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Thread: Don't touch that!! (pitch correction)

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    Don't touch that!! (pitch correction)

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    (I don't own or use Melodyne. Never have, and I am not trying to promote it. But, if this thread suddenly disappears.......I'll know why...)

    I was watching this Melodyne masterclass video. Experts discussing the finer points of vocals, I find generally interesting.

    This guy explains himself really well. He explains why he thinks something is an improvement, rather than simply declaring it an improvement. So, if you disagree with him, it is easier to pinpoint why.

    If you follow shortly from the 20 minute mark, he edits the word "summer" in a song. Personally, I think that the vocalist absolutely nails it. I totally agree with the objective part of the engineer's analysis, but not the subjective interpretation. After editing, I think he has killed it. Perhaps not his favourite genre, I am thinking.

    He interprets some of the inflexion as the vocalist not knowing what he is doing, or being unsure, or caught betwixt and between. But, to me, the singer absolutely nails the nuance. He employs just the correct amount of contrast and indication, imo.


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    Heh, as long as you aren't profiting, recommend or link as much as you like!

    I agree. He describes what he's doing well and I understand why he made the choices he did (Summer), but I'd almost certainly have left it alone!
    It should be a habit, for anyone making edits like that, to refer back to the original as often as possible.

    The same is true for any editing/mixing/master decision, I'd have thought.
    If you don't frequently compare to the starting point, you can quickly lose sight of what has changed and, more importantly, what sounds good!
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Well, it was a demo. I'd probably have left that 3rd snip in the non-key semitone to let the slide stretch out. It got too short with his quick edit (as far as I watched), but I thought it was interesting.

    The unfortunate reality is that today I imagine a majority of popular music has been pitch corrected, and anyone trying to get into that "playlist" will have to do it. Then, you're at the hands of the mix engineer, though, myself, I don't correct something without trying it to see if I'm hearing what I think I am, and then, if it's a pretty noticeable shift I'd probably discuss it using some before/after clips for data.

    Luckily, the majority of what I do is live and has so much bleed it's nearly impossible to correct anything, anyway, without introducing some weird artifact, so for that I'm grateful.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Here is my next grumble:

    In the first video, it says that Melodyne "averages out" the actual pitch trace, and it does emphasize that the blobs shown in Melodyne are really only handles, rather than anything precise. I think that this is where some of the questionable editing choices may be creeping in. I searched for a video on "Melodyne and vibrato", to see how sophisticated the "averaging" is. Some vibrato is "hanging vibrato". The intended pitch is the highest part of the vibrato, and the fluctuations are lower pitches. But there is also "proud vibrato", which is the opposite. Melodyne seems to leave that interpretation to the engineer. In the first (and next video) the engineer simply snaps the "average" or "pitch centre" to grid, which respects neither kind of vibrato. You could argue that that is a misinterpretation of what the vibrato is. Again, I would say that that is the danger of knowing something as a rule rather than having a feel for the sound, or more likely, the genre.

    In this next video, I think the editing degrades the vocals, but the engineer "declares" it an improvement.

    For example (1:10), he reverses the opening out of the vibrato and calls it "out of control". To me it sounds deliberate, and like good control. I hear this kind of effect a lot, and it gives the vocal an edge (for some genres only, obviously). Interesting to see a sound engineer quashing that very effect.


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    I am not fond of the anti-artistic philosophy embodied in the statement "control the human touch in every singer's performance". yeah, that's not creepy at all.

    I want to hear what people sound like, not what some soulless corporate engineer thinks the person should sound like, once their humanity is wrung out, flattened, and homogenized as much as they were.

    This isn't about making better music. It's about justifying an expensive product that people don't need, as well as justifying extensive hours paid to engineers to "fix" things.

    If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.



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    My mind is blown. I had no idea you could tune *individual strings in a guitar strum*. That is insane. I want it.

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    I got caught up in over using this. Now days, Id rather comp a great track from several good takes, then maybe a slight pitch correction on the odd note only if it really needs it.

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    Ugh. I try not to use Melodyne more than needed. But then we don't seem to have as many prefect pitch singers anymore. Not in our level of recording.

    But it is nice to have the tool and be able to change an missed open A to a D in a live acoustic guitar recording. This is a great tool.

    I don't get into the overuse thing this guy is doing. The song sucks to begin with... Just my opinion.

    I would have tuned a whole vocal track in the time it took for this guy to explain what he is wasting time with one line. Cut and cut, and cut? What the fuck is wrong with just singing the part right?

    Don't chop the song up, and never use the auto thing. It just never works right. Use your ears.

    I respect that he is showing what can be done with a badly tracked vocal or a shitty singer, but this is the extreme IMO.

    Melodyne will have artifacts that are obvious if overused. Use as directed by a physician.... lol


    I have realized over the years that less is better with any effect. Especially pitch correction. But then there are those times when you have no other option...

    Suppose that is why Melodyne is a second nature to me. Nevermind.

    This guy is just explaining the tools. Just don't think you need to use all of them all the time. Until you do...
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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