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Tuning software, how transparent are they? Help me comparing!
Old 18th September 2008
  #1
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magibatalla's Avatar
 

Tuning software, how transparent are they? Help me comparing!

I became quite paranoid about (vocal) tuning software during my last important production. I used Melodyne then and it seemed to me as if it modified the original sound take in a wrong way. I hated that

I got Waves Tune Lite when I bought Renaissance and Masters Bundle and, even with its limited features, I can make it work if the singer's intonation is accurate. I think the Waves one is more transparent, but this is a really important production for me and I'm not sure wether I'm losing more quality than that which would be acceptable.

With transparent I'm not meaning not to get artifacts, I managed myself pretty well with melodyne so anybody noticed it was tuned. I'm not talking about that. What I notice is some kind of high end loss (it seems narrower) and some kind of low-mid buildup. Am I paranoid or are these phenomenon really there? Are the processed sounds I'm getting usable for an album?

I'm attaching two files for you to give your opinion. They are a single phrase (in french) recorded with an AKG 414 BXLII / A-Designs Pacifica / Prism Orpheus, 44.1Khz/24 bits. One is the unprocessed original take, the other one is passed thru Waves Tune Lite.

Can you guess which is each? If so, do you think I have to worry about this processing sucking signal quality?

Thanx in advance!
Attached Files
File Type: aif X.aif (584.1 KB, 76 views) File Type: aif Y.aif (584.1 KB, 64 views)

Last edited by magibatalla; 18th September 2008 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: explained myself better :)
Old 18th September 2008
  #2
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X is definitely the processed file. If you can't get Melodyne to sound transparent you aren't using it right.
Old 18th September 2008
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tms8707056 View Post
X is definitely the processed file. If you can't get Melodyne to sound transparent you aren't using it right.
Thanx for your opinion, Matt. With transparent I'm not meaning not to get artifacts, I managed myself pretty well with melodyne so anybody noticed it was tuned. I'm not talking about that. What I notice is some kind of high end loss (it seems narrower) and some kind of low-mid buildup. Am I paranoid or are these phenomenon really there? Are the processed sounds I'm getting usable for an album?

Any opinion on this direction? Thanx!
Old 18th September 2008
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yes there has been some discussion here on how Melodyne (and other tuning plugs) can make your vocals sound 'thinner' and take away some of the frequencies perhaps...

i haven't done direct A/B/C comparisons but if you are going for 'natural' AND 'least amount of damage to the signal' i prefer Waves Tune to AT and Melodyne.
although i don't have a lot of experience with Melodyne -- this is an issue that has been brought up here before.
Old 18th September 2008
  #5
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Here is the original file correctly tuned using Melodyne. Who can tell the difference between this one and the others? Not enough to matter, if at all... especially in a mix.

EDIT: Posted while I was typing the message... I cannot perceive any difference in the high or low end using my HD650s. However, I use Melodyne all the time... so I may be used to it.
Attached Files
File Type: aif Z.aif (476.1 KB, 63 views)
Old 18th September 2008
  #6
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Thanx for the responses so far, specially Matt for taking the time to retune the file. I guess I can overlook the slight degradation I'm getting. Maybe it's only that I feel bad spending my money on hardware seeking for a better sound quality and then running things to plugs and ruin it all heh

I want perfect pitched singers and a BIG console when I grow up!
Old 18th September 2008
  #7
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maybe it affects the sound, maybe it doesn't. But just ask yourself - would you rather have that or an out of tune vocal?
Old 18th September 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jval View Post
maybe it affects the sound, maybe it doesn't. But just ask yourself - would you rather have that or an out of tune vocal?
Well, the singer I'm working with right now nails it pretty well, she is able to deliver totally acceptable takes regarding her pitching. I'm manually tuning the obvious detuned notes using pitch shifting process in Cubase and I could get a good result leaving it just like that. Using Waves Tune it just seems to fit more all along the tune and lead the other instruments with more conviction, for obvious reasons. Anyway, this effect is subtle and I wouldn't mind not using the autotuning plug if audio quality was decreasing too much. I've been comparing extensively the processed tracks with the unprocessed ones, for now I've decided to use the processed. After all, almost every record in stores is autotuned...
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