Monday, October 19, 2020

FREE VST: Vocal/Pitch Processing: Auburn Sounds Graillon 2


'What's the best free autotune?' Or 'what's the best free vocal pitch corrector?' are questions I often see on social media sites and groups. I imagine Auburn Sounds Graillon Two would be a common and probably correct answer to that question.   

Haven't really done any vocal production for a while. But recently found myself working with a couple of singers, so vocal production tools and processors have become a bit of a 'thing' with me recently. 

I suppose 'pitch correction' or 'autotune' is a bit of a touchy subject for singers. Working with two female vocalists at the moment and to my ears they sound pretty good. Nice, characterful voices and seem pretty accurate in terms of pitching. 

But sometimes when your mixing and really analysing a track you do hear the odd syllable that could maybe just be a little 'tighter' if you like. 

I'd heard of autotune but knew it was pretty heavy on the wallet,so did a search for free autotune VSTs, not, I must confess with a great deal of hope of finding anything particularly effective. 

So I was really pleasantly surprised to discover Graillon 2 by Auburn Sounds, a really effective, easy to use pitch corrector that's either free or very inexpensive for the full version. Don't claim to be an expert in vocal production, but this software processor seemed to do exactly what I needed, and it's even helping me with my own vocal performances. Unlike the two ladies I'm working with, I AM a terrible singer, but it is sometimes useful to give them 'guide vocal' demos of my songs to give them a flavour of what I'm striving for and Graillon 2 helps make my vocal performances somewhat less laughable than they otherwise would be. 

More good news is the fact that it's really easy to use, with just a few key controls and parameters. You can achieve smooth, natural re-tuning to full-on 'crowbar' style pitch correction. 

I've really only used it for vocal pitch-correction but it can also be used to create 'growling' effects and robotic voices and has some 'gender changing' capabilities. Like all audio processing you can put almost anything through it so would be worth experimenting with other instruments. It's pitch shifting capabilities can be used to drop and reinforce bass sounds, etc.

Graillon 2 Controls.

So like I said, really easy to use. Detect control allows you to selects left or right channels for detection. The processor can more easily determine pitch from a mono signal, so this defaults hard left. 

Pitch correction controls feature Enable determining the amount and 'severity' of required correction, Smooth control allows you to trade accuracy with how natural things sound, Snap range allows you to determine the range that the pitch correction is 'allowed' to work within defaulting to an eight semitone jump or fall. Finally Inertia determines if notes are allowed to 'stick' at their pitch corrected values. 

The 'keyboard' beneath the correction controls allows you to essentially determine a 'key' and select notes that the processor is not allowed to correct to, so your vocal line won't be corrected to an 'incorrect/ out of key' note so to speak. 

A Low Cut filter is provided as well as a Dry Mix control that allows you to mix some of the original signal back in. Probably not that useful for the vocal pitch correction, but maybe for other creative uses.

Two more control sections are available to use in the full version which I haven't yet tried. A Bit Crusher is provided, I imagine for more creating robotic style effects and a Pitch Tracking Mod section which I haven't been able to try/assess. 

The centre section is a 'screen' with waveform display and a useful visual representation of the notes to which your signal is being corrected to. 

In Use:

I got excellent, if not spectacular, results with Graillon 2. Just downloaded, installed (which was really quick and easy) and added it to the insert processor chain on my vocal channel and had a play. Didn't really need the manual, just had a play for an hour or so to determine effects of controls and best combinations. 
The pitch correction seems to work really quickly and accurately with little or no audible degradation. I believe the pitch correction does add a little extra latency to your vocal track, but I must admit I didn't notice this until I later saw a mention of it in the user manual, so pretty undetectable I think, but this may depend on the power of your computer.  
I put it at the front of my insert effects as the first processor in the chain before any EQ/compression, etc which seemed logical and from where I seemed to get the best results. 

So check it out. If you've got any old tracks with, shall we say, imperfect vocal performances then maybe try them out with Graillon 2 on the vocal inserts. 
And have it in your toolbox for any new tracks you might be working on. Up to you whether you tell your vocalist/s you're using it. 

More Information:

More info, the free download and information on the full version of Graillon 2 and the rest of their product lineup is available from the Auburn Sounds website:


The information contained within this blog post is offered on an informal basis and is correct to the best of my knowledge. I accept no responsibility for outcomes arising from the mis/interpretation or use of this information and/or associated download files. Always download files via security/scanning software. 


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