RePitch - Computer Music - January 2023
RATED: 4.5/5 stars
Synchro Arts has built an impressive reputation through its VocAlign and ReVoice plugins, but it has never had a processor targeted solely at pitch correction. RePitch (AU, VST3, AAX, ARA) is precisely that processor and it draws from the company's tried and tested technology.
It supports ARA (see Audio Random Access below) as well as regular plugin formats using manual Capture. It also integrates with VocAlign Ultra so you can use your RePitch track as a guide.
RePitch is very much a graphic-driven design with only a few parameter controls. The interface includes pitch scale on the left, and below and to the right you’ll find navigation sliders and separate zoom controls for both the waveform height and pitch scale. With audio loaded, parameter blocks are superimposed over the waveform.
Audio is categorised as either voiced (pitched) or unvoiced (unpitched) with the former green and the latter blue, and understandably you can’t pitch correct the unpitched audio. The menu bar at the top accesses two main views (Pitch and Level), and as you might guess, these superimpose pitch and level curves respectively on the parameter blocks. Separating these two key functions is not entirely necessary, but it does make it clear what you’re doing and we found it worked very well in practice.
RePitch automatically sets the scale, though you can easily override this. And it also includes a bunch of vocal- and instrument-targeted macros, which offer a great starting point. For more specific edits of pitch and level you can simply shift whole blocks, or by using the context-sensitive block handles, adjust things such as pitch drift, correction speed, level drift and even contract or expand the block timing. For more specific timing changes you can drop in further warp markers. Finally, and impressively, the pencil tool allows you to simply draw in level and pitch curves. Awesome stuff.
The operational aspects of RePitch are pretty easy to master, and although it’s not as instantly gratifying as some real-time plugins, where you can simply increase the speed to create extreme effects, those outcomes are still achievable either on individual sections or across the whole audio part if you lasso all the blocks.
Where RePitch really excels is its sound, or more specifically lack thereof. We found it impressively free of dodgy digital artefacts, and for regular pitch correction it sounds really very natural. So if you just want to tighten up a good performance without any hint that it’s been artificially tuned, then this absolutely fits the bill. More ambitious changes can also be achieved, particularly coupled with the context sensitive transitions block, which modifies the yellow transition line. We found that reworking a melody with full tone or greater pitch changes was doable.
Audio Random Access
ARA (AU and VST3) is a DAW integration technology that was developed by Celemony and Presonus, and allows extended communication between the host and plugin. With audio data, pitch, tempo and rhythm available for the whole song, not just at the moment of playback, plugins are better able to provide complex integrated processing. This is why titles such as Celemony Melodyne, Steinberg SpectraLayers and SynchroArts VocAlign use it.
That said, although ARA v2 is now available in most major DAWs including Cubase, Logic Pro X, Studio One and Cakewalk, it has taken a long time to become established, so you may want to double check your DAW is on the list. Using RePitch in your DAW you’ll notice that you may have a choice between a regular plugin instance and an ARA instance. The latter will load your audio automatically and includes subtle but handy extras such as bar and beat scale.
So, do we have any gripes? First up, although there’s adjustable formant and this sounds great, you can only apply it on a global basis. Also, a few important block editing aspects including individual block timing are not yet implemented, although we understand they’ll be included in a forthcoming update.
RePitch excels at natural-sounding pitch correction, but is also great for tweaking timing and levels, and if you dig in with the tools you can also achieve more extreme and creative effects. Overall this is an extremely well executed plugin.
MusicRadar verdict: RePitch provides premium quality pitch correction, a great visual interface and excellent integration options.