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Screw auto tune Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 17th December 2010
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-uk View Post
Yes I know all the arguments [...]J
This isn't an argument for or against... but it's something I didn't see mentioned in a quick scan of the responses...

And that's the issue of equal temperament.

Conventionally tempered pianos, organs, guitars, mallet instruments, synths, and a few others are tuned to Equal Temperament (12 Tone Equal Temperament, or 12TET).

Since the underlying math of music doesn't 'work out perfectly' -- unless we split some differences in calculating pitch values for different steps in a scale -- we end up with a system where all the intervals are harmonically correct, perhaps, but where the same notes in different keys don't share precisely the same values -- meaning modulation as we know it would be all but impossible.

Horn, winds, string players and singers who came up singing harmony tend to play and sing the more harmonically correct "just" pitches. That can put them potentially 'out of tune' with the always out tune equally tempered instruments.

The 12TET 'grid' is, of course, what all vocal tuner softwares default to.

But 12TET note values can be as high as 31 cents out of tune from the true harmonic value. [Chart of differences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12TET#C...ust_intonation ]

When you tune a really good singer to the 12TET grid you may well be dragging him or her out of tune with relation to the other notes he or she is singing.

(That said, you may be dragging them more in tune with unforgiving 12TET backups -- since so many backups these days come out of MIDI instruments which are usually 12TET even in the case of virtual strings, horns, etc, it's a tricky consideration, withotu question.)


But, of course, the big problem is just the lack of care in avoiding noticeable, telltale artifacts of tuning (in material where 'overtuning' for faddish effect is not an issue) -- which is an insult to both the artist and the audience.

One of the worst offenders is, of course, the entertaining but often infuriating Glee. They'll get a really good singer on there, singing a soulful ballad or torch song -- and it may even sound mostly untuned -- but then there will so often be a handful of spots where the clumsy tuning just sticks out like a big, swollen, red sore thumb.
Old 17th December 2010
  #62
Gear Addict
 

Maybe after a generation of people listening to autotune singers will develop perfect pitch and be incapable of singing out of tune? Then we will detune vocals to make them sound more human.
Old 17th December 2010
  #63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
gentlemen, keep in mind that with rare exception, we are not in the business of documenting a performance, we are in the business of creating an illusion.
I'm with you for the most part -- but that is precisely why clumsy and obvious use of Auto-Tune (and the more subtle but more pervasive sound of Melodyne correction), on songs where the illusion is supposed to be that the singer can actually sing, bugs the holy crap out of me.

In stage magic, if you want to create the illusion of a disappearing dove, having blood and feathers left behind really wrecks the magic.
Old 17th December 2010
  #64
Gear Maniac
 

The reason the Glee tracks are so tuned is because they are a tv show, not an A label music act, and they aren't going to spend 100K getting overdub after overdub of those vocal takes in tune over days and days.

they run the kids in, do a couple takes, then pay someone to tune it all, which is cheaper than hours and hours of studio time. and the people buying glee albums don't really care. it's just fun fluff. not my thing, but, hey, neither is a lot of the weird rock going on right now.

I record a lot of a cappella, and AT/melo are heavily used in that style, but... if you overuse it, your ensemble will sound very generic and unidentifiable (IE glee). if you use it properly, you will keep the character of the individual voices and blend, and it will sound better and be a better record, and "oh that's THAT group."

it's all about balance, and proper, non-gratuitous use of the tools we have available.
Old 17th December 2010
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Ha ha - I wouldn't argue with that!



Sure - but they sang in key. If the Beatles were putting out those records today - would they use pitch correction? No - they wouldn't need it.

Cheers.
When you read about the set-up at Parlophone, in books like Martin's All You Need Is Ears, or Geoff Emerick's Here there and Everywhere, I suspect that a 21st century equivalent of George Martin would have put autotune on the (early) Beatles simply as a matter of course.

Don't forget, George Martin regarded Ringo Starr as not good enough at drums to play on the first single. He got a sessioneer in instead. He wanted them to sing a cover of "How do you Do" (a really banal boring song) and the Beatles had to protest and flatly refuse. He said, rather snootily, that the best thing they had was "Love Me Do".

When they first came to him, George Martin regarded the Beatles as a pop act, who could make his company money. I can easily imagine George Martin autotunng the Beatles, irrespective of how well they sang, just cos the stiff collars at EMI would have regarded it as "that professional sound". The early Beatles were regarded as family entertainment, lovable mop-tops: the early 1960s equivalent of "Glee".
Old 17th December 2010
  #66
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a lot of good points brought up... I believe that recording music should be, at its roots, "capturing of a moment"... That being said we are definitely sculpting an illusion as well... And that is part of the fun of recording music... You capture a good moment, then you spice it up and fill the gaps to create "the illusion"... The problem i see is that the "moment" needs to be captured in the first place... Then you can add more moments, or tidy up the stuff... But the spark has to be there... Much harder to create that using tools....

Auto tune has been tempting for me(on a few occasions), and i have tried it, usually to bypass it after a few hours of work to realize that i like the way it sounds better with it off... And i am not sure that the problem lies with that plug specifically... I look more towards the medium... All those old beatles records have so much character because tape is much riskier to do the type of edits and punch ins that are being done today... In the days of tape, people had to get a good take, or it wasn't worth working on.... Now a days, we meet singers who want to punch in every last syllable until their vocal parts are a frankenstein work of art... (in their minds)

Now, i have nothing against a few punch ins here and there, but enough is enough... It was a reality check for me when i started using tape, that i was much more hesitant to go for another punch in on that vocal part... THERE IS NO UNDO BUTTON ON A TAPE MACHINE.... What in the digital medium is "why not go for it, it may be better, if not i can undo it", was turned into "it would be a shame to mangle what is already a pretty good take over a little thing like a slightly out of tune phrase"

And ive done it, tried a punch in on tape that didnt work out the way i wanted.... You think twice about it when you know there is no going back.... But i guess now where talking about punch ins and not auto tune anymore... Ah well.... i hope you all get my gist...
Old 17th December 2010
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Labels maybe. No one has shown any real evidence that demonstrates its what the public wants though. They public gets to choose between tuned and tuned. Sales is not evidence.
Hmm, I'm pretty certain that the public, when hearing someone singing a bit out (ie natural) on TV, or at a live gig, they pick up on it.

Witness Cheryl Cole on The X Factor over here. She sang verses live, and either mimed or was lost in the stacks of the chorus.

The result was the verse sounded weak and unpolished, and the chorus sounded like the record. She didn't sing particularly badly, it just didn't fit the pop aesthetic.

Personally I LIKE tastefully tuned vocals. And I also disagree with your comment earlier about perfection and improving the vocal. If your tuning it makes it worse, you've not improved it and it was better before. But to my ears at least, I can take a vocal that's "close" and make it "better" without making it "flat".
Old 17th December 2010
  #68
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j-uk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianbryn11 View Post
a lot of good points brought up... I believe that recording music should be, at its roots, "capturing of a moment"... That being said we are definitely sculpting an illusion as well... And that is part of the fun of recording music... You capture a good moment, then you spice it up and fill the gaps to create "the illusion"... The problem i see is that the "moment" needs to be captured in the first place... Then you can add more moments, or tidy up the stuff... But the spark has to be there... Much harder to create that using tools....

.
I attended a conference with a keynote speech by Steve Albini.
One of the many interesting things he said was that all DAWs are pretty much simply geared at "editing" what has been recorded rather than focus the user on recording and capturing the performance.
He's of a specific recording school of course but still a sentiment well worth thinking about in my humble opinion.
Old 17th December 2010
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darhgo View Post
The reason the Glee tracks are so tuned is because they are a tv show, not an A label music act, and they aren't going to spend 100K getting overdub after overdub of those vocal takes in tune over days and days.

they run the kids in, do a couple takes, then pay someone to tune it all, which is cheaper than hours and hours of studio time. and the people buying glee albums don't really care. it's just fun fluff. not my thing, but, hey, neither is a lot of the weird rock going on right now.

I record a lot of a cappella, and AT/melo are heavily used in that style, but... if you overuse it, your ensemble will sound very generic and unidentifiable (IE glee). if you use it properly, you will keep the character of the individual voices and blend, and it will sound better and be a better record, and "oh that's THAT group."

it's all about balance, and proper, non-gratuitous use of the tools we have available.
Yeah, but some of the people on that show can really sing. Amber Riley is a phenomenal vocalist -- when they let her just sing. Which they have once or twice. (Understood that when she's doing contemporary R&B, they're going to be tuning everything for effect. That might offend my ear, but it doesn't offend my sensibilities.)

And occasional guest star Kristin Chenoweth was not just operatically trained but seasoned by years on Broadway, belting it out every night. She can sing up a storm, although she usually doesn't do my kinda tunes. Yet when she's been on, there have been some pretty clumsy tunings of her. When those obvious but likely unnecessary artifacts are plainly audible to an increasingly tuning-aware audience of 30 million or so, that, it seems to me, is an insult to the artist and the audience.
Old 17th December 2010
  #70
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by j-uk View Post
Yes I know all the arguments to why we are forced to use pitch correction, the demands from record labels, artists etc.
The simple fact is that we're not. There's always an opportunity to argue back, convince the nay sayers that yes you can keep a great take just as it is without pitch correcting all human life out of it.

Just say no!

Seasons Greetings

J
Well, I`ve been saying that about mastering too. Just say no to loudness. Its amazing how everyone passes the buck. MEs blame labels & mixers. Its all BS. Someone needs to step up. I doubt it`ll happen though... gotta pay the bills.
Old 17th December 2010
  #71
Allan Smithee always stands up for his work...
Old 17th December 2010
  #72
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by binarymilton View Post
Don't forget, George Martin regarded Ringo Starr as not good enough at drums to play on the first single. He got a sessioneer in instead. \
Just to set the record straight, Martin considered Pete Best not good enough. When the Beatles came back with Ringo that was the end of the session drummers.

Other than that, you make valid points.
Old 17th December 2010
  #73
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Hmm, I'm pretty certain that the public, when hearing someone singing a bit out (ie natural) on TV, or at a live gig, they pick up on it.

Witness Cheryl Cole on The X Factor over here. She sang verses live, and either mimed or was lost in the stacks of the chorus.

The result was the verse sounded weak and unpolished, and the chorus sounded like the record. She didn't sing particularly badly, it just didn't fit the pop aesthetic.

Personally I LIKE tastefully tuned vocals. And I also disagree with your comment earlier about perfection and improving the vocal. If your tuning it makes it worse, you've not improved it and it was better before. But to my ears at least, I can take a vocal that's "close" and make it "better" without making it "flat".
I didn't ask what you were certain of. I asked for empirical evidence to support the claim that "the public prefers it"
Old 17th December 2010
  #74
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-uk View Post
I attended a conference with a keynote speech by Steve Albini.
One of the many interesting things he said was that all DAWs are pretty much simply geared at "editing" what has been recorded rather than focus the user on recording and capturing the performance.
He's of a specific recording school of course but still a sentiment well worth thinking about in my humble opinion.
While I agree with Albini about capturing a performance, the rest is nonsense. I have never seen a DAW edit a song. Someone always had to sit down and force it to. We make the choices, not the tools.
Old 17th December 2010
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm with you for the most part -- but that is precisely why clumsy and obvious use of Auto-Tune (and the more subtle but more pervasive sound of Melodyne correction), on songs where the illusion is supposed to be that the singer can actually sing, bugs the holy crap out of me.

In stage magic, if you want to create the illusion of a disappearing dove, having blood and feathers left behind really wrecks the magic.
I would totally agree with that, the problem with any of these tuners , AT, Melodyne etc is usually an unmusical operator
Old 17th December 2010
  #76
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anteupaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j-uk View Post
Yes I know all the arguments to why we are forced to use pitch correction, the demands from record labels, artists etc.
J
I'm just curious... Aside from people asking to use AT as a drastic effect (i.e. not just to correct pitch) who's receiving DEMANDS or being FORCED by labels, artists, etc. to use Auto Tune?

I've N E V E R been "forced" to use Auto Tune. I've never had a label, client, or anyone else come back to me and insist that I use Auto Tune either. This is probably because what I gave them already sounded good so they had nothing to complain about.

Get a good performance out of your singer. This might mean 1 take, it might mean several takes, some coaching, and some comping and editing. I worked with some very "mediocre" singers back in the day and I beat respectable performances out of them. And that was working on 2" machines and ADAT! There's no excuse for what people allow to pass for a take these days thinking they'll just fix it later. It's disgusting.
Old 17th December 2010
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
gentlemen, keep in mind that with rare exception, we are not in the business of documenting a performance, we are in the business of creating an illusion.
very well put
Old 17th December 2010
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleep over jack View Post
very well put
Documenting performance Vs Creating illusion has nothing to do with it. Just because we are creating an illusion doesn't mean we have to create "Specific Illusion X". There are infinite illusions we could choose to create. This particular illusion wore out it's welcome in both "heavy effect" and "transparent tweak" forms.
Old 17th December 2010
  #79
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Chris Parsons's Avatar
 

Screw auto tune

I think more records have been ruined by reverb than Auto Tune. If you don't like it don't use it.
Old 18th December 2010
  #80
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roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
gentlemen, keep in mind that we are not in the business of documenting a performance, we are in the business of creating an illusion.
oh...that's weird...coz this gentleman here is about capturing GREAT performances.....and grapping the listener by the balls coz it's gripping and emotional and heart-felt....and REAL!!! - i don't have (and never will own) any sort of tuning plug-in! Their very existence a sad indication of where music is at these damned days.....unfortunately auto-tune is a VERY popular plug-in - supply and demand has made it so and it's a crying shame!.....the same way that the western world is becoming slowly and steadily morbidly OBESE.....'vocalists' are also becoming steadily more and more lazy....and useless.....and it's a disgrace to music!.......'oh it's great for fixing the odd bum note here and there in an otherwise great take'.......that's a shameful attidude! do you not have time to punch in those bum passages again?...or is the singer such a precious rock-star that they have more pressing matters to attend to...other than THEIR MUSIC?!.....there was a time when singers were.....well.....SINGERS!!! - they could actually....SING! - - - - you gotta wonder: how bad do they WANT it?!!!....how bad do YOU want it to mean something?....do you want the music you are recording to have any sort of life-span?!...if not then you may as well be pumping petrol or sorting mail or making fries at the local swimming pool snack shop (all jobs i have done back in high-school to help pay for this game...they were all soul-destroying - just for the record).....you may be earning a crust perhaps - but i bet it's been a while since you had the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end (something i read once as being Q Jones' yard-stick for a GREAT song and a GREAT take!!!).....we need a re-think....and a change!.....we need more blood sweat and tears in music. it starts with YOU ******-bags!
Old 18th December 2010
  #81
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roger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I didn't ask what you were certain of. I asked for empirical evidence to support the claim that "the public prefers it"
dude....smoking is empirically bad for you - it ain't cool! (referring to your profile pic).....and so is AUTO-TUNE!

...go pump some petrol.....the public needs that service too.

you can chose to make/record/produce 'McDonalds music'.......or you can aim for that Michelin star......
Old 18th December 2010
  #82
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
oh...that's weird...coz this gentleman here is about capturing GREAT performances.....and grapping the listener by the balls coz it's gripping and emotional and heart-felt....and REAL!!! - i don't have (and never will own) any sort of tuning plug-in! Their very existence a sad indication of where music is at these damned days.....unfortunately auto-tune is a VERY popular plug-in - supply and demand has made it so and it's a crying shame!.....the same way that the western world is becoming slowly and steadily morbidly OBESE.....'vocalists' are also becoming steadily more and more lazy....and useless.....and it's a disgrace to music!.......'oh it's great for fixing the odd bum note here and there in an otherwise great take'.......that's a shameful attidude! do you not have time to punch in those bum passages again?...or is the singer such a precious rock-star that they have more pressing matters to attend to...other than THEIR MUSIC?!.....there was a time when singers were.....well.....SINGERS!!! - they could actually....SING! - - - - you gotta wonder: how bad do they WANT it?!!!....how bad do YOU want it to mean something?....do you want the music you are recording to have any sort of life-span?!...if not then you may as well be pumping petrol or sorting mail or making fries at the local swimming pool snack shop (all jobs i have done back in high-school to help pay for this game...they were all soul-destroying - just for the record).....you may be earning a crust perhaps - but i bet it's been a while since you had the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end (something i read once as being Q Jones' yard-stick for a GREAT song and a GREAT take!!!).....we need a re-think....and a change!.....we need more blood sweat and tears in music. it starts with YOU ******-bags!
Sounds like the same rant used against drum machines, synthesizers and disco.
Old 18th December 2010
  #83
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Halloween's Avatar
Let me make sure I have this right... its ok to quantize drums, and its not ok to pitch correct?

Get over yourselves.
Old 18th December 2010
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halloween View Post
Let me make sure I have this right... its ok to quantize drums, and its not ok to pitch correct?

Get over yourselves.
Yep, all those tape edits were sucking the soul out of the music we all grew up with and worship through rose colored glasses.heh
Old 18th December 2010
  #85
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roger View Post
dude....smoking is empirically bad for you - it ain't cool! (referring to your profile pic).....and so is AUTO-TUNE!

...go pump some petrol.....the public needs that service too.

you can chose to make/record/produce 'McDonalds music'.......or you can aim for that Michelin star......
Pump your own gas. What the hell are you talking about? You sound like I am in favor of AT which I am not.
Old 18th December 2010
  #86
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Halloween's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heimel View Post
Yep, all those tape edits were sucking the soul out of the music we all grew up with and worship through rose colored glasses.heh
lol, I almost liked Led Zeppelin until I heard they used EQing on the album, yuk, sellouts.
Old 18th December 2010
  #87
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halloween View Post
Let me make sure I have this right... its ok to quantize drums, and its not ok to pitch correct?

Get over yourselves.
Who said that was OK?
Old 18th December 2010
  #88
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Halloween's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Who said that was OK?
Are you saying its not ok?
Old 18th December 2010
  #89
Screw auto tune

...and yet again an autotune thread divides into those of us who do this for a living, and the idealistic amateurs who pick and choose what they work on because, however talented they may be, they don't have to pay the bills with their studio.
Old 18th December 2010
  #90
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Halloween's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
...and yet again an autotune thread divides into those of us who do this for a living, and the idealistic amateurs who pick and choose what they work on because, however talented they may be, they don't have to pay the bills with their studio.

Exactly, If I had a bedroom in my mom's house dedicated to my "recording Studio" I wouldn't use it either. Well.... nevermind, yes I would.
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