View Full Version : Vocal trackers - Arrgghh!

03-05-2008, 05:06 AM
We were watching a DVD last night "Across The Universe (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0445922/)" - Julie Taymor's multimedia musical film using songs by The Beatles as soundtrack.

Well, it seems to be more and more common to see some young talent break into song and hear that almost synthesizer-like pitch shift that indicates they've been locked into "perfect tune". maybe its me, maybe its Emma, maybe its because we watch and listen to all this stuff through the 4341 Studio Monitors - but its REALLY annoying. I think the track that Bono sang was the ONLY track without that ding-dang vocaltracker.

I was flipping through the car radio the other night when Emma ran in for some milk and tuned in a contemporary radio station the other day - Christian pop or some such ... Same thing, men and women, all aspiring vocal talents, all locked in with a pitch shifter!

Its like airbrushing the human voice - gahh!

Apparently they are called "autotuners" - I just found this article linked from wikipedia ...
http://www.temple.edu/ispr/examples/ex03_08_25.html (http://www.temple.edu/ispr/examples/ex03_08_25.html)

03-05-2008, 06:09 AM
Nasa invented that years ago for Madonna's none-tone !


Fred Sanford
03-05-2008, 09:30 AM
The one that really makes me stop & notice is singles by that American Idol guy, Daughtry I think. Holy crap, doesn't even sound human any more. Heard some live stuff of his, he's not bad, but nothing like the studio work.


03-05-2008, 10:28 AM
I guess I'd never considered that in why I dislike so much current music. Thanks for pointing that out. I could send you a one-take recording of my middle daughter singing art songs and Italian opera for her college applications if you want completely-un-fiddled-with! Or raw house-mix a cappella from the groups I work with at UVA. Don't despair: There still are some good voices out there. :applaud:

Thanks for the link. I sent it to my daughter.

03-05-2008, 10:57 AM
The trick to using autotrack is to make the prcessed signal a bit dirty so it isnt as noticable. You would be very surprised to find out how many artists use it for their live work. Vocalists have been using it in one form or another for 20 years plus. An even more interesting "tool" they use is Auto Backing. I was involved in U2's tour here in NZ in the late 80's and I was very surprised to see racks of DATS with every track recorded, vocals, guitar, drums etc. All the DATS ran through the show and if any of the artists had a gear problem, the engineer could seamlessly punch in any track and the punters would not know any difference. This system is used for anyone that has dance routines in their show. Cliff Richard, Madonna, Kylie Manogue, to name a few. Simply for the fact that you cant sing and dance at the same time. It used to be all about the music but in the last 20 years it has become all about the show. For an artist to use autotrack in the studio, except for effect, says to me they are not artists at all!:)

03-05-2008, 12:01 PM
I guess I'd never considered that in why I dislike so much current music. .

On the XM 60's channel they do a " Number 1 then and number 1 now" segment...always after the "number 1 now" sound clip another voice (supposedly the producer) comes on and says "thats about enough of that !!"

always get a laugh.

that enhancer thing,,,,,do they make a pocket/portable version ? I could use one. :)