Melodyne Studio vs Editor – What Are the Main Differences?

I first got my hands on Melodyne a couple of years ago and I got the very first edition – Melodyne Essential. It’s the entry-level step into the world of Melodyne, and I thought it was pretty cool at the time, albeit a bit limited in terms of what it could do. Once I started moving through the versions though, the power of the tool became more conspicuous.

When you get up to the Editor version of Melodyne, you now have the majority of the tools that make Melodyne what it is and can probably understand why so many people use it. Contrary to some other comments I’ve seen online, the upgrade to Melodyne Studio is a big one. In my view, there are a couple of key differences between Studio and Editor.

In general, Melodyne Editor has the same features as the Studio version except for multitrack editing and the sound editor. You can edit all tracks simultaneously in one window with multitrack editing and the sound editor allows for harmonics, amplitude, and EQ editing of each note specifically.

Words don’t really explain it well enough, because it’s hard to put into words how much better it is to be able to edit all Melodyne tracks in one window. At the end of the day, it gives you a level of control over the editing process that speeds up your workflow and makes your life a lot easier. The sound editor is an even bigger step in the same direction because you dive into each note to control the amplitude, harmonics, formats, etc. We’ll talk a bit more about it now…

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What Features Melodyne Studio Has That Melodyne Editor Does Not

Melodyne Studio vs Editor - Melodyne Studio vs Editor - What Are the Main Differences
Melodyne 5 – Studio (on Plugin Boutique/Plugin Fox/Thomann/zZounds) is the complete package. Make sure to check out the Melodyne chart that shows the difference between the versions.

1) Multitracking Viewing and Editing Capability

Melodyne 5: Editing multiple tracks simultaneously

Multitrack capability includes the ability to see all of your Melodyne tracks at once all in the same window, so you no longer have to go around switching from track to track in your project, adjusting a little bit here and a little bit there. You get a bird’s eye view, so to speak, of what you’re working with and can use the other tracks to inform your process.

This has a number of perks that are worth fleshing out in more detail, including the ability to use reference tracks in a hyper-specific fashion and you can also match up vocals and other sounds in a way that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise, ie, multi-track quantizing.

For example, if you have 4-5 vocal recordings, (or even more in many cases), you can push them all through Melodyne and then synchronize their timing, pitch, amplitude, formant, EQ, and so on. If you want to match them, it’s possible, if you want to make them different, that can be done too.

If one vocal recording has too many bass frequencies on just one or two notes, you can compensate for that right in the multitrack editor, editing the frequencies out of one note while adding some more in the accompanying vocals if you need to. The same thing goes for pitch correction as well, and not just audio editing.

Bring in all of the vocal tracks together, and then use the Pitch Correction and Pitch Drift tool to correct everything all together at once, if you really wanted. You can also choose which track you bring into the editor one by one. You don’t have to include all of them.

There are many other more nuanced controls that are worth mentioning on their own as well. One is that you can grey out notes that you don’t want to edit accidentally, in the case that you do decide to bring in other tracks into the multitrack editor.

One feature that I really appreciate is the ability to pull unison notes apart for editing; let me explain. Let’s say that you have a bunch of vocal tracks in unison (they share the same note). You can visually separate these notes that way they’re easier to edit, otherwise, they would just be sitting on top of each other in the editor.

Moreover, with the Editing Mix Fader, you can listen to the Melodyne track on its own, with the other Melodyne tracks, or with everything else in your DAW. It’s your choice.

As I briefly mentioned right at the start of the article, I’ve seen a few reviews online say that the only difference between the Editor and Studio version is multitrack capability as if this difference isn’t massive.

Having a multitrack editor opens up a whole new world of editing and pitch correcting possibilities that just isn’t possible with the Editor version, although, it’s still a great option on (Plugin Boutique/Plugin Fox/Thomann/zZounds).

2) Sound Editor (Stand-Alone Version)

Melodyne 5: The Sound Editor – reshape, recolor, redesign

The Sound Editor in Melodyne Studio is still something that I’m wrapping my head around a bit because there is a lot to go over with this feature. This is entirely unique to Melodyne Studio and it offers a level of specificity and control that the Editor version, nor any of the other versions, also have.

One downside to the Sound Editor is that it appears to only open in the stand-alone version, from what I understand. Regardless, I recommend checking out the video shown above because it shows you how you can really dive into each note on its own and make pretty much every type of change imaginable.

For instance, you can use a hyper-specific equalizer with bands that are a “semitone wide,” in other words, you can use an equalizer that is more surgical than pretty much any other EQ that you could ever get your hands on. You can take a look at the spectrum analyzer, grab on to it, and morph it to any shape and sound of your choosing.

Or, you can use the emphasis control to make an instrument sound subdued as a way of making room for other instruments, or you can make it more pronounced as if it’s in solo.

You could do something like this with a regular EQ, but not in the same way because, in this way, it’s polyphonic, monophonic, and on a note-by-note basis. Not only that, but with the multitrack editing, you can edit all of the Melodyne tracks this way if you so choose.

The same thing goes for the dynamics slider which does everything a standard compressor does except with the same level and specificity of what I just described in the context of the EQ. You can also do this polyphonically, monophonically, or many tracks at once.

Many cool things can be done with the Harmonics setting as well, including the High and Low parameters. Put simply, you can adjust the frequency information of just one note.

If there is just one note that’s a bit shrill, rather than using EQ automation, and rather than using an EQ that might attenuate other undesirable sounds, you can instead attack the very part of that sound that’s creating the shrill frequency.

And this covers just the surface of what you can do with Melodyne Studio. The way I look at it, it’s one of those big purchases that I think any serious musician or music producer should own, and it’s also why I gave it its own dedicated review as well. That said, it’s definitely an advanced tool and not everyone needs it. We’ll talk about this in a second.

Other Melodyne Articles

Important Things to Note About Melodyne Studio & the Editor Version

1) You May Not Need the Studio Version If You Aren’t Editing Multiple Tracks

If you don’t plan on editing multiple tracks at once, you probably won’t need Melodyne Studio. It’s mostly for people who have a ton of different vocal tracks, guitar parts, or other instruments, and recordings that are all part of the same sound, ie, backing vocals are a great example of this.

In other words, if you’re a bedroom producer and you’re learning how to make a basic trap beat or something similar, you probably won’t need Melodyne Studio, as it’s professional software for serious work. If you’re recording 5-10 vocal takes of one recording and you want them perfect, Melodyne Studio is an amazing option.

2) There is a Price Difference Between Melodyne Editor and Melodyne Studio

The extra features that come with Melodyne Studio come with a price tag, but ultimately, I would say that it’s worth it because of the level of control and the increase in convenience and workflow. Check out the free trial on their page.

I’m still using the Melodyne – Editor version at the moment, but I know that as my needs become more advanced, the Studio version will come more in handy.

The nice thing about Celemony is they have it on a tiered program, so you could always start with the Assistant version first, and then work your way up to Studio over time. That’s exactly what I’ve done because I started with Essential.

Gear Mentioned

1) Melodyne 5 – Editor (on Plugin Boutique/Plugin Fox/Thomann/zZounds)

2) Melodyne 5 – Studio (on Plugin Boutique/Plugin Fox/Thomann/zZounds)