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Power App: Zynaptiq Pitchmap

June 30, 2014

Instant remixing tips

Use MIDI notes to alter the harmony of recorded audio in real time.

Zynaptiq Pitchmap is a mind-blowing audio processing plug-in that lets you transpose polyphonic audio, and even adjust individual notes within it. It can be used in many different ways, including pitch correction of individual notes within mixed music, as well as global transposition, but here I’m going to show you how to use it along with a MIDI controller to alter the chords of a stereo mix, to do a real-time remix. I’ll be showing you in Pro Tools 11, but any professional-level DAW will work for this. You could also use this same technique to change other polyphonic or monophonic music tracks.

When setting up the following step-by-step example, match the settings for Pitchmap’s parameters to what’s shown in the screen shot of Step 2. This setting is for the most naturalsounding pitch shift.

Note that the way that Pitchmap’s pitch mapping works, it will map each note to the closest pitch in the target scale, so you won’t always get the same chord inversions as there are in the source audio.

■ Another cool way to use Pitchmap is by dialing in presets from its other categories: Special Effects, Tuning and Chord Changes, and Mixing. With these you don’t need MIDI input from your controller or a separate MIDI track. Just insert Pitchmap on the source track, dial in a preset, hit Play, and check out the (often wild) results.

Step 1 Open a new session with the audio track you want to alter, and create a MIDI track.
Step 2 Insert Pitchmap on the audio track, and set the MIDI track’s output to Pitchmap-1. Set Pitchmap to the Factory Preset: “01 MIDI Template A-Medium.” Turn the Threshold and Feel controls up full, turn Purify to 50%, and put Glide and Electrify at their minimum settings. Make sure the Strict algorithm is not selected. If some harmonics are not getting pitched along with the other audio, slowly increase Purify until they are.
Step 3 Start the song with your MIDI track in record, and play chords in time with the music to reharmonize a full mix or instrument track, or play single notes to alter a melody part. In this mode, you will not hear any audio unless you’re playing a note (or notes) on your controller, or playing back the MIDI track you recorded to control Pitchmap.
Step 4 Edit the recorded MIDI part to taste to change notes or harmonies that you played, and Pitchmap will follow changes when the audio is played back.

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