10 Best Pitch Shifter VST Plugins 2022


Best Pitch Shifter VST Plugins

Sometimes when Musicians HQ mentions gear, we’ll include our affiliate link & may earn a commission at no cost to you. This doesn’t impact the products we mention.

Looking for the perfect pitch shifter for your next project? You’re certainly not alone.

Whether it’s getting those perfect, radio-ready vocals, or fine-tuning out of tune samples to fit in your mix, there are many essential use cases for pitch shifting technology.

Of course, that means knowing your options is the first step to making a buying decision that matches your intention, because there are many types of pitch shifting effects, and they all do different things.

So, in this guide, we look at the best pitch shifter VST plugins to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Pitch Monster by Devious Machines – Best Overall

Pitch Monster by Devious Machines – Best Overall

It’s entirely possible you haven’t even heard of Devious Machines’ Pitch Monster, but rest assured this perfectly rated plugin is making waves among music producers. Beat Magazine said they loved its versatility, and found it a capable plugin, whether applied to vocals or other monophonic sounds, like synths or horns.

Despite its streamlined appearance, Pitch Monster offers 64 voices of sound-warping madness. A solo vocal performance can be transformed into an entire choir (with a robotic character). A mono synth can be propelled into another dimension as an entire orchestra. A singular voice can be turned into the voice of god himself (not that we know what god’s voice sounds like).

With granular, formant and robotic vocoder engines, it would be accurate to say that Pitch Monster takes things to the next level. You also get real-time MIDI control, low latency, eight-voice polyphony, six-octave range, pitch and time spread and randomization, as well as formant shifting (for gender bending effects). Don’t overturn those dials, thogh, because extreme settings will sound ridiculous (but it’s nice to know you can go there).

Chord mode lets you choose up to eight notes using the on-screen keyboard (harmonize), and it comes with eight chord memory slots you can recall for live performance. You can build chords in MIDI Learn mode, copy and paste chords between slots, or even copy chords to other instances of the plugin.

And that is the essence of Pitch Monster’s functionality. Not so much that it’s overwhelming, but enough to take your vocal and monophonic instrument tracks to new and unprecedented levels.

Pitch Monster also features a smooth, classic meets futuristic design. It’s balanced, polished, and visually appealing. No complaints here.

Overall, Pitch Monster is a capable plugin. Dialing in your favorite pitch shifting tones doesn’t get much easier than this. And with all the additional controls available, it’s a versatile vocal processor that produces professional results.

So, given its feature set, quality, ratings, and price point, we have no choice but to declare Pitch Monster the best overall plugin on this list.

Get Pitch Monster for Mac or PC at Plugin Boutique.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Auto-Tune Unlimited by Antares – Best Premium Option

Auto-Tune Unlimited by Antares – Best Premium Option

Antares’ Auto-Tune Unlimited is nothing short of an electronic music essential and is the benchmark for all other plugins claiming to offer similar vocal tuning functionality. Heck, these days, auto-tune is on most if not all recordings, regardless of genre.

How much power you need is ultimately up to you. Auto-Tune Unlimited is the most premium of editions, and therefore the most expensive, but if there’s a version that better suits your budget or needs, there’s nothing wrong with choosing another bundle.

Of course, with Auto-Tune Unlimited, you can get all the signature sounds you’ve come to know and love – whether Cher, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, or otherwise. But this should be thought of as a near comprehensive vocal processing suite rather than just an auto-tuning effect because that’s what it is.

You get auto-tune, auto-key, effects, vocoder, harmony, vintage and modern microphone modeling, talk box, analog tube emulation, vocal doubling, vocal ensemble, de-essing, and plenty of other processing features.

All this probably makes Auto-Tune one of the most sophisticated vocal multi-effects out there. It’s beautifully designed, to be sure, but we can’t give it extra points in this area. It’s not the most complex plugin out there, but there is quite a bit of menu surfing because there are basically independent modules for every effect talked about.

And while we’re not aware of any alternative VST that has all the functionality Auto-Tune Unlimited has, there certainly are plugins that bring together some of these features into a single dial instead of entire modular interfaces. To be fair, some producers love the ability to tweak every aspect of a sound, so it all depends on what you want and need.

Overall, Auto-Tune Unlimited may be pricy (it requires a yearly subscription). But it’s the standard to which all other plugins of its kind aspire to. So, it’s our favorite premium option.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Vocal Bender by Waves – Best Budget Option

Vocal Bender by Waves – Best Budget Option

Developer Waves obviously had some tricks up their sleeve with the Vocal Bender VST, a powerful and creative vocal processor. People often spring for their SoundShifter instead (not a bad plugin), but we think this one is worth checking out too.

The Vocal Bender is a top seller, and it lets you manipulate vocals in real time. Some of the most popular and familiar sounds – in pop, hip-hop, R&B, electronic, and more – can be activated with the mere click of a mouse with the user-friendly Vocal Bender. And they really did design it to be just that simple.

Vocal Bender is a real-time, monophonic, zero latency effect. As such, it could be a great live performance tool too.

Pitch and Formant are your only controls on Vocal Bender. There are still plenty of features under the hood, but this makes dialing in your vocal tones a breeze. Some of the “hidden” features include vibrato, pitch drops, sequenced pitching, LFO, SEQ, Amplitude, and more.

The Vocal Bender is full of personality with its bold, vintage, cartoony design. But we like where Waves was going with this and can’t fault them for this choice.

Producer-engineer Malay said Vocal Bender replaced “a huge chunk” of his vocal FX chain. Mix engineer / producer Leslie Brathwaite called it the “best-sounding vocal pitch shift tool.” And mix engineer Rob Kinelski thought it was one of the cleanest pitch modulation tools he’s ever heard.

For those looking for fast vocal results on a budget, we can scarcely think of a better pitch shifting effect than Vocal Bender. Check out the video to see what it can do for you.

Learn more: Waves

Melodyne 5 Studio by Celemony

Melodyne 5 Studio by Celemony

In the world of pitch shifting and auto-tune, Melodyne is one of those names that has become practically synonymous with similar effects. Celemony increased its profile through many means, but the fact that Melodyne 5 (or earlier versions) often came bundled up with DAWs and hardware packs probably didn’t hurt.

More than a mere pitch shifting or auto-tune effect, Melodyne 5 calls itself an audio editor. Whether it’s vocal tracks, choirs, instruments, or even samples, you can take advantage of this VST to fine-tune performances and bring them up to snuff.

This Grammy Award winning technology comes with DNA Direct Note Access, four algorithms (Melodic with Sibilant Detection, Percussive, Universal, and Polyphonic), Multitrack Note Editing, macros, Chord Track and Chord Grid (with automatic chord recognition), tempo detection and editing, Sound Editor, scale editing, polyphonic audio to MIDI export, and more.

Melodyne 5 can act as your comprehensive vocal processing solution, and by the time you’re done editing, you can get professional sounding results. Yes, even average vocal performances can be tuned up to sound quite incredible.

So, overall, Melodyne 5 is a great plugin. It’s award-winning, it works great on vocal tracks, and its exact feature set might be a little harder to come by.

But it’s not all rainbows and pots of gold. Melodyne’s price tag is quite high, and that has a way of setting expectations… maybe a little beyond what they should be. The plugin can take a little getting used to, tweaking can be a lengthy process, and it feels like there could be more presets to work with.

So, while it isn’t one of our top picks, it’s still quite powerful, and one worth learning more about if pitch shifting is what you need.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys

Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys

Soundtoys is well-known for their vocal processing and audio sweetening effects. Little AlterBoy is a great example of the kind of great work they do.

Soundtoys has its roots in pitch shifting, and the founders even contributed to the famous Eventide H3000 pitch shifter. They went out on their own to start Wave Mechanics, which would soon turn into Soundtoys and create PurePitch TDM, the first real-time pitch and formant shifter.

AlterBoy offers vocal formant and pitch shifting, hard tune FX, robot / vocoder mode, and tube drive. This means you can change the pitch of a voice, mess with the gender through formant shifting, give voices a robotic effect, and even take control of vocal melodies with MIDI. As well, the tube saturation lets you add warmth and color to your vocal tracks without help from a separate saturation plugin.

The interface consists of three areas, and each is color coded. It’s simply set up, with the yellow area giving you control over pitch and formant, the blue area giving you control over mode (transpose, quantize, and robot), and the red area being the saturation module with drive and mix.

Altering the pitch of a voice with AlterBoy tends to maintain the integrity of the performance, which is great given that a lot of stock and generic pitch shifters won’t. The formant function is especially powerful for adding some variety to your backing vocals, given that you can make a male vocal sound more like a female one, and a female one more like a male one.

You can also check out the video below to see exactly what Little AlterBoy can do.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

PITCHMAP by Zynaptiq

PITCHMAP by Zynaptiq

Zynaptiq’s PITCHMAP lets you process the pitch of individual sounds within a mix. Melodies and harmonies can be altered using your MIDI controller, or by creating your own pitch map. PITCHMAP even lets you suppress certain sounds within a mix and transform the audio with advanced synthesizer like effects.

Composer / musician / producer Petri Alanko said it was “damn near divine,” producer Martin Buttrich thought it was awesome, and it’s one of Richard Devine’s favorite go-to plugins for sound design.

Developer Zynaptiq claims the plugin is so powerful they haven’t even discovered all the use cases themselves. Whether it’s correcting tuning inaccuracies, creating harmonies, sculpting sampled material, adapting the key or scale of songs to fit in a set list, crafting immersive sounds for films and video games, making mashups and remixes with ease, or otherwise, there are many possibilities worth exploring here.

In that sense, PITCHMAP is kind of like Melodyne. But it promises to be easy to use, without cluttering up your workflow.

Perhaps not surprising, then, that PITCHMAP comes at a bit of a premium price tag. Consumer expectations are always a little higher when something costs more, and this plugin did not earn perfect score in the areas of ease of use or presets. That said, it still got high marks.

Those who need to edit vocals, adapt samples to the key or scale of their tracks, want to create a seamless flow in their DJ sets, and so forth, will probably find a lot of use in this pitch shifter. But if you’re more focused on vocal performances and fine-tuning them, you may not need anything this fancy.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

H3000 Factory by Eventide

H3000 Factory by Eventide

We love Eventide for putting deep, ethereal soundscapes right at our fingertips with their various software and hardware effects. But it’s fair to say echo and modulation isn’t their only area of specialty. Harmony has always been one of their staples too.

And if you haven’t gathered this already, the H3000 hardware unit is legendary, and it has inspired many a pitch shifting effect. The H3000 Factory is basically the software version of the same.

Tape OP magazine said they were surprised at how closely the plugin emulated the original hardware console, Resident Advisor magazine also thought it was comparable to the original hardware, and Electronic Music magazine said if you use H3000 Factory, you’ll be rewarded with sounds that transcend the ordinary.

H3000 Factory combines pitch, delay, modulation, and filtering, just as the H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer did. The plugin comes with over 450 presets (over 100 new artists presets and 100 presets right from the hardware original), effects blocks (delays, amplitude modulators, envelope followers, pitch shifters, filters, and low frequency oscillators), Function Generator with 19 waveshapes, white noise generator, MIDI control, and sidechain input. Delays and LFOs can be locked to system tempo, and delays can also be looped (they come with a low pass filter as well). Filters include band pass, high pass, and low pass with variable Q – they can be swept and modulated.

H3000 Factory’s graphical user interface is a little old school in appearance, but not surprisingly, it takes after the original hardware unit. There are some differences, of course, but they’ve tried to preserve the feel of the original.

Check out the video demo and you’ll start to get a sense of how versatile this effect is – you can add an ethereal effect to guitars, make stock synths sound bigger, smooth out vocal tracks, and a great deal more. And in that sense, this is an effect for many things, not just for pitch shifting.

But as with some other plugins we’ve already looked it, it’s good to understand that this plugin carries a premium price tag, and if you don’t intend to fully take advantage of its functionality, other options may suit you better.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ProVocative by Boz Digital Labs

ProVocative by Boz Digital Labs

So far as budget pitch shifters are concerned, Boz Digital Labs’ ProVocative will probably do the trick for many a producer seeking a simple VST effect.

You can thicken and widen vocals, synths, and guitars (some even use it on drums) with ProVocative, a micro pitch shifting VST plugin. And this one is the perfect meeting place of functionality and ease of use, with a low CPU footprint.

ProVocative comes with low and high pass filters as well as wet and dry knobs for additional control. But it really is just that simple, there’s not a whole lot more to it.

You can even tell from the interface. There are knobs for width, pitch, delay, wet, dry, and output. So, even the greenest of music producers should be able to figure this one out.

Although it’s a pitch shifter by name, it’s almost closer to a vocal doubling effect (it works great in that regard). So, for radical robotic effects or finer pitch correction, you might choose a different plugin.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Fluid Pitch by Pitch Innovations

Fluid Pitch by Pitch Innovations

Pitch Innovations’ Fluid Pitch calls itself a “creative pitch-bend” effect. This MIDI pitch bend module can be used alongside a standard MIDI controller, along with Smarter Pitch bend wheel, Micro Tuning Edge, and MPE functionality. You also get the Scale-Locked-Pitch-Bend system (powered by MIDI and MPE), which ensures you’re always in the right key / scale.

Composer A. R. Rahman found Fluid Pitch to be inspirational, EDM artists and DJ KSHMR thought it was impressive, and Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess offered that it gave him the power to control pitch with intelligence and musicality.

In addition to the Scale Locked Pitch Bend system, Fluid Pitch also comes with polyphonic pitch bending and micro tuning to help you dial in your tuning.

Fluid Pitch seems to be loved most by keyboardists and composers, and given its functionality, it makes sense. If you’re looking for a vocal processor, this probably isn’t your jam.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

DUMPSTER FIRE by Freakshow Industries

DUMPSTER FIRE by Freakshow Industries

Highly rated, dead simple, and affordable even for the entry-level producer. Freakshow Industries’ DUMPSTER FIRE, though, isn’t your standard pitch shifter. The results it producers are unpredictable, unique, and somewhat random.

With DUMPSTER FIRE, you’re given the ability to rotate pitches (in all the wrong places), set multiple bands, generate horrific sounds (“hellscapes”) with Aether, and more. If that wasn’t helpful, trust me, the product description isn’t any more helpful.

What is helpful is listening to what the plugin can do (refer to the video seen below). I could see this VST being useful for lo-fi music, creating instability and tension in your tracks, and for brief passages that you want to sound out of tune, degraded, crunchy, or otherwise.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Pitch Shifter VST Plugin?

As you’ve likely discovered by now, the term “pitch shifter” broadly describes a few types of plugins that do different things. The technology is used in different ways to achieve different results.

Here we’ll offer a breakdown, which should help with your shopping efforts:

  • Auto-tune. This type of pitch shifter basically falls under the category of vocal processing / pitch correction, and is used to enhance vocal tracks, usually to make them sound more in tune, but sometimes to make them sound more robotic (on purpose). Auto-Tune Unlimited would obviously be the epitome of a versatile auto-tune effect.
  • Audio editor. Melodyne and PITCHMAP basically fall under this category. Pitch correction is a key function of these plugins, but they often let you do more, whether it’s altering instruments, tweaking samples to fit in a mix, creating remixes (scale or key adjustments), or otherwise.
  • Multi-effect. The H3000 may well be known as a pitch shifter, but in practice it seems to do so much more than that, whether it’s smoothing out a vocal track with echo or producing random sound effects. It utilizes pitch shifting tech, obviously, but it’s a little more than that, so what is it if not a multi-effect? And Eventide is well-known for such creations.
  • Vocal processor. A pitch shifter that’s a little more limited in functionality. It will add a bit of echo and / or a chorusing effect to a vocal track to make it stand out in a mix. In some cases, it will do more, and allow you to tweak formants or add saturation. ProVocative, Vocal Bender, and Little AlterBoy are all good examples.
  • Keyboard effect. Often used for creating stability in a performance, especially one utilizing the pitch bend wheel on a MIDI controller. This is what Fluid Pitch is for.
  • Creative effect. Plugins like DUMPSTER FIRE take advantage of pitch shifting and other technologies to create random, degraded, lo-fi effects that you might use here and there, whether it’s for horrifying film scores or lo-fi hip-hop.

Now you should have a better idea which plugin to get.

Top Pitch Shifter VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

In almost every case, a premium pitch shifter will do what your DAW’s stock plugins simply can’t. You probably have some pitch shifting technology built into your DAW already, but more than likely, it’s limited in some way, shape or form. So, to take your projects to a professional level, it’s important to invest in a professional pitch shifter.

We’ve collected the best pitch shifters above, and assuming you understand well what each does, you should be well-equipped to find your perfect match. Enjoy!

Recent Posts

error: Alert: Content is protected !!