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Enough with the Auto-Tune already!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Rant time, kiddies. I am going to raise my voice against an evil black box that you may or may not have heard of: the Antares Auto-Tune. Exhibit A:


    This device is designed to correct pitch for singers who are a little off at times. Good idea in theory, but it has since gone beyond the point of fixing little problems, and now is being used to make vocal takes "perfect". I personally am getting sick of hearing it. Once you've learned to hear what it sounds like, you hear it on EVERYTHING (most grevious offenders: country music, R&B, and Nickelback). Sure, I thought the Cher "Believe" trick was kind of cool, but other than that I'm convinced that this device is utterly evil. It sucks all the personality out of the voice it is used on, and makes people sound like perfect pitch robots. For the love of dog, make it stop!

    This was mosty avoided in rock circles, but now I'm starting to hear it all over that as well. Even singers that I respected for not using it ,such as Chris Cornell, but now even he's using it, as is Maynard. Sad, sad. These guys otherwise have cool voices, but they sound rather soulless on the latest Audioslave and A Perfect Circle releases.

    Imperfections are part of what makes music great. If we keep relying on technology to make our music for us, we'll continue this downwards spiral into an artless society. Take a stand; when your engineer/producer wants to use Auto-Tune on your next recording, just say no, or at least keep it to a bare minumum. Learn to love your imperfections. Refuse to listen to bands that rely too much on studio gimmickry to make them sound "better". And please, no more Cher albums.

    And that's all I have to say about that.
  2. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
  3. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    I've got to get one of those for when I play fretless. :bag:
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Never even heard of it before. What are some other offending bands?
  5. I saw a guy at a gig using one of those. I was standing back by the PA desk and thought about "accidentally" pushing it off the desk.
  6. invisiman


    Feb 22, 2004
    How well does it work for that application?
  7. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Wait wait, hold up, no more Cher albums?
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    What, you mean taking the character and soul out of a fretless? Probably a pretty good job.
  9. I dunno, I like it when used SPARINGLY. Everyone hits a flub note now and again, but I really hate this perfect singers. That's why Billy Corgan (Teh b0lly!) probably is one of the best singers ever. He has a weird tone in his voice, but he can hit notes very well.
  10. Wait, Maynard uses pitch correction?

    It's a sad day in music. :(

    I think it would be hilarious is Lightning Bolt used pitch correction.
  11. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Ben, how did you learn to recognize it? I mostly listen to instrumental music, so I don't have much of an idea of
    vocals. But since I'm trying to learn more about recording/production, could you give some tips?
  12. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I think I can recognize it most of the time, though I'm not a 100%.
  13. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Well, first of all it sounds like the singer is an absolute laser beam for pitch. Absolutely no beating of clashing notes. It also makes the voice sound slightly robotic as well.

    I guess the best before and after example I can cite is Bush. Listen to their older stuff, before the Auto-Tune came out. The dudes voice isn't on pitch all the time, and it wavers around a bit. Newer stuff has him singing dead on key, with no wavering whatsoever. You could also listen to Crosby, Stills, and Nash (quite possibly one of the greatest vocal groups EVER), and you can hear the imperfections in their vocal harmonies. Then listen to some newer bands that rely on vocal harmonies - absolutely dead on all the time. Notice the sound quality of their voices compared to CSN. Robots, I tell you!
  14. Oh, Dave ( a friend of BB's) was telling me one day how Kenny G's saxaphone is really pitch corrected in the studio.
  15. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Hear the sound of music
    Drifting in the aisles
    Elevator prozac
    Stretching on for miles

    The music of the future
    Will not entertain
    It's only meant to repress
    And neutralise your brain

    Soul gets squeezed out
    Edges get blunt
    Gives what you want

    Now the sound of music
    Comes in silver pills
    Engineered to suit you
    Building cheaper thrills

    The music of rebellion
    Makes you wanna rage
    But it's made by millionaires
    Who are nearly twice your age

    One of the wonders of the world is going down
    It's going down I know
    It's one of the blunders of the world that no-one cares
    No-one cares enough

    Procupine Tree "The Sound of Muzak"
  16. I think Ashley Simpson uses one.

  17. Word!

    It was kinda cute when Cher used it, but totally obnoxious when Kid Rock did the same over-correcting effect.

    One example of the Auto-tune correction is on the Brooks and Dunn song "Only in America". Listen on the last verse, where it says "he was a singer in a band" The last word "band" sounds unnatural (to me at least) so i strongly suspect the good old Auto-Tune.

    Another similar pet peeve, on both pop and country stuff: where they double the singer's voice with a "whisper" an octave down. I guess it's supposed to make it sound fuller. Yuck! An example is Deanna Carter's "Strawberry Wine" If you listen on a decent system, you can hear this all through the song. Compare that to a strong vocalist like Martina McBride, she don't need no stinkin' Auto tune or vocal doubling.
  18. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    Any of Maynards recordings its obvious on?Or Chris Cornells?
  19. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Im surprised to hear that Maynard uses one. I think if he does, its only very recent, IE: Thirteenth step? Or maybe just Imagine?
  20. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Have the whole band tune up/down like 1/4 step, that'll teach 'em.