Death by Auto Tune

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

  1. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    And he's not just yelling, he's got arguments and examples to back himself up!
    MrBurnside and MrWookiee like this.
  2. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    too many old man fists a shaking, here. The current generation sees through all the bullsh#p but also embraces the machine and in fact makes the machine work for them. Autotune was a stepping stone. T-Pain is a classic example of using the machine to create (see vid) second vid below is just raw voice w a mic and piano.. there was talent to begin with. Just like Hendrix, fuzz and wah took him to new levels but he was still bussin with that guitar and soul skills.

    T-pain is one musician who doesnt need Auto-tune, rather auto tune needs HIM!
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
    englishman and Bertotti like this.
  3. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    Net result is still the same.
  4. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Him without - much preferred.
  5. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    It's 2040. Stars in the music business are the ones who can afford the best Robot to sing and dance. The most expensive Robots have the best vocal software.
    Bezo's has been #1 on the hit parade for 5 years now.........
    Robbie likes this.
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    swivel likes this.
  7. olliethecat

    olliethecat Electromatic

    Jun 12, 2019
    East Yorkshire, UK
    I see the use of autotune similarly to the use of echo/reverb both in the past or present.

    In the 50s Sam Phillips of Sun Records was ahead of the game with technology in his recordings. He was using tape echos to enhance his recordings long before the 'big boys' in the recording industry who just couldn't get that sound his records and artists were famous for and it took a while for them to catch up. Just listen to the early Sun recordings to establish what I mean.

    Back in the very late 60s when I began as a full time touring pro vocal/guitarist, like many other pro acts, I too used a tape echo to enhance my vocals. It was just the thing to do and it's fair to say it added a whole new dimension to the listening experience of audiences especially in venues where the acoustics were bad.
    Some venues however, simply didn't require the vocalist to use their echo units other than for specific effect or if they did, it was very subtly used and not remotely intrusive which was part of the skill of being a vocalist at that time.

    The problem was that too many acts began overusing and relying upon their echo units to hide the flaws in their vocal ability to such an extent that without the use of such equipment, quite frankly they were to put it bluntly, absolutely rubbish in the singing department. Not unlike today as it happens so not much changes.
    The problem with with the old tape units was that the tape loops which were joined with adhesive tape could either come apart/snap without warning during a live performance and it was then that vocal acts showed just how good or bad they were.

    Using echo and reverb to enhance vocals became commonplace and it's fair to say, just like today's autotune, it was far too overused and instead of enhancing the music it became cheesy.

    I learned how to use my echo unit wisely before I ever turned fully pro and even if the tape snapped during a live performance which was not uncommon if the room temperature was hot, the difference to my vocal sounds was marginal as I'd set my unit to the acoustics of the venue to compliment them and my vocals and not override them. The difference after I pressed my On/Off pedal to switch off the echo effects during the time I was speaking to the audience was often so marginal that I sometimes wasn't sure if it was on or off.

    For other acts I'm afraid, it was the difference between night and day. Absolutely dreadful and sounding like they were singing down sewage pipes and even today, when I listen to live performances in TV studios, the use of reverb and delay is utterly abysmal at times as without the overuse of those effects, the live singer would be rubbish. Some sound engineers are guilty of effects overuse and it's the same with autotune.
    When the effect is the main component in the recording and not the vocalist, it tells you something.

    I like to add a little reverb or delay or sometimes quite a bit to my guitar playing for effect. If you are playing a surfing or rockabilly track then you need the appropriate amount of reverb and delay to enhance the effect but I don't know what others do but I only use it to that degree when I need it and don't use it when there is no call for it.

    Some singers have lasting effects on the music industry. Even today, thousands of girl vocalists the world over sound like Whitney wannabees which is all too evident in talent shows like the X-Factor etc but after a while it simply sounds cheesy and done to death.

    The same goes for autotune. It's got to the stage where it too is done to death and unfortunately it's applied to vocal acts who are not in the same league as was Cher when she included it her vocals on one particular recording and set the autotune ball rolling.

    Some music genres have a sell-by date while others seem to live on indefinitely.

    I cringe these days when I hear the typical recording of girl vocalist singing which be pleasing to listen and then up pops a rapper in the middle eight...some might like it but it just makes me cringe when I hear it as it's so old hat. A bit like when the Motown records which were initially very innovative but after many years were finally dying a death after being repeatedly done to death.
    That unfortunately is what happens to formulaic and fashionable music and I suspect we'll get a repeat of the autotune craze for some years to come until it too dies a death.
    Bertotti likes this.
  8. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
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