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Confessions Of An Anti-Autotune Singer!:)
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Confessions Of An Anti-Autotune Singer!:)

So I finally completed the 5(!) "George Harrison" verses, and the main Chorus of the Traveling Wilburys "Handle With Care".

I had rewritten the song lyrics "Weird Al" style, so the title became "Mangle With Care".
Ironically about Pitch Correction.

I thought it would be fun for my fellow singers to "fess up" on their adventures with Pitch Correction software. And for those who record singers too.

I'll add more about my experience "getting tuned", tonight after work.
Thanks in advance for your responses.
Chris
P.S. I think PM for one, will get s kick out of this thread!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
I thought it would be fun for my fellow singers to "fess up" on their adventures with Pitch Correction software. And for those who record singers too.
I use it all the time. But I'm good enough at it that you won't know if I don't want you to. Some people, of course, want to hear it working, but that's really rare in my universe.

Expectations, though, have changed. We all take better intonation for granted now. This clip is the same as it ever was, but forty years ago it didn't come off like an amateurish piece of crap:

Old 1 week ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post

I thought it would be fun for my fellow singers to "fess up" on their adventures with Pitch Correction software.
Studio One comes with Melodyne...but I've never used it on a song. I have tried to generate harmony 5th singing (or whatever it is) but the results always sound bad.

That, and my singing is so weak, trying to auto tune it would be like putting lipstick on a pig.

Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Well, regarding the 5 verses. On the first one, "I was styling". .1 per cent sharp/flat according to the Stock Pitch Correction application, in Logic (1/1000th) Yay!

But after that promising start... We noticed on the next 3 verses, if I concentrated on super accurate pitch, my phrasing and "emotional content" was lessening.
Wasn't "relaxed" enough, you could tell I was really "trying to sing". Then when I sounded more relaxed, a teeny bit sharp or (more often) flat in a couple of spots.

So we decided to just have me "go for it", and if we had to do some nip & tuck-so be it.

Fortunately, we did the 4th & 5th verses, on a second visit a week later-And I was singing the song overall
somewhat better by then. IIRC no tuning on the 5th verse!

I just had an MP3 of my vocal sent to me, and it sounds a bit better... Than I thought of it at the time. But still humbled, by the experience.
Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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things become interesting when you (as an engineer) talk to classical singers! - i do occasional fixing but just on their request and with their advise (and with the built-in pitch-shifting options in nuendo).

in general (and with less critical folks), i rather punch in a few times or edit/comp things until everyone is fine or IF a track 'needs' some fixing, i then gladly hand things over to an assistant...

('same' with drums on a grid: this is plain boring so doesn't happen in my studios! IF pogramming a click, it's gotta follow a real performance)

i'm not in this business to stare at sceens and talk to computers: for me, it's about making music and interacting with people!
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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stixstudios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
... Expectations, though, have changed. We all take better intonation for granted now. This clip is the same as it ever was, but forty years ago it didn't come off like an amateurish piece of crap:

Sounds great to my ears. Who needs "perfect"? The listener doesn't need it.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Sometimes pitch variations/imperfections are the emotional content.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Hey, that's what The Astros said!
Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Hate it. Don't use it. Sounds like a singing robot with plastic surgery. Bad trend.

I did use it in some "spots" on some singers with one bad long note or something like that. Just only when it was to the point of ruining the take. Very rare.

I don't listen to autotune music either.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Yep. I'm going to keep practicing "that song",.until it's totally nailed for live performance and/or studio recording. I made an exception, due to having a number of people involved, and time constraint.
Chris
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Hate it. Don't use it. Sounds like a singing robot with plastic surgery. Bad trend.

I did use it in some "spots" on some singers with one bad long note or something like that. Just only when it was to the point of ruining the take. Very rare.

I don't listen to autotune music either.
That's "bad" tuning. I agree, I'm not a fan of music that sounds like robots singing.

It's perfectly possible to use tuning to keep the emotion and fix the distractions.

If it's not distracting, you don't fix it.

Relatively simple, but self restraint is hard!
Old 6 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I don't listen to autotune music either.
That's sorta like saying you don't eat GMO's. Neither is going back in the bottle (or is that barn?). Impossible.
Old 6 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
That's sorta like saying you don't eat GMO's. Neither is going back in the bottle (or is that barn?). Impossible.

It is fairly easy for me to say that I don't eat GMOs.

Firstly where I live anything containing GMOs must be clearly labelled and the shops I use have a strict no GMO policy.

Wish they'd do the same for autotune...
Old 6 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F. View Post
It is fairly easy for me to say that I don't eat GMOs.
It was a long time ago, but I used to de-tassel corn in the summers. Imagine a chain gang a la Cool Hand Luke, only 12-year-olds, and you'll get the idea. Anyway, if you've ever done that or know the underlying principle, you know that the whole idea of GMO containment is an unsubtle joke.
Old 6 days ago
  #15
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Probably why we don't import corn from the USA or allow commercial farming of GMOs.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
things become interesting when you (as an engineer) talk to classical singers!
Seems to me that most classical singers use such crazy-wide vibrato that pitch is always a ballpark proposition. In that regard, I have huge respect for the folks who use none... bluegrass, barbershop, Gregorian chant...
Old 6 days ago
  #17
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Modern Pop, Modern R&B...
Chris
Old 6 days ago
  #18
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I love vibratoOoOoOoO!
Old 6 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I love vibratoOoOoOoO!
That's amplitude. @ John Eppstein would call it "tremolo." :-)
Old 6 days ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I use it all the time. But I'm good enough at it that you won't know if I don't want you to. Some people, of course, want to hear it working, but that's really rare in my universe.

Expectations, though, have changed. We all take better intonation for granted now. This clip is the same as it ever was, but forty years ago it didn't come off like an amateurish piece of crap:

OK, wait a sec... are you saying that clip from "West Side Story" sounds like 'an amateurish piece of crap'?

I'll go back and see what the intervening posts are about -- but I had to blurt this question out as soon as I read that.
Old 6 days ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
That's amplitude. @ John Eppstein would call it "tremolo." :-)
I think vocal vibrato is a little bit of both. (Pitch and amplitude.) At least that's how I hear it.
Old 6 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I think vocal vibrato is a little bit of both. (Pitch and amplitude.) At least that's how I hear it.
I agree; I was referring to your "graphic representation."
Old 6 days ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
OK, wait a sec... are you saying that clip from "West Side Story" sounds like 'an amateurish piece of crap'?

I'll go back and see what the intervening posts are about -- but I had to blurt this question out as soon as I read that.
Well... okay... by modern standards, she's an old school version of competent. But he sucks.
Old 6 days ago
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by stixstudios View Post
Sounds great to my ears. Who needs "perfect"? The listener doesn't need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
Sometimes pitch variations/imperfections are the emotional content.
The scene is an intimate one between two outsiders. I think, particularly in the intro, there was likely an intent and emphasis on trying to communicate the humanness and vulnerability of the pair. After WWII, there was a move in stage musical singing toward more character singing, less of a stagey, open throat, light opera type approach -- and that made its way into the movies, too, as one can see with ancillary characters in many of the big movie musicals of the era.


But, strictly with regard to pitch, a lot of folks seem to imagine that 12 Tone Equal Temperament is 'perfect' intonation -- and it is, but only in some limited regards. It allows transposition -- but the only in-tune intervals in 12 TET are the octaves. EVERY single (other) interval in 12 Tet is off-the mark, from as little as 2 cents to as much as 16 cents.

People who grew up singing harmony in ensembles typically learn (to varying degrees of competence) to sing more pure just intervals, leading to cleaner, more 'harmonic' harmonies. BUT such intervals CAN end up in a trainwreck with 12TET instruments, particularly keyboards.

Agreed that tuning CAN fly under the radar -- and when it does, I have no problem with it. But while it's reassuring (on some level) that that can happen, it clearly does not happen often enough -- or we wouldn't hear so many clumsily tuned tracks.
Old 6 days ago
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Well... okay... by modern standards, she's an old school version of competent. But he sucks.
In your estimation.

Looks like it was good enough for Leonard Bernstein, though.

Maybe you are just not, shall we say, sympatico with the particular aesthetics under which that beloved musical and movie were created.

To be sure, it's not my thing, either. But I've seen and heard enough stage and movie musicals to get where it's coming from. While no doubt every group artistic endeavor falls somewhat short of its creator's idealized vision, I think Bernstein and company were moderately pleased with what they accomplished.
Old 6 days ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
In your estimation.
Always.

Quote:
Looks like it was good enough for Leonard Bernstein, though.
Who knows if Lenny even got a vote? Hollywood is funny that way.

Quote:
Maybe you are just not, shall we say, sympatico with the particular aesthetics under which that beloved musical and movie were created.
Not just that one; most of them.
Old 6 days ago
  #27
By the way, that 'old school version of competent' singer doing Maria's singing parts is [cough] the much-praised Marni Nixon. The singing from the Tony character in the movie was also a ringer, veteran singer/arranger/composer Jimmy Bryant (not to be confused with the guitarist, Jimmy Bryant, with whom Bryant was a friend).

So, since the parts were dubbed anyway, Bernstein, Sondheim, music supervisor and soundtrack producer Saul Chaplin, et al, could have used any singer they wanted (and could get, contractually speaking, of course).

The WSS soundtrack spent 54 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's album charts, the longest run at number one in history at the time. It won a grammy for Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast as well as Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album. The movie pulled in 12 Oscars.

ADDENDUM:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Who knows if Lenny even got a vote? Hollywood is funny that way.
A good point. The Wikipedia page for the movie is illuminating. There are a lot of moving parts in a big movie musical, obviously.

TBH, I wish they'd dubbed the singing in Burton's Sweeney Todd instead of that hideous job of tuning they did -- and -- whoa!... whaddya know, I actually wrapped back around onto the original topic. Damn. I'm'a quit while I'm ahead.

Last edited by theblue1; 6 days ago at 03:32 AM..
Old 6 days ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Always.



Who knows if Lenny even got a vote? Hollywood is funny that way.



Not just that one; most of them.
Man I grew up with my parents and all those musicals. Not a huge fan but some I liked. Porgy and Bess by far my favorite. The Jesus Christ Superstar recordings with Ian Gillian (Deep Purple) were pretty damn good too.
Old 6 days ago
  #29
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All hail the new Easy Listening Pitch Correction plugin...
"Trimmellow". Slated for sale soon.
Chris
Old 6 days ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
By the way, that 'old school version of competent' singer doing Maria's singing parts is [cough] the much-praised Marni Nixon. The singing from the Tony character in the movie was also a ringer, veteran singer Jimmy Bryant.
Marni certainly knew how to roll an "R," I'll give her that.
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