Death by Auto Tune

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by stevo, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post

    With regard to the notion that auto-tune can improve an already good performance, I must respectfully disagree. I’d rather hear Sinatra the way he sounded naturally, than hear some altered sound that has been processed, and is no longer his natural voice.

    Likewise, filtered videos don’t impress me. Cameras record what they are pointed at and are the perfect tool for creating very convincing illusions. Even in business video conferences, people are known to use software to conceal double chins, etc. Personally, I’m in favor of more reality.
    gazzie, doc538, MrWookiee and 2 others like this.
  2. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    No the question is is what generation to auto tune proponents come from? People who grew up listening to digital audio and HD internet music. How many people from the the times of records or every tape like auto tune. Like any tool it may have it’s place, I kind of like it as an effect for the right purpose but anything else, I’ll refer you back to my original reply. Yuk.

    My point though is people who grew up listening to neutered music might not even notice the problems we here with it, and many who just desperately want to make music and sing but do not have tue voice and ear for it find it as a way to create. I’ll applaud them for trying to be creative and find a way to do it. Like spandex it isn’t for everyone!
  3. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    I hate to sound mean, cuz the finger points at me too.. but the LARGEST consumer group on the planet IS MILLENNIALS and they grew up listening to digital audio, always had a computer, always played video games.. And I know there are nerds out there goin.."gee I neverrr watched a lick of innernetz, nary did I play them video games and poppa always spun the vinyl in the even'nzz"
    ...but the market in general is not focused AT ALL on late Gen Y, or us GenX or Boomers. We are all on our lawns w our shotguns, or AR-15s or in my case a Milwaukee screw gun and a bowie knife. I'm one to argue that Stone Temple Pilots sounded best on my Pioneer SA-520 system and Nirvana sounded best in the trash can.
    Bertotti likes this.
  4. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    You're just reinforcing the point of the video. It's about a matter of degrees.
    MrWookiee likes this.
  5. wildeman

    wildeman I Bleed Orange

    May 10, 2015
    Autotune or Bunda? your choice:D
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    There was a Simpsons episode where some of the regulars became part of a Boy Band, and something similar happened to them.

    Some years ago, I was in a restaurant that had TV sets on the walls. An overproduced band came on and my reaction was completely different from that of the person across the table from me, who was from a different era and a different musical ethic.

    My reaction to this band was disgust. They put on a show which struck me as transparently phony and filled with “spontaneous” actions which were obviously highly scripted. While the other fellow was taken in by all of this, my comment to him was that these clowns didn’t so much as scratch their nose unless a choreographer instructed them to do so. The show, the music, the voices, the whole shebang, was saccharine sweet, aftertaste and all. Just like an artificial sweetener, it was not the real thing and never will be anything but a poor imitation.

    As a side note, when I started playing gigs, my perception of television and movies changed drastically. I don’t mean to come across and a showbiz pro, because I am certainly not, but experiencing what goes into even a modest gig at the VFW, taught me that nothing on stage is random. After that, I quit watching sitcoms on TV, in part because I could call out what was going to happen next, just by observing the way things were staged.

    The changes in the music business are reflections of the social changes. Gen X are of little interest as consumers. Boomers are getting ads for Supplemental Medicare plans and pre-paid cremation. Gen Y and later are the only consumers that many businesses care about and they have a completely different set of experiences from what mine would be, and music that was cutting edge for my generation is likely not something with which they have had much experience.

    The market will move to its area of demand.
    MrWookiee and drmilktruck like this.
  7. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    In a recent "What Makes This Song Great" about "Carry on Wayward Son," Rick notes that Steve Walsh hits the high notes without AutoTune. If you can actually sing, you don't need it.
    gazzie, Frank_NH, MrWookiee and 2 others like this.
  8. Butch Ammon

    Butch Ammon Gretschie

    Jan 3, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Auto-tune? I didn't use "auto-tune" when I made my demo of my Vietnam Veteran's tribute song called "Vietnam Heroes". My vocals are sour, but I tried my best. I sound a little "light in the loafers" when I tried singing a falsetto upper harmony part in the chorus, but it is what it is...

    Drums: Manually composed in Finale by me, and then saved and imported as a MIDI track.
    Rhythm guitar: Me on my Fender Stratocaster.
    Trumpet & Trombone: Me on my classic, "old school" band instruments from back in the day...
    Keyboards: Me on my Yamaha DGX-505 full size keyboard, set in "Rock Organ" mode.
    Bass: Me on my cheap Samick 4-string bass (i.e. P bass copy).
    Lead guitar: Me on my Fender Stratocaster, live, in one take w/ Dunlop wah pedal.
    Lead vocals: Me trying to sing a tribute song to all the Vietnam Veterans out there, but yet I can't quite go above an F# above middle C. I was cursed with a "Johnny Cash" type of voice and CAN'T sing rock. :(
    Harmony vocals: Me trying to act like the Bee Gee's or somebody like that, singing in a falsetto voice.
    HEART & SOUL & SPIRIT: 100%
    VOCAL ABILITY: You be the judge
    TALENT: You be the judge

  9. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    I think it was Joe Strummer who said something like this during his stint in the Pogues:

    "I love the sound of musicians struggling with their instruments". Vocals being an instrument.

    We are humans, we aren't perfect. If it's too perfect, there isn't soul.

    Well put IMO.
    MrWookiee, Butch Ammon, Mogg and 2 others like this.
  10. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Synchromatic

    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    The guy from Boston also comes to mind when I read this.
  11. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post

    Another great example.
    drmilktruck and Butch Ammon like this.
  12. Jerzey Bob

    Jerzey Bob Synchromatic

    Apr 3, 2021
    North Jersey
    Diggin' it, case closed... :cool: Audacity is a great freebie...
    MrWookiee and Butch Ammon like this.
  13. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    ..but again, thats your generation (ours and before) where we were okay with small imperfections or pitch'ee'ness. Its no longer allowed, the machine world sez correct all blemishes. One reason I really love The Strokes. -tv
  14. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    So just because the machine world says to correct all blemishes, doesn’t mean that we have to comply. And I see that as the problem. I work with high tech, but machines don’t govern my life, or my decisions. My grandparents used handsaws and lit the oven when they needed to use it. The high tech things of our world never entered their lives, with the exception that my maternal grandmother learned to use a microwave oven. She live to be 101 year old, BTW, and 3 of my four grandparents made it into their 80s, all without high tech. Some advances are good, but they don’t have to rob our art of its humanity. We can say no.

    A few years ago, I was asked to do the guitar work on a Country album. When we got to the studio, the engineer plugged me into an effects processor and gave me the same overdriven sound that he used for everyone else; and I said no. I did not want my signal recorded through his effects processor. If we needed rot add something post prod’, I’d be glad to be part of that, but the raw track had to be pristine and if my name was going on the credits, I was going to control how my guitar sounded. He was taken aback, but complied.

    The bassist wanted the same thing, but he could not get rid of a noise in the bass’ channel. We ended up scrubbing the session, because there was a problem in the signal path which could not be corrected. I suspect that it had always been there, but was disguised by the effects processing they used. Later on, we recorded the same material using an interface and a Mac based recording system. I got my clean signal, with a touch of reverb, and we finished in record time.

    When I retire, I will take a huge step back from the constant communications that are necessary as part of my work. Frankly, I think that the busy signal was a good thing. Common is a part of life that has changed drastically in the last 20 years, and all of these new forms of communication have brought some negative aspects along with their benefits. Constant IMs in the workplace can really cause a lot of distraction, and much of it unproductive distraction.

    Sometimes I think that those Sci Fi novels about computers taking over were not so far fetched. :) One thing is for certain, they won’t take over my music.
    drmilktruck, Frank_NH and Bertotti like this.
  15. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
  16. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I like it.
    Butch Ammon likes this.
  17. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    I never liked perfect pitched vocals.
    They're plain boring. One thing is being out of tune, another is work on the imperfections so they don't sound bad.
    When I was young I use to do 10/15 takes of my vocals every time. Not that I wanted perfection, but I just had to find the way to smooth the harsh corners on my own by trying. Digital recording era made it a lot more easier, but the ones that started with reel-to-reel machines like me are used to that.
    Thank god in these days I'm way over it. Bobby Dylan is my man. :D
    Btw, auto tune it's just another vocal effect. That I dislike, but I don't see much difference from some of them that I fancy like putting a Leslie on it or some saturation, or super-heavy compression.
  18. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    Autotune has it`s rightful place in modern production.
    It is a tool to make prduction easier or give a special colour to it. As with everything the dose makes the poison.

    Guitarists are using the craziest effects to enhance their sustain or make crazy noises they simply could not do with a simple acoustic guitar. Why should singers be not allowed to do the same?
    Henry, Bertotti, MrWookiee and 2 others like this.
  19. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Indeed - the dose makes the poison.
    MrWookiee likes this.
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