A lot of great hit songs from the 1960's contain wow and flutter. And I mean, that's the way they originally went to vinyl, that's the way they were played on the radio, and that's the way they're appearing today, digitized to CD... even when the label says "remastered".
Take records like:
"Daydream Believer" by The Monkees
"To Sir With Love" by Lulu
"Oh Me, Oh My (I'm A Fool For You, Baby)" by Lulu
"Brand New Me" by Dusty Springfield
"Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby" by The Tuneweavers
"O-oh Child" by The Five Stairsteps
"You Were On My Mind" by We Five
"Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
"Bend Me, Shape Me" by The American Breed
"Tighter, Tighter" by Alive 'n' Kickin'
"Stay Awhile" by The Bells
"Love (Can Make You Happy)" by Mercy
"(You're My) Soul And Inspiration" by The Righteous Brothers
"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" by The Walker Brothers
"Midnight Confessions" by The Grass Roots
"White Bird" by It's A Beautiful Day
...and lots of others. (Play 'em now on YouTube, and you'll hear it!)
There are subtle, yet perceptible lurches in pitch... or pitch flutter in some parts... giving the record a certain sound. In fact, it's difficult to think of these recordings any other way: the lurching and flutter is part of "the record". (I could be wrong, but it seems to me that they used to play around a lot with tape speeds, trying to synch up different sections or voices of songs... e.g. all the stuff George Martin had to do with, say, "A Day In The Life", etc..... and those tape speed tweaks were never quite perfectly achieved.)
I've been playing around with a free demo of Celemony CAPSTAN, a new software based upon the system of polyphonic/multitimbral "deconstruction" that MELODYNE has (more or less) been able to achieve of late. Its sole function--- it only boasts about 5 or 6 controls on it--- is to remove wow and flutter from wavefiles. It's pretty amazing, and it's a startling feeling to hear some of these recordings-- whose every nuance you've come to know so well over the years--- played with a completely smooth pitch contour. Like buttah.
Have any of you played around with CAPSTAN? Check out their promo video:
P.S. I'm fully aware that there will be some purists who will perversely maintain that the wow and flutter added "character" to a recording, and hence one shouldn't tamper with it.