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
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    You’re right, they are allowed to. However, they are not allowed to sell such a product to me, because I will not buy such material. BTW, the same is true for musicians whose use of effects I find to be distasteful. I can appreciate natural sounding overdrive in some situations, but the gratuitous use of effects for the sake of making strange, sometimes unmusical sounds is not going to attract me as a buyer.
     
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  2. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    I wonder if Auto Tune could make even Bob Dylan hit the right note...
     
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  3. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Only if it was powered by a Suoercomputer. :)
     
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  4. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    Nah.
    Bob would miss it on purpose just for the sake of fight the machine! :D
     
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  5. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Yea, but would it really help?
     
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  6. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Singers should be able to sing. If going to auto tune, just use a recorded track by someone who CAN sing and not sing at all?
     
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  7. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I like how you think.
     
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  8. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I think it's a matter of degrees. Even really good singers have tough nights and their voices start cracking here and there. You can't go back and re-record in most cases and auto-tune can be used judiciously to correct the unpleasant parts. Done right and carefully, it's

    But in general, I think you are right on. Use a good singer first and foremost. If someone doesn't mind listening to soul sucked vocals, that's a choice. But I have no interest in that sort of thing. Done well enough and sparingly that I have to strain to tell, I'm okay with that. But too many recordings overuse it.
     
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  9. MrWookiee

    MrWookiee Synchromatic

    818
    Jun 17, 2020
    SoCal, USA
    As Robin Williams once said, "Reality. What a concept!"
     
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  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I’ve done enough recording to detect many edits when I hear them. Some are more obvious than others, but I know that I like recordings that use a single take for each track, instead of punching in or grafting tracks. I have a rule, and that is not doing more than three subsequent takes. If I get to three takes, I go on to another song, or take a break. Trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip will not work. A little time works wonders.
     
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  11. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I just listened to some songs from a recent Chris Tomlin release and it was hard to get past the amount auto tune in it. The lad doesn't need it - he has a great voice but apparently one must hit the pitch every time within a half cent. It's not effecty sounding, just bad. A correction here and there is fine, but if they apply it every freakin time he hits a higher note, it's really grating.
     
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  12. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    As I think about it I realize it is when I notice it being used to correct poor vocal chops.

    As an effect it doesn’t bother me nearly as much, in fact there are some electronic songs that I quite like the effect. Not a normal genre I listen to but occasionally.
     
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Let’s look at this from a historical perspective. I have Sinatra material that was recorded 60 - 70 years ago, and it still shines. Likewise for Elvis, and any number of other early Rock n’ Roll artists. I have all sorts of recordings from the ‘60s and ‘70s, which are still relevant today. But what about the songs from this era that I don’t have? I don’t have material which only made it to the airwaves for novelty, or artists whose image was a much bigger factor in their success than their talent.

    I can think of one particular artist that created quite a splash in his day, but he was all image and had very little musical ability. His music is all but forgotten by many people, because there was little content to begin with. Essentially, he was a novelty act, but he had his 15 minutes of fame, mostly because of his bizarreness.

    So all of this auto-tuned otherwise enhanced vocal material probably won’t be treated well by history, either. I suspect that such material will be forgotten soon and replaced by whatever the flavor of the day is tomorrow.

    Contrast that with artists like Leon Russell and Randy Newman. Neither of these guys were great singers, by any stretch of the imagination, but both were excellent musicians and songwriters. I’m not a fervent fan of either of these artists and don’t own any of their respective albums, but I have nothing but respect for their respective musicianship.

    Leon Russell had poor pitch control; he slid around the pitches like he was driving on glare ice with bald tires, but it worked. If you listen to “Tightwire” he slurred every phrase as if he was imitating a drunkard. (Maybe he was drunk.) :) But I would consider pitch correction an improvement. The song was composed for his voice and his, apparently quite limited, range. It worked, and if Andy Williams had covered it with perfect pitch control and enhanced production values, it would have been laughable.

    Randy Newman. Randy Newman’s singing always brings to mind a horse suffering digestive woes. He’s a terrible singer, but I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing I Love LA. The singing quality, or lack thereof, is part of the song. Once again, it was written for his dyspepsic-equine voice, and that’s where it belongs.

    Not every song requires a soaring tenor, at perfect pitch. Singing a ballad is different from singing a blues and country is, yet again, different. I’ve been known to sing all three and can promise you that the vocal technique is as different as the guitar technique used for those three genres.

    In retrospect, pitch correction will probably be seen as a blip on the charts.
     
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  14. fsdphcorrigan

    fsdphcorrigan Gretschie

    114
    Aug 30, 2019
    Lake Oswego, Oregon
    I think you're referring to The Simpsons. One of the better episodes.
     
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  15. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    57
    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    I think we have Cher back in 1998 mostly to thank for the autotune pandemic.
     
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  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Warren Zevon. I like his voice - it fits.
     
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  17. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    I agree it's hard to be perfect singing. But to me that's what it is all about. It was VERY interesting to watch some well known performers in their rec rooms in viral2020 doing live songs. Some are not NEAR the singers we thought. Others are spot on. Live performance is about that looseness. Or I guess the performers could just show a big screen "perfect" studio version to you when you go to see them! :D
     
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  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Exactly. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs to be good, but good because of the singer, not some dumb software.
     
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  19. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    If I can’t tell it’s there I don’t care if they use it. Kind of like a compressor, how things sound too squeezed, unless it’s obviously being used as an effect.
     
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  20. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Age:
    68
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    I’m not a fan of auto tune, far too unnatural for my taste. I think of a couple of my favourite singers…Carole King and Van Morrison. Their vocals work and I always enjoy hearing them…imperfections and all.
     
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