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I have a question for the Antares experts.  I would like to get into using Auto Tune in a non-professional capacity. 

 

Would someone be kind enough to let me know about everything I need to get started?  That is, I have a powerful laptop, and I was thinking of getting Pro Tools Vocal Studio (the $100 kit that comes with a Mic and general Pro Tools software), and then Auto Tune EFX directly from the website. 

 

How off base am I?  What else will I need?  Do I need different hardware/software?  Any guidance regarding the first steps would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thank you!

Tags: Auto, Downloading, Plug-In, Pro, Required, Setup, Software, Tools, Tune

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A mic, a DAW (pro tools) and a capable computer is a very good place to start. However, the Pro Tools Vocal Studio comes with a stripped down version of Pro Tools (M-Audio Essentials), and you might want to do some digging around on Digidesign's website to make sure it supports RTAS plugins. If it doesn't, you'll be very sad when you try to use Auto-Tune EFX. If PT Essentials does support RTAS, then it looks like a great way to get your feet wet.

The one thing your setup seems to be lacking is a quality audio interface. Few things are more important in a computer music setup than how audio is piped in and out. If you're stuck using built in audio drivers (especially if you have a Windows machine, where the audio infrastructure is notoriously bad), you might find yourself hitting a wall sooner than you'd like.
Thanks, Lucas!

Quick follow-ups: Let's say Pro Tools Vocal Studio doesn't support RTAS. What are my options? Buy Pro Tools 7.x or 8? Buy a separate microphone? Is there one you recommend, incidentally?

After I load that up, then I purchase EFX from the site and get going, right? Or am I too far ahead?

As to the audio interface, what do you suggest I do? Again, worst-case, will I at least hear the result through my computer speakers, however terrible? I might just start with that and then build to the interface you suggest.

Thank you again for your time!
A brief update...I found this link http://akmedia.digidesign.com/support/docs/ProToolsMPowered_DS_3650..., which says that the M software suite supports RTAS plug-ins, and can be used with a compatible piece of hardware. I figure the Vocal Studio would work out then?
It looks like that manual is for Pro Tools M-Powered. What comes with the Vocal Studio is Pro Tools M-Powered Essentials. Two different things, one costing $99, one costing $299. The reason I brought that up is because this page:
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/ProToolsVocalStudio.html
lists some restrictions on audio effects (check the "full features" section) for PTM-P Essentials, but doesn't directly state RTAS support. I know that the full blown M-Powered does fully support RTAS. I spent a couple minutes looking, but couldn't find anything conclusive. It might be worth shooting digi an email to confirm before you buy.

You can certainly get by without a dedicated audio interface. Everything you hear will still go through the normal channels and out your computer speakers. You just might run into the limitations of your default audio driver, in terms of how many tracks your session can have and how much latency there is. The quality of sound will be lower, and might be subject to pops and clicks if the driver doesn't like how hard you're making it work. This also depends on how powerful your computer is. Which interface to get is a whole other topic, as they can range anywhere from $100 to $10,000.

Since you're just getting started, you probably shouldn't sweat the audio interface too much. Try out the Vocal Suite and see if you take to it (making music on a computer isn't for everybody). There's a definite learning curve but the simplified version of Pro Tools might ease that. If you get to the point where you start to grow out of the Vocal Suite, you'll have a much better idea of what you need.

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