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Question about autotune..

Can younger people today tell when a song has been autotuned, or have they become so accustomed to the effect that it sounds normal to them?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5912/11/2011

I think autotune is obvious, but I'm an elder. Still, when the electronics kick in, the voice gets a sort of supernatural bur not heard in nature.

I would think it would be a good device to train singers -- as long as you hit notes at the correct pitch, your voice will sound normal.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 112/09/2011

Most people, young and old, have no clue what autotune is.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 212/09/2011

I only learned about it here -- but I'm grateful for all the exciting things I've learned on DL over the years.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 312/09/2011

I once heard a story about Autotune. A young female singer who does a lot of background vocals was hired by an L.A. producer to record an album of songs, paid well for it, and sent on her way. A year later, she turned on her car radio, only to hear her voice, severely Autotuned, singing one of the songs from the recording session, and attached to the name of a famous pop diva of Puerto Rican descent.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 412/09/2011

It's Friday, Friday...

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 512/09/2011

I heard some studio musicians talking about working with Taylor Swift. They said that every note she sings needs autotune.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 612/09/2011

If only they could similarly improve her lyrics, R6.

I have siblings high school- and college-aged who listen to pop music exclusively and have no idea what autotune is nor any ability to recognize it.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 712/10/2011

Is autotune a proper noun? Like Xerox?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 812/10/2011

Was double trackIng voices used for correction or simply enhancing vocals?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 912/10/2011

Autotune, like the Black Eyed Peas and many other uses it, it not what the technology was designed for.

Properly used, the technology is 100% undetectable pitch correction. Almost all singers use it today, but you can not tell.

The popularity of using the Autotune software for dramatic effect, started in 1998, with Chers song, "Believe".

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1012/10/2011

[quote]Properly used, the technology is 100% undetectable pitch correction. Almost all singers use it today, but you can not tell.

Many have said they can always tell.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1112/10/2011

R4, Taylor Swift sings live constantly at her concerts, and her performances on numerous awards shows which are many.

Autotune obviously is not used with her live performances.

She doesn't always sing particularly well live, although she often does fine. Her voice is too 'little girl-ish'.

I can see that for her recordings on CD's, though, autotune would perfect her sound more.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1212/10/2011

It's sad when it fails.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1312/10/2011

Cute face, check. Autotune, check. That's all that's needed now to become a "pop" singer. How many of these people even know how to play an instrument? Most of them prance around to heavily choreographed routines with huge mikes wrapped around their faces. What's being fed to them through the ear piece, the words to the shitty song? Once in a while they might pick up a guitar and pretend to strum a few notes like Madonna.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1412/10/2011

R14, which 'pop singers' are you refering to? Do you have any names?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1512/10/2011

I blame Cher.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1612/10/2011

Totally fake obviously, r13. To her credit, Miley's actually a good live singer. I remember she and Taylor did a duet on some award show, and Miley was very good, while Taylor sucked balls.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1712/10/2011

Yes, Cher's autotune songs are very obvious.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1812/10/2011

I'm a Nashville songwriter. Autotune is used on everything, Period. Every producer and singer has a choice: they can spend all night trying to get the vocal pitch-perfect, or they can spend a fraction of the time and get something "close enough" and let autotune correct it. I've used autotune on some INCREDIBLE singers who sing 99% of the notes correctly, but just needs a little help here and there, and I've used it on singers who have a great sound to their voice, but they have terribly pitch. If it's done correctly, YOU CAN NOT HEAR IT, NO MATTER ANYBODY SAYS. It's not always evil, but it has allowed for some singers to have careers that wouldn't otherwise have had them.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 1912/10/2011

Imagine if someone like Johnny Cash would've ben autotuned. It makes the singer of a song a machine, not an organism.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2012/10/2011

JLo, Madonna, Britney, most of them.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2112/10/2011

R17, you're thinking of the duet with Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks on the awards show where Taylor sounded a bit off key.

Taylor Swift has never done a duet with Miley on an awards show.

R13, is that video of Miley on The Today Show a disaster because the recording is malfunctioning? She can't possibly be singing that badly on her own. No way.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2212/10/2011

R19, can you name some names of performers who otherwise would not have had a career without autotune?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2312/10/2011

R22--that Today video has a fake soundtrack. It's a parody.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2412/10/2011

Never, r22?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2512/10/2011

R24, a parody? Why would Miley be doing a parody? Isn't it just the tape malfunctioning? I'm asking - I don't know.

Sorry, R25, my mistake.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2612/10/2011

Miley didn't do the parody, you idiot. Someone is mocking her.

Here is the real tape:

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2712/10/2011

I like the expressions on the faces of the little girl and boy at 1:21.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2812/10/2011

R27's video is with autotune.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 2912/10/2011

R10 is correct.

And any young person who has taken choir class knows what autotune is, even if they don't know exactly what it is. When it's used for that chirpy robo-voice effect, it's plainly obvious a human can't replicate that with their own voice.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3012/10/2011

Music teachers talk about autotune to their students. I think sometimes people who don't know kids these days think they're a lot more gullible than they are. A lot of them are growing up not trusting things their parents still trust (tabloids, newscasts, etc.). The internet tends to burn out the gullibility quickly.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3112/10/2011

You know who didn't need Autotune?

Top this, kiddies!

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3212/10/2011

[quote]It makes the singer of a song a machine, not an organism.

I love this phrase, and I agree with you.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3312/10/2011

Justin Bieber just farts into the microphone.

Autotune takes care of the rest.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3412/10/2011

In some of her performances on the Grammys, Taylor Swift is shockingly off key. But, with all the flashing lights and dry ice who hears it?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3512/10/2011

In one her most recent awards show performances, Taylor sang a poignant, moving ballad she with nothing except her own guitar playing....

and she sounded remarkably good and got a standing ovation from the audience.

And it was not an easy audience to please consisting of the music world of performers and industry insiders.

No band, no smoke, no dry ice, no fireworks, no video, no light show....

just a song she wrote and playing her guitar alone on stage.

It was really quite good.

I have heard her sing less well though.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3612/10/2011

Nashville guy, why can't autotune be used for a live performance, when vocals have to go through a mixer anyway?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3712/10/2011

The purpose of Taylor Swift is to sell records to the teenage daughters of White, Republican Americans. Nobody outside of this demographic knows who Taylor Swift is.

Her songs are pretty bad, so history will not remember her either. Having said that, she makes the anti-gay right wingers, who rule Country radio, serious cash.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3812/10/2011

oh for christ sakes, R38, millions of teen and pre-teen daughters of democrats love Taylor Swift too

you are really a know-nothing buffoon

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 3912/10/2011

When was autotune made available? Did the 70s rockers use it?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4012/10/2011

An early (1982) approximation of Auto-Tune before there was Auto-Tune (1997).

Listen to the first "Love come down .. all the way down."

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4112/10/2011

[quote]YOU CAN NOT HEAR IT, NO MATTER ANYBODY SAYS

I can always tell because voices are supposed to have imperfections. Whenever I hear any recording with smooth, glass-like vocals, you just know it has been enhanced. Too bad because those little imperfections are what give a voice character. Can you imagine what they wouldve done to Janis?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4212/10/2011

Some replies in this thread are confusing Auto-Tune with a vocoder.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4312/11/2011

Whuzzuh vocoder?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4412/11/2011

JLo made-makes her career on Autotune...so its traditional use was unknown/undetected.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4512/11/2011

ECK could actually sing...not autotuned.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4612/11/2011

[quote]Taylor sounded a bit off key.

It's not "a bit" off key when it comes to Taylor Swift. Her live performances are an assault on the ears of anyone who knows music. The teens who buy her records have grown up with noise that is mislabeled as music so they have no idea that she can't carry a tune in a bucket.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4712/11/2011

Used constantly on Beiber. His superstardom has astounded me.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4812/11/2011

The average person doesn't even know about what key a song is in and what notes are supposed to be sung.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 4912/11/2011

r37, I think they actually do have that technology. I remember when the Spice Girls reunited and were going on tour, there was talk about some new piece of mixing equipment with the autotune built in, so if somebody sang a wrong note, the software would "catch" what they had sung in a millisecond, but would tune it to the correct note before it was amplified. Useful for Posh Spice, who couldn't sing for shit.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5012/11/2011

r37 -- It's hard to use autotune live for two reasons: one, singers always sing songs a little differently; they change a note here and there. autotune wouldn't recognize what note the singer was going for. two, if the singer hears something different in the monitors than what he sings, it messes him up. it's like talking on a speakerphone with a slight delay. it's just disorienting enough to not be workable.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5112/11/2011

Isn't that why they lip synch R51?

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5212/11/2011

They didn't have "autotune" during the 60's and 70's...we had real talent during that era.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5312/11/2011

Taylor Swift has to be one of the worse live singers of the generation. I've had the misfortune of seeing her live three times (for concerts where she was one of the acts) and all three times were awful. In fact, Kesha was singing during one of those shows and Kesha was a better live singer than TS. Wacked.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5412/11/2011

And, Taylor wins every award.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5512/11/2011

Children who grow up singing in choir or who have parents who play decent music at home can tell if something has been autotuned or not.

However. The Miss Justine Bieber fans could very well think that how she "sings" is all natural.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5612/11/2011

Don't awards shows now basically require auto tune. It's not just so that crappy singers can sound better. It's also used for singers who can give outstanding live performances, just as a sort of "insurance" plan. Once that "just in case" mindset gets imbedded in production circles, it's no wonder that everyone from the crappiest to the very best live singers get autotuned.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5712/11/2011

So you can use autotune live?

I've always heard something off with Shakira, Beyonce, JLo, Britney, Rhianna, etc....for lack of a better description, it's a metallic harmonic whine that I hear.

I don't hear it with Babs, Celine, Old Whitney, Old Mariah (but definitely New Mariah, which puzzles me).

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5812/11/2011

Many country artists (for example) use autotune singing live.

It's no great technical challenge: MANY artist "play along" with pre-recorded instruments (drum machines, synths, backing vocals - even their own vocals). The live musicians are good enough to stay in sync. The autotune device is pre-programmed with the melody and corrects the live singer in a couple of milliseconds.

The more the note is corrected, the more "fake" it sounds (like the deliberately effected vocals in Cher's 'Believe').

One easy way to tell is that heavily autotuned live vocals lose their vibrato (which is a voice's natural wavering of pitch) so that they sound "even", like an organ note.

by Ancient, 30 year old fellareply 5912/11/2011
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