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Argument of the Day for no Auto-Tune

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  • #2
    Also a good argument for no overdubs or multi-track recording, I suppose as well.
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    • #3
      I don't know why people hate pitch correction so much. They'll use EQ to compensate for tonal issues, faders to compensate for not recording hot enough, reverb to compensate for not recording in an acoustical space...It's entirely possible to use pitch correction in a way that no one even notices it's there. The REAL problem is that if someone is such a lousy singer that they're way off, adding pitch correction becomes really obvious and sounds annoying.

      Remember, machines don't kill music. People do.
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      • #4
        Most of the time when it's noticable these days, it's on purpose. It's become a fashionable effect much like too much slap back on 50s rockabilly recordings.
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        • #5
          I never use it on lead vocals except for a syllable sometimes. I need it on backup vox though, my 'oohs' and 'ahhs' can drift a bit. :-)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Anderton View Post
            I don't know why people hate pitch correction so much. They'll use EQ to compensate for tonal issues, faders to compensate for not recording hot enough, reverb to compensate for not recording in an acoustical space...It's entirely possible to use pitch correction in a way that no one even notices it's there. The REAL problem is that if someone is such a lousy singer that they're way off, adding pitch correction becomes really obvious and sounds annoying.

            Remember, machines don't kill music. People do.

            The general use of music machines smacks of an unintended but very real diminishing of a higher consciousness of respect for music as a traditional art form. It's like saying it's okay to be mediocre because we can fix it with knobs. That kind of hurts my soul. Yours?

            Is it the neo-art to apply machine etiquette to embellish (fake) a person's (lack of) talent because everyone is doing it? Is that the acceptance? Proper by petition? Is it going to find it's discussion in Wiki and by that association equate talent with knob know-how? I think so if proponents of machines endorse that philosophy.

            I'm an acoustic guitarist. I see pedal boards as excuses much less vocal pitch correction as an exoneration for being a poor singer.

            Remember, machines don't kill music. People who use them do.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Idunno View Post


              The general use of music machines smacks of an unintended but very real diminishing of a higher consciousness of respect for music as a traditional art form. It's like saying it's okay to be mediocre because we can fix it with knobs. That kind of hurts my soul. Yours?

              Is it the neo-art to apply machine etiquette to embellish (fake) a person's (lack of) talent because everyone is doing it? Is that the acceptance? Proper by petition? Is it going to find it's discussion in Wiki and by that association equate talent with knob know-how? I think so if proponents of machines endorse that philosophy.

              I'm an acoustic guitarist. I see pedal boards as excuses much less vocal pitch correction as an exoneration for being a poor singer.

              Remember, machines don't kill music. People who use them do.
              Certain musicians have been decrying the use of machines as cheapening the art form since at least the invention of the phonograph. I imagine somebody was upset when the first cave-dude started banging on a drum instead of his thigh. "Damn cheater! Why are all those people gathered around HIM?? Don't they know that doesn't take any talent and isn't REAL music???"

              Tools are tools. They don't make you more or less of an artist. People finding ways to be successful in music that involved using tools or gimmicks to cover for their lack of raw talent didn't begin with AutoTune or pedal boards or punching-in a flubbed vocal line on a taped recording. And people using such tools in talented ways that further the art form isn't limited by which tools they choose to use. Creative sorts will tweak and push boundaries and find new things to do with these things that no one before them dreamed possible.

              Which is one of the purest definitions of art, is it not?
              Last edited by guido61; 10-18-2014, 08:06 PM.
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              • #8
                I'm really against the overuse of autotune. I think its okay to use it to manual fine tune a couple of off-notes here or there, but laying it over an entire vocal track is a bit much. If a singer is having difficulty with almost every pitch in a song, then I think the singer needs to go back to doing the groundwork of practice and rehearsal. In my opinion, the overuse of autotune isn't really helping to better serve music either. Sometimes the pitch correction is set so tightly that it chokes the tone and removes much of the distinct timbre qualities that a singer may have.
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                • #9
                  No, Ken, THIS is the best argument not to use Auto-Tune (from a different perspective, yet, coincidentally an Adele connection here...)



                  There are places where the use of Auto-Tune are obvious (the vocal slides at 1:37 to 1:42)...Not to mention the fact that it's being used on a singer that really doesn't have a need for the damn thing. I mean...ARETHA of all people!

                  The thing that sucks about Auto-Tune abuse is that to young Millennial-and-younger ears, people who don't use it will sound "out of tune" to their naive ears, and though they are oblivious to things like the concept of musical pitch, it will have a subconscious effect on whether they like a song or not...very sad.
                  Last edited by elsongs; 10-19-2014, 02:15 AM.
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                  • #10
                    I've never used autotune. I use another method - double-tracking
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                    • #11
                      If you asked me a few years back about auto-tune, I would have said if you can`t sing, you shouldn`t.

                      I`ve changed a bit. I think its another tool. I compress, EQ, double track, etc… vocals so why not throw a dash of it here and there for other effects. I`ve heard it used on albums as well that made me rethink its use.

                      I`m a bit more open to technology now and how it can be used to create new things… or at least I`d like to think I am…



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by elsongs View Post
                        No, Ken, THIS is the best argument not to use Auto-Tune (from a different perspective, yet, coincidentally an Adele connection here...) (Aretha's cover songs record)

                        There are places where the use of Auto-Tune are obvious (the vocal slides at 1:37 to 1:42)...Not to mention the fact that it's being used on a singer that really doesn't have a need for the damn thing. I mean...ARETHA of all people!
                        Well, she's getting on in years. Maybe she doe wander off pitch a bit these days. I don't know. I wasn't there.

                        This reminds me of a story told by a friend who used to be the recording engineer for the US Navy Band. A captain who used to sing with a band long ago was retiring, and she wanted to make a recording with the Navy Band's jazz group before she left. The session was held, the tunes were played, she sang, there were many retakes, and hundreds and hundreds of edits (this was before Auto Tune). At a retirement luncheon, she played the recording and said, proudly, "See! I've still got it!"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                          I don't know why people hate pitch correction so much. They'll use EQ to compensate for tonal issues, faders to compensate for not recording hot enough, reverb to compensate for not recording in an acoustical space...It's entirely possible to use pitch correction in a way that no one even notices it's there. The REAL problem is that if someone is such a lousy singer that they're way off, adding pitch correction becomes really obvious and sounds annoying.

                          Remember, machines don't kill music. People do.
                          As you know, I am very open-minded with new things. But here's a few reasons why I hate Auto-Tune, or at least, the horrible application of Auto-Tune, and the things that it implies:

                          1.) If a singer doesn't need Auto-Tune, STOP using it. Witness Arethra Franklin's rendition above.
                          2.) I've been hearing the use of Auto-Tune as an effect for almost twenty years. It feels like more. Enough!!!!
                          3.) This is basically a repeat of #1. Who cares. I travel in India and hear their pop music. These singers are some of the best singers in the world, with control that boggles the mind. So when I hear a classically-trained Indian singer singing a pop tune and they are heavily Auto-Tuned, which happens a lot now, it makes me cringe.
                          4.) If the singer knows that a studio has Auto-Tune, do you think they try as hard? Is there an expectation set up that you will simply "fix" it?
                          5.) If, as I do, I love hearing musicians play and singers sing, and you have tons of songs where the singer's voice is obviously Auto-Tuned, everything has been snapped to the grid, and it's all virtual or sequenced instruments, much of the joy of music is taken away.

                          Sure. Once in a while for those times in which the singer ain't available and you want to fix a note or two in an otherwise solid performance and you don't have a note from another take. Those sorts of scenarios, I say great. I don't want to hear it regardless.

                          For most other applications, it's an old, dated, hackneyed sound that is past its expiration date. Goodbye.

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                          • #14

                            Originally posted by UstadKhanAli View Post


                            For most other applications, it's an old, dated, hackneyed sound that is past its expiration date. Goodbye.
                            I don't disagree from a personal taste perspective. But I think what has happened is having just a bit of that "notch" tone has become so ingrained as to what a modern pop vocal is supposed to sound like that it's become like reverb to most listeners. And it's part of what makes a pop record sound modern as opposed to something from two decades ago.

                            At some point I imagine that some other affectation will be what defines a "modern" vocal track. But, at least for the time being, it's like reverb and a bit of slab-back. Without it and the vocal sounds too "dry" for those who have become so accustomed to the sound.
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                            • #15
                              Argument of the Day: No Auto-Tune.

                              This is one of the most beautiful vocals I've ever heard.

                              This is a live performance in-studio, an absolutely stunning performance.

                              I'm guessing anyone who tried to slap Auto-Tune on this would get their asses kicked by everyone else in the room.

                               
                              Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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