"Fix it" in Auto-Tune

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It shifts a flat note up into tune, or a sharp note down to be intone. It doesn't change a G to a Bb, unless you want to hear heavy artefacts.
It doesn't change the energy oof the performance.
It seems people are angry that someone 'undeserving' is making money from music.
Having your vocal better tuned by technology doesn't make you an undeserving performer......sorry.

When I can hear the effect of the technology, that's what turns me off about the whole thing. I pulled up a Billie Eilish song yesterday on YouTube. She was doing a bit of a spoken word, soft and sultry sort of talking. She got to the chorus and started to really sing, with some power. Suddenly, she's singing through a fan. I could distinctly hear the technology taking over.

That's what drives me nuts about this. I'm sure that technology will progress to the point there will be no discernable change in tone to a voice augmented by future audio tools. Until that time, I'll listen to Sam Cooke and grumble on my porch.
 
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Yeah, I'm not sure it's mostly used to change melodies as it often introduces audible artefacts.
When someone sings flat or sharp, the program is used to correct the error. It has nothing to do with changing the melody. The program is designed to compensate for mediocre, dissonant talent. Pop and Rock music counter-cultures embrace and glorify mediocre, dissonant talent. If a million people buy garbage, it's still garbage.
 
Anyone here ever use Autotune as a creative tool when recording instead of trying to fix something with it? I’m not a big picture guy at all so I can never fully visualize the finished product in my head. Did a session last year where the vocalist used Autotune on his background harmonies for effect while keeping his lead vocal part unaltered. It turned out really cool.
 
When someone sings flat or sharp, the program is used to correct the error. It has nothing to do with changing the melody.
Again you are more than welcome to like or dislike whatever you choose - and praise or bash either to your hearts content. But this statement -
The program is designed to compensate for mediocre, dissonant talent.
- speaks to the why people invent things... it speaks to their motivations.... and that clearly is just something you are making up. You are just presuming.... Have you ever watched or read any interviews with Andy Hildebrand? Or Peter Neubacker (the chief inventor of Melodyne)? Have you even bothered - before just presuming the "why" these men have invented what they have???

Sorry but this "to compensate for mediocre, dissonant talent" notion is simply beyond being ignorant of the subject.
For example. if what you are saying is true, then Hildebrand would much more easily and with far less investment designed AutoTune to include only its "auto mode". There would have been no reason to invest in "graph mode" - where the user is able to edit a vocal track in the most subtle surgical detail.

I'm not saying auto mode is not mis-used by many.... but then so are hammers - which are even missed used to the point of killing people. But I can't imagine anyone claiming that was the intention behind their design. But yet, here we are....

Simply put, Auto-tune is an extremely comprehensive audio tool designed to make things engineers were doing all of the time - on records sung by the greatest singers of our time. Namely elevating vocal performances to a technical level that even the best can rarely, if ever achieve. The perfect take. The perfect performance. And before Auto-Tune this was mainly accomplished by basically beating the crap out singers (and engineers). Recording multiple takes for overall concept, then multiple takes focusing brutally on pitch (which just sucks the life out of a singer) punching phrase by phrase, note by note to "manufacture" a totally in tune take, then maybe doing wild card takes - full on emotion. Then engineer and producer, sifting through hours and hours of piecing these takes together.

As opposed to focusing on a great overall performance - like they did in yesteryears. But then being able to tweak the minor flaws - that they either just left back in the day, or erased to record a more perfect, but less expressive performance. Now we have one more tool to have our cake and eat it too.

This is why Auto-Tune was invented - not what ever reason you've convinced yourself of.

And just like guitar amps that were not designed to distort - artist have also found ways to use Auto-Tune in ways it was never intended. I would venture that 99% of the time, that you are able to discern Auto-Tune being used on a record is because the artist/producer intended it to sound that way. Just like over-driving amps - the sound of auto-tune being mis-used is now a stylistic color... a sound.... an effect.

There's not question in my mind, that we have all heard tons of recordings where auto-tune was utilized and we are left totally unaware of it's use at all.

Personally I've used it (actually Melodyne) on vocals, horns, basses, guitars, and strings with no discernible artifacts whatsoever. So I know engineer/producers far more talented than I can easily do it (that's without getting into those that have simply told me they did).


Pop and Rock music counter-cultures embrace and glorify mediocre, dissonant talent. If a million people buy garbage, it's still garbage.
Again please - according to you.

(and what is "dissonant talent"??? Do you mean out of tune? Because that's not really the center of what dissonant means.)
 
Y'all ever watch this? Here's T-Pain-- the guy who really was a pioneer in using autotune as an artistic effect-- laying it all out there on a Tiny Desk concert with his natural voice.

Spoiler alert: The man can sing. If you can't do it better, maybe have a damned seat.

 
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This has been a fun conversation between a guy who knows a lot about being in recording studios based on decades of direct experience and, well, others.

I sing, while drumming, without needing pitch correction. Chris’s friends need pitch correction, and would prefer that to not be public knowledge. I can provide live capture of my singing. Chris’s friends would rather climb Mt. Everest than provide unprocessed live capture. Do you need more explanation, or are you intelligent enough to understand what I am saying to you?

Jesus, save me from everyone who has an internet connection
 
I sing, while drumming, without needing pitch correction. Chris’s friends need pitch correction, and would prefer that to not be public knowledge. I can provide live capture of my singing. Chris’s friends would rather climb Mt. Everest than provide unprocessed live capture. Do you need more explanation, or are you intelligent enough to understand what I am saying to you?

Jesus, save me from everyone who has an internet connection

Maestro, I salute you and your pitch-perfect pipes.
 
Amazing thread. Well done everyone.

Is proximity effect cheating? Reverb? Compression is definitely cheating right?

Tremolo on a guitar was traditionally done with hand technique, those pedals are total cheater boxes.

Hate cheaters. Hate’em!
 
Amazing thread. Well done everyone.

Is proximity effect cheating? Reverb? Compression is definitely cheating right?

Who is this guy?

You get one ribbon mic in the middle of the room and you figure it out. And if you break the ribbon mic, the producer who is wearing a beige suit and chomping a cigar gets to jab you to death with a pair of pinking shears.
 
Who is this guy?

You get one ribbon mic in the middle of the room and you figure it out. And if you break the ribbon mic, the producer who is wearing a beige suit and smoking a cigar gets to jab you to death with a pair of pinking shears.
What’s the response curve on that ribbon like? Better be flat otherwise that is CHEATING you CHEAT!
 
We can all name artists/albums/songs that were huge hits that were terrible. (Subjective, yadda.) We can all name artists/albums/songs that flopped commercially that were brilliant. (Ibid) But by and large, the most commercially successful artists/albums are excellent, even if the genre/style isn't your jam.

Eventually, as a rule of thumb, quality tends to out.
 
I sing, while drumming, without needing pitch correction. Chris’s friends need pitch correction, and would prefer that to not be public knowledge. I can provide live capture of my singing. Chris’s friends would rather climb Mt. Everest than provide unprocessed live capture. Do you need more explanation, or are you intelligent enough to understand what I am saying to you?

Jesus, save me from everyone who has an internet connection
Actually God save us from the abuses of anonymous handles.

I'm going to leave Chris out of this, except to say that I think your snarky reference to "Chris's friends" is about the most disrespectful thing I've seen posted in months, if not ever. And all from the cheap seats behind a handle.

So you claim this and you claim that - easy to write - but how about stepping out from behind the curtain and sharing what you're talking about.... In other words, give us chance to evaluate whether you even know what you are talking about - or are you just someone with an internet connection...

Sorry - just because you say you can sing in tune and are willing to share your unprocessed live takes means next to nothing without context. What kind of project? How discerning are you being? Or are you just love what you do as-is - and don't care beyond that?

I live and work in a world where players and singers don't have to just please themselves, but most often many others as well. Are you subjecting your "live captures" to such scrutiny? Have you ever? (Again I don't know - as you're just a person behind made-up name)

Me? I'm David Crigger - and I've used Auto-tune (actually Melodyne) on a number of projects.... and have played on many where it has been used judiciously....

I used it in spots in this recording to counteract the difficulties of players all recording separately - corrections they would've made themselves had they been all in the same room together (or overdubbing in sections... (because as I hope you know, intonation is not a snap to the grid, right/wrong thing - and thus different interpretations done in isolation may not jell when put together in the mix)


Next is a recording I resurrected from an 8 track project from the 70's - very rushed in the studio performance. All of the horns were blended onto a pair of tracks (left and right). There were performance issues and even a wrong note in the parts, that there just wasn't time to fix at the recording. As well as serious balance issues. Now years later, using the amazing capabilities of Melodyne's polyphonic editing tools - I was able to correct the intonation of individual notes within the chords of the ensemble - even correct that wrong note. And greatly improve the balance between horns.

Sorry it doesn't pass this purity test some believe is all important.... but again, this art.... not the 100 yard dash.


Have a been involved with other projects, where Autotune has been utilized in some form or another? Absolutely. And I would love to be able to share about those, but find myself unable to do so - to share a peek behind those curtains. Not my backstage to share - particularly considering the number of folks, like it seems, yourself, that see this as a contest - a battle of right vs. wrong. Everything aimed at feeling superior for "doing it right".... so no, I won't be providing any ammunition for that war of BS.
 
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