Of all of the great new features included in Logic Pro X, Flex Pitch is a real game changer. Many companies have come before with offerings for time and pitch manipulation, so it’s interesting to see how Apple was going to change the game. There are many details that many may miss on accident if they weren’t looking closely. Apple put their thinking cap on to make this, and came up with something powerful, flexible, and... well... slick.
We’ve got some vocals to tune! To get them ready, we need to turn on Flex mode:
Flex Pitch is separated out from the rest of the algorithms, because we can mess with pitch as well as time. Instead of giving us Flex and transient markers, Flex pitch will be using notes. Here’s how everything looks in the Main Window:
Getting Flex Pitch going in the Main Window of Logic X.
The notes Flex Pitch has detected show up as very thin blue lines within the region we wish to edit. In the Main Window, we are able to do global changes to the pitch of our audio region. Flex Pitch is pretty good at detecting the correct pitch, and we may be able to edit all of the notes in the Main Window and be done! (If only we were so lucky.)
The Flex Pitch Tool displays a useful position and pitch readout.
With Flex Pitch in the Main Window, we are offered very sweeping changes. Flex Pitch is pretty good at finding the pitches, and the correction is usually pretty good, but to get the job done properly, we are going to need to use the Audio Track Editor.
The Audio Track Editor is new to Logic Pro X, and is a wonderful way to do fine editing of Flex Pitch. To open the Audio Track Editor, simply double-click at the top of an audio region that is to be flexed.
The Audio Track Editor has an inspector on the left side, and the notes show in a grid on the right. The inspector is used for changing the pitch and time of several notes at once, and the grid to the right of it is where notes are meticulously edited individually.
Flex Pitch at work in the new Audio Track Editor.
To use the inspector, simply select whatever notes you wish to edit, then choose one of the following actions:
The Inspector provides useful controls to manipulate the pitch of your audio files.
￼The inspector is more discerning than the Main Window, but for detailed work, it’s advised to get inside the region and work with individual notes.
In the region area to the right of the inspector, we have notes. These notes have six hot zones on them. They are on the left and right upper and lower corners, and they are also found midway across on the top and bottom of the note.
These hot zones perform the following functions:
Hot Zones provide convenient and quick access to essential functions when using Flex Pitch.
So we know the basic anatomy of Flex Pitch. Creatively, what can we do besides tuning vocals?
Flex Pitch is not just a tool for out of tune singers. It can be used to greatly change the timbre and emotional feel of not only a vocal, but any other instrument that is put under its influence. Copying and pasting several regions of Flex Pitch data will help create iterations of melodies and motifs that quickly spin into insanely creative territory.
The fact that all of these techniques are extremely intuitive gives users a big leg up over programs like Melodyne and Auto-Tune. In these programs, you had to first write the audio in real time into the plug-in, where the content stayed, even when a region in the Main Window was deleted. I don’t know how many times I ended up with a vocal on my percussion stems because of this. Thanks to Logic Pro X’s new Flex Pitch, I don’t believe that is going to be a problem anymore.
To learn more about Flex Pitch, check out this tutorial: