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What would you say to a singer that is completely out of tune?
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#91
10th May 2012
Old 10th May 2012
  #91
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maybe ask the singer how they feel about auto-tune

you could duplicate the vox, leave one as is and autotune the other...

if they say no autotune give them the untreated version, if they dont mind give them the tuned version and ask if they feel it sounds as they want it to...

the key is tact but also maybe a little reverse psycology

id probably do this discreetly


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#92
13th May 2012
Old 13th May 2012
  #92
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I'm no pro and don't really hardly have "clients" but honestly I think it's best to just get a reasonable amount of takes, do a mix, give to client and move on. Autotuning is ridiculous. If the person sucks, they will eventually figure it out, and if they don't it's really not your problem.

I am a graphic and web designer and many times clients have horrible ideas that I've learned to just do for them and move on to the next project. I'll try to steer them in the right direction subtly but there comes a point where it's not my responsibility to be the "taste" police.

Protecting people from their own lack of talent and stupidity is not IMO what your job is as an engineer. Your job is to record what is brought to the studio, be it good or bad and deliver a product. I don't think "fixing" someone's inability to perform does the world any good. Not everyone is a musician or singer whether or not that's what they want to be.
#93
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #93
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if they're consistently off by the same margin, have them tune their instruments accordingly. while everything may be off tune it will sound in tune.

g
#94
14th May 2012
Old 14th May 2012
  #94
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If they hear themselves and think they sound the way they should I don't see how you can find your self in any type of ethical conundrum.

If someone want to record themselves and that person is willing to pay you as a professional to capture the way they sound, I don't see how you can find yourself ethically compromised by doing what they are asking of you.

If they hear themselves and do not like the results you can explain what is going on, and then offer pitch correction, overdubs, masking delays and reverbs as solutions, don't take it for granted that people do not know what they sound like, especially if they are willing to pay you to record that.

You don't go to a plastic surgeon to fix a deviated septum and expect to walk out with a nose job. Let them hear themselves constantly and let them hear themselves as they sound like recorded, if they are still willing to continue after the numerous pauses and sound checks, I don't see why you should be bothered by any of it.
#95
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramps View Post
if they're consistently off by the same margin, have them tune their instruments accordingly. while everything may be off tune it will sound in tune.

g
This is actually what was used with David Lee Roth on Van Halen Records because he sings flat. It also was contributing part to the Van Halen sound they had in the beginning and leading up to when David Lee Roth left the band. When Sammy Hagar came in the sound of the band changed, because Hagar sings more in key.

That is way a lot of us called them Van Hagar when he joined the band.
#96
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpro View Post
This is actually what was used with David Lee Roth on Van Halen Records because he sings flat. It also was contributing part to the Van Halen sound they had in the beginning and leading up to when David Lee Roth left the band. When Sammy Hagar came in the sound of the band changed, because Hagar sings more in key.

That is way a lot of us called them Van Hagar when he joined the band.
I remember Eddie bitching about this in an interview, saying they had to tune 1/4 step down or something like that to accommodate Dave's voice.

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#97
15th May 2012
Old 15th May 2012
  #97
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and it works every time...unless the singer really sucks. then you need to tell him/her college is the way past mickey d's

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#98
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiltrip View Post
I remember Eddie bitching about this in an interview, saying they had to tune 1/4 step down or something like that to accommodate Dave's voice.

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It's pretty common practice for rock bands to tube 1/2 step down to accomodate singers that have a little trouble with higher notes. I think every band I've been in but my current one have done this.
#99
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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About 20 years ago I recorded a gospel group that had one singer who sang flat but in tune with himself. They recorded three titles and one of them was a solo for (as luck would have it) the flat singer.

Everyone else in the group knew this singer was always a little flat. When it came time to record his lead vocal on his solo, I gambled on his not having enough of an ear to notice I'd slightly slowed down the multitrack machine by more or less the degree to which he sang flat.

Some of the others in the group were with me in the control room when I was doing the run-through for this and totally approved of what I was doing. I told the singer as I made some slight adjustments to the speed that I was still dialling the EQ in, and he was OK with that. I silently hoped he wouldn't get wise to what I was doing, and then sing even flatter....

It worked a treat. I got an acceptable performance on the first take. I doubt he ever knew I'd done this trickery, and I'm confident nobody else ever told him.
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#100
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
when a singer can't sing at all

#101
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiltrip View Post
I remember Eddie bitching about this in an interview, saying they had to tune 1/4 step down or something like that to accommodate Dave's voice.

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VH used to tune down a 1/2 step, if you lower the key the singer can still sing flat, but 1/2 step down can be easier on the singer range wise. Sammy has a much bigger range, especially up top. Also VH started doing songs with keyboards, and once they did that, the tuning went back to 440
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#102
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #102
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1. Suggest that they consider songs that better suit their vocal range.
2. Suggest that the song would sound great with some harmony. Arrange a good vocalist to sing with them so they get a chance to compare themselves to someone good.
3. Record them and let them listen to their own work.
4. Throw em in a booth with a processed backing multitrack on cans with a good singer in the mix. Record. Mix down with original singer dropped out and no processing, dynamics, reverb or anything on the vocal take and mix. Play it to them. Problem solved.
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#103
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #103
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I'd suggest they sing 'With a little help from my friends' and have them repeat the first line until they got it right.
#104
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
Yes but, do you think it is ethical to deliver a mix with a singer out of tune?
Ethical? If that's how they laid it down how is this an ethical problem? We are supposed to feel bad that they missed their calling and tried to be a musician instead?
#105
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Sounds great! Let's just do one more take though. This time with little more talent!
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#106
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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I respect Dylan's poetic genius, but let's be honest. His grunt-like singing is comical and borderline excruciating to listen to for more than 2 or 3 songs. He's only big because of the era he came from. He wouldn't make it today if he were just starting out. At least guys like Eddie Vedder know how to get good timbre and tone with their vocals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boschen View Post
I like Dylan's voice; I wouldn't consider him a great singer in the sense of timbre, tone, and complex vocal techniques---but in the communication of vital emotion he is almost unparallelled--and that's what singing is really all about.

Dylan does almost always hit the tonic on the nail, though he likes to bend notes. However, he really does seem to have a problem singing harmony--this might just be the difficulty of fitting his unusual vocal timbre in with others'.

This touches on the OP's post, as sometimes, it's not the super polished and shiny clean vocal part that best serves the song. Can you imagine auto-tuning Dylan's takes on, say, Lay Lady Lay? Or correcting his vocal bends? Like I said, you may as well tell Son House to tune his guitar.
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#107
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I respect Dylan's poetic genius, but let's be honest. His grunt-like singing is comical and borderline excruciating to listen to for more than 2 or 3 songs. He's only big because of the era he came from. He wouldn't make it today if he were just starting out. At least guys like Eddie Vedder know how to get good timbre and tone with their vocals.
Wow. You are of course entitled to feel that way, but I would personally say that you have very little knowledge of Bob Dylan's absolutely HUGE catalog.

The man can SING (admittedly, maybe not so much now-a-days). Nothing grunt-like or comical about: 'Like a Rolling Stone, Lay Lady Lay, The Man in Me, Jokerman...the list goes on and on and on.'

Bob will go down as one of the best. Your interpretation reveals an extremely limited exposure to his music, and perhaps more importantly, a limited appreciation of those who have paved the way for you to be 'guitarboy.'
#108
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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I actually love Dylan's songs, but would rather hear somebody like Tom Petty or The Boss sing them, if that makes sense. I feel like Bruce and Petty can do what Dylan was doing in a much more pleasing manner. Just listen to the vocal styles of Bruce and Petty. They're basically new and improved versions of Dylan's voice. Rootsy and a bit nasally like Dylan, but smooth and less abrasive.
#109
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I actually love Dylan's songs, but would rather hear somebody like Tom Petty or The Boss sing them, if that makes sense. I feel like Bruce and Petty can do what Dylan was doing in a much more pleasing manner. Just listen to the vocal styles of Bruce and Petty. They're basically new and improved versions of Dylan's voice. Rootsy and a bit nasally like Dylan, but smooth and less abrasive.
Do this: peruse itunes. Listen in your studio, with your monitors. Check out some dylan, petty and springsteen. Maybe your opinion will evolve.

Your interpretation of Dylan is stereotypical, so I'm guessing that you've only heard a handful of tunes. Because raspy and abrasive is not how I'd characterize much of his music.

As a musician, I don't find myself putting down the ICONS of my field.
#110
16th May 2012
Old 16th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Do this: peruse itunes. Listen in your studio, with your monitors. Check out some dylan, petty and springsteen. Maybe your opinion will evolve.

Your interpretation of Dylan is stereotypical, so I'm guessing that you've only heard a handful of tunes. Because raspy and abrasive is not how I'd characterize much of his music.

As a musician, I don't find myself putting down the ICONS of my field.

I own Dylan's greatest hits. I enjoy "Just Like A Woman" and "Blowin in the Wind". He seems to have nice vocal control on those tunes.
#111
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Ethical? If that's how they laid it down how is this an ethical problem? We are supposed to feel bad that they missed their calling and tried to be a musician instead?
I will have to agree with this, although im not a professional audio engineer and pretty much just record and mix/master my own band for release.

To me an audio engineers work is to "document" the sound of the instruments and singing in the best possible way and to make it sound favourably in a mix/master and not to do the work of the performers.

Autotune to me is total bollox, if you cant perform it the way its supposed to be you either need to practice or maybe music isnt your thing.

Im not a singer myself really, mostly instrumentalist (mainly guitar) but i would never use autotune on myself or our singer (he certainly doesnt need it anyway)

If i were to produce the recording (which we at least do with our own) i would of course try and help the performers reach the goal, but in my opinion using autotune isnt really helping.

When we recorded our first album it was on 24 track tape and no one had heard of autotune, so maybe im slightly old school, but i still think that you need to know your craft like any old plumber or carpenter especially if you are a musician.
#112
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
  #112
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The best thing you can do for a pitch-y singer is show them what they sound like.

And as far as Bob Dylan goes: he's a folk singer. Who on earth cares if he has pitch issues?!?

Some music is meant to be down-and-dirty.
#113
17th May 2012
Old 17th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy View Post
LOL. First I'd say "Just play one of the instruments that Linda McCartney would have played." And then I'd follow it up with "Do you want to pay in cash, or would you prefer to use Paypal?"
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#114
18th May 2012
Old 18th May 2012
  #114
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Originally Posted by kafka View Post
LOL. First I'd say "Just play one of the instruments that Linda McCartney would have played." And then I'd follow it up with "Do you want to pay in cash, or would you prefer to use Paypal?"
Linda McCartney was a fine synthesist (maybe not top 100 in the "rick wakeman" league, but certainly top 3 in the "blonde wives of the band leader" league).

So, let's not disparage her.

Back on topic:

let's rephrase the thread's headline:

"What important vocoder, harmonizer and software technical advancement - useful to any musician - would have been missed,

how many instruments would have NOT be invented,

if Cher et al. had been able to hit a note with a +/- 3 semitones precision?"

So, let's not disparage wild singers either.

We owe them a lot.
#115
18th May 2012
Old 18th May 2012
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarboy94 View Post
I respect Dylan's poetic genius, but let's be honest. His grunt-like singing is comical and borderline excruciating to listen to for more than 2 or 3 songs. He's only big because of the era he came from. He wouldn't make it today if he were just starting out. At least guys like Eddie Vedder know how to get good timbre and tone with their vocals.
Wow.
You should probably listen to his first three records before make another silly comment like this.

EDIT: Why did you list him as an influence on your website?
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