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I've Always Wondered...

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by Guitarfreak, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    If you have two or more people singing into the same mic, will AutoTune work? Can it isolate these things, or will the entire signal be taken as a whole?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    As a professional orchestra musician I'm going to have to rant just a bit....and it isn't necessarily directed at the OP.

    Singing is using an instrument. It requires training to use it properly even if one is screaming the vocals. There was whole 60 Minutes segment on a vocal coach who did just that. More to the point, I have seen in the last 20 years an increasing tendency to screw the basics of pitch and rhythm (all instrument types and classes). The idea that someone would walk onto a sound stage of any type without having learned their instrument and or part well enough to lay it down-every time-gets me riled up. "Good enough" makes me want to hurl. "Oh well, we'll fix it in the mix" makes me start looking for a bell tower.


    Perhaps I need to go have some more coffee and chill out. Sorry for this interruption and I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I decided I'd add a helpful post too. This would be good for everyone in the band including the vocalists.

  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Here here!
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    LOL, I wasn't wondering because I have a use/need for it at this time. In fact I can't come up with a situation where I would want two people singing directly into the same mic. It was just a technical question.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    In a rock and roll sense it happens all the time on stage when folks hop around. In a studio sense, if there is a line with harmony it sounds different (better IMO) when the voices (or horn section) can interact and blend naturally rather than everyone in their own iso booth.

    That last bit is mildly irritating as well but I'll save the blend and balance rant for the kiddies over at the french horn listservs.
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I think the Jack man's point was more: "Why do we even use Autotune??!! ARGHH!!!"
    Having played clarinet classically for years before moving on to guitar, bass, and then engineering, I understand his frustration.

    I'm guessing most of us here have the same notions as him, so I don't think you'll get a technical answer - most recoil at the thought of an Autotune on one singer, much less two. Someone else posted a question about using Autotune to create vocal harmonies. He didn't get any real answers either.

    My guess though - no. I think autotune is more suited to individual pitches than chords/harmonies. Of course, if both singers were singing the same pitch, then maybe?
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    True, I don't really like using it either, but I like doing one thing with it. I copy the vocal part to a separate track and put AT on that one so it blends with the dry track to make a cool sounding chorused harmony.
  9. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Without wading into the Autotune/No Autotune debate, I think Celemony's latest version of Melodyne can process polyphonic signals and do separate tuning on different melodic lines within the same track. Never tried it. Don't intend to. :) They call it Direct Note Access.

  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Definition of a minor second?
  11. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    A minor second is a semitone difference. i.e C and Db. He was stating the definition of unison.
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    That's the joke isn't it? Applied equally well to piccolos and oboes and violins.

    Q: What's the definition of a minor second?

    A: Two piccolos playing in unison.

    Perfect pitch: When you toss the piccolo into the trash can without hitting the sides.

    I'm just getting warmed up. I got a million of 'em.
  13. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    How do you get two players to play in tune? Shoot one of them.

    That was a joke my high school band teacher told us. He told a lot but this one was actually funny.
  14. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Technically I know nothing about autotune, or even very much about recording harmonies. I know from experience I find it much easier to harmonize two, three or four voices all at once in front of a mic. I've tried on several occassions to harmonize to recordings and got decent results but nothing I am proud of (not that many recordings of my voice are LOL) Just can't get the "feel" of it from headphones.
    The voice is just such an expressive instrument I don't understand how an algorythm could do it better.
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I have no desire to use autotune, etc. in any of my own work. But if I were in the "quit my day job" career mode that Guitarfreak is I'd learn to use it as well as possible. It seems to be an expected skill. Learn to do it. Learn to do it well. ..... or don't quit your day job.

    Partial differential equations for me.
  16. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I have used it on occassion and I can't speak to the latest greatest version, but the older versions were strictly monophonic. The source had to be pretty well isolated to track the pitch cleanly. But like I said, the latest greatest may have other capabilities.
  17. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    That's exactly the reason for the "...then maybe?"

    I once had a very good oboe player offer to sit in w/ a jazz band I played in... we had to respectfully decline.
    Despite the temptation to add "oboe" to the lineup of a jazz band.

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