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Thread: Autotuners, should we use them?

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    Smile Autotuners, should we use them?

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    Before I get an angry mob of homerecorders on my back, I would like to clarify my opinions on the use of autotuners.

    Let me start with an example:
    OK, youíve just recorded a vocal part. It sounds awesome, except for one note thatís just a tiny bit out of tune. You decide to record the part again. This time that particular note is perfectly in tune, but the rest doesnít sound half as great as the other take. You donít have time to do any more takes (often the case in expensive studios). Should we fix the first take by using an autotuner? Yes, you should. I prefer youíd do it again the next day but if you canít, itís the only possible way I guess.

    Look, I donít have any problem with the use of autotuners, quantizers, reverb or whatever to cover up a little mistake. A recording is not a live performance, you donít want to hear that one Ďmistakeí over and over again. If I record a basspart and it sounds OK except for one little note thatís behind the beat, Iíll cut the damn note and pull it to the left until it sounds right. Not that Iím proud of itÖusually I record the whole thing again until itís right. But sometimes Iím lazyÖ

    I also like the sound of an autotuner as an Ďeffectí: especially on its most extreme settings. Chrisí latest song, Cherís single, Roy Vedas, the big fat autotuned chorus in NíSyncís Itís Gonna Be Me (gonna, gonna, GONNA!) I love it. As an effect itís always funny and weird, and I happen to like funny and weird sounds.

    My problem starts when people just switch on the autotuner to sound hip, or by default. It sickens me to hear Shania Twain, who is an absolutely superb singer, using an autotuner just to sound hip. Itís on every frigginí single I hear on the radio nowadays! Furthermore, in the case of us amateurs: if you turn it on by default I donít think youíll ever improve your singing. And that way, we will ALWAYS be amateurs. You record your vocal part, switch on the autotuner and itís OK. How will you ever learn to improve your intonation? Besides, we have all the time in the world. We donít have to release an album within two months, or learn dance routines and stuff like that. So whatís the problem with recording it again?

    Above all, I just donít like the sound. When itís turned on ALL the time, it all sounds so robotic and inhuman. People often ask me: why donít violins have frets? I always tell them thatís because the violin was built to emulate a human voice. Without frets you can make the glides and small alterations in pitch that makes it all human, and it makes it easier to express your emotions.

    Look, I can accept an off note, listen perfectly Ďthroughí it, as long as the rest is good enough. No problem. My experience is that Iím never truly emotionally touched by vocal part that has been autotuned to the max. And Iíve never heard an autotuned vocal part thatís Ďsexyí. When soulvocalists sing in a funky/sexy/provocative way they often glide to notes a lot, and intonate slightly too low most (sometimes even ALL) of the time. Thatís the kinda thing that erects stuff in my pants. Add an autotuner and the effects is goneÖbad, because I like that tight feeling.

    Anyway, Iím not looking down upon you guys. Please use Ďm when you need Ďm. Who am I to tell you not to?

    In the end it all comes down on a matter of taste: again, I just donít like the soundÖ(but I can listen 'through' it if I have to, music = music)
    http://www.nowhereradio.com/trojka
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    i bought the antares autotune because i am a lousy singer, but ive never used it, ive tried believe me nut i cant figure the darn thing out lol. its not that i disagree with the use of autotune,(lord knows i could use some vocal tuning lol)to bad they didnt have this out back in the early 90s late 80s because milli vanilli wouldnt have gotten sued. god bless tim pate

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    I have Anteres. I never feel bad about using it. I do it surgically. It's when people just run the entire track through it that they should have their license to record revoked.

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    Smash it on a rock and get back in the studio...
    My Meat Has Worms...

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    Smash it on a rock and get back in the studio...
    lol.

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    Originally posted by Track Rat
    It's when people just run the entire track through it that they should have their license to record revoked.
    That's about every single producer in the whole commercial recording business these days!
    http://www.nowhereradio.com/trojka
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    i agree that it is being a bit overused, im sure bands like nsync and britny spears use autotune, i swear i can hear it in britnys music, my daughter thinks she is the greatest lol. ill try it again and see if i can get it to work because no matter what i did it didnt sound wright to me.

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    It's a tool... you can use it well (ie, sparingly and as needed, in this case), or you can abuse it and damage the end-result in the process.

    To clean up a few bum notes in an otherwise good vocal performance, I have no problem using it... but as Track Rat said - to blindly run an entire vocal track thru it is abuse in my opinion - both of the tool, and of the listener's ears!
    [size=1][b]bruce valeriani
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    I've just been educated. I didn't know that it was used on all those cuts so freely.

    The violin was a good example.

    A lot of guys who use a blues approach in any kind of music, which is a lot of us, should beware.

    The blues scale we play is a derivative of the vocal blues scale. The vocal blues scale "IS NOT IN TUNE". It's a fact. When it's sung to sound perfect to the human ear and then checked, some of the notes are a semi- tone off.


    It's the same reason why a fixed pitch instrument like the piano can never capture the sound without that STERILE element.

    If you play a blues scale on a guitar and bend that 3rd up a "hair" each time. Then play it without adjusting, it actually sounds out of tune. This "perceived" tuning that we're accustomed to has got to play a big part in the whole auto tune deal, wouldn't you think?

    Joe

    I had a chart up here but nothing line dup, sorry
    Last edited by Smokepole; 03-12-2003 at 06:17.

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    I think autotune is just another tool. To me, the point of studio recording is to paint a sonic picture ... creating an illusion .... wow ... that's heavy. Anyway, if I can use autotune to achieve the sounds (voices?) in my head ... great. If I can bang on a pot and achieve it ... great .... and believe me, some of my music would sound better if I simply banged on pot.

    I really don't care if it's purely me or synthesized. I don't think most listeners do either. Ultimately, if something is annoyingly overused, the listening audience will respond accordingly.

    If I want to enjoy a "performance", I go see the band/person live. So many musicians I know get lost in "discussions" about equipment and technique, they never make any music.

    IMHO

    BPOCO

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