AutoTune for Garageband: 4 Vocal Tuners for Apple’s Free DAW

Vocal Production
AutoTune for Garageband: 4 Vocal Tuners for Apple’s Free DAW

Garageband is one of the most popular DAWs for new producers.

After all, it’s a simple and powerful music production app that comes free with every edition of Mac OS.

But for some Garageband users, there’s one important tool that’s missing from the basic functions.

I’m talking about pitch correction software, or as it’s generically known—AutoTune.

So what do you do to get AutoTune for Garageband?

In this article I’ll break down the basics of AutoTune-style pitch correction and suggest four ways to start using it in your workflow.

What is pitch correction? Is it AutoTune?

Pitch correction is a type of plugin that can alter the pitch and timing of a vocal performance without affecting its tone.

It’s used in mixing to improve parts of a vocal take where the vocalist didn’t sing the material perfectly.

🧠 Hot tip

If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to pitch correction, head over to our guide to get tips and tricks on the basic workflow.

But it’s also known for the distinctive robot voice effect that’s popular in hip-hop and electronic styles.

Called ‘hard tuning,’ this effect comes from setting the plugin to its maximum settings.

However you use it, pitch correction software typically comes as a third-party plugin that you add to your DAW separately.

Pitch correction is a key element in vocal production.

Pitch correction is a key element in vocal production.

Among the most common pitch correction plugins is one of the most recognizable names in music production—AutoTune.

But AutoTune is just one of many options for editing vocal takes. Even so, the name is often used as a shorthand to refer to any related technology.

It’s a bit like saying Kleenex to refer to facial tissues or Jacuzzi for bathtubs with water jets.

Does Garageband have AutoTune?

First off, let’s be clear—Garageband does not include the Antares AutoTune product.

Let’s be clear—Garageband does not include the Antares AutoTune product.

While we’re on the subject, no major DAW comes standard with the official AutoTune built in.

If you want the real deal from Antares, you’ll need to purchase it separately like any other third-party plugin.

But Garageband does include a basic form of pitch correction. It’s based on the FlexPitch functionality in Logic Pro, with a simplified control set.

In fact, Garageband’s built-in pitch correction is a single slider found on the track tab with a checkbox option to limit the note correction to a key.

After all, Garageband is meant to be a simple app that doesn’t get in the way of your creativity with too many controls.

Even so, you may find that Garageband’s pitch correction slider doesn’t offer the quality or results you need in your mix.

If that’s the case, it’s time to look at the other options!

Logic, Garageband...or Ableton?

Logic, Garageband...or Ableton?

Alternatives to AutoTune for Garageband

As I mentioned above, AutoTune is just the start when it comes to the pitch correction software.

AutoTune is just the start when it comes to the pitch correction software.

If you need the authentic sound of the original hard-tuning effect, it’s still an excellent choice.

But if you’re looking for transparent, natural sounding pitch correction to improve your vocal takes, here are a handful of options you should consider for Garageband.

1. SynchroArts RePitch Elements

RePitch Elements is the simple and affordable pitch correction plugin that focuses on natural sounding results.

It’s built to give you everything you need to tune vocals quickly and transparently so you can get back to creating.

With the latest updates in the 1.3 release, RePitch Elements gives you high performance pitch correction at a compelling price.

2. Melodyne essential

Melodyne is another huge name in the pitch correction space.

The upper tier editions of the Melodyne software are often considered the industry standard for high end studios.

But Melodyne essential offers an approachable introduction to the company’s core tech.

With a stripped down feature set that’s focused on the Main Tool, you’ll get a taste for the Melodyne workflow and sound without having to shell out for a pro version.

3. Graillon 2

If you’re on a truly limited budget, you may be looking for a free alternative to AutoTune for Garageband.

Though there are several options, they’re a bit more limited compared to other free VST types you’ll find online.

However, the free edition of Auburn’s Graillon 2 plugin is among the best free solutions available.

Graillon 2 is especially useful for real-time hard-tuning effects.

4. Waves Tune

Waves Tune is another option for pitch correction tasks in Garageband or DAWs.

While the plugin has been available since 2005, it’s still considered a usable option for tuning vocals.

With a familiar interface and quality results, the plugin can often be found on deep discounts alongside other products in the Waves family.

Pitch correction plugins for any situation

Every producer should have a reliable vocal tuning plugin in their VST folder.

If you’re a Garageband user, consider any of the options on this list to get started with vocal pitch correction.

After all, it’s an essential element of modern music production when it comes to the sound of studio vocals.

Whether you need aggressive hard-tuning or invisible pitch correction, there’s an option on this list for every producer.


Various contributors from the LANDR team of music mentors.


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