Yes, GarageBand for macOS has pitch correction.
You can use it like any other GarageBand plugin on Audio tracks.
You’ll see an overview of the plugin’s controls when you first open it up. Though they’re easy to figure out if you know anything about how Autotune or Melodyne works, I’ve provided a quick overview below.
If you’d rather just play around with the dials and buttons yourself, skip ahead to “Using Pitch Correction.” Otherwise, I’ll go into detail on what each of these controls actually does.
How does the pitch correction plugin work?
GarageBand includes a pitch correction plugin that can be applied to monophonic (single-note) audio sources such as vocal tracks.
Pitch Correction works by detecting the note you play and then shifting it to the nearest chromatic interval in order to make it sound perfectly “in tune”.
This is useful when your performance isn’t exactly on the mark, and corrective measures need to be taken. It’s also good for creating special effects and robotic voices.
How do I use pitch correction?
There are 2 ways of using the pitch corrector: temporarily or permanently.
The temporary option allows you to apply it just to one track while leaving other tracks unmodified—this way you can see how tuning affects everything before committing to it. To use the temporary option:
1 – Open a Track and select an Audio or Software Instrument track
2 – Select your vocal track
3 – Drag the Pitch Correction plugin from the ‘Other’ section of the Plugin Picker onto your vocal track. The plugin will appear above your track like this:
4 – Launch the plugin by clicking on its title bar (you can dock it in place by double-clicking on any empty area of the GarageBand window)
5 – Ensure that Auto-Tune is checked ON, then click on Calibrate in order to set a reference note for tuning.
Your computer’s microphone provides a natural way to do this but you can also use an external instrument if preferred—Solo any instrument track and play the note you want to use as a reference.
You can change the reference note at any time by clicking on Calibrate again.
6 – Exit the plugin’s window, open your vocal track’s inspector (Cmd + I), and select Auto-Tune for both Correction and Formant Correction options.
Note that Formant Correction is enabled by default but Offset Correction is not. 7 – Set Retune Speed to fast if you are applying only temporary correction, or slow if you are committing to it forever—however, if your computer is slow you might have to lower this setting in order for the plugin to run without glitches.
If you don’t see Retune Speed listed, then you’ve already committed to the plugin, since it is permanently added to your track. To remove Pitch Correction after you have applied it, delete the plugin from the inspector window.
How do I change tuning?
Your computer’s microphone provides a natural way to tune vocals but you can also use an external instrument if preferred—Solo any instrument track and play the note you want to use as a reference. You can change the reference note at any time by clicking on Calibrate again.
You can also change Retune Speed depending on how “fast” or “slow” you want the plugin to tune your track. This setting is particularly useful if you are working with a song that has several different vocal parts that need to be tuned differently.
Does pitch correction sound good on everything?
No. If you want to make a great electronic dance track you probably don’t want to use pitch correction, as many DJs hate it and will probably reject your song.
If, however, you would like to fix some intonation issues in your vocals or create a special effect by tuning something up an octave then pitch correction is just what the doctor ordered!
How do I stop GarageBand from tuning my voice?
You can disable Retune Speed temporarily by Option-clicking on a Mac or Alt-clicking on a Windows computer while working with the Pitch Correction plugin.
Then set Retune Speed back to fast if you are only making temporary changes. If you have already to adding the plugin permanently click on the Remove Pitch Correction button in the plugin window to get rid of it.