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HomeNewsIs Formant Shifting the New Auto Tune? ⋆

Is Formant Shifting the New Auto Tune? ⋆

formant shifter effect

The formant shifter effect can not only make voices sound more feminine or masculine. The effect also allows changes in the voice texture.

New effect instead of autotune

Instead of autotune, there is a new effect that not so many have heard of before. Singers like Billie Eilish, Frank Ocean or Tyler, the Creator already use formant shifting. The effect ensures that your voice gets a special texture, remains natural and stands out from the productions of others. The best thing about it: You can add this effect to your production with a free plugin.

Top 7 Autotune VST Plugin

What’s the effect?

We’ll first give you some background knowledge about formant shifting. Formants are characteristic parts of your voice that always stay the same. No matter what tone you sing or in which pitch you speak. The formant is, so to speak, the acoustic fingerprint of your voice.

In each voice, the formants are unique and unchangeable. But with the Formant Shifting effect we can edit and change exactly these formants.

formant shifter plugin

You can use this free plugin called MAutopitch from Meldaproduction for formant shifting.

This is how you create the effect

You can easily create the formant shifter effect with a free plugin. We use the MAutopitch from Meldaproduction. This is actually an autotune plugin, but it can also produce the desired formant shifter effect.

If you now turn the Formant Shift control, you can adjust your formants either up or down. So you get either the vulnerable Tyler, the Creator sound or the demonic monster effect. With the help of the width control you can enlarge this effect in the stereo width.

formant shifter

If you turn down the formants, your voice becomes distorted and demonic.

This is what formant shifting sounds like

If you think that tuning your voice up or down is nothing special, you are wrong. Because you can use this effect to give your voice more complexity and the lyrics more meaning or depth.

The US rapper Tyler, the Creator shifts his formants upwards, for example, when he sings. This has the effect of making him sound a lot more vulnerable. You can hear how that works on his album “IGOR”. The effect is therefore very suitable for emphasizing a particularly soulful area.

On the other hand, you can give your voice a more demonic or monstrous sound. To do this, you detune the formants downwards. It’s like your larynx is a little bigger or your neck is longer. In addition, the Formant Shifter effect gives you a kind of granular distortion that adds to the alien sound.

formant shifter

To sound like Billie Eilish, first set the pitch to -12 on the second track.

Sound like Billie Eilish

Singer Billie Eilish uses this effect masterfully in her songs and uses it to make certain parts really stand out. Your brother and producer Finneas may use a different plugin, but that doesn’t matter here.

For the Billie Eilish effect with formant shifting, make a copy of your track. You now set the pitch to -12 on the second track. So it is an octave lower.

You then screw the formants up in MAutopitch. Now you have a demonic vocal effect that fits perfectly into your next song.

formant shifter billie eilish

You then screw up the formants – now your voice sounds demonic!

Have you heard of Formant Shifting?

Are you already familiar with the formant shifter effect? Which plugins do you use? Feel free to write it to us in the comments.
If you would like to know more precisely how you can produce with the Shifter format, take a look at our YouTube video: This effect replaces Auto Tune »

Overview: Music Effects

Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.


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