Steve Perry Criticizes Singers Who Uses Auto-Tune

Aftermath

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What bothers me about it is the philosophy behind it. Everyone who uses it allways talks about how it saves time and money. It sounds like it.
Any music that enters a computer is digital music - that means there are a million ways to tweak it. It's just tools. I bet your favourite artist - or their producer - uses it sometimes. I also bet EQ and other sonic sweeteners used to be considered cheating...I'm sure track comping was considered cheating.
At the end of the day comping is just you playing and nothing else, so why would that be considered cheating? Auto tune is when you can't make or think of the sound or note you want in the first place and use a program to make it sound good.
 

SRHmusic

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I read Geoff Emerick's book, and Lennon was supposedly really self conscious about his voice. They did kind of use pitch correction on their later albums using the tape speed.
Except mostly that was to splice takes performed on different days with slightly different tuning. Most all the songs he discusses were done with many, many takes to get everything right, and he notes several times their outstanding harmony abilities to sing in harmony (e.g. 'Because'). That's years of work to perfect the craft. Quite a different situation.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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Recording technology is and has always been audio shadow puppetry to some extent. From levels to EQ to effects to double tracking, there's always been some manipulation. Non linear recording introduced the devil that can't be ignored. So Steve Perry nails his take on the 12th pass with 14 different punch-ins, another performer does it in half that time with a few tweaks and most of the masses are none the wiser.

All this said, I find it almost refreshing when I hear a pleasant voice have moments of pitchiness, a drummer kick the BPM up a notch.
 

Larry F

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Watching the ending of an Ozzie and Harriet episode that had Ricky and a band (with you know who on guitar) with my mom wa-a-ay back when, she told me that Ricky's voice didn't really sound like that. She mentioned something about how recorded voices were fixed up and made more attractive somehow in the recording studio. She didn't use these words, but I got the idea. Ever since then, my initial reaction to any professionally recorded voice on record has been influenced by my mom's comment.

I was never sure exactly what she meant, technically. I supposed it was some form of reverb, which I now figure must have included tape delay, a la Sun Records. I don't know what persuaded a teen idol like him to become an early proponent of rockabilly. Not sure of James Burton's role in that. Might be a chicken/egg thing. Was Burton hired because he could play r-billy, or did he introduce Nelson to the style.

It seems like most everything I've read about r-billy doesn't mention Nelson or slapback echo.
 

Whatizitman

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Recording technology is and has always been audio shadow puppetry to some extent. From levels to EQ to effects to double tracking, there's always been some manipulation. Non linear recording introduced the devil that can't be ignored. So Steve Perry nails his take on the 12th pass with 14 different punch-ins, another performer does it in half that time with a few tweaks and most of the masses are none the wiser.

All this said, I find it almost refreshing when I hear a pleasant voice have moments of pitchiness, a drummer kick the BPM up a notch.


About 3:13. I heard this was a pretty famous band, too.

 

4pickupguy

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Sorry, this not an ‘old man yells at cloud’ thing. The younger folks I know have the same attitude as most of the “old farts” about this. It was cool as an obvious effect and that effect is old, dated and extremely tired now starting with the 1997 Cher tune that started it all. Almost a quarter century.
When it becomes a substitute for talent is where most of us tend to part ways with it. Every country tune, most rock tunes, every pop tune, every commercial jingle has it laced throughout. Hell even the 80’s gated drums and chorus thing only lasted about 10 years and people still don’t like the sound of chorus and gated drums 30 years on.

I have theory as to why this has been so ubiquitous for so long.

People don’t buy music anymore. We lost our vote. We don’t get to vote with our pocket books anymore, so, whatever remains of the ‘music biz’ will continue to tell us what we want. It’s a money saver and as such, it will remain until it becomes a financial liability. We collectively raced to the bottom and all grabbed shovels and started digging. We need to fix the free music thing. JMHO.

 
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kLyon

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I've worked with young singers who were great - right in tune - and still wanted to be auto-corrected.
It's the botox of the audio world. The erasing of character, as it were, has its artistic place... but when it's table stakes it sucks.

(By the way, have you ever heard T-Pain sing? He's a monster, an amazing singer, no need for any help at all when he wants to really sing...))
 

David Barnett

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from the article:
Paul McCartney once said before “If John Lennon had had an opportunity, he would have been all over it.” and explains “Not so much to fix your voice, but just to play with it.” and his son agrees with him.

John Lennon was not the best judge of his own abilities. He hated the sound of his own voice and was always looking for some way to augment it, whether it was double tracking, Automatic Double Tracking, echo, Leslie, extreme EQ, he was always looking for a crutch. A crutch he didn't really need, 'cause his voice was not only good, but iconic.
 

davidge1

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I remember an episode of the Brady Bunch where Greg becomes a singer and gets a recording contract. They give him the stage name Johnny Bravo and put all kinds of weird effects on his voice. This send up of the music industry was done in the early '70s, so I don't think that, in essence, anything is new. New technology, same idea.

Auto tune corrects imperfections in pitch. It's so subtle that you'd probably never notice it when used as it was intended by the inventor.

The producers of Believe used it as an effect by tweaking the settings. T-Pain discovered how it was done and started a trend in music that I wouldn't be listening to anyway. So?
 

bottlenecker

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Oh, well. There's one camp that says, if Beethoven had had access to synthesizers, he'd have been all over them. Maybe. But perhaps he would have been horrified and thought they were the spawn of the devil.

I honestly think he would've reacted like a coffee enthusiast to vending machine coffee.
Synthesizers have to be a lot cooler to those of us who have never had access to huge orchestras playing whatever we want.
 

2HBStrat

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It's also typically joined with brick walling compression. So, no dynamics whatsoever. Just a constant face barrage of "perfect" forced belting. Even whispers are yells.

I even hear it in superstars like Adele.

Suffice to say I listen to absolutely no diva or Nashville pop by choice. Autotune has made every mediocre pop singer sound reminiscent of Aretha, with absolutely none of the power and soul. BTW, Aretha didn't have autotune.

And by mediocre, I include every "talented" and trained singer in the universe, good enough to front a band and/or go solo to attract some producer or management. The truly great singers are memorable and unique. They are born, not made. No amount of training will get a non-Aretha to be Aretha. There is only one, and Aretha was it. Because.... she was Aretha.
So? What's your point? You love Aretha?

I believe every artist in the so called golden age would have used auto tune if it had been available. Frank could have used it.
 

kennl

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the wah pedal analogy is accurate
Auto Tune is a tool
ubiquity can render it cliche
it’s use can add or detract from a given performance, and tends to mask some of the individuality of the unaffected sound
 

Medeltids

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https://societyofrock.com/steve-per...BNVSZTMqjWFcqlvrkzN67upFjrQo_ZDs6X8ef6WJ2pteI


Perry said in a new interview with Kyle Meredith, and added,

“I was told a long time by a very bright musician, he said when you listen to somebody as beautiful as a [Barbra] Streisand, your heart just goes, ‘I can’t believe she can do this. How is she doing this?'”

“And then you listen to Muddy Waters and you get an emotional touch too. Well, they’re totally two different vocal directions, totally two different vocal timbres, different styles. Well, one is angelic and beautiful and the other has some struggle in it, and it’s the struggle and the imperfections that you pull for, too. There’s this human thing.”

“Singing is the most primal thing. It really is a very primal form of communication,”

“And, obviously, it’s gonna be around for a while – which is why I’m not so happy that people are washing out this description we just talked about with Auto-Tune.”

from the article:
Paul McCartney once said before “If John Lennon had had an opportunity, he would have been all over it.” and explains “Not so much to fix your voice, but just to play with it.” and his son agrees with him.

Rock artist like Alice Cooper used it on his most recent album as well.'

what do you think?
I guess if I don’t know auto tune is being used then I don’t know. Otherwise, I find it annoying. It’s even found its way into modern “country”.
How did Roberta ever get by without?

 

oldunc

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Still trying to get with the notion that Barbara Streisand's voice is "ethereal and beautiful". Not a fan of the Broadway style in general, but she strikes me as particularly brassy and unappealing.
 

memorex

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Auto-Tune, like everything else, is just a tool. When used subtly, it's a real time saver in terms of studio costs. When used blatantly, is gets old quickly. As an obvious effect, like in Cher's Believe, it's OK.
 

MickM

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Honestly I don't listen to a lot of music from the auto tune era. When I notice it, I hear a sort of phaser type swish effect very briefly or longer if it's supposed to be noticed.
When I see a local band and a guitar player has the same pedal on for every song, it soon becomes annoying. Same with A-tune.
 




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