Auto-tune

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    The Amazing Fletch
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    Auto-tune

    Post by The Amazing Fletch on Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:48 pm

    I don't know much about the production of music but when people insist on listening to pop music at work I can't help but notice that an awful lot of music that is being produced these days has what sounds like digitized voice. I've heard the phrase auto-tune used every now and then and I think it applies here.

    Does anyone else think that auto-tune is basically cheating? Covering up the singer's inadequacies.

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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by dbarefeet on Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:07 pm

    i think autotune used just to correct a voice is very wrong. i dont overly see the point, especially if it is evident that the person can sing. but on the other hand i do think that certain styles of music suit the auto-tuned feel, or the use of vocoders. I do 100% agree that in music today it is used far too much, personally when i record i never use it, unless it adds to the feel of the track.

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    Summers
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Summers on Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:19 pm

    I love autotune and KBUK's stuff definitely makes use of it. Autotune is your friend.


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    MidlandsDan
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by MidlandsDan on Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:09 pm

    The Amazing Fletch wrote: but when people insist on listening to pop music at work.

    Does this enrage you? What coping strategies have you developed?

    Somebody please tell me...what the fuck is this autotune? Cheers.
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    Reel Big Moose
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Reel Big Moose on Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:56 am

    it basicaly alters the pitch of your voice after its reccorded to make it sound in tune when ur in fact shit and cant sing.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by MidlandsDan on Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:03 am

    Sounds very clever, although I imagine it would rip the soul out of a voice also.

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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by dbarefeet on Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:15 pm

    yeh it really does if its used to an extreme. there are a lot of artists that use it that you would never know though. I would much prefer a person sang or played in tune in the first place, even if it takes longer to record. i miss recording, i havent done any in a while.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by elliemon on Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:24 pm

    unless it's really really obvious i find it hard to notice auto-tuning! joe points it out sometimes and i'm like "huhh??"

    getting better though. i think i'd like to know when it's used because i dont like the idea of people getting extra kudos for it. i guess i think it's cheating abit. like lip-syncing but not quite as bad as that.

    and i dont like the idea that people who cant sing are being picked over people who can because it can be fixed.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Summers on Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:34 pm

    I'm the only person who likes autotune?

    This is why i love autotune.



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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by MidlandsDan on Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:05 pm

    Isn't that goddamn CrabCore? Fuck that shit.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Cap'n Lee on Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:43 pm

    if autotune is done right, you can't tell. if it's obvious, it's purely a style thing, like daft punk. either way, little reason to complain, i for one don't like hearing bad midi used in a big productio, i remember hearing a chart song that had the main melody played using the guitar string squeaks, it sounded horrible to me, but that is clearly the style he wanted.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Summers on Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:29 pm

    I think my only real issue with autotune is when it's used on brass, can easily turn a horn section into essentially a midi keyboard setting. Just tune the damn things before you record.


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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by NotRich on Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:45 pm

    If it's used in moderation, to iron out some of the imperfections I don't see it as a bad thing. I do prefer it when a band sounds that little bit rough round the edges on recordings though, the imperfections add to, rather than detract from the whole feeling of a record for me.

    But some people prefer things with a glossy finish, and to me the moderate usage of autotune is exactly that, it's a varnish over the top to make everything nice and shiny.

    When you get bands using it to the extreme it becomes quite obvious when the vocals sounds absolutely dire live.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by tyrannosaurusben on Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:54 pm

    Basically, auto tune isnt cheating because you need to be atleast nearly in tune to make it work.

    Theres no way a singer can sing a 3 or 4 minute track and get every note spot on, not even the best can do that. Autotune just knocks the little out of tune bits to where they should be. The only time you will ever notice auto tune is when the singer is really bad.

    Cher is a result of bad singing being auto tuned, you get that wierd effect almost like a vocoder. It happens because the note she sings is so far from the note it should be, the auto tune splits it/ doubles it.

    Autotune isnt used by people who can't sing, its used to tidy up people who can sing, it's a tool in the same way as EQ and compression are tools.

    You can also control how much things are tuned... to keep a realistic feel the computer wont always pull every note to exactly the right note.

    auto tune isnt cheating.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Furious D on Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:13 pm

    Cap'n Lee wrote:if it's obvious, it's purely a style thing, like daft punk

    Not always, if you've done it on purpose it is, but you hear a lot of stuff where it's not really obvious at all and can only tell when you know what to listen for.




    tyrannosaurusben wrote:Basically, auto tune isnt cheating because you need to be atleast nearly in tune to make it work.

    Theres no way a singer can sing a 3 or 4 minute track and get every note spot on, not even the best can do that. Autotune just knocks the little out of tune bits to where they should be. The only time you will ever notice auto tune is when the singer is really bad.

    I couldn't disagree more, what about in the days before autotune? What about when you go and see a band and the singer is note-perfect all the way through?

    tyrannosaurusben wrote:Cher is a result of bad singing being auto tuned, you get that wierd effect almost like a vocoder. It happens because the note she sings is so far from the note it should be, the auto tune splits it/ doubles it.

    If you're on about 'Believe', that was most certainly done on purpose!

    tyrannosaurusben wrote:Autotune isnt used by people who can't sing, its used to tidy up people who can sing, it's a tool in the same way as EQ and compression are tools.

    This is true, or at least in part - this is what it is meant to be used for. But there's plenty of stuff out there where it's been used wrongly.

    tyrannosaurusben wrote:You can also control how much things are tuned... to keep a realistic feel the computer wont always pull every note to exactly the right note.

    auto tune isnt cheating.

    Whether or not it is 'cheating' is really a matter of opinion.
    If you go through the song and one vocal bit is out on a couple of notes, why autotune? Why not just go back and redo that one bit? Then you don't have to use autotune, and your recording sounds better for it. I'm a firm believer that the less processing you apply to stuff (especially the vocals) the more real a representation it is. If you must auto-tune, use Melodyne, as it keeps a lot of the inflections in a voice and doesn't often make it sound shit. But try and get it right first, don't just resort to it cos you can.

    A couple of slightly bum notes here and there is not gonna ruin your album, it just makes it more real, something which is not always applicable nowadays.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by NotRich on Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:18 pm

    Furious D wrote:Why not just go back and redo that one bit? Then you don't have to use autotune, and your recording sounds better for it. I'm a firm believer that the less processing you apply to stuff (especially the vocals) the more real a representation it is. If you must auto-tune, use Melodyne, as it keeps a lot of the inflections in a voice and doesn't often make it sound shit. But try and get it right first, don't just resort to it cos you can.

    A couple of slightly bum notes here and there is not gonna ruin your album, it just makes it more real, something which is not always applicable nowadays.



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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Furious D on Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:25 pm

    Here's a good example of bad autotune:



    Listen to the line 'when we're driving in my car'
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by tyrannosaurusben on Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:42 pm

    Even when it sounds perfect, it very rarely is. I'm not saying take the first take and fix it in the mix. The less fixing in the mix the better, of course you get everything as best you can first time. but people aren't machines and no matter how many times you re do bits, it'll never be exactly right all the way through and thats what some people want.

    As for everything else... im well too lazy to read through it and i concede defeat on every point.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Parg on Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:31 pm

    When I listen to the singer I don't really pay that much attention to be honest. I hear the lyrics (well most of them) and I can tell accents apart but without knowing if there's some sort of imperfection there I won't notice. If you hadn't pointed out the line to listen for in the Avril Lavigne video I wouldn't have heard anything different.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Cap'n Lee on Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:39 pm

    Furious D wrote:
    tyrannosaurusben wrote:Basically, auto tune isnt cheating because you need to be atleast nearly in tune to make it work.

    Theres no way a singer can sing a 3 or 4 minute track and get every note spot on, not even the best can do that. Autotune just knocks the little out of tune bits to where they should be. The only time you will ever notice auto tune is when the singer is really bad.

    I couldn't disagree more, what about in the days before autotune? What about when you go and see a band and the singer is note-perfect all the way through?

    elvis was all about the auto-tune, john lennon too.
    you ever listen to the barber of seville? all auto tuned!
    in fact, i hear that tom jones has a cardboard tube where his throat should be and they just autotune the old speech tool that came with amiga workbench... wait, what was my point?
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by The Amazing Fletch on Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:51 pm

    When I hear some songs I can't tell whether it's being done on purpose. Like that Blacked Eyed Peas song (and pretty much anything that is on that Kiss.FM for that matter) where it sounds like they've done it on purpose but it's too subtle to have been done on purpose, if you know what I mean.
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by NotRich on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:01 pm

    The Amazing Fletch wrote:Like that Blacked Eyed Peas song

    Dude, he's not blacked up, he's actually that colour!
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Cap'n Lee on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:03 pm

    well thats more what i was on about when i said of it being done as a style thing. it's less used to mop up a bad recording, but more about giving it a weirder robotic sound. i find it hard to believe that all of a sudden they would start hiring singers who can't sing when the world thus far has been overflowing with fitties who are also singers...

    maybe it's like fossil fuels and we've been dipping into a non sustainable eco system of fitties in hot pants! the world is doomed!!!! WE DIDN'T LISTEN!
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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by NotRich on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:12 pm

    If only we could get fitties in hotpants to start having hot steamy lesbian sex with each other in order to reproduce...



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    Re: Auto-tune

    Post by Furious D on Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:17 pm

    Cap'n Lee wrote:it's less used to mop up a bad recording, but more about giving it a weirder robotic sound.

    That's the thing though, it's overused on purpose to create an effect. Stuff like that Avril Lavigne song is pretty obviously not done on purpose.

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