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Autotune - the devils work or must have?


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On 22/08/2021 at 09:43, Nail Soup said:

I used the Melodyne in this months Composition challenge...... was pretty easy to use, but not sure what effect it had on overall quality of the track!

That’s the thing isn’t it , a lovely, rounded, beautiful in tune voice will carry a tune on its own , I never judge a challenge entry on the singing , well , I couldn’t really could I 😂

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So I've used pitch correction, and seen the 'blobs' produced by melodyne analysis. They tell you the nearest note of each blob , and how many 'cents' it was off.

My question is how many cents off would a typical 'good' singer be most of the time? Are they pitch perfect, or just close enough? And what is close enough?

(Not necessarily rhetorical questions.... if anyone has an answer would like to hear it!)

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36 minutes ago, lurksalot said:

I never judge a challenge entry on the singing

That is something of a relief given that I've actually tried proper singing this month.

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40 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

So I've used pitch correction, and seen the 'blobs' produced by melodyne analysis. They tell you the nearest note of each blob , and how many 'cents' it was off.

My question is how many cents off would a typical 'good' singer be most of the time? Are they pitch perfect, or just close enough? And what is close enough?

(Not necessarily rhetorical questions.... if anyone has an answer would like to hear it!)

 

Going for 'zero' might be the best starting point..? No idea otherwise; I'm a drummer, so 'Pitch..? Schmitch..!'. xD

Edited by Dad3353
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On 23/08/2021 at 17:15, Dad3353 said:

 

Going for 'zero' might be the best starting point..? No idea otherwise; I'm a drummer, so 'Pitch..? Schmitch..!'. xD

 

Unfortunately not. You'll end up sounding like a bad 80s synth preset applied to a voice.

 

My take is to just fix the notes that sound wrong. By all means use the guide to show you whether to sharpen or flatten but I wouldn't go anymore than half way between "perfect" and when it stops sounding out of tune.

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On 23/08/2021 at 16:36, Nail Soup said:

So I've used pitch correction, and seen the 'blobs' produced by melodyne analysis. They tell you the nearest note of each blob , and how many 'cents' it was off.

My question is how many cents off would a typical 'good' singer be most of the time? Are they pitch perfect, or just close enough? And what is close enough?

(Not necessarily rhetorical questions.... if anyone has an answer would like to hear it!)

It depends on the singer or instrument, as every note played or sung by a human on a real instrument has intonation and vibrato and pitch bend etc. Melodyn tracks all this information so that it can retain as much of the personality of the note as possible. Centring all notes to 0 will give a pitch perfect rendition, but that may not be what you need, so correcting EVERY note in a performance shouldn't be the goal (IMO) and you should only be altering those notes that are obviously out of tune, sharp or flat.

 

I'll run Melodyn over every vocal performance I do, but may only end up "correcting" a handful of notes for the main vocal, BV's tend to get a bit more attention, particularly high harmonies, but you'll find perfectly tracked and tuned BVs end up sounding small, as its the inconstancies of tone and pitch that add weight to multi-tracked vocal.

 

It's a tool like everything else in recording, use it to create the result you want to hear, my rule of thumb is that if I can hear the correction in the mix, I'm overusing it.

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From experience, autotune (I use variaudio in Cubase) is great for the small fixes. Whilst some clients say not to use it, they usually don't need it to be fair. 

 

The thing is, you can make a performance sound perfect in terms of tuning, but what you can't do is give a performance the authority of being performed confidently. Nothing will fix that.

 

When I did a solo album I autotuned all of it. Mainly because I'm not a great singer despite having perfect pitch. It sounds fine, but someone better at singing than me wouldn't have needed it.

 

Most modern stuff has been nipped and tucked here and there. I tend to try and do things as light touch as possible.

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