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The Beatles - Yesterday (Rare studio acoustic)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by audiokid, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Today people would be using autotune on Paul. There is obvious pitch issues here but its also part of Paul's sound, as is with all singers. imho, its the song and performance that makes a song, not autotune

    Also, the room sounds pretty bad to me in comparison to what I would want today. Its interesting hearing this. The room sound defines "dates" the generation.

    Sean G and pcrecord like this.
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    :( can't view the video in my country.
  3. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    same as Donny.
    but i will also say that i say say no to autotune!
    no autotune!!!
    audiokid likes this.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    must be blocked in the usa
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Kyle and I recently had a conversation - it was in a PM but I don't believe I'm betraying anything by mentioning it here - about the various high tech audio corrective tools that are commonly used today, and how much should we actually be using them?
    Certainly, if you can make a song sound better, than the technology is there for that, but sometimes you have to ask yourself, when using them, at what price are they being used?

    And, is it to correct a mix? Or to correct a performance? And who's idea of a "good" or "bad" performance is it? Who is making the decision to use those corrective tools? Is it someone who has a history with music that is in itself flawed but beautiful? Or is it an OCD producer who feels that everything should sound absolutely perfect - even at the cost of it sounding robotic and as anti-human as possible?

    Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Neil Young, Tom Petty... four artists who weren't exactly known for having the "best" of vocal abilities; yet their vocals worked - and worked wonderfully so - within the context of the songs they were writing.
    Fast forward to "artists" Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and many others who rely heavily on the corrective technology to present their less-than-good voices in a barely decent, yet very false light... false, because none of them would have ever managed to be as successful as they were without the technology available to make them sound even remotely presentable as "vocalists". Their songs certainly didn't have the lyrical content or human side of songwriting that those other artists mentioned above did.
    We accepted Dylan, not because of his voice, but because of his messages, and lyrical meanings...

    There are human elements involved in human music performances, elements that in their natural faults can make a song sound better; more emotive, more passionate, an honesty and feeling that presents a certain truth can be pleasing in itself, and that separates us from pre-recorded loops, digital vocal vamp samples and pitch-corrected to the point where it's not even a human actually singing anymore, but a computerized, digitally generated faux performance that may be technically "perfect" but that lacks everything that makes a real performance magical. Sometimes these human faults are subtle, and sometimes they are glaring, but in either case, at least they are real.

    IMO, if someone finds themselves relying on auto tune and phrase/rhythmic correction in order to sound good, or even just passable, then it's time for them to reconsider their plans as a singer. The world needs hamburger flippers, valets and ditch diggers, too. ;)

    So, at what point does the resultant "perfect" become the enemy and the antithesis of true heartfelt art and human feeling?
    Put it this way: at what point does "perfection" become the enemy of Art?

    Do I really want to hear Neil Young's Needle and the Damage Done, or even John Lennon's Imagine, presented with pitch-perfect 0% error point accuracy? Hell no.

    Here's one for ya, that I believe if was written, recorded and released today, would also be pitch corrected to hell and back... with modern producers or engineers forgetting that it's the natural human drift in the performances that makes it so magical to begin with.
    Is it "perfect"? Nope. Is it beautiful because of those human elements that aren't perfect? Absolutely. In fact, it's spine-tingling.

    fmk2000 and thatjeffguy like this.
  6. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Janis Joplin would be turning in her grave at the thought of autotune or any form of pitch correction
    - There is a perfect example of what you mentioned above Donny, that human element that makes the performance what it is, unique and truly personal in every way.

    That raw, rough, gritty vocal that was her signature trademark.

  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Absolutely. And anyone trying to "turn" her into a "Streisand" or a "Celine Dionne", using modern technological manipulation to do so, would have not only been betraying her as an artist, but would have been betraying the public by not presenting her in an honest way; in the way she was meant to be heard. Yet, there are those out there who would have no problems in trying to do just that - looking at the potential commerce and revenue as the deciding factor and benefit, instead of the art as it was meant to be presented. Some liked Janis, some didn't. That's not the point. We all have our personal likes and dislikes when it comes to music. But like her or not, at least she was REAL - and certainly not a bot singer which was created from binary fairy dust, and involving the manipulation of numeric data to invent a completely computer-generated performance. Those other "artists"... (and I use that term loosely), who rely solely on technology to create and generate their performances, are no more real than the Dinosaurs we've seen in the Jurassic Park movies.

    Just because we have all the tools to be able to do this type of manipulation, doesn't mean we should always use them. It's not really the tool or the technology itself that is to blame, it's the person who is using these tools - along with their ultimate intent with it, that is fully responsible for the current level of artistic butchery and destruction of music as an art form. And again, if you have to rely on these tools in order to create a good performance, then you shouldn't be performing in the first place.

    If these "artists" claim to be true artists, then let them step up to the mic, sing without the safety net of digital manipulation and correction, and then let's see them release that. Just one time, for just one song...

    I apologize in advance...

    Ya know, there are times when I can't really blame the public for devaluing music... if you're force-fed enough plastic and fake garbage for a long enough period of time, and you have no quality alternatives to compare it to, it's only natural that you would devalue it. We can bitch and moan all we want that artists aren't getting their fair share of royalties, but so many of them don't even deserve to get the paltry sums that they are getting now. Forgetting the illegal downloading issue for just a moment - the truth is that so much of what the music business feeds us isn't even worth what it's being legally sold for, never-mind not being worth even a free download.

    Not only would I not pay the 99 cents for a Keisha or Kanye West track, or a song from "The Beeber".... and not only would I not download them even for free, I'd be more apt to reach into my pocket and pay them a dollar each to not offer it to me ... for either option. ;)

    IMHO of course.
    Sean G and audiokid like this.
  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    I couldn't agree more with you Donny, alot of todays' music, and I use the term music loosely, is so over-engineered that the human element is completely lost to the point that it may as well have been generated by a computer with no human input at all.
    Its this cookie-cutter type approach that strips all the esscence away from the performance, as you mentioned in another thread regarding Sting sitting on the piano at the start of the Polices' track Roxanne and his subsequent laugh that was captured on the track, these nuances would be corrected if produced today where most songs are so sterile they sound like they have been developed in a lab.
  9. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Too add a further 2 cents, I also think that this has alot to do with the demise of the live album...

    - When was the last time you can recall an artist or band releasing a live album???

    I cant recall any....
  10. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Just for fun - a clip from my band's version of the Beach Boys song - 4 people. We do actually have an autotune in the rack, but live with just 4 people, you need to hear what you are really singing against to pitch properly. If we used the damn things it would be awful!

    DonnyThompson likes this.
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nice clip, Paul. I'm always knocked out when I hear the harmonies that Brian Wilson wrote for the other guys to sing, no matter how may times I hear them, I remain amazed.
    He had a genius sense about him, probably bordering more on savant, with intervals and harmonies.

    He's said in interviews that he used to be able to hear all the harmonies together as they were suppose to be, all in his head. He's also said that having that "gift" was part of what lent to his mental problems, in that he could never "shut them off"...
  12. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Boring to non-BB fans I guess, but he also arranged the harmonies so that people would change parts mid line, and sometimes mid word - as in vibe (sung by one person and held, while somebody else sang 'ra-tions'. It meant that sometimes you would try to count voices and the numbers don't work, but in fact, his arrangements just make it sound like more people, and richer voicings.

    The thing about tuning is that pitch is not everything. Some singers never sung in tune as part of their style. Many would start flat and ease up into the note. The quality of the voice is more important. Listen to the older Frank Sinatra recordings - pitch was very often all over the place. I think it's on voices without character where the tuning jumps out and hits you as a mistake. Karen Carpenter made all sorts of mistakes on the live albums, and was content to leave them as they were and not overdub them.
  13. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    In regards to the 'Beeber' video above, its a shame they can't turn off the auto dick...

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