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Does Autotune piss you off?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Can anyone "hear" AutoTune in today's popular music? Side question, does it piss you off like it does me?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It annoys me anytime a musician can't play their instrument (voice included as an instrument). I just got done with a run of Carmen and I wanted to shoot the mezzo myself.

    Apparently with this current generation of "musicians" it would be best to learn to use this tool as most folks don't know the definition of intonation and phrasing. Or rhythm.
  3. AudioGeezer

    AudioGeezer Active Member

    It's another crutch. Just like:

    2nd takes
    Multi tracking
    using more than two mics
    punching in
    taking more than one pass to print a mix

    direct to disk for me!
  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Two schools here. Direct to disc and Produced.

    Both have their place, and both are valid.

    DTD for me is just like eating fresh food made excellent by a quality chef where Produced is like fast food. I like both, but I know which one is better.
    Whilst nothing like a fresh bit a steak cooked to perfection with crisp greens that are sweet and lovely makes me drool, so does a feed of maccas after a big night on the piss.

    I can hear autotune, at least I can hear it when it's being used as an effect. I'll know for real when live they suck. :p

    The autotune sound is repulsive to me though, kind of like a computer generated voice is grating.

    Polishing a track that's already a produced piece of pop art... Who knows? Background radio pop tunes have their place.
  5. AudioGeezer

    AudioGeezer Active Member

    I was really just being silly....trying to make a point.

    The point is most of what we record, and what people listen to, is not representative of reality. Even the projects that would be considered more minimalist really aren't.

    I just finished recording and mixing a live album. We really didn't do much in the way of fixups by todays standard of live record making. We did replace most of the vocals, added a few guitars, We kept all of the drums, perc, violin, etc. We didn't move the timing around. I fixed a bass note here and there while doing the mix.

    We used a bit of AT on the vocals. When used sparingly it can sound ok. Yes I can hear it, especially when it has to work hard. No I don't really like it. It's usually better to AT than have a really bad note.

    Using AT is really no different than relying on any other tool to get a result that's different from the input.

    Just doing whatever to keep doing what I do.......

  6. MightyFaulk

    MightyFaulk Active Member

    In my opinion, auto tune used to sweeten an already good sounding take is what it's all about. As an engineer I won't use auto tune to correct a track, only enhance it. That way it's not pushing the limits of the auto tuner and doesn't stick out as blatantly obvious.

    Auto tune seems to be a new trend in music, similar to Eddie Kramer and Jimi Hendrix using flanger on an entire album. Yeah it's a little tacky.

    And finally, of course still in my opinion, a performer who needs auto tune in a live setup should pass the microphone along to the talented musicians who really deserve to be on that stage.
  7. AudioGeezer

    AudioGeezer Active Member


    "I won't" is not really in my vocabulary. I'll do anything the check writer wants....well almost anything....

  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Autotune is a tool.

    A good producer knows which tool to use when, and how much of it needs to be applied.

    I agree that in todays market, autotune, beat detective and numerous other tools are used as crutches for artists that couldnt sing or play an entire song through even ONCE!

    But damn dont they look good.

    This isnt even close to the Art of the Music. This is the corporate sell-out of something that a lot of us love and have dedicated ourselves to learning about.

    While producing this pablum does take skills, it doesnt leave any room for satisfaction of the heart....only the wallet and only for a select few.

    I have no problem with this machine feeding the people making the product, but the corporate selection of non-talent individuals with only their looks being put up as musicians and performers to be 'idolized' goes beyond my ability to condone.

    I know or have met hundreds of very talented people who can really work their instrument only to be denied any chance of reward in this market because they simply do not fit into the cookie-cutter looks and mentality of the business as a whole.

    This is why as patrons of this art, its up to all of us to support live music, local artists, and indie productions to the point of the bean-counters and market gurus having no other choice but to embrace the talent thats available and to promote this as an offering to the music lovers that are out there and willing to part with their hard-earned cash for a product thats quality and artistic in its nature.

    Since the only requisite for getting to the top has become the bottom line, we must hold out against this and refuse to buy the trash and not settle for anything other than the best in songwritng, creativity, quality musicianship, and fine production of musical prowess.

    We live in an age of remarkable tools and a time that allows for the transmission of our favorite songs to our selected mode of listening to be only the flick of a button. A time where something made in even the smallest recording medium can become globally available in an instant.

    Its a simple thing to discover new and untapped talent. Its everywhere. Its time we endorsed and embraced this huge pool and give back the crap that we're being fed as talent to its corporate demigods.

    Radio has remained a free medium for all these years but it wont be long before it goes the way of the Dodo. Its now a tool for the selling of product and they use this $*^t they want to call hit music to promote this.

    Take it back while we still can. Dont buy and they will have to listen.

    rant over.

    Autotune my ass.
  9. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Q. Does Autotune piss you off?
    A. Do you mean as an effect or when used as intended or just that it exsists?

    Q. When used as an effect?
    A. No.

    Q. Well what about when used as intended?
    A. No.

    Q. Does it piss you off that it even exists?
    A. No

    Q. What does piss you off?
    A. People.

    Q. Why do people piss you off?
    A. Because they have overused and misused Autotune.

    I'm not gonna lie to you...I Loved Cher's Believe which was pretty much the first popular song to use the autotune "effect". It was used in just the right places and it worked. There are other tunes that have it and I think it works in some of them too.

    Many "artists" are looking for THAT sound...and today, unfortunately, that sound seems to be the Autotune effect. I don't understand the fascination around it. I did 10 years ago when it was first discovered but now it's old, played out and no one has done anything creative with it.

    Other people who piss me off are "artists" who are unwilling to work on their "art" and instead would rather just Autotune a fix. I can understand using it when you've got the right performance but there is a note here or there that is off. I can understand using it when you are in the middle of mixing and re-recording can't be done. What I can't understand is someone wanting to Autotune an entire part because they don't want to sing or play it again.

    ...on the foldback...
    "That chorus was a little pitchy, let's try that again."

    Q. "Dude, can't you just run it through Autotune?"
    A1. Dude, can't you just sing it right? I mean, it's your song. You wrote it. You should know how to sing it.
    A2. No I can't just run it through Autotune. Now put down your goddammed cell phone and focus here.
    A4. What is this Auto-Tune that you speak of?
    A3. Whatever you say. You're the boss...you no talent hack.
    A4. Sure I can. But lets try it one more time. I think you can nail it.
    A5. Absolutely. Come on in and we'll give it a listen.
  10. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Alright Dave, I really enjoy and agree with your post. I'm much happier without commercial TV and radio that's ruled by the $$$ and LIES, how about you?

    I certainly hope things turn around at some point, question is what's going to be left after the sh:t hits the fan? It makes one think were headed for another ice age.
  11. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    The only thing that pisses me off more than autotune is quantising. :D
  12. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Quantizing is where the people who can't play on beat magically have perfect tempo right?
  13. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    Oh thats me on keyboard (Thanks to the Quantize God)

    The trick is to play really fast then quantize it and increase the speed 10 fold :D

    From Vice city

  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    +1 Davedog and program
  15. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Great thread, all.

    I have traditionally been in the anit-autotune camp, but having done some live (no ODs) sets lately, there's been a couple of cuts that a great but aren't "releasable" b/c of a couple of really bad pitchy moments.
    That's a battle I might lose, but I hate applying my name to a finished product that has major flaws like that.

    If it's "studio", I'll make them retake it. Or use the crutch of punch-in.
    Now that I'm stuck w/ what I got, I'm thinking it'd be nice to have an AT plug for those select moments.

    And finally, regarding Dave and jammster's posts:
    That's why I decided to do this in the first place. We basically have an untended garden of talent in my town that is really, truly, great.
    Some local groups have started to get some big attention, but I want to help move forward the scene here, w/ the scene here.
    Unfortunately there's such an apathetic view to local original music in the general population. Cover bands KILL here.

    We've also got some good engineers (far better than I) that are doing their part. I figured I'd use my skills and networks to do the same.
    Like this forum, the other engineers around town have been gracious and helpful - really reinforces the point of how important "communities" are to the success and longevity of any field.

    Rant from me too.
    I'm just glad I found my passion before I turned 30.
    Hopefully I have the time to polish my skills enough to achieve the things that inspired me to pick this up in the first place.
  16. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    A5. No. You were the one who wanted to record everything to tape and stay away from digital because analog sounds so good. Well listen to your out of tune voice...that's as analog as it gets baby.

    ok...I've had a couple cold ones and that never happened but man it sure would be funny.

    I should make an autotune comic strip... Call it AutoToon and have it be all about recording, engineering and live sound and that sort of stuff. There's plenty of funny stories to borrow (steal) from.
  17. robcranmer

    robcranmer Guest

    Once you learn the in's and out's of Auto-tune...especially the newest version (I believe{no pun intended}that it's version 5)...you CAN virtually eliminate any audible occurrences "IF" you "WANT" to. It's all about setting it correctly to produce the results you want. Guys...like I heard someone else say...It's just a tool! Do you hate your box-end wrenches because they take the "ADVENTURE" out of tightening a nut that you get when you use a pair of pliers? Because you "HAVE" box-end wrenches...do you go around tightening EVERY nut that you see? It's all just a matter of perspective. If you can "HEAR" the Auto-tune in a song it's because A) The producer/engineer/band/label..etc WANTED you to!.....or B) Because said people didn't know what the heck they were doing!
  18. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I agree that it is just a tool, but when it's not meant to be heard and is still heard, that pisses me off. Like on a sweet rock track when the singer hits the high note, and you can hear it grab onto the note. I WANT to hear the singer's voice wobble a bit, it's a natural sound.

    I'm hearing it more and more often now. I'll just be listening to a track. "Well he's a relatively talented singer....AH...He's using AutoTune!" That ruins the song for me. Yes, I just paraphrased George Carlin. Brownies if you can name the original phrase. :wink:
  19. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I like how Mariah Carey had a Guinness record for her range which was removed when it was found she is tuned...
  20. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    "Makes death marches danceable."

    HA! I love it! :lol:

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