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i hate auto-tune and it has taken over.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #1
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jdjustice's Avatar
i hate auto-tune and it has taken over.

it seems like every song i hear on the 'Top 40' radio station nowadays has an egregious use of auto-tune on the lead vocal.

this has become obnoxious to me. it was clever (i guess) when it was first done but there are many pop songs where it sounds HORRIBLE IMO:

"Too Little, Too Late" by JoJo
"Smack That" by Akon

etc, etc.......

i don't see this trend ending in the forseeable future
Old 2nd January 2007
  #2
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

I really don't understand why engineers don't spend more time to make their auto-tuning more transparent. With this kinda music, I guess they're not really catering to the crowd that cares about that kinda stuff. I've never heard any of my friends who listen to the "Top 40" complain about the over-use of auto-tune.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #3
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popmann's Avatar
Quote:
I really don't understand why engineers don't spend more time to make their auto-tuning more transparent.
I'm sure it's related to the reason the singers don't spend more time singing until they happen onto the right note.

The only way to make it transparent is to spend the time touching up note by note in manual mode, IMO. And that's just too damn time consuming and requires that the engineer have better pitch than both the singer and whatever producer let it go to start with. Tall order.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #4
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doorknocker's Avatar
Stop using it yourself......or don't complain.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #5
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Stop using it yourself......or don't complain.


I think it is a very valid complaint. What would be nice would be if groups actually got singers that could sing.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #6
I'm pretty liberal on discounts but I'm firm

"If I open melodyne because of the vocalist...it's book rate"

Melodyne is a bit nicer IMHO but it's the same problem and leaves the same artifacts..

I think singers just can't sing anymore...there's more focus on "image" than "talent"
Old 2nd January 2007
  #7
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TheReal7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
there's more focus on "image" than "talent"
BINGO!

THIS is what's wring with music today! (mainstream)
Old 2nd January 2007
  #8
Gear Nut
 

nooffense....But if we listened to the small audience that hates autotune and we listened to you and not the mass audience...we be broke and out of business its what the mass audience wants not the small of audience and if you don't like it don't listen.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #9
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Improv's Avatar
 

I use autotune all the time and never get the robotic sorts of results that I hear on the radio. It's obvious that the engineers are simply "flatlining" the notes to git'r'done, so to speak. Lazy singing begets editing. Lazy editing begets artifacts. There are two sins being committed here.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #10
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearobsessed View Post
nooffense....But if we listened to the small audience that hates autotune and we listened to you and not the mass audience...we be broke and out of business its what the mass audience wants not the small of audience
You should talk a little more to that "mass audience". I am hearing plenty of complaints from average listeners, but they do buy whatever is being offered, that being the problem. As long as they keep buying this crap, that's what will keep being produced.




Quote:
and if you don't like it don't listen.
If that is your attitude, why are you here on the forum?
Old 2nd January 2007
  #11
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I've seen autotune used a couple of times. It scared me. I ran outta there.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #12
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norman_nomad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdjustice View Post
it seems like every song i hear on the 'Top 40' radio station nowadays has an egregious use of auto-tune on the lead vocal.

this has become obnoxious to me. it was clever (i guess) when it was first done but there are many pop songs where it sounds HORRIBLE IMO:

"Too Little, Too Late" by JoJo
"Smack That" by Akon

etc, etc.......

i don't see this trend ending in the forseeable future

I reluctantly consider myself an auto-tune pro... I've used it more than I care to admit, b/c bands want their vocals to sound perfect and they pay me to mouse them perfect....

Auto-tune HAS become a canonical effect in pop music. "Too Little, Too Late" was not tuned by someone who wanted to make her voice sound naturally in tune. It was tuned by someone who knows that flat lining the pitch along with dropping the pitch correct speed to zero makes your voice sound like a kazoo. And kazoo vocals seem to be popular with the kids, or so the record execs would have us believe.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #13
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jdjustice's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad View Post
Auto-tune HAS become a canonical effect in pop music. "Too Little, Too Late" was not tuned by someone who wanted to make her voice sound naturally in tune. It was tuned by someone who knows that flat lining the pitch along with dropping the pitch correct speed to zero makes your voice sound like a kazoo. And kazoo vocals seem to be popular with the kids, or so the record execs would have us believe.
this is specifically what i am talking about... i had never thought to call it the 'kazoo' effect but that's what it is, you're right!
the proper, skilled use of AT by someone who works hard to make it sound as natural as possible is one thing (actually it is a highly coveted skill).
this 'kazoo' shiz-nit is what drives me so bonkers.


cheers.
~j.d.
Old 2nd January 2007
  #14
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Anybody watch the all the groups singing on New Years Rockin Eve?
Old 2nd January 2007
  #15
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

I don't like it either. Once in a while, for the occasional too-far-out note in an otherwise great take, is fine, but it's way overused. To me some pitch variation & imperfection, pushing & pulling against the center, is part of the expression of good singing, just as pushing & pulling against the tempo is part of the expression in good drumming.

BTW by autotune I think we're talking about AT, Pitch Doctor, Melodyne, etc. collectively.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #16
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Makinithappen's Avatar
 

I use autotune more than I would like to admit but it seems like heavily autotuned vocals have come to be accepted as the "professional studio" sound.

Whatever pays the bills...
Old 3rd January 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Every great artist is a largely a product of their own shortcomings, and all great performances are flawed by one standard or another, but that's what makes them memorable, and at the same time honest. I wonder what would've happened to Aretha Franklin or Patsy Cline if someone had auto-tuned them, and the intro to 'Gimme Shelter' ? C'mon, Part of its charm is that it is so horribly out of tune. As a consumer, I've really lost touch wih current 'mainstream' music since this Autotune thing has gotten out of hand.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #18
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
The only way to make it transparent is to spend the time touching up note by note in manual mode, IMO. And that's just too damn time consuming and requires that the engineer have better pitch than both the singer and whatever producer let it go to start with. Tall order.
That's the only way I use it. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #19
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Wtf is auto-tune.. and which RTAS plugin is it in Pro-Tools 7.3??
Old 3rd January 2007
  #20
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Improv's Avatar
 

I find it hard to believe that the songs we're hearing on the radio did not have the budget to warrant note-by-note graphical tuning, if they were going to go that route at all. I mean, some days I come in and nearly all I'm doing is tuning that way all day long. And my clients are self-funded. You telling me they're just slapping it in auto mode for major label work?

It has become an expectation that you must be able to do it, skillfully, or else you are not "pro"... like it or not.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeMiKaL View Post
Wtf is auto-tune.. and which RTAS plugin is it in Pro-Tools 7.3??
It's located directly under the delete button...

Actually, it's a third party plug from Antares ($350 I think)

I think it's teh Helicon box...

I really don't know what's up with it. I can KINDA see it in hip hop when the dude can't sing and no amount of LIGHT touching can help, the only answer is extreme surgery...

I can understand GOING for the Cher effect

But the pussycat dolls are big offenders of this crime...

I think sometimes, it's kinda an afterthought.

Who's the guy who had the day of melodyning it THEN running it through autotune?
Old 3rd January 2007
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

I do not like auto tune but in almost every mixing session I have done in the last few years they always ask for auto tuning. I may not like it but it does pay my bills. That may sound like giving into the money it's their music if they want it I will advise but at the end of the day it's what they want.
It's true singings just don't know music or keys any more.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #23
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Improv's Avatar
 

The real art in autotuning is being able to realize when it is necessary. It's an emotion to accuracy ratio that requires a big vision to fully realize. I have no problem using autotune to "save" an an otherwise spine-tingling performance. But some things require a punch or another take. I find it depends a lot on the confidence of your singer.... if they hit a bad note but "stick it" then autotune works magic. If they are not confident of what they are singing and warble their attacks, autotune can not help. Pitch and timing I can deal with in small degrees.... intention, emotion, and the resulting phrasing are something beyond the engineer.
Old 3rd January 2007
  #24
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stevep's Avatar
Bad singers = bad music

Maybe for there first year of singing they can be a bit out of tune but
..........if they still cant sing in a year...... they should not make CDs.

I dont have AT and most of the singers i work with wouldn't think of using it

What about all the classic recordings that started this business....... it used to be about the whole group playing together , and in one pass they would have there finished recording.

Now days there are people making records that have no business in the studio.

and some AEs and producers to. Oh yea,...... its all about $$$$$ ???

What ever happened to the feel, the inspiration, the moment where everything jells together and makes a hit,... a classic that will live on for years ?

it cant be done with cut, paste edit , edit

Some singers i know (young ones) have been spoon fed AT by there so called engineers to the point they need it like a drug, and cant finish a song without asking for AT.

These singers could have been good by now if they would have practiced and trained there voice, but instead they are suckered into the quick fix of AT.


The $$$ would have to be really good for me to submit to using AT and Beat detective ,.....Whats the point ?

the use of AT is making these hacks something there NOT ! and catering to the growing problem of poorly done music.



Old 3rd January 2007
  #25
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AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
That's the only way I use it. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.
Same here. To me, setting AT to auto and leaving in artifacts in there in major label releases is the same as having a 60Hz hum throughout the entire album. Just as neglectful, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
Maybe for there first year of singing they can be a bit out of tune but
..........if they still cant sing in a year...... they should not make CDs.
So, no Bob Dylan, no Bruce Springsteen, no Kurt Cobain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
Oh yea,...... its all about $$$$$ ???
It's all about making your client happy. If he wants auto-tune, he'll get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
What ever happened to the feel, the inspiration, the moment where everything jells together and makes a hit,... a classic that will live on for years ?
You can't do that if you tuned a vocal phrase in one of the songs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
These singers could have been good by now if they would have practiced and trained there voice, but instead they are suckered into the quick fix of AT.
Yeah, then their next album could be all about all the time they spent couped up taking vocal lessons instead of being out in the world and experiencing things that make for interesting lyrical material. A truly inspirational album that would be.

"Baby, we were boooorn--to take vocal lessooooooons..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
the use of AT is making these hacks something there NOT ! and catering to the growing problem of poorly done music.
So is the use of compression, and reverb, and delay, and mic placement...Do you record all your albums live in one take using only onna those "human head" mic thingies? If not, then I guess your clients are hacks too!

I agree with you for the mostpart, Steve, and I'm just busting your balls, but seriously, just because someone can't sing in tune all the time, doesn't make them a hack, and not worthy of writing music. Chris Cornell sang out of tune all the time. Do you think he's a hack? Think about it: As soon as you plug a guitar into an amp, you're "making it something it's not." Add distortion?? HACK! If a client comes into the studio, and his guitar is out of tune, do you tune it? Or would that not be "keeping true" to the band's sound?
Old 3rd January 2007
  #26
I just start to think that the way this POP producers and engineers apply auto-tune is more like a sound effx that now became part to the Pop music sound!!
Old 3rd January 2007
  #27
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Tommy Fobia's Avatar
 

I absolutely refuse to auto-tune any of the stuff that my band records.

Its important (to me and the other fellas in the band) that what ever we record, we can pull off live. If you get lazy and never bother learn to sing something properly, you'll never be able to pull it off live.

If you can't sing, why the hell are you being recorded in a studio in the first place?
Old 3rd January 2007
  #28
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7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
I just start to think that the way this POP producers and engineers apply auto-tune is more like a sound effx that now became part to the Pop music sound!!
You just start to think this?

it has been fact for at least 3 or 4 years - 'Modern' sound = autotune + multiband compressed + L2 limited to death.

Then it sounds 'expensive' and 'bling' and 'professional'.

And our pop stars sound like robots. Like BAD robots. Bad meaning sh!t.

Boy am I glad I don't work in commercial studios anymore. Most vocals suck anyway, sucky vocal + autotune = mega suck.

Where the hell is the vibe? Oh darling, vibe is SOOOOO 2001, we are all about suerficiality and everyone fitting in these days.

Old 3rd January 2007
  #29
well ! just check Antares products!! all about how to make the vocals sound artifitial!!!!
Old 3rd January 2007
  #30
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Tantrum The Cat's Avatar
 

We're STILL bitching about pitch correction? How about this: use it, or don't use it, and STOP ****ING WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING.

This is music, folks. We ain't reinventing the wheel, performing open heart surgery, or rescuing little kids from burning buildings. We're making records for people to hopefully buy, listen to, and enjoy.
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