Recording Tricks: Auto-Tune ATR-1 by Antares

Antares ATR-1 Auto-Tune vocal processor

This popular vocal pitch corrector can do wonders for out-of tune vocals if used correctly, but can make vocals sound completely unnatural and robotic if overused. Antares has made both a plug-in and a rackmount version. The plug-in for Pro Tools, other DAWs and sequencers is much more powerful and flexible. These tips are for the orignal rackmount version, called the ATR-1.

Make sure that two settings are set correctly to start (or reset the ATR-1 to it's default settings, see below). The default tuning is A=440, but this can be adjusted if your song is tuned differently. So make sure that the Detune setting is at "0" in the global settings.

Also, make sure that the MIDI Note option is off. The ATR-1 can be controlled externally by a MIDI controller, but if you're using it as a stand-alone unit, this setting would disable it's pitch correction.

It is also important to understand the "Scale" page. This is where you control which notes do (and do not) get corrected. Start with the Chromatic scale and adjust as follows:

Scale indicators under a note and their meanings:

"*" : notes near that note will not be corrected.

" " (note letter blank): note will not be allowed at all and it will be pulled to the nest nearest note.

  • Reset to factory settings function:

The Original Antares ATR-1

Look for the ATR-1 and ATR-1A at eBay

This will reset the unit's settings- a wise idea if you were not the last person to use it.

1. Hold in both cursor keys (left and right) while powering up. There is no power button, so you might have to hold these down while plugging it into the wall.

2. The display shows the software version, then the "test menu." There are also other diagnostic tests in this set.

3. Turn the dial to #8, "reinitialize".

4. Press any button.

5. Turn dial to #9, "reboot".

6. Press any button twice.

  • Software Version

Version 1.0 was OK

Version 1.1 had some bad chips that would overheat easily, displaying an error message, "eprom uninitialized." Update this to a newer version.

Version 1.2 fixed 1.1 chips, display bugs, etc (was 1.2 as of 11/99)

For more see the Antares website.