Who else in this town hates it? Who else won't use it? I personally think we should put an asterisk on any record that uses it and an aserisk next to any chart position of any song that contains tuned vocals. Just like we should put an anterisk next to Barry Bonds and Macgwire's numbers in baseball. WHO"S WITH ME?
Don't get me started. This is one of my biggest audio technology pet peeves. If the "artists" are to be considered "professional" then auto tuning should never enter the discussion. If they can't sing in tune, get someone who can. If you want to use it as an effect, no problem. In my books, close behind auto tuning is aligning tracks.
(treading lightly here...) With the introduction of Antares, years ago, record labels found they could sell looks and vocal talent became second. We've trained the consumer's ears, (and brain) to expect it. So much so that groups are using the hardware piece live. I don't think the majority of consumers care if it is used. I hear it SO much on kid show theme songs, anthing from Disney, etc. Way over used!!! (OK, I watch with my 8 year old daughter). To quote Shane Hicks, who is on here, "I'd rather hear the sound of my bicycle tire going flat then to hear a tuned vocal".
I've been fortunate enough to work with some singers who, if a word or line was out they, would resing it.
Now with better programs, V-Vocal in Sonar, Melodyne, or even Antares 4, with judicial use, it's less noticable. I think it will be around forever, like the level war, how loud can we make it (of which I am not a fan). I guess it's something we'll have to live with. (it does make us money...;-)
I have noticed this for a couple of years now and it IS amazing! It's the snapping to the note thing and also that weird vibrato. The interesting thing is now both Autotune and Melodyne have the ability to be used in such a way as to be virtually "invisible". Good tools - bad implementation (some times).
I have heard several singers do this. I once tuned an otherwise good raw vocal specifically to make it sound less tuned, lest I be accused of tuning badly.
On the tuning topic as a whole, I think it's a fairly natural evolution in the music business. We are eager and willing to effect any instrument in the band. We feel no guilt about changing dynamics, timbre or timing, why not pitch? I think tuning is an effect that we need to be careful with and use tastefully, but as an engineer my job is to make music that sounds as good as I can manage, even if that includes "improving" a sloppy performance.
With that being said, there is nothing I hate more when listening to music than to be able to hear a vocal tuner work. I'd rather hear pitchy notes than a poorly tuned vocal. Did anybody watch the movie Across the Universe? I couldn't even finish it.
My two cents, There's nothing wrong with auto tuning as long as it's not over done I hate the robotic sound that some get but I love it when it's done right. I do however agree with Mike Porter to some extent. If you have a singer that can nail it, don't fix it if it's not broken BUT, how many singers can you find that can do that? Just my humble opinion.
Having been fortunate enough to have worked around someone who had worked on Sinatra sessions and had related some stories to me, I can only imagine the blood bath that would have occurred if auto tune had existed back then and someone had even suggested fixing a Sinatra vocal. And I agree with Randy Gardner about the involvement of the marketing department in all of this. I know of too many great singers that should have major label contracts but don't because they didn't have the looks or sex appeal. I'm getting close to unleashing my rants about the labels. Please stand by...a new thread is coming.
It's just a tool. You can use it musically or unmusically. When you get hired to make a record, you do what needs to be done to give your client a professional product. If that means tuning, then so be it. Should we put an asterisk next to multitracked records?... on records where the vocals or instruments have been punched? ...on comped vocals?... on tuned vocals? ... on tracks that have had parts flown or nudged forwards or backwards?... on records that use samples?.... simulated ambience? I'm sure all these things were considered cheating just a bit when they first came out. It's just a tool. You can use lots of tools the wrong way.
I'm sure I am making myself a target because of this reply but I just can't help myself.
Amen, Jed. As soon as we acquired the ability to edit recorded performances, it has been adulterated to a degree. I've enjoyed the fruits of that adulteration in many, many cases and only get pissed off when it seems like the process is louder than the performance.
i see your points. we all cheat in one way or another and i am by no means the farmer who insists on plowing with a mule because "this dang newfangled technology ain't right"
However i would be wary of any new technology that i feel may compromoise the crop. ie; a pesticide. so i guess this thread has made me realize that i am not an amish butter churner, but maybe an organic farmer. now that probably sounds totally granola hippie bullshit to most but i guess that's where i'm at recording wise. anyway music's so cool when it's kind of messed up, human.
Disclaimer: i shower every day and don't own birkenstocks.; there is NOT a lava lamp in my studio. especially not sitting on top of the console. errrr.