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Autotune - the devils work or must have?


Nicko
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A quick listen to my (and dare I say some other) entries to the basschat recording challenge will leave you with a distinct impression that the vocals are very dodgy.  So the question is should us less able vocalists use the tech that's there to at least get us in tune.  If so what's the recommended vst - preferably a freebie?

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I am completely comfortable with Autotune. I think if it is tweaking rather than re-writing a performance, it's fine. We use effects on instruments and electronic tuners and I think sometimes some people are a bit precious about it. With digital recording we've moved rogue cymbal crashes or the odd note if the general performance is good, so why not tweak a vocal? So long as it isn't doing something that realistically we could normally do. A good performance with a note that could be better, yeah, no issues from me. 

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I’m way Cat on this - if it saves a great performance then why not; it’s got its place in modern WDM/Hip Hop etc, but if you depend on it as a singer then you should probably look at some lessons, but ultimately it’s only pop music - nobody dies.

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T'would need the processing power of Deep Blue to even try to get my 'singing' even remotely in tune. I think I'd be best relegated to the 'Lee Marvin' camp (and even then...). I envy anyone with a voice (except maybe Lurks...), and applaud anything that improves anything. Precious, me..? Precious little. :|

Edited by Dad3353
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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

T'would need the processing power of Deep Blue to even try to get my 'singing' even remotely in tune. I think I'd be best relegated to the 'Lee Marvin' camp (and even then...). I envy anyone with a voice (except maybe Lurks...), and applaud anything that improves anything. Precious, me..? Precious little. :|

I had noticed that vocals have been distinctly lacking from your entries 😀

 

The modus operandi appears to be to put on a silly voice when attempting to sing outside ones comfort zone  - I was wondering if autotune would provide a bit more confidence.

 

edit: I lack confidence even though when singing in the correct range I can hold a tune.  Mrs Nicko was, for example,  completely unaware that I was singing lead vox in the chorus of Dakota when she came to a gig.

Edited by Nicko
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50 minutes ago, Nicko said:

I had noticed that vocals have been distinctly lacking from your entries 😀...

 

I have a small stable of robots, when lyrics are de rigor, or samples, if it's just vocals for vocals sake. I've yet to find anything with convincing operatic capability, though, which is what I'd really like to offer. One day, maybe; one day. 

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If you have either Cubase or Studio One, both have decent tools for this.

Cubase has VariAudio and Studio One has Melodyne. Although, Melodyne is a cut back version, but it works great on Mono Audio files.

Both are used after the fact. VariAudio is excellent. Not only pitching to any percentage within reason but also controlling vibrato speeds etc.

It can also create harmonies from the original file.

 

 

Also, 'Waves Tune' is on a deal if you use the code: CREATE40

It works out at $35.99.

 

Waves Tune Vocal Pitch Correction Plugin | Waves

 

The Sound On Sound review is very favourable as well.

Waves Tune Real-Time (soundonsound.com)

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19 hours ago, Nicko said:

A quick listen to my (and dare I say some other) entries to the basschat recording challenge will leave you with a distinct impression that the vocals are very dodgy.  So the question is should us less able vocalists use the tech that's there to at least get us in tune.  If so what's the recommended vst - preferably a freebie?

I’ve absolutely no idea what you are talking about !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

😂

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19 hours ago, Nicko said:

A quick listen to my (and dare I say some other) entries to the basschat recording challenge will leave you with a distinct impression that the vocals are very dodgy.  So the question is should us less able vocalists use the tech that's there to at least get us in tune.  If so what's the recommended vst - preferably a freebie?

I’ve tried a few auto tunes but I probably just don’t know how to use them properly , I spend far more time on a vocal ( recording, retaking , rehearsing, retaking , re-recording and then removing ) than I should. 
I think however, that at least I can count on @Dad3353 support on my journey.

I think singing lessons are the best place to start and sometimes the mute button is your friend, but mostly I use the old adage ..., Sod em , I love it 😁

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2 hours ago, lurksalot said:

I’ve tried a few auto tunes but I probably just don’t know how to use them properly , I spend far more time on a vocal ( recording, retaking , rehearsing, retaking , re-recording and then removing ) than I should. 
I think however, that at least I can count on @Dad3353 support on my journey.

I think singing lessons are the best place to start and sometimes the mute button is your friend, but mostly I use the old adage ..., Sod em , I love it 😁

I also spend a lot of time doing retakes of my vocals - not that you'd notice - and many of my verses are a take for each line or phrase.  I know it's a confidence/practice thing because sometimes I get something spot on, only to stumble over the lyrics or something.  At one point I considered joining a local rock choir to boost my confidence and literally "find my voice".  I went along to one session which was OK but when I saw the list of songs I decided that I just couldn't do it  -too much mid 80s soft rock and worship stuff for me but I;m still convinced thats the kinda thing I need - as well as maybe a bit of help from an the vst.

 

 

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13 hours ago, lowdown said:

If you have either Cubase or Studio One, both have decent tools for this.

Cubase has VariAudio and Studio One has Melodyne. Although, Melodyne is a cut back version, but it works great on Mono Audio files.

Both are used after the fact. VariAudio is excellent. Not only pitching to any percentage within reason but also controlling vibrato speeds etc.

It can also create harmonies from the original file.

 

 

Also, 'Waves Tune' is on a deal if you use the code: CREATE40

It works out at $35.99.

 

Waves Tune Vocal Pitch Correction Plugin | Waves

 

The Sound On Sound review is very favourable as well.

Waves Tune Real-Time (soundonsound.com)

Thanks.  I use Cubase but the cheap versions didn't come with VariAudio.  I might have a look at some free ones and see if polishing the turd is actually worth spending money on before looking at Wavestune.

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Steinberg have a sale on at the moment and all upgrades are discounted. 

 

I have the Variaudio in my Cubase Pro (although I am just an amateur !!)  and it is very good.  I believe that the Variaudio is included with Cubase Artist nowadays.

 

Also - you said in an earlier post that you do a load of takes of your vocals.... the Artist version and the Pro version of Cubase have a special "comping" function to help you assemble the best of your material.

 

 

Edited by milford59
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Maybe for fixing the odd waver here and there, but...

 

...if it's to rescue the bulk of a performance, it's kinda like a keys player playing bass with the left hand to save getting a bass player in 😄

Edited by wateroftyne
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37 minutes ago, milford59 said:

Steinberg have a sale on at the moment and all upgrades are discounted. 

 

I have the Variaudio in my Cubase Pro (although I am just an amateur !!)  and it is very good.  I believe that the Variaudio is included with Cubase Artist nowadays.

 

Also - you said in an earlier post that you do a load of takes of your vocals.... the Artist version and the Pro version of Cubase have a special "comping" function to help you assemble the best of your material.

 

 

I'd also have to upgrade my PC to get a Cubase upgrade.  To be honest when I do that I'm likely to give Reaper a try.

 

As for the comping function - I normally record it on a loop and keep the best bits of each take so its no major hastle at the mo.

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7 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

Maybe for fixing the odd waver here and there, but...

 

...if it's to rescue the bulk of a performance, it's kinda like a keys player playing bass with the left hand to save getting a bass player in 😄

Have you got his phone number, can I have it 😉

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12 hours ago, lurksalot said:

I’ve tried a few auto tunes but I probably just don’t know how to use them properly , I spend far more time on a vocal ( recording, retaking , rehearsing, retaking , re-recording and then removing ) than I should. 
I think however, that at least I can count on @Dad3353 support on my journey 😉...😘

I think singing lessons are the best place to start and sometimes the mute button is your friend, but mostly I use the old adage ..., Sod em , I love it 😁

Fixed for Douglas 😁 @Dad3353

Edited by lurksalot
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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m trying a new way of using it this month !

ive run a keyboard of the ‘melody’ and through the auto tune , this has visually identified the notes I should be using in the vocal .

I can then accurately set it up so that I have a visual stimulus to see the variation of pitch to the target.

I think it is helping to get it closer , but I guess I won’t be the best judge of that 😂

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1 hour ago, lurksalot said:

I’m trying a new way of using it this month !

ive run a keyboard of the ‘melody’ and through the auto tune , this has visually identified the notes I should be using in the vocal .

I can then accurately set it up so that I have a visual stimulus to see the variation of pitch to the target.

I think it is helping to get it closer , but I guess I won’t be the best judge of that 😂

I'm looking forward to seeing how that works out.  I hadn't realised you were using autotune so I guess the way you are using it is the right way at the mo.  I'm still going au naturel at present but will have to see how this month works out - there's still time to install a vst and tidy up the vox.

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9 hours ago, Nicko said:

I'm looking forward to seeing how that works out.  I hadn't realised you were using autotune so I guess the way you are using it is the right way at the mo.  I'm still going au naturel at present but will have to see how this month works out - there's still time to install a vst and tidy up the vox.

I don’t usually do auto tune as the setting up is a pain and it’s obvious , however , this time I am using it as a technique to get closer to melody I was hoping for and the visual aspect of that seems to help ! 

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Some of the best vocal performances in history would be ruined by auto tune 

 

It's a tool to fix a bad or lacking performance. If you possibly can, get the performance right, even if that is not perfectly in tune, it has to carry the emotional intent of the song to the listener. Too much insistence on perfect in tuneness can destroy that connection I think.

 

That having been said, Bob Dylan can do one, worst vocalist in history IMO. Bob Vylan on the other hand, now he's superb.

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On 13/08/2021 at 14:01, Nail Soup said:

I’ve never used auto tune. I guess I’m old fashioned and also it’s not available in my DAW (Studio One).

However Studio one does partner with Melodyne and there is a trial version available…… so I’m considering it!

Well, I've taken the plunge.

5 minutes after the above post I downloaded the trial version of Melodyne, and been playing with it since. Pretty good...... just need to see if the features I need are contained in the basic (i.e. cheap) version.

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