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Many vocal processors I see on the market feature and advertise the pitch correction. As I understand, they use the sound input from the instrument (analog or MIDI) to decide how the note should actually sound and "pull" the voice up or down to match the expected pitch. Or allow to configure the key in menu.

How often this machinery is used by the usual performers (not the absolute beginners)? Should I switch it off first thing to do if I think I am capable of singing in a right pitch for the particular song? I plan to buy a vocal processor for other effects like echo, etch.

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My personal thoughts are that if a vocalist sings in tune, it won't be needed. If someone is a little iffy in the pitch department, then it's a darned good idea. In fact, in that case, it may be best for them not to count themselves as a singer anyway.

Sometimes, a vocalist will bend notes - and make a great job of the song because of it. Having pitch control on must be really frustrating for them.

Try with and without. If you feel that it's not helping - and maybe hindering, leave it off. Unless you want to use it as an effect, as per Cher, in which case, a bit of practice won't go amiss.

To answer the question, it is possibly used far more than it should, in studios (and karaoke!). And it must make singers pretty lazy when it comes to pitching correctly, but saves a lot of time re-recording, maybe.

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Extremely common.

I have toured and recorded with major stars/producers and even great singers have it in their arsenal (live and studio). Even the greatest singer isn't pitch perfect every night, but they want to be.

And, lets face it - most huge pop stars aren't great singers.

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    Even the greatest singer isn't pitch perfect every night, I think there would be many classical singers that would take offense to that statement. – Neil Meyer Feb 14 '16 at 12:07
  • I think there might be just as many who would agree. – Lyrical.me Feb 14 '16 at 12:44
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    @Neil Meyer - Given the wide vibrato of some of those singers, the autotune might have a tricky job... – Tim Feb 14 '16 at 15:51
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Autotune in auto mode is, in my experience, absolutely useless. We're told it's used live, in realtime. Well, they must know some very special tricks. Whenever I try an 'auto' autotune it constantly latches on to the wrong pitch.

But at the mixing stage, a bit of manual correction can sound good. It won't turn a 'fluffed' note into a good one. But when the singer produces a good strong note - but just a bit off pitch - it can rescue a take.

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