Auto-Tune Question
atlantis
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#1
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
  #1
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Auto-Tune Question

I was wondering when you guys add auto-tune to the vocal,do you place it directly on the vocal or do you put it on a buss and send the vocal to it. Also when applying it to more than one vocal how do you attack it. add it all vocals or leave some with out it and tuck them in the mix or etc... Meaning like Futrue,Lil Wayne,Kirk Kobangz for example.
#2
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
If it's a robot like effect I'm going for (extremely rare), I'll put it on an insert. For normal use though, I process the actual vocal audio.

For multiple parts, I do it multiple times, for every vocal part.

Two things separate the boys/girls from the men/women:
1) your ability to tune vocals as invisibly as possible, as obviously most artists don't want people knowing they use autotune - and pretty much every singer gets it these days.
2) addressing your question - HOW MUCH to tune. This is part of the reason it's really best done by the producer rather than the mix engineer. You have to decided if everything is getting tuned, or just the few out of tune notes. Are you going to push it into the semi-robotic Chris Brown area, or keep it totally invisible. Do you want pitch for stacks on lockdown, or do you want to allow some drift. These are production related questions that are unique to each and every song.
#3
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantis View Post
I was wondering when you guys add auto-tune to the vocal,do you place it directly on the vocal or do you put it on a buss and send the vocal to it. Also when applying it to more than one vocal how do you attack it. add it all vocals or leave some with out it and tuck them in the mix or etc... Meaning like Futrue,Lil Wayne,Kirk Kobangz for example.
For the T Pain / Lil Wayne effect to really work, you need to record with Autotune on the vocal AS IT IS BEING RECORDED. It can work after the fact but it works better as an effect this way
#4
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
  #4
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantis View Post
I was wondering when you guys add auto-tune to the vocal,do you place it directly on the vocal or do you put it on a buss and send the vocal to it. Also when applying it to more than one vocal how do you attack it. add it all vocals or leave some with out it and tuck them in the mix or etc... Meaning like Futrue,Lil Wayne,Kirk Kobangz for example.
You should not send the vocal to the tuned track. The 2 tracks would basically mix together and you'll have the out of tune original vocal and the in tuned vocal mixed which I'm sure isn't what you're looking for.

I highly recommend everyone to give Wavestune a try. I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than Autotune when I tried it. MUCH more transparent. The only issue that a lot of people may not like it does not work live. You would have to record the track first and then run the plugin and make your adjustments.
#5
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
For the T Pain / Lil Wayne effect to really work, you need to record with Autotune on the vocal AS IT IS BEING RECORDED. It can work after the fact but it works better as an effect this way
+1. you don't actually have to RECORD the output of the AT (I usually have it as an insert on the channel so the actual audio is left untouched) but it's important for the artist to be able to hear the effect, so they can "play" the autotune correctly. Some people are better at this than others.

I then usually use the "import auto" function of AT to graphically tune the vocal and tweak it where necessary.

It's also something to watch out for that the native version of AT6 onwards has huge latency - too much to track through. I'd usually use AT5 for this purpose, although Antares also have a new, low latency "live" version (for added cost....I think this deserves a and I don't do that lightly!) for precisely this purpose.
#6
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #6
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Get a talkbox if you want the best autotune. Your ears will thank me.
#7
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #7
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Bender412's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Get a talkbox if you want the best autotune. Your ears will thank me.
That's like saying "Get an apple if you want the best orange." They're completely different.
#8
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender412 View Post
That's like saying "Get an apple if you want the best orange." They're completely different.
No, its like saying don't buy a wax apple if you want a real one.

A synth and a guitar may be apples and oranges, but autotune and a talkbox are both apples from the same tree, both trying to produce the same effect. One just produces that effect way better than the other.
#9
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #9
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Nahuel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
No, its like saying don't buy a wax apple if you want a real one.

A synth and a guitar may be apples and oranges, but autotune and a talkbox are both apples from the same tree, both trying to produce the same effect. One just produces that effect way better than the other.
Sorry but at and a talkbox are not trying to produce the same effect at all...both are used on vocals but the sound is totally different. It s like saying talkboxes and vocoders are the same thing.
#10
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
No, its like saying don't buy a wax apple if you want a real one.

A synth and a guitar may be apples and oranges, but autotune and a talkbox are both apples from the same tree, both trying to produce the same effect. One just produces that effect way better than the other.
Not at all. Autotune is better at sounding like autotune, a talkbox is better at sounding like a talkbox.

They're not "both trying to produce the same effect" at all, in the slightest. If you don't agree, fine - but I've never tried to produce the talkbox effect using Autotune, and I think many would agree it's not their main aim!

You could compare a talkbox and a vocoder maybe...you could say THEY'RE broadly trying to do the same thing, one biased towards live performance with guitar, the other with synths...but not autotune. Completely different approach!
#11
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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On a side note a talkbox can be used with a synth and a vocoder with a guitar...In fact both can be used with any audio source...and both sound very different.
#12
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahuel View Post
On a side note a talkbox can be used with a synth and a vocoder with a guitar...In fact both can be used with any audio source...and both sound very different.
Of course....I was just commenting that they were more along the same lines than a talk box and Autotune...they're both effectively using a modulator and a carrier, whereas autotune doesn't work like that - there's no separate carrier.
#13
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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Sure
atlantis
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#14
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #14
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Thread Starter
Thanks for all the info guys really appreciate it. Im gonna test out recording it while the vocals are being produced and see what the out come is.
#15
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahuel View Post
Sorry but at and a talkbox are not trying to produce the same effect at all...both are used on vocals but the sound is totally different. It s like saying talkboxes and vocoders are the same thing.

Sorry, but autotune, talkbox, and vocoder ARE all from the same family, as far as I'm concerned. If you disagree you're overthinking it. At the end of the day they all produce a robotic voice, plain and simple. I know autotune was made to correct pitch and not to produce that effect, but you;re kidding yourself if you don;'t think thats what these artists that the OP is referncing are using it for, in addition to correcting pitch.

Its used today as a talkbox knockoff. All I'm saying is you'll enjoy the results more if you use the real thing. Anyone who prefers the sound of autotune, thats your opinion I guess, but most agree talkbox sounds better, so I was just trying to help the OP get the best instrument. Not sure why ppl are getting so riled up over it lol
#16
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #16
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Bender412's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Sorry, but autotune, talkbox, and vocoder ARE all from the same family, as far as I'm concerned. If you disagree you're overthinking it. At the end of the day they all produce a robotic voice, plain and simple. I know autotune was made to correct pitch and not to produce that effect, but you;re kidding yourself if you don;'t think thats what these artists that the OP is referncing are using it for, in addition to correcting pitch.

Its used today as a talkbox knockoff. All I'm saying is you'll enjoy the results more if you use the real thing. Anyone who prefers the sound of autotune, thats your opinion I guess, but most agree talkbox sounds better, so I was just trying to help the OP get the best instrument. Not sure why ppl are getting so riled up over it lol
For a "robotic" sound, yes they can all do that. But the OP asked about routing/mixing of AT tracks. So your suggestion was to "get a talkbox." Assuming you've used one, you already know that it's a completely different instrument. It requires the user to be able to play guitar or keyboard, route it through the amp, swallow a tube, HOPE to get some understandable words/vocals (which is very difficult), and in the end it wouldn't even be his real voice. A lot different and more difficult than recording a vocal and inserting a plug. WHO'S overthinking it lol?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE talkbox vocals when they're done right, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it to someone who just casually inquired about how to treat AT vocals in a mix.
#17
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Sorry, but autotune, talkbox, and vocoder ARE all from the same family, as far as I'm concerned. If you disagree you're overthinking it.
No they're not. AT involves no synthesis - the original tone of the voice is carrier AND modulator. Talkbox/Vocoder use separate modulators and carriers. I don't even think talkboxes and vocoders "sound" the same, they're just more similar than TB and Autotune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
At the end of the day they all produce a robotic voice, plain and simple. I know autotune was made to correct pitch and not to produce that effect, but you;re kidding yourself if you don;'t think thats what these artists that the OP is referncing are using it for, in addition to correcting pitch.
If I want the Autotune sound, I use AT, if I want a vocoder sound, I use a vocoder etc. If I wanted to do "Kelly Watch the Stars" by Air, I'd have to use a vocoder - it wouldn't sound right with AT. I've done tunes where I've used AT AND vocoders for different sounds.

Yes, that's what the OP is referring to - the AT "effect" rather than transparent pitch correction. But when I hear Lil Wayne or T-Pain, I still don't think "that's a synth", I think "that's a heavily processed voice". When I hear "Kelly Watch the Stars" I think "that's a synth". When I hear "Rocky Mountain Way" or any of the Bon Jovi tracks that use talkbox, I don't think it sounds like a person! I think it sounds like an effected guitar.

I think you're a bit confused - talkboxes have NEVER been used to create a "robotic voice" - they're almost 100% used with guitars, at least I've only ever heard tracks with them being used on guitars.

Some examples for you:

Bon Jovi - the main guitar FX is a talkbox (apologies to those with taste)



Joe Walsh - classic talkbox solo starts about 3.30



VOCODER:

Air - Kelly Watch the Stars



Arguably, you could say hard-tuned vocals aspire to be vocoded vocals - but even so, it doesn't sound remotely like the same effect to me. You might be able to make a vocoder sound like an AT vocal - but it'd be hard to make an AT vocal sound like that air track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Its used today as a talkbox knockoff. All I'm saying is you'll enjoy the results more if you use the real thing.
Arguably, you could say it's being used in a similar way to vocoding, but I can't think of many well known songs that use talkbox for lead vocals - certainly not by comparison to the amount of songs where guitarists are using them as effects. Arguably, the talkbox is more similar to a wah than anything else - in the manner of how they've been used, to shape a guitar part, rather than AT.

Even the SOS interview where the producers claimed to use a Digitech "Talker" pedal to create the Cher "Believe" effect later had to be retracted when it turned out it was extreme autotune and a bit of secrecy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Anyone who prefers the sound of autotune, thats your opinion I guess, but most agree talkbox sounds better, so I was just trying to help the OP get the best instrument.
Well, I've never met anyone who thinks that, no-one here has agreed with you so far, and several of us think you're handing out bad advice, so...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Not sure why ppl are getting so riled up over it lol
Riled? no-one's riled...we're just thinking "the dude doesn't know what he's talking about"....if you're so convinced the AT effect is just a pale imitation of a talkbox, please point me to all those popular songs where the lead vocal is sung through a talkbox (I know mr Clive K on here had at least one album of this, but his is the only one I'm aware of!).

If the OP hasn't got it yet - he doesn't need a talkbox, that's not what he wants to do!
#18
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #18
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Nahuel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse381 View Post
Sorry, but autotune, talkbox, and vocoder ARE all from the same family, as far as I'm concerned. If you disagree you're overthinking it. At the end of the day they all produce a robotic voice, plain and simple. I know autotune was made to correct pitch and not to produce that effect, but you;re kidding yourself if you don;'t think thats what these artists that the OP is referncing are using it for, in addition to correcting pitch.

Its used today as a talkbox knockoff. All I'm saying is you'll enjoy the results more if you use the real thing. Anyone who prefers the sound of autotune, thats your opinion I guess, but most agree talkbox sounds better, so I was just trying to help the OP get the best instrument. Not sure why ppl are getting so riled up over it lol
I dont really like the Cher fx but it is NOT a talkbox knockoff. Nobody s getting riled up over whatever, your just "trying to help" with wrong info... The op is probably trying to do something in the T pain/Future vein but you insist in hanging a guitar around his neck and sticking a plastic tube in his mouth...lol...Dude did not ask for a Roger Troutman sound... And I m not sure his song would sound that much better without a few years training...
#19
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #19
If you want the Auto Tune sound, use Auto Tune. If you want to correct the pitch of vocals transparently and naturally, use Melodyne. It is FAR better at it!!!

Waves tune does a decent job in terms of pitching but it clicks, pops, glitches and is incredibly annoying to work with in terms of how it interacts with the transport and audio.
#20
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
If you want the Auto Tune sound, use Auto Tune. If you want to correct the pitch of vocals transparently and naturally, use Melodyne. It is FAR better at it!!!
A matter of taste...I'm far better at tuning vocals transparently with autotune..hate the way melodyne constricts the top end...I'd agree melodyne is quicker, but it can also be cruder...people see it as a 1-button fix.
#21
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
A matter of taste...I'm far better at tuning vocals transparently with autotune..hate the way melodyne constricts the top end...I'd agree melodyne is quicker, but it can also be cruder...people see it as a 1-button fix.
I mean tuning manually. I would never, ever do it any other way if I want it to sound natural. Interesting that you have found AT more transparent though.
#22
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
I mean tuning manually. I would never, ever do it any other way if I want it to sound natural. Interesting that you have found AT more transparent though.
Even if you don't change any pitches, melodyne dulls the top end...do that to a stack of vocals and you have to re-EQ in some more top!

I find it vaguely strange that people spend hours debating and testing for the best vocal chain, then take that approach.

AT at least doesn't tend to affect notes it's not processing.
#23
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #23
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I think you're a bit confused - talkboxes have NEVER been used to create a "robotic voice" - they're almost 100% used with guitars, at least I've only ever heard tracks with them being used on guitars.
Roger & Zapp, Bosko, and Chromeo are some artists that use a talk box with a synth/keyboard to get a robotic voice

+1 on tracking with it then processing the audio afterwards
#24
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirEarl View Post
Roger & Zapp, Bosko, and Chromeo are some artists that use a talk box with a synth/keyboard to get a robotic voice

+1 on tracking with it then processing the audio afterwards
There's always the exception(s)...I don't think any of them are as well known as the examples I posted of "traditional" talk box.

At any rate, it doesn't make it sound any more like a hard tuned AT vocal!
#25
17th February 2013
Old 17th February 2013
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Even if you don't change any pitches, melodyne dulls the top end...do that to a stack of vocals and you have to re-EQ in some more top!

I find it vaguely strange that people spend hours debating and testing for the best vocal chain, then take that approach.

AT at least doesn't tend to affect notes it's not processing.
Interesting! I haven't tune vocals with it in quite some time but I will have to give that a hard listen next time I do. When it is only small tuning issues I often duplicate the channel, add Melodyne to one and then only drop down the pieces I need to tune anyway.
#26
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
  #26
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
Waves tune does a decent job in terms of pitching but it clicks, pops, glitches and is incredibly annoying to work with in terms of how it interacts with the transport and audio.
I didn't have that problem at all when I tried it.

My only issue with Autotune is that when moving vocals up or down too much, the voice changes as if you're pitching it up and down. Wavestune doesn't do that.

As for Melodyne, I haven't personally tried it. However, I heard a track tuned with Autotune vs Melodyne before and it didn't sound good to me at all. The vocal wasn't as clean as the Autotune vocal.
#27
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
Interesting! I haven't tune vocals with it in quite some time but I will have to give that a hard listen next time I do. When it is only small tuning issues I often duplicate the channel, add Melodyne to one and then only drop down the pieces I need to tune anyway.
That's the way you SHOULD do it - you'll get away with it on odd words..it's more when you've got a stack of vocals to tune, and people just run everything through it. The mud builds up....I should add it's the plugin version I'm talking about, I've not used Melodyne studio really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraha View Post
My only issue with Autotune is that when moving vocals up or down too much, the voice changes as if you're pitching it up and down. Wavestune doesn't do that.
Turning on the "formant" button can help with that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraha View Post
As for Melodyne, I haven't personally tried it. However, I heard a track tuned with Autotune vs Melodyne before and it didn't sound good to me at all. The vocal wasn't as clean as the Autotune vocal.
That could just be the operator of course...you really need hands-on time to work out what it's doing for you!
#28
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraha View Post
I didn't have that problem at all when I tried it.
Let's say you are tuning a hook vocal and later you decide to move a hook to later in the song. If you have already played that part and Waves Tune has already "read" that part it will not recognize the new audio. you have to start all over. Also, it freaks out if you do tempo changes and generally glitches a lot more than any of the other tuning plugins I have used.
#29
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
  #29
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Turning on the "formant" button can help with that...



That could just be the operator of course...you really need hands-on time to work out what it's doing for you!
I'll admit I'm guilty of not even giving Melodyne a chance. I guess I'm big on reviews and I've seen many people mention the same type of issues with it. I will definitely have to give it a try soon and judge it myself.

As for Autotune...I'm aware of the formant button but it still doesn't make a big difference. I'd feel extremely dumb if there's more to that button that I'm aware of because I've used Autotune on over 200 songs the past couple years. Adjusting the throat length affects the whole track so if there's something else I should be adjusting, please let me know.

Take a listen to the clips attached. 1 is the original vocal, 2 is the Wavetuned vocal with the last word ("babe") shifted up a few notes, and 3 is the Autotuned vocal with that same word shifted up to the same note. You should hear a huge difference here. Wavestune still has artifacts when going extreme but it's definitely better than AT in this example.
Attached Files
File Type: wav 1.wav (597.4 KB, 9 views) File Type: wav 2.wav (597.4 KB, 5 views) File Type: wav 3.wav (597.4 KB, 6 views)
#30
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
  #30
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
Let's say you are tuning a hook vocal and later you decide to move a hook to later in the song. If you have already played that part and Waves Tune has already "read" that part it will not recognize the new audio. you have to start all over. Also, it freaks out if you do tempo changes and generally glitches a lot more than any of the other tuning plugins I have used.
Autotune does the same thing when using it in Graphical mode. When using it with Automatic mode, yes you're correct. However, I don't trust Automatic mode at all because some vocalists are way off and Automatic mode can make it worse. What I do when I use Autotune is tune the vocals in Graphical mode, then render it to a new track so that I can move it around if I wanted to AND save CPU power. I sometimes I have to tune 30+ tracks and it can really take up a lot of CPU power with it on all of those tracks.

As far as the glitching...I've only been trying Wavestune for about 4 days now, going back to some old songs and playing around with it...and it's been flawless with everything I tried it with. So I can't really say much about that.
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