this to a faster value by turning it to the right results in a stronger vocal tuning effect, while slower values produce a more subtle effect.
Internally, this setting modifies both the transition time and tightness, which can be adjusted individually in advanced mode.
Advanced mode contains the same settings as simple mode, but gives you more options to fine-tune the sound of the vocals. It also allows you to apply creative effects to your voice, like formant shifting or transposing.
How quickly the output pitch jumps to the new note after a note change.
Fast values result in sudden pitch changes, which may be a desired creative effect.
Slower values make the vocal tuning effect less noticeable during note transitions.
During a held note, tightness is how closely the output pitch is kept to the current target note.
Faster values result in a flat pitch curve, without much deviation from the target note.
Slower values allow for more variation in the output pitch, giving the vocalist more expressive freedom and making the vocal tuning effect less noticeable.
How much of the determined pitch curve is actually applied to the output pitch.
Setting this to 0% disables all pitch correction, while setting it to 100% fully uses the pitch curve determined by other settings like transition time and tightness.
Transposes the vocals by a given amount of steps on the scale. This ensures that the resulting melody is still in the same key as the original melody.
For example, when transposing by 2 steps on the C major scale, an A would be changed to a C.
This feature can be used to quickly create vocal harmonies.
How much of the voice’s original formants to keep when correcting the pitch up or down.
Setting this to lower values makes extreme pitch corrections more audible, as the tonality is affected more. This can be useful when an audible vocal tuning effect is desired, as it emphasizes fast note transitions even more.
Shift the formant, making the voice sound higher or lower without affecting its pitch.
Shifting the formant up results in a chipmunk-like voice effect, while shifting it down makes the voice sound deeper.
In advanced mode, the whole keyboard spanning all octaves is shown.
When holding Shift while clicking on a key, you toggle the respective note's legality only on that octave.
The dark overlay over the keyboard narrows down the range in which the CrispyTuner detects the pitch of the input signal.
Setting this range based on the pitch of the expected input signal helps the pitch detection algorithm yield better results.
Drag the edges of the dark area to adjust this range.
The pitch meter shows the CrispyTuner's current target note, i.e. the note that the pitch is being corrected towards.
The bar beneath the target note indicates how much correction is currently being applied to the input signal.
The graphical mode records the pitch correction applied to the input signal, creating note objects that you can manipulate to your heart’s desire. This gives you full control over the pitch curve, allowing you to tune your vocals exactly how you want.
The graphical mode is designed to process recorded vocal tracks. It is not suitable for live tuning, therefore mixing mode is automatically enabled when switching to graphical mode.
To get started, put the CrispyTuner on the vocal track that you want to tune, switch to graphical mode and play the audio track in your DAW. The CrispyTuner will then create note objects for every separate target note that it determines, each of which can be individually manipulated later on.
When creating note objects, the graphical mode uses the settings you made in simple/advanced mode to tune the signal. This includes the scale, transition time, tightness, correction amount and formant shift.
To allow you to click on the timeline to move the playhead, a ReWire device is required. If ReWire isn’t set up correctly, a text saying "ReWire not available" will appear on the timeline.
In most DAWs that support it, ReWire should work out of the box.
Some DAWs, like Logic Pro X, may require you to enable ReWire in the settings and restart the DAW.
Other DAWs, such as REAPER, require the CrispyReWireDevice to be inserted in the plugin chain for ReWire to work in the CrispyTuner.
Please refer to your DAW's manual for more information on how to properly set up ReWire devices.
If your DAW doesn't support ReWire, don't worry - you're only missing out on a convenience feature, the CrispyTuner is still fully functional!
The area in which the pitch curve and note objects are displayed is called the graph view.
To quickly move the visible area of the graph view, hold down the middle mouse button while dragging horizontally or vertically.
To zoom in, hold the Ctrl key (Cmd on macOS) and use the scroll wheel with the mouse over the graph view. You can also use the +/- keys to zoom in and out.
You can use the scroll wheel to scroll vertically. When holding Shift while scrolling, you scroll horizontally instead.
You can also navigate using the scroll bars at the bottom and right of the graph view. The scroll bar at the bottom shows the waveform of the recorded audio in the background for easier orientation. You can zoom in and out by dragging the corners of these scroll bars.
Note objects control the tuning properties of a segment of the pitch curve. You can click on a note object to select it. To select multiple note objects, click outside of a note object and drag the mouse across all note objects that you want to select.
When a note object is selected, you can use the left and right arrow keys to select the previous/next note object.
When one or multiple note objects are selected, you can edit their properties in the sidebar on the right of the screen.
These are the properties you can modify for each note object:
The note that the note object is centered on. The value at the start and end of the note object can differ, creating a pitch slope. Dragging the start value also modifies the end value accordingly, while modifying the end value only changes the end value.
Creating a slope is rarely needed, but it can be used to achieve unique portamento effects.
Affects the strength of the pitch correction applied to the note object. The effects of transition time, tightness and correction amount on the pitch curve are explained in the section covering the advanced mode.
Allows you to add synthetic vibrato to a note object. This can be used for realistic vibrato as well as for crazy creative effects.
Whether the synthetic vibrato is enabled. By default, it is enabled but doesn’t have any effect, because the default amplitude is zero. Allows you to quickly toggle the vibrato without having to change the amplitude.
The vibrato’s shape. The sine wave yields results that sound the most human, but other shapes like the square or saw wave can be used creatively for interesting effects.
The maximum deviation that the vibrato will add to the pitch curve, in cents.
The speed of the vibrato. Higher values result in a faster vibrato.
The time before the vibrato starts on that note object.
The time before the end of the note object at which the vibrato stops.
The duration over which the vibrato is faded in.
The duration over which the vibrato is faded out.
The F button in the upper left corner allows you to switch from the default note editing mode to formant editing mode. In this mode, you work on formant objects instead, allowing you to manipulate each object’s formants individually.
In formant editing mode, the formant curve is rendered in white on top of the pitch curve, showing how formants deviate from the output pitch.
You can also use the F key to switch between note editing and formant editing.
In formant editing mode, selecting one or multiple formant objects allows you to edit the following properties:
The effect of formant shifting is explained in the section about advanced mode.
The value at the start and end of the formant object can differ, creating a slope. Dragging the start value also modifies the end value accordingly, while modifying the end value only changes the end value.
Formant slopes can be used to create interesting effects where the voice color changes during a note.
The effect of formant preservation is explained in the section about advanced mode.
Has the same properties as in note editing mode, but the vibrato is applied to the formant instead.
The graphical mode gives you different tools to modify note and formant objects more efficiently. These tools can be selected from the toolbar above the graph view.
You can also use the number keys 1 - 7 to quickly select a tool.
Drag note objects up or down to change their target note.
When holding Shift while dragging, you can finely adjust the pitch without snapping to semitones.
Drag the edges of note objects to move their boundaries.
In formant editing mode, dragging a formant object up or down changes its formant shift.
You can also use the up/down arrow keys to change the target note of selected note objects.
When holding Shift, you can prevent it from jumping only to notes that are allowed on the scale.
These hotkeys do not require the drag tool to be active.
Click and drag horizontally to change the target note of all note objects in the range.
When holding Shift while dragging, you can prevent the horizontal range from snapping to the boundaries of nearby note objects.
In formant editing mode, this tool affects the formant shift of the formant objects in range.
You can also use the M key to move selected note objects to the position of your cursor.
This hotkey does not require the target note tool to be active.
Drag a note object’s left or right edge up or down to change the target note only at its start/end, creating a slope.
When holding Shift while dragging, you can finely adjust the pitch without snapping to semitones.
When multiple note objects are selected, holding Alt while dragging creates a continuous slope across all selected objects.
In formant editing mode, dragging the edges of a formant object creates a slope in its formant shift.
Drag up/down to increase/decrease the transition time and tightness of selected note objects.
In formant editing mode, the formant preservation is modified instead.
Drag up/down to change the vibrato amplitude of selected note objects. Drag left/right to change the vibrato frequency.
In formant editing mode, the formant's vibrato is modified instead.
Clicking a note object splits it into two objects at the location of the cursor.
You can also use the T key to split objects into two at the location of the cursor.
This hotkey does not require the split tool to be active.
Clicking a note object merges it with an adjacent note object to the right. If multiple note objects are selected, it merges all of them into the one that was clicked.
You can also use the G key to glue objects together at the location of the cursor.
This hotkey does not require the glue tool to be active.
The undo button undoes the most recent change to the note and formant objects. The redo button redoes the most recently undone change.
You can also use the Z key to undo the most recent change.
To redo, hold Shift while pressing Z.
Removes all selected note objects, allowing you to re-scan a portion of the audio. If no objects are selected, it clears the entire graph.
You can also use the Delete key to remove all selected objects.
These are all the hotkeys available in graphical mode:
If you have any questions, check the FAQ - chances are they’ve already been answered there! If you’re still left with questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help!
We wish you a lot of joy with the CrispyTuner, and can’t wait to hear the amazing music you’ll create with it. As always, stay tuned 😉