Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Installing GSnap or Pitch Correction, aka Auto-Tune, in Audacity on Windows

The Korg Volcas are great introductions to the world of musical synthesis. One of the Volca line is a sample player. The Volca Sample plays samples of audio clips but cannot do live sampling which is recording an audio source live and then using it directly afterwards. While the Volca Sample does not have the live sampling capability, it has a lot of the features that a person will need.

The Sample has more features than I care to list but here are some of them:
1) 10 different samples per sequence.
2) 10 sequences.
3) 6 different songs which can consist of up to 16 sequences.
4) Start and end point for each sample, both which can be altered.
5) Change the pitch of each sample using either cents or by semi-tones.
6) Analogue isolators for bass and treble.
7) Swing control for changing the length of a pair of notes from 50-50 % to up to 75-25 %.
8) Reverb
9) Mute Solo.
10) A number of other great features.

If you are looking to understand how a Volca Sample can be used, YouTube videos are great. If you want to delve a little deeper, download the user manual from Korg.

Using the Volca Sample to play some instruments with accurate pitch is a few steps away. I want to record samples of a couple of thumb pianos which are very difficult to tune with close accuracy. I can get quite close on some tines, but others are about 30 cent off. Audacity should come into use here but it took a little figuring on how to get an auto-tune type VST to work.

The style of thumb piano to the left is actually one of the easier styles to tune as the tines will slide to make it longer or shorter. However, once it is within range of the note, it becomes very hard to get it spot on as the distance required to change the tuning at that point is very small. I do have another style of thumb piano where you can loosen the screws on the bar holding the tines in place. On that style the tines are arranged in a fan pattern so shortening the part of the tine that vibrates can get tricky when more tines are shortened. There is the possibility of removing material from the tines but I do not want to do that.

If you have not installed Audacity you can get it here:

This particular tutorial works for Windows but Audacity is also available for Mac and Linux.

One such VST is GSnap from GVST:

Take note of their other VSTs. They have a good number although I have not tried any others.

There is a Plug-ins page on the Audacity website but I had to do some reading and figuring on my own to get GSnap to work. Because I had seen a number of questions on how to get this installed correctly I posted my own reply on the Audacity Forums. Here are the steps I posted. While it not might work exactly this way for you, hopefully with this documentation and some other web searching, you can get it to work on your computer.

Here is the Plug-ins page for Audacity but I suggest reading my steps before you read theirs as this is an older plug-in and it seems to me that their information did not work for me:

The post:

Re: Audacity not enabeling gsnap

Posted by playinmyblues » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:05 am
It took awhile to get GSnap to work after reading some of the other posts found on this forum. Here are the steps that I took to get it to work (not in that order as I had to try several different things to get it to work):

1) Download the 32-bit version of GSnap and unzip it in its own folder somewhere on your computer, not in its destination for Audacity.
2) Copy the dll file.
3) Open up the folder called C > Users > <your_user_name> > AppData > Roaming > Audacity >Plug-ins
4) Paste dll in that folder.
5) Open Audacity and open Edit > Preferences.
6) Under Effects, make sure the VST is selected. Under Maximum effects per group (0 to disable) > , enter in a number greater than 0. See the field provided where is says "(0 to disable)" - this should mean that if it is not a number greater than 0, it will not work.
7) Open the following: Effect > Add/Remove Plug-ins.
8) Scroll down to GSnap. Select the correct GSnap by checking the file path to see that it matches the file location provided above. Click Enable. Click OK.
9) Make a recording then select the portion you want corrected. The GSnap VST effect was found under Effects > Plug-ins 1 to 10 > GSnap. Follow a tutorial or the manual for changing the settings and applying the VST effect.

Even though my Audacity is a 64-bit program, GSnap 64-bit will not work here. You can check to see if your Audacity is 32-bit or 64-bit by checking the folder where it is installed.
32-bit Audacity: C > Program Files > Audacity
64-bit Audacity: c > Program Files (x86) > Audacity
This information might be important for other circumstances when using Audacity.

Here is the link to the post:

The use of GSnap to produce samples I like will have to wait for another time. It is worth noting that GSnap and other pitch correction type programs or VSTs can be used to produce an altered vocal track to the point where the track sounds more like a robot.

The link below is for the first YouTube video I watched on using GSnap. Take note that it is from 2010 so the information on installing it is probably out of date for your computer.

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