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Best Pitch Correction Plugins for Perfect Vocals in 2022

From simple pitch correction or refinement to fashionable auto-tune effects, pitch correction plugins are almost essential in modern music production.

Recording vocals can feel like a minefield of information at times, and the market certainly isn't short of professional plugins for polishing up your results.

But fear not, to help get you on the fast track to professional-sounding vocals, we've whittled the saturated market of pitch correction plugins and apps down to an all-star shortlist for various budgets.

So without further hesitation, let's get straight into our list of the best pitch correction plugins for perfect results every time.


Antares: Auto-Tune Pro


Pros:
You’re in safe hands from the founders of auto-tune | Great low-latency for real-time auto-tuning
Cons:
Not polyphonic

Antares released the original Auto-Tune plugin back in 1997, which of course gives them a very strong claim to being the best in the vocal pitch correction department. A claim hugely bolstered by Cher, who, a year later, released the game-changing Believe, which used Antares’ plugin with a very heavy auto-tune effect, becoming massively influential. This plugin can achieve your pitch correction with a nice natural effect, or with the huge Cher/will.i.am jumps in pitch.

Great features, easy to use, as well as being the ultimate OG of vocal pitch producing. Note: if you’re a Universal Audio user, there is a version of this plugin for their console.


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Celemony: Melodyne 5

Pros: Comes in two versions for different budgets | Best for natural pitch correction

Cons: Results don’t have quite the immediacy of some of the rivals

If this had been the first pitch correction plugin in a parallel universe, Believe by Cher would not have happened, as this fantastic product is one of the best pitch correction plugins for those wanting their vocals to sound nice and natural, rather than heavily auto-tuned. 

It’s packed with lots of wonderful features, including the ability to edit polyphonic material. It syncs wonderfully with any DAW, also.

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Waves: Tune Real Time

Pros: Great for live effects | Packed with features and controls

Cons: Headphones required

You couldn’t have a plugin guide without the granddaddies themselves, could you? Waves offer several excellent pitch correction plugins, and Tune Real Time is one of the best on offer. As its name suggests, the beauty of this plugin is applying pitch correction live and in the moment, whether in the studio or on stage. This plugin’s ultra low-latency makes this possible. If you’re looking for that robotic auto-tune style à la Cher, set the speed dial to zero.

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Soundtoys: Little AlterBoy

Pros: Incredible value | Brilliant ease of use

Cons: Not the strongest processing of those available

When interviewed, producers regularly tout this pitch correction plugin as one of their all-time favourites. And it’s not for good reason; Little AlterBoy, which is also used for formant editing, is simply a joy. It’s not feature-heavy, but at one of the most affordable price points, you won’t be complaining, especially as it’s very user-friendly. And the results are stunningly natural — you can sweep male range vocals up to female range with no undesired chipmunk effects.

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iZotope: Nectar 3 Plus

Pros: Very high-quality dynamic EQ | Vocal Assistant feature is wonderful

Cons: Possibly too pricey for those who just want the basic functions

In Nectar, iZotope have delivered not only one of the best pitch correction plugins out there, but also one of the most versatile. Whether you’re looking to finesse sung vocals, rapped or voiceover – this plugin works brilliantly with whatever you throw at it. And the Vocal Assistant makes using it an absolute breeze — this machine-learning feature automatically sets everything up for you based on the input signal.

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Steinberg: Cubase VariAudio

Pros: Free if you own Cubase Pro | Midi send feature is a nice option

Cons: It goes without saying that the paid-for plugins are much more advanced

If your budget is zero, and you own the popular DAW Cubase Pro, Steinberg’s VariAudio is one of the best free pitch correction plugins available. Being able to send a midi track into it so you can hold down a chord, whereby VariAudio will align the audio data, is a nice feature – particularly in a live setting.

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Brainworx: bx_crispytuner

Pros: One of the best user interfaces from this list | Fantastic sound

Cons: One of the pricier options

This plugin is one that does a stunning job of offering both natural results, or you can go full-blown T-Pain, if you wish. And like only a few of those mentioned, the effects can be run ‘live’ due to a very low-latency. It’s at the higher-end price-wise, but that’s because bx_crispytuner is known as one of the best pitch correction plugins on the market. The timing controls make it easy to switch between natural and robotic styles.

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Voloco - Vocal Effects App

Pros: 50 million downloads and counting | Very professional results

Cons: Somewhat pushy with the subscription option

Simple noise removal through harmonisers and alien effects to some of the most famous vocal tuning styles, Voloco has a huge amount on offer. Self-described as a ‘mobile recording studio’ rather than a pitch correction plugin, its focus is undoubtedly automatic tuning, harmony creation and vocoding. Some of the features are very strong nods to artists without actually naming them — Bon Iver and Daft Punk spring to mind.

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Synchro Arts: VocAlign Ultra

Pros: An impressively vast amount of features | Very effective algorithms

Cons: May not be for those who just need basic functionality

If you’re happy to spend a bit extra on a much-needed pitch correction plugin, VocAlign Ultra should definitely be at least in your sights. It’s at one of the highest prices listed here, which should tell you this is one for those wanting advanced and very professional results. And it achieves this in abundance; its three core processors – Match Timing, Match Pitch and Formant Shift are brilliant tools to work with.

Although there are lots of advanced features, you can equally get basic pitch correction results without delving too deep here.

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Waves: Vocal Bender

Pros: Simple and effective UI | Massive spectrum of vocal manipulation

Cons: May be too basic for some

Vocal Bender, another on the manufacturer’s long list of pitch correction tools, is particularly fantastic for both formant editing and pitch editing. Many agree, also, that this is one of the most creative plugins for vocals from Waves. The modulation and automation options allow you to really run wild with this thing – think sudden drops in vocal pitches, added intensity and more. A very slick plugin.

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Waves: Tune

Pros: Packed with features but easy to use | Excels at natural vocal pitch correction

Cons: Interface can appear less modern than some of the others

Considering there are well over 200 Waves plugins and the fact that several of those could have held space in this list, it would have been rude not to include Waves’ Tune. While it’s a great all round plugin for vocals, it gets a special shout-out for being excellent for natural vocal pitch correction effects. That said, the speed controls let you crank it up to the robotic spectrum, if you so desire. Very much a rival to Antares, such is the quality here.

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And finally…the stock plugin in your DAW

It’s definitely worth noting that all of the major DAWs, excluding Ableton, come with free, built-in pitch correction tools.

So if you are quite wary of spending money on this, sound advice is to try working with what you have already. Cubase’s VariAudio got an honorary mention above for good reason. However, be aware that you will have to do quite a bit of tweaking to get decent results, let alone professional ones. Whereas the paid vocal plugins above sound astonishing almost immediately.


Best Pitch Correction Plugin - The Bottom Line:

With that said about what can be done within your DAW, it leads us to this fundamental question. Pitch correction is an art of its own, so it essentially comes down to what level of producing you find yourself in. If music is a fun hobby, see what you can do within Logic, Cubase etc, before inputting any bank details. 

Going up from here, it depends on whether you’re learning to produce your own music or if you’re a full-blown studio owner. Also, which genres do you tend to work in? Hip-hop producers will almost certainly need a great plugin that specialises in cranked auto-tune.

Knowing that the charts these days are a fascinating mixture of music co-produced by expert producers and bedroom pop self-produced by self-taught artists, at this point it goes without question that you can get incredible results using the most affordable pitch correction plugins like those from SoundToys and Waves. The most important thing is to not get bogged down by the details, but go with your gut. Try some of these out and have fun with your music.