The Melodyne editor, which promises to make working with audio as fluid as working with MIDI, has long had some impressive technology under the hood. But it’s as the tool gradually matures in terms of workflow and usability that I think it could win some additional converts.

Melodyne 2.0 is a major update to the editor all around, with additional timing and tuning options and better usability, and the addition of ReWire (atop plug-in compatibility) is a big plus for some. It’s easiest to just see the videos, but the overview of what’s new in this release:

  • Attack Speed tool for editing transients. (That could make this a lot more interesting creatively.) New Time Handles for changing time in the notes. These tools have special applicability to percussion and vocal phrasing, respectively, but may have some other interesting alternative applications.
  • Edit notes in other scales, temperaments, and tunings. (Re-tuning to alternative tuning systems, anyone?)
  • Keyboard shortcuts work in plug-in mode, display and highlight is improved.
  • Work via ReWire with hosts that lack plug-ins. Read: Reason. And that could make this an interesting companion to Reason’s record workflows.

Now, sure, all of this is often understood to be for people who just want to obsessively correct pitch and rhythm of recorded audio. But I remain interested in creative applications, just because the upshot of this is having audio you can modify after it’s been recorded.

There’s just one bottom line: will this stuff be compelling enough that you add an additional tool to your DAW just to get it? I still have yet to hear from die-hard Melodyne users, so if you’re out there reading, I’d love to learn how you use the tool, particularly if you go a bit beyond the way it was intended to be used. (That’s always interesting.)

US$/€399, $99/€99 upgrade, or free if you registered after October 1. More vids: