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Re: Use of Autotune

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  • Bruce B
    Saw a neat demo on Youtube using barbershop to show teh sound with and without autotune. Check out:
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 2, 2010
      Saw a neat demo on Youtube using barbershop to show teh sound with and without autotune. Check out:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20-ydkc094E&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1


      Bruce Baedke <><
      Bass - Pride of Iowa Chorus

      --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, "tpblead" <tpbuell@...> wrote:
      >
      > Here is a topic for discussion. I enjoy watching the TV show Glee, but I really dislike the use of Autotune. I have read others decrying the rampant use of Autotune on this show and others, but I had not really been able to tell on this show (maybe I really don't know what I am listening for), but my daughter showed me a clip from last night's show, and it seemed that I heard a slight buzz in the sound, that I am assuming is an artifact of Autotune.
      >
      > I can understand using Autotune when the performer is just not up to staying in tune, or perhaps to get a specific effect, but in the case of this show, it seems like the talent involved and the fact that the performances are pre-recorded and dubbed, allowing retakes to get it right, would mean that Autotune shouldn't be necessary.
      >
      > My question is this: Do they use Autotune because production costs preclude going back and "doing it right", so it is just easier to tweak it and go on, or is there something else at work here. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't find someone that could carry a tune to be on this (or any other) show.
      >
      > Thoughts?
      >
      > Tim Buell
      > Autotune free.
      > And usually at least close to on key.
      >
    • marty.lovick
      Great Gold medallists .. true champions, and ... oh never mind :-]
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 2, 2010
        Great Gold medallists .. true champions, and ... oh never mind :-]

        --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, "Bruce B" <kbaedke@...> wrote:
        >
        > Saw a neat demo on Youtube using barbershop to show teh sound with and without autotune. Check out:
        >
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20-ydkc094E&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1
        >
        >
        > Bruce Baedke <><
        > Bass - Pride of Iowa Chorus
        >
        > --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, "tpblead" <tpbuell@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Here is a topic for discussion. I enjoy watching the TV show Glee, but I really dislike the use of Autotune. I have read others decrying the rampant use of Autotune on this show and others, but I had not really been able to tell on this show (maybe I really don't know what I am listening for), but my daughter showed me a clip from last night's show, and it seemed that I heard a slight buzz in the sound, that I am assuming is an artifact of Autotune.
        > >
        > > I can understand using Autotune when the performer is just not up to staying in tune, or perhaps to get a specific effect, but in the case of this show, it seems like the talent involved and the fact that the performances are pre-recorded and dubbed, allowing retakes to get it right, would mean that Autotune shouldn't be necessary.
        > >
        > > My question is this: Do they use Autotune because production costs preclude going back and "doing it right", so it is just easier to tweak it and go on, or is there something else at work here. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't find someone that could carry a tune to be on this (or any other) show.
        > >
        > > Thoughts?
        > >
        > > Tim Buell
        > > Autotune free.
        > > And usually at least close to on key.
        > >
        >
      • Michael Moran
        Ben that was a very well thought explanation. ... From: Ben McDaniel To: bbshop@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 11:24 AM Subject: [bbshop]
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 5, 2010
          Ben that was a very well thought explanation.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Ben McDaniel
          To: bbshop@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 11:24 AM
          Subject: [bbshop] Re: Use of Autotune



          Auto-Tune can give a really neat effect to the voice when used as an
          effect. I don't like it when it is used to fix tuning, though, because
          it sounds weird (hence its value as an effect). One problem is that
          the voice doesn't sound right when it is completely pitch-steady, and
          the other problem is that it screws up consonants. And when it fixes
          pitch, it changes the timbre, which affects the vowels and the tone
          color and individuality of the voice.

          As an effect, it's just like any other cool solo vocal effect, whether
          it's narrow bandpass (like the Beastie Boys), talk box (like Peter
          Frampton), speeding up or slowing down the vocals (like Strawberry
          Fields Forever), backmasking (like "!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC
          er'yehT"), intentionally analog-overdriven vocals, or any kind of
          phaser or delay. Most of those would might not work do much for
          ensemble singing, but they can sound really cool with solo vocals.

          Auto-Tune is only one of the problems with modern vocal recordings.
          Another is extreme compression and clipping. The audio is compressed
          (I'm not talking about data compression, but rather the audio effect)
          until everything is the same volume, and then it is turned up so high
          that all the waveforms are clipped and everything sounds loud. The
          overcompression results in obvious changes in tone (if you make a
          single note louder, it sounds more bassy; if you make it softer, it
          sounds more trebley -- overcompression results in the volume and tone
          changing constantly). The clipping results in lots of non-harmonic
          distortion (harmonic distortion is like a blues guitar; non-harmonic
          distortion is like a blown speaker).

          And, of course, data compression screws up audio as well. A high
          bit-rate mp3 doesn't sound bad, but audio data compression with a low
          bit rate or one that's been compressed multiple times gets a jangly
          sound that's just horrible. It's on television all the time now that
          the audio is digital and the data is compressed (it's most noticeable
          when an audience is applauding -- listen for that jangly sound during
          applause sometime), and it's really terrible on internet videos. It's
          even a problem in movies, where rather than using no data compression
          with standard 16-bit 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling per channel, which is all
          the human ear can hear, they use a higher bit rate and sampling and
          compress the audio data. So they're adding compression that make the
          sound worse -- you can actually hear it -- so that they can have
          dynamic precision that you can't hear and high frequencies that you
          can't hear. (Actually, now that I think about it, for movies 16-bit
          might not be enough precision -- it's so loud that you could hear when
          a sound dropped from one bit to zero bits, unless they added some
          one-bit noise, which might be audible on a big theatre sound system.
          But there's absolutely no reason to make the sampling rate higher than
          40-some kHz.)

          Anyway, I'm not sure why I felt the need to say all of that, but
          Auto-Tune, audio compression, clipping, and audio data compression
          really bother me. Give me a recording of a quartet (or any music) with
          a stereo pair any day (the audible difference between individual mics
          and a stereo pair is a rant for another day).

          Ben McDaniel
          Newton, Kansas




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