Author Topic: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.  (Read 11023 times)

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Online Ed.Kloonk

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Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« on: December 18, 2021, 04:29:10 am »
A comparison of two live vocal performances of Art singing Bridge over troubled water. One from 1981 and the other from 2009 released with Auto-tune. A non-Autotune 2009 version isn't available.

25min video or you may prefer to examine just the isolated vocal comparisons:
1981 https://youtu.be/1ylQPwNofmQ&t=122s
2009 https://youtu.be/1ylQPwNofmQ&t=521s

The youtuber does a pretty good rant in the vid, so I'll spare ya.

Bottom line is if you are buying old music, check that they haven't applied this garbage to it. The record companies think it's cool apparently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Tune

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Offline David Hess

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2021, 05:17:49 am »
I cannot say that I am surprised.  It was a matter of time.

I hear a lot of modern music with the vocals processed both with autotune and harmonization.
 
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2021, 05:21:54 am »
I agree with the gentleman on the video.  I was thinking auto-tune was a form of cheating.  It was discussed in this thread back then (thread link below).

I must add, I enjoy "real" music better.  Listening to computer created perfection is not the same as listening to a human performance.  It just doesn't invoke the same kind of emotion when you know it is just a computer making the "art".


I was listening to some old vocal music.  It occur to me, those are real voices!  The volume, the fullness of the voice, the breath of nodes the singer can carry...  That was what that singer can really do.

With modern electronics, "auto-tune" must be a lot better.  Doing it on-the-fly would likely no longer be discernible.  "Cher effect" is for all practical purpose as long ago as "Sonny and Cher".  Now you really don't know if the singer can really carry that node, or is it just pure electronics at work.  (Amplification aside.)

Wikipedia has a list of those who refuse to use "auto-tune" and those known to use it.  I think it is probably in much wider use than we know.  May be.

You consider that cheating as I do?  For well known performers, how wild spread do you think auto-tune (or similar) is used these days?
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 05:28:43 am by Rick Law »
 
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Online Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2021, 05:42:50 am »
To answer your question, Rick, some performers are using it on the fly during concerts. With mixed results. There are a few y/t vids where they have caught the performance in the phone and then looked at it closer. One video I saw there was a point where they realized the effect was so munt that they turned it off. From that point the singer's warts-and-all voice went out to the audience.

The same youtuber had a video on this about Michael Buble. So insidious.

Auto-tune goes wrong LIVE for Michael Bublé. Is it REALLY worth the risk?!
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Online fourfathom

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2021, 05:49:52 am »
Even when it's not obvious to some, I can still hear the autotune artifacts.  It bugs me, probably more than it should, but I just can't stand it.
 
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Offline george.b

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2021, 12:02:23 pm »
Auto-tune is absolute garbage. I don't understand how people can enjoy auto-tuned performances. Maybe I'm getting old.
 
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2021, 01:31:58 pm »
A while ago I bought  a CD of Bridge Over Troubled Water, only to find it was strange - because it had been remastered.

I sent it back, and got a transcription of the original album.
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Offline Domagoj T

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2021, 03:46:09 pm »
I struggle to comprehend how could any sound engineer think this sounds good.
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2021, 03:01:03 am »
Well, IMHO, it's not really about sounding "good". It's probably that producers get pressure to use autotune everywhere, because that's what people have now become used to and the majority of them (especially younger ones who have known nothing else) are likely to find recordings without autotune "weird'.

So even remastered stuff - if they intend on getting more sales and touch a younger audience, they may *need* to do it. Yeah it's like all trends.
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2021, 03:05:23 am »
And I though rap was the bottom of the music industry....
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Offline BradC

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2021, 03:05:30 am »
 
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Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2021, 03:53:12 pm »
This is all about record companies making money.  Auto-tune sounds like crap, but you won’t know it until after you pay the record companies.  Look at what Phil Spector did to music especially the Beatles.  It was about a noise and a wall of sound not the quality or fidelity of the music.  Just look at the voice quality of cell phones.  When cell phones were first hit the market they were trying to get the quality of a landline.  Now, it’s a race to see how little bandwidth is required to get good enough voice quality,

It’s all about money.  Alway has, always will,
 

Offline Haenk

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2021, 06:42:19 pm »
This guy also has a nice video on Michael Jackson recording voice doubling. Absolutely no autotune involved, he just hits the note - 100%, every single time. He just moves around the room to change the ambience.

On the autotune-topic, I think there is a Netflix documentation on this - how software invented to analyze seismic waves turned into autotune (and the inventor obviously made millions from it).
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2021, 07:00:35 pm »
Isn't Auto-tune the electric guitar, Moog synthesizer or tape loop of this generation but for voice?  The Beatles used all, and mufti-track recordings, is this really any different?  I'm sure this same argument was made well over 100 years ago when songs were recorded on wax cylinders and records.  Depending on the type of microphone and placement the voice was altered.
 

Offline John B

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2021, 07:33:48 pm »
Auto tune as far as I can tell was invented as a band-aid, not as a new frontier in sound.

This doesn't mean that a recording that uses auto tune can't be musical, but you have to assess the end product as a combination of the proficiency and skill of the auto tuner, not just the vocalist. Sometimes 99.99% the auto tuner  ;D

I think auto tune does fundamentally represent a devolution of musical ideas. That is to say that notes in music are complex entities with many parameters, and are often continuous rather than discreet. This doesn't really mesh with how it's typically implemented in technology, and so it's just another element that gets neatly quantised and simplified, along with harmony, rhythm, tempo and phrasing.
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2021, 08:19:44 pm »
Auto tune as far as I can tell was invented as a band-aid, not as a new frontier in sound.

This doesn't mean that a recording that uses auto tune can't be musical, but you have to assess the end product as a combination of the proficiency and skill of the auto tuner, not just the vocalist. Sometimes 99.99% the auto tuner  ;D

I think auto tune does fundamentally represent a devolution of musical ideas. That is to say that notes in music are complex entities with many parameters, and are often continuous rather than discreet. This doesn't really mesh with how it's typically implemented in technology, and so it's just another element that gets neatly quantised and simplified, along with harmony, rhythm, tempo and phrasing.


I think what you are saying is music sucks today - No disagreement.
 

Online YurkshireLad

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2021, 08:22:34 pm »
Auto-tuned singing sounds fake, and you lose the character of the original singer. But without auto-tune a majority of the current singers wouldn't be consistently good enough to record. I'm being a touch cynical but I hate the music industry as it is these days. I grew up listening to music in the late 70s and 80s, the golden era!  8)
 
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2021, 08:26:29 pm »
May be some very devoted music fan can some day make a difference...

Sue them under false advertisement.  This is not the persons voice as depicted on the cover, this is a computer generated voice basing on the person's voice.  Then, after one or a few such law suits, the record company may find it necessary to put some visible indication on the cover; something like "This recording has been modified by computer and is not a true representation of the person's singing."

Law suits are expensive, so this will need to be a class-action kind of suit driven by a group of some sort.  Seriously, I would consider joining such a group.  I am not particularly devoted, but I like my music real.  At times, the imperfection or even the trembling of the voice can convey real emotion adding to the singing.
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2021, 08:31:19 pm »
Auto-tuned singing sounds fake, and you lose the character of the original singer. But without auto-tune a majority of the current singers wouldn't be consistently good enough to record. I'm being a touch cynical but I hate the music industry as it is these days. I grew up listening to music in the late 70s and 80s, the golden era!  8)

So true.  I think Marni Nixon was the first Auto-tune.  She was the singing voice for Audrey Hepburn, Debra Kerr, Natalie Wood and many other well known movie musicals.

Movie and record industry has been dubbing for 100 years.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2021, 08:36:43 pm »
Auto-tuned singing sounds fake, and you lose the character of the original singer. But without auto-tune a majority of the current singers wouldn't be consistently good enough to record. I'm being a touch cynical but I hate the music industry as it is these days. I grew up listening to music in the late 70s and 80s, the golden era!  8)

I know it's a complete reversal of the stereotype but I don't know how the kids can listen to the stuff they do today, it's so bland!
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Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2021, 08:45:42 pm »
Isn't Auto-tune the electric guitar, Moog synthesizer or tape loop of this generation but for voice?  The Beatles used all, and mufti-track recordings, is this really any different?  I'm sure this same argument was made well over 100 years ago when songs were recorded on wax cylinders and records.  Depending on the type of microphone and placement the voice was altered.

Even if that's the case, it should not be applied to existing records. That's just... wrong.

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2021, 08:56:02 pm »
Auto-tuned singing sounds fake, and you lose the character of the original singer. But without auto-tune a majority of the current singers wouldn't be consistently good enough to record. I'm being a touch cynical but I hate the music industry as it is these days. I grew up listening to music in the late 70s and 80s, the golden era!  8)

I know it's a complete reversal of the stereotype but I don't know how the kids can listen to the stuff they do today, it's so bland!

Any where is the creativity? 
 

Offline John B

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2021, 09:20:30 pm »
Isn't Auto-tune the electric guitar, Moog synthesizer or tape loop of this generation but for voice?  The Beatles used all, and mufti-track recordings, is this really any different?  I'm sure this same argument was made well over 100 years ago when songs were recorded on wax cylinders and records.  Depending on the type of microphone and placement the voice was altered.

Even if that's the case, it should not be applied to existing records. That's just... wrong.

It's a tough call. The musicians did sign away the rights of ownership to recording companies, but it was also at a time when there was no other choice, not like nowadays when an individual can buy their own recording equipment that vastly exceeds the quality of the best 70's studios.

To me this highlights the importance of owning physical copies and personal backups of recordings, much like movies. You can't trust large corporations to not fiddle with IP over time, whether to "historically revise" media for political purposes, or make good aesthetic judgements.
 

Online MrMobodies

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2021, 12:44:02 am »
A while ago I bought  a CD of Bridge Over Troubled Water, only to find it was strange - because it had been remastered.

I sent it back, and got a transcription of the original album.

I have noticed a lot of 80's stuff on YouTube sounding horrible despite seeing "Remastered" written on it. When I look for something that wasn't "remastered" like recorded from a record player quite a few seems to sound the way I remembered it sounding.

I knew there was some fiddling going on with these so called "remastered" stuff but I didn't know what it was and didn't sound good to me.

I thought a long time ago that remastering was about using other ways to remove noise and cleaning the picture up a bit.

Quote
Merriam-Webster
Definition of remaster transitive verb. :
to create a new master of especially by altering or enhancing the sound quality of an older recording.

Full Definition of enhance
transitive verb

1: HEIGHTEN, INCREASE
especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness

Now they alter or interfere with it.

When I hear fancy words like like enhance I always think what bullshit maybe behind it.

Why can't they just LEAVE it alone.
 

Online Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Auto-Tune. Now used on Simon and Garfunkel.
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2021, 04:49:47 am »

Why can't they just LEAVE it alone.

Why indeed.
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