The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Vocal Editing & Tuning Order
Old 10th May 2015
  #1
Vocal Editing & Tuning Order

Simple question: In what order would you usually process vocals?
Time align first and then tune or vice versa and why?
Old 10th May 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
My usual process is comp, then tune, then pocket. I couldn't honestly explain why I choose to do it in that order, but it's never lead me wrong.
Old 10th May 2015
  #3
Deleted User
Guest
Learn to sing first, then the other stuff.
Old 10th May 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

If you have several takes, comp them first. I typically tune first and then time align, mainly because it's easy to do both in Melodyne. Unless you're doing some serious time stretching, time alignment is usually less destructive than pitch correction, so I prefer to save it for last.

After time aligning, I usually do some final comping on the lead vocal if there are multiple sections with the same lyrics and one sounds noticeably better than the others.
Old 10th May 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
Of course you comp your best takes first and then depending on the software you use, timing and tuning can be done at the same time, which is the best way. I use Cubase Variaudo myself and it's great for doing none destructive timing/tuning alterations. Personally, I'd want to avoid doing timing and tuning as two separate processes as you'll just end up with more artefacts that way.
Old 10th May 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Learn to sing first, then the other stuff.
Fairly pointless response in the context of this thread.
Old 10th May 2015
  #7
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-S-Q View Post
Fairly pointless response in the context of this thread.
Only thing pointless is trying to use software to make it seem like you can sing. Won't fool anyone.
Old 10th May 2015
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Only thing pointless is trying to use software to make it seem like you can sing. Won't fool anyone.
Respectfully, no one notices slight tweaks if done carefully. If the end result sounds good in the context of a mix, then it is good, agree?
Old 10th May 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Only thing pointless is trying to use software to make it seem like you can sing. Won't fool anyone.
Tell that to the millions upon millions of people who regularly enjoy listening to songs that have vocals with varying degrees of pitch/timing correction.
Old 10th May 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Only thing pointless is trying to use software to make it seem like you can sing. Won't fool anyone.
Well I'm happy to use Melodyne to correct up to maybe 25 cents of a semitone
on the odd syllable or two in a phrase if the rest of the take sounds great.

If you redo a vocal line then your doing it to get a different outcome - software does the same and saves the singers voice.

Unless you go top to bottom in one take and keep the first take then anything else is recording illusion of which software is simply one more tool.

You'd consider me a good singer (honest :-) but I'm happy to do over dubs, drop in on a word, use Melodyne - who cares .... as long as the music sounds great at the end then it's all a means to an end.

Now I do agree you can't polish a turd!

But there is plenty of ground in between.
Old 10th May 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucansmiles View Post
Simple question: In what order would you usually process vocals?
Time align first and then tune or vice versa and why?
As one is pitch and the other time - then it really doesn't matter.

If you use Melodyne then you can do both at the same time.
Old 10th May 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
As one is pitch and the other time - then it really doesn't matter.

If you use Melodyne then you can do both at the same time.
Yes, I think that's the important thing. Doesn't matter that much what tools you use and what order you do it in but if you can do it all in one process (e.g. Melodyne or something similar) then the result will be more transparent.
Old 10th May 2015
  #13
Lives for gear
 
tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Only thing pointless is trying to use software to make it seem like you can sing. Won't fool anyone.
No one is "fooling" anyone.

Pitch correction has been used for decades and actually predates the first commercial digital recording. A quick Google search will reveal that people were using vari-speed, Eventide harmonizers, and several other tricks to correct pitch as early as the 1960s, and possibly earlier. Vocal comping also has quite a history, and is no less "cheating" than pitch correction. In the event that a singer simply could not nail the performance, engineers would occasionally resort to using phasers, flangers, choruses, delays, and even stacked harmonies to mask pitch inaccuracies.

Microphones pick up sound in a vastly different manner than the human ear. Whereas a microphone will pick up a signal in a relatively calculated, predictable manner, our brains allow us to filter out undesired information and narrow our focus toward key elements in a sound.

EQ, compression, limiting, saturation, etc. all affect our perception of pitch within a mix. Are these tactics "cheating" because they help music become more pleasing to the ear?

In 2015, everything is recorded clean and pristine at high sample rates with minimal distortion and no noise. All instruments and samples are perfectly in tune and perfectly in time and retain all of their original detail, for better or for worse. To insist that a human being should be able to match that level of precision and perfection is silly enough as it is, but demanding that a recording of a singer be utterly flawless without any processing is just ridiculous.

Pitch correction is simply a matter of making things sound how you want them to sound, as is everything else done in recording, mixing, and mastering.

Last edited by tkaitkai; 10th May 2015 at 11:15 PM..
Old 10th May 2015
  #14
Deleted User
Guest
Hey Op I actually just listened to one of your youtubes. I chose wonderwall rather than a 3oh3 song so maybe my taste is worthless.

But I think you actually do have a voice to work with, so my prior comment wasn't specific to you. The vocal tuning however was highly obvious. I encourage you not to hide behind it - unless you sing way out of tune, I bet the real thing is better than the robot thing.
Old 11th May 2015
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Hey Op I actually just listened to one of your youtubes. I chose wonderwall rather than a 3oh3 song so maybe my taste is worthless.

But I think you actually do have a voice to work with, so my prior comment wasn't specific to you. The vocal tuning however was highly obvious. I encourage you not to hide behind it - unless you sing way out of tune, I bet the real thing is better than the robot thing.
Hey Deleted User, thanks for having a listen and for the good critique! I didn't sing out of tune at all on the Wonderwall cover, in fact I only used Auto-Tune in Auto mode. I just thought it sounded slightly cleaner with Auto-Tune on.

But actually this thread is not about me. It's about my clients and I wanted to find out what kind of editing order you guys out there prefer and why.

I agree that people shouldn't need Auto-Tune or Melodyne.. However, as I am producing pop music (also for my clients) I am very happy to tune their vocals if they are slightly out of tune. I'd choose a pitchy take with great emotion over a perfect pitch take but without any balls every time. Ideally, you'd have both. However, pop music also has a certain sound, and the artifacts that Auto-Tune and Melodyne create are a big part of it.
Old 11th May 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucansmiles View Post
Hey RubbaDub, thanks for having a listen and for the good critique! I didn't sing out of tune at all on the Wonderwall cover, in fact I only used Auto-Tune in Auto mode. I just thought it sounded slightly cleaner with Auto-Tune on.

But actually this thread is not about me. It's about my clients and I wanted to find out what kind of editing order you guys out there prefer and why.

I agree that people shouldn't need Auto-Tune or Melodyne.. However, as I am producing pop music (also for my clients) I am very happy to tune their vocals if they are slightly out of tune. I'd choose a pitchy take with great emotion over a perfect pitch take but without any balls every time. Ideally, you'd have both. However, pop music also has a certain sound, and the artifacts that Auto-Tune and Melodyne create are a big part of it.
In my experience, if you want natural sounding pitch correction (which even for pop, is most of the time) you really have to say away from any kind of 'Auto' mode. Sure, it does the job up to a point but you get far better results if you put in the time and do it manually. Actually I just spent the whole night last night doing (tasteful!) pitch and timing adjustments.

Another thing, in terms editing order for me personally... if I have vocal doubles and harmonies, I will always comp and pitch/time correct the lead vocal first. I might leave the timing quite loose if it has a nice groove to it. I will then time align the doubles and harmonies to the lead vocal (with Cubase Variaudio, which is no destructive and can be adjusted at any point in the production process). Often I will turn down (or sometimes even edit out completely) any sibilance in the doubles harmonies. I find that keeps things nice and clean/clear.

Of course, it goes without saying that this kind of technique is only appropriate if you are looking for something in the area of a pop vocal sound.
Old 11th May 2015
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
mittens's Avatar
 

comp a take your happy with (i tend to comp a 2nd one also for doubles/spares/fx as well), then tune and then fix any timing issues if needed...


I still tune manually rather than using the auto unless I'm just doing very slight tightening on the pitch and a slow setting is not so obvious...
Old 11th May 2015
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-S-Q View Post
In my experience, if you want natural sounding pitch correction (which even for pop, is most of the time) you really have to say away from any kind of 'Auto' mode. Sure, it does the job up to a point but you get far better results if you put in the time and do it manually. Actually I just spent the whole night last night doing (tasteful!) pitch and timing adjustments.

Another thing, in terms editing order for me personally... if I have vocal doubles and harmonies, I will always comp and pitch/time correct the lead vocal first. I might leave the timing quite loose if it has a nice groove to it. I will then time align the doubles and harmonies to the lead vocal (with Cubase Variaudio, which is no destructive and can be adjusted at any point in the production process). Often I will turn down (or sometimes even edit out completely) any sibilance in the doubles harmonies. I find that keeps things nice and clean/clear.

Of course, it goes without saying that this kind of technique is only appropriate if you are looking for something in the area of a pop vocal sound.
I concur. I usually do very tasteful tuning for my clients but sometimes in pop you want it to be very obvious with very broad strokes. Particularly if you work with a lot of background vocals. I didn't care for the Wonderwall cover being in auto mode because I was out of time and had other stuff to do so I just slapped it on, it didn't need much tuning anyways. Normally I would do everything manually.

I agree with the point on vocal doubles and harmonies, I do the complete same
Old 11th May 2015
  #19
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucansmiles View Post
Hey RubbaDub, thanks for having a listen and for the good critique! I didn't sing out of tune at all on the Wonderwall cover, in fact I only used Auto-Tune in Auto mode. I just thought it sounded slightly cleaner with Auto-Tune on.

But actually this thread is not about me. It's about my clients and I wanted to find out what kind of editing order you guys out there prefer and why.

I agree that people shouldn't need Auto-Tune or Melodyne.. However, as I am producing pop music (also for my clients) I am very happy to tune their vocals if they are slightly out of tune. I'd choose a pitchy take with great emotion over a perfect pitch take but without any balls every time. Ideally, you'd have both. However, pop music also has a certain sound, and the artifacts that Auto-Tune and Melodyne create are a big part of it.
The problem with that subgenre of autotune pop is that their careers only last 3 seconds, like your faves 3o3. Real pop music uses tuning minimally and tries hard to hide it, so as not to sound like a joke next week.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump