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50 vocal takes or Autotune...??? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 4th January 2011
  #121
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Reading this thread and listening to Wolfgang`s lates live Neville Brothers stuff.

Who the hell cares when the feel is that good?

But that of course is the problem.

You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow`s ear.

There - wasn`t I polite?
Old 4th January 2011
  #122
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dreamsongs's Avatar
 

Just got done with my day at the studio. There was some challenges in some parts of the song with the ld vox but the hard parts came with the BV. We had 4 part harmonies that were previously sang by another female singer, myself and a 5th up/down harmonized part with my Eventide H8000 to blend in.

She had some trouble singing the harmonized part much more than the lead as she kept going towards the root note every time. So now I have to work on her harmonizing skills...

She has some talent and emotion but at times she gets real pitchy. Time to break out the Melodyne user's manual again...dfegad
Old 5th January 2011
  #123
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Hammer Mark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
michael masser did three 24 track reels of 1 songs lead vocals for whitney houston at our studio in NYC
Not surprising he would torture a singer like that given the torture he unleashed on the world with that WH song he wrote: "Because the greatest love of all is happening to me..." and there's my lunch -- spewed about the place.
Old 5th January 2011
  #124
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superburtm's Avatar
 

I'l state the obvious....
the closer the original performance is the more invisible AT seems to be
Old 5th January 2011
  #125
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

There are 2 schools of thought that I go by and it changes depending on the client or situation. If the recording is supposed to serve a purpose, make sure what you do serves that purpose. Therefore if the recording you are working on, whether you're an engineer or the producer, if the client has a fanbase and that fanbase expects something, you must satisfy this. If the client doesn't, you must satisfy the client. In any case, use it if you must, whenever and wherever it is called for. If it's a Ke$ha type artist, therefore the type of artist whose music demands it, or the final product will not be competitive, you damn well better be damn good at using it creative in a way that if you want it heard, it's evident and if it's just to correct pitch, the vocal take needs to come through with as few artifacts as possible so that what the audience hears the singer, not the auto-tune(same concept as hearing the music, not the monitor). On the flipside, if you're doing a very earthy, tree-hugger type of artist that comes in with a 30 year old guitar that his father gave him, flip flops and Goodwill corduroy pants, you'd better not use it an ounce unless you get an unbelievably gorgeous emotion-filled take...and he's 50 cents flat on the entire sustained note! But, even in this case, only correct some of the pitch that's being held, it'll make the rest of it sound deliberate, not an accident, but because the ear hears the pitch grab accurately, it'll actually sound in tune to the audience.

Auto-tune is just a tool, so bottom line, serve the music. Just because a supermodel has acne doesn't mean she won't get used on that Victoria's Secret ad we all love to look at!!
Old 5th January 2011
  #126
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
...She had some trouble singing the harmonized part much more than the lead as she kept going towards the root note every time. So now I have to work on her harmonizing skills...
In a case like this, I wait till the singer more or less knows the harmony part and then turn down the lead vocal until it's barely audible. That way, they can concentrate on their new melody without being distracted by the original melody. I also give them their starting note on the keyboard right before their entrance, or even play the notes they're supposed to be singing, so they can get used to the part.
Old 5th January 2011
  #127
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dreamsongs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
In a case like this, I wait till the singer more or less knows the harmony part and then turn down the lead vocal until it's barely audible. That way, they can concentrate on their new melody without being distracted by the original melody. I also give them their starting note on the keyboard right before their entrance, or even play the notes they're supposed to be singing, so they can get used to the part.
Exactly...
Old 5th January 2011
  #128
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It depends on the music, if it's rock is anyone going to really notice if the vocals are off slightly? prolly not. Polished Stuff like r&b and vocal oriented stuff sometimes you have to comp them and piece it togther. At least there is the DAW, I used to have to edit with the razor.........
Old 11th December 2011
  #129
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joethfc's Avatar
 

I dislike the way AT is used in pop music, I have no moral issue with it, I just think it makes things very boring and super-real (fine if you're going for that but it's overused). I'm not even anti-software like many on here. I just like the sound of a singer who sounds human and fallible. I'd rather hear a flat vocal with character than anything which shows notable use of autotune. It comes down to taste though.
Old 11th December 2011
  #130
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
I can ALWAYS hear it. My buddy works for Rick Rubin regularly and is " an expert tuner" and I can always hear it. I am a singer...and a engineer so I am sensitive to tuning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
So if I post a clip you can tell me which notes were tuned?
Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm View Post
Kenny,

Excuse me if I come off harsh...it's funny timing thats all heh

so as far as posting the file... Im not really interested... been there done that. And unless you are doing something that a few of the top guys in the Biz are doing then I am quite familiar with the outcome.
So…

You're not interested in backing up your words?
Old 11th December 2011
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkshop View Post
I don't have a favourite vocal correction tool so I work as long as it takes.
Are you comping the best parts of the multiple takes down to 1 keeper take? Are they sharp/flat in the same spots each time? If so I'd point out the problem areas and send them home to work on it. I'd also look at what's going on in the arrangement in that spot to make sure there isn't something weird that's throwing them off.
Also, I find most singers are done after 7 or 8 takes and it's better to move on to something else and come back to the problem song again later. It's amazing how you can hammer away at something for hours with no success, leave it alone for a night and then nail it first try the next day.
The problem with this approach is that the singer might actually learn how to sing and produce vocals the correct way. If that kind of work ethic and professionalism caught on it could completely unravel everything.
Old 11th December 2011
  #132
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
The problem with this approach is that the singer might actually learn how to sing and produce vocals the correct way. If that kind of work ethic and professionalism caught on it could completely unravel everything.
Yes. Making the singer sing it over and over again might make them a better singer in the long run, but it does very little to get a great take at this moment.

If the purpose is to move the listener, I will take a great performance with feeling and emotion with lousy pitch over a perfectly in tune part sung with little feeling due to the fact they have sung the part too many times.

Van Morrison is famous for recording a vocal one or two times and moving on if it isn't happening.

I spent many years beating singers to death trying to get them in tune. No more. Now I work on getting a great feel with emotion. I can fix the pitch.
Old 11th December 2011
  #133
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I think we are saying two different things Kenny. I agree it makes no sense pressuring the unprepared singer once he is in the studio.

But if you can do it, nothing beats sending them home to work on the song with adjustments to the arrangement, lead lines played out on the piano etc. Not traditionally the role of an engineer but something that's needed more.
Old 11th December 2011
  #134
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Gary Ladd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle duncan View Post
In a case like this, I wait till the singer more or less knows the harmony part and then turn down the lead vocal until it's barely audible. That way, they can concentrate on their new melody without being distracted by the original melody. I also give them their starting note on the keyboard right before their entrance, or even play the notes they're supposed to be singing, so they can get used to the part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsongs View Post
Exactly...
Proper use of the tool, unless it's for that cheezy AT pop FX that has created a genre in and of itself

Then again, if they're making money, more power to 'em
Old 11th December 2011
  #135
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Gary Ladd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
I think we are saying two different things Kenny. I agree it makes no sense pressuring the unprepared singer once he is in the studio.

But if you can do it, nothing beats sending them home to work on the song with adjustments to the arrangement, lead lines played out on the piano etc. Not traditionally the role of an engineer but something that's needed more.
Not many want to work for it anymore, and with the a current appetite/market for vocaloid sounding songs, why shouldn't they just lay back, twit-off all day, and let the engineer make it spot on

I mean, it's not like the underlying songwriting/performance/production is a problem...

Old 11th December 2011
  #136
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yotonic View Post
I think we are saying two different things Kenny. I agree it makes no sense pressuring the unprepared singer once he is in the studio.

But if you can do it, nothing beats sending them home to work on the song with adjustments to the arrangement, lead lines played out on the piano etc. Not traditionally the role of an engineer but something that's needed more.
Absolutely. I can think of one singer recently who was putting down a scratch part just to remember the song we just wrote. She was having a lot of trouble remembering the melodies so I auto-tuned it like crazy so that she could come back and sing it after she learned the correct notes.
Old 11th December 2011
  #137
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

I prefer to think of that Auto-tuned overused effect the way I think of movies with tons of explosions and no worthwhile story line.

They weren't created for me.

Much like dog food. No one complains about dog food. You just don't eat it. It's for dogs. heh
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