Vocalists - autotune??

Kieron

Distinguished Member
There was a conversation over in GC about Leona Lewis (her of the punchbag ilk) where one member said that in shows such as X-Factor etc most of the vocals were being ran through an "autotune" computer - in real time?

How can the computer know the correct key to change to. Take Mariah (wail wail) Carey - what on earth would a computer make of all that?

In studios - of course corrections are made, but live TV shows?
 

Jay

Banned
I didn't see her performance, but yeah it is possible to have auto tune in real time.

Auto tune has been rinsed out now though, everyone sounds like T pain nowadays :D
 

unique

Moderator
think of digitising something like a photo and converting everything onto graph paper, you have to work out a value and work out if it should be one category or another. thus with autotune it will work out what pitch the sound is closest to and tune to that pitch, or you can play about a bit more with higher settings. you can't just take any old crap singer and make them sound good with it, it just ends up sounding like daft punk or kayne west

i don't know if you watch the tv show glee, but it this weeks episode was like an autotune demonstration, the vocals were so unnatural
 

Kieron

Distinguished Member
Wow, really shocked there. No I don't watch the show, I was just suprised that something like this was available "real time"
 

unique

Moderator
the glee vocals were prerecorded. from what i understand autotune is a plugin for software normally used on prerecorded vocals, but if the processor was fast enough it should be able to process on the fly just like any other digital effect. i presume kayne west must have used it on his last tour to promote his autotuned album
 

Iccz

Member
the glee vocals were prerecorded. from what i understand autotune is a plugin for software normally used on prerecorded vocals, but if the processor was fast enough it should be able to process on the fly just like any other digital effect. i presume kayne west must have used it on his last tour to promote his autotuned album
Correct, Software VSTs are available for post-production on vocals, usually for professionals, for the live on-the-fly stuff they will route the vocals through a piece of rack hardware such as:
Antares News & Reviews
 

genji

Novice Member
the glee vocals were prerecorded. from what i understand autotune is a plugin for software normally used on prerecorded vocals, but if the processor was fast enough it should be able to process on the fly just like any other digital effect. i presume kayne west must have used it on his last tour to promote his autotuned album
I haven't used Autotune since Antares sorted out their copy protection but I use Logic's built-in equivalent and generally run it live. By that I mean the original (out of tune) audio track is fed through the pitch correction plug-in and it corrects the pitch on the fly every time you hit play. I suppose you could export the corrected vocal to a new audio track but you generally run it like any other effect - reverb, delay, compression, whatever.
 

unique

Moderator
I haven't used Autotune since Antares sorted out their copy protection but I use Logic's built-in equivalent and generally run it live. By that I mean the original (out of tune) audio track is fed through the pitch correction plug-in and it corrects the pitch on the fly every time you hit play. I suppose you could export the corrected vocal to a new audio track but you generally run it like any other effect - reverb, delay, compression, whatever.
so on your home computer/laptop you can plug in a mic, sing live and output to an amp or mixer?

i presume you use mac if it's logic you use, unless you have an ancient version?
 

genji

Novice Member
so on your home computer/laptop you can plug in a mic, sing live and output to an amp or mixer?

i presume you use mac if it's logic you use, unless you have an ancient version?
Not that I've tried it (I have to concentrate really hard to get the pitch anywhere near accurate) but I'm positive you can do that. Logic 8 Pro includes a package called Mainstage that is specifically designed for live stage use and lets you apply all the plug-ins in real-time to your input (vocals, guitars, whatever) while also playing its soft synths from your USB/MIDI keyboard. I'm sure Live will also let you run vsts or Logic components in realtime.

As someone said earlier though, if you're not a halfway decent singer then autotune is just going to make you sound like Kanye West if you use it live. With an audio track you can tweak the pitch on specific segments without using a plug-in.

Yes - iMac IC2D and MBP IC2D, both of which are covered by a single licence. I used Cubase from 1990 till about 2004 but each version was less and less stable and it got very frustrating. A friend (who works in Cupertino on the Logic development team) of a friend sent me a NFR full version of Logic 7 Pro and I was so happy and comfortable with it I bought Logic 8 on release along with an Apogee Duet.

Of course, Apple have a huge advantage with Logic in that they also manufacture the hardware, so there are zero compatibility issues and ultimate scope for optimisation. That said, Macs are Macs, so I couldn't understand why Steinberg couldn't develop a stable piece of software if their lives depended on it.

I found Live quite a steep learning curve, although my pro-muso friend wouldn't use anything else from a very early version (he did roadshows for M-Audio, though, so he got everything for free). His impression of Logic was like mine of Live - nice, but meh.
 

PJTX100

Distinguished Member
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unique

Moderator
I've always thought of autotune as a studio technique to get a particular effect with a voice, not to fix an out of tune voice.

That said, on this youtube vid the spoken voice of (among others) Carl Sagan is autotuned into a (great) piece of music, so I suppose anything is possible...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk
the idea for autotune was for it to be subtle and not noticed so you thought the singer was better than they were. you can't take an awful singer and make them sound good though. if you turn the settings up too much you end up with the weird effect that's been a fad the past couple of years, although cher did it a while back, but that was the producers making a mistake and deceiding to keep the results
 

DanoS4

Active Member
Sorry about the thread resurrection, but Auto-tune is old news now....


Melodyne is the new future. ;) Especially with Direct Note Access. It WILL blow both musos and non-musos away. Simple. :D

Dan
 

jms_uk

Well-known Member
I've always thought of autotune as a studio technique to get a particular effect with a voice, not to fix an out of tune voice.

That said, on this youtube vid the spoken voice of (among others) Carl Sagan is autotuned into a (great) piece of music, so I suppose anything is possible...

YouTube - Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft. Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye)
In that vid, they're actually using a lot of vocoding there rather than just autotune...
 

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