MOTU Digital Performer: Repair Vocals Quickly With Pitch Correction

OBJECTIVE: Use Digital Performer’s audio pitch correction features to fix pitch problems with vocals, or add special effects. BACKGROUND: Because DP has very sophisticated pitch correction options for monophonic vocals and instruments, it’s easy to overlook the fact that you can make simple, effective vocal edits very quickly by drawing in correction curves with the pencil tool. Although there are different ways to do this, here’s one possible workflow.


  1. Select Memory Cycle and loop the area you want to edit. Although you can work on the entire vocal, I find it more efficient to isolate specific areas that need fixes.
  2. Select the soundbite to be processed. 
  3. Set the processing mode to “Vocals.” It’s generally best to choose “Set Pitch Mode for Track and Selected Bites” unless you need different pitch modes for the bites in a track.
  4. Click on the Sound File tab. Although you can edit pitch in the Sequence view by selecting Pitch (instead of Soundbites, Volume, Pan, etc.), I prefer the more expansive Sound File view.
  5. Click on the Pitch tab, then use the scroll bar on the left to bring the pitch curves into view.
  6. Go to the Studio menu and select “Tools.”
  7. Use the Pencil tool to modify the pitch correction curve as much or as little as you want.


  • Make sure you do step 3 before making any adjustments, as selecting the processing mode influences DP’s DSP analysis functions.
  • DP has additional ways to tailor the pitch analysis process, as well as multiple methods (including pitch quantization) you can use to modify pitch. It’s well worth spending some quality time with the manual to exploit these features to the fullest.