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Auto-tune question (OT I guess)


cedar

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Quick question from someone with very limited experience with recording software (and none using auto-tune).

 

I have a one-track recording made with a singer and a pianist (and using a ZOOM H2). The singer is out of key occasionally. The performers (strictly amateurs) want to post the song on you tube, but would like to fix the out-of-key singing. They're not hoping for a professional product, just something that sounds pretty good on youtube.

 

Insofar as we only have one track, can auto-tune (or any other easy-to-use software) fix the occasional off-key sections?

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No, not without also retuning the piano and anyone who was on-pitch.

 

You can try the old-fashioned method of adding some reverb, or duplicating the track a couple of times and running them milliseconds apart. The ear tends to correct for pitch with soggier edges. That's the reason Barry Manilow had a career.

Now out! "Mind the Gap," a 24-song album of new material.
www.joshweinstein.com

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How about getting the singer back and overdubbing a double of the vocal track. If sang better and mixed in right it can sound pretty good. Otherwise no. You cant pitch correct only one element in a mix without effecting everything. At least not yet. In a few years maybe.

FunMachine.

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You *could try using a vox-isolating plug-in, auto-tune that, and hope you don't have enough bleed to make the rest sound too bad.

 

Then you'd have to run a vox-removal plug-in to get another track that is just piano--ditto on the bleed.

 

Then you could lay the first over the second.

 

If you download Audacity (free), you will also get free plug-ins that do both ends of this. I forget the name of them...

Now out! "Mind the Gap," a 24-song album of new material.
www.joshweinstein.com

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Depending on the kind of music, AutoTune and its ilk may or may not be appropriate. If it's the more synth driven electronic things it'd be OK. If it's more leaning towards ballads or upbeat numbers where you want the 3 performers heard each as a vital component, then stay away from it.

 

Many times what even the most well-known vocalists do is multiple takes of the same verse or lyric. Sometimes they can nail one part 1 really well and another part 2 OK, yet something about going from part 1 to part 2 throws them off. In the studio they can piece it all together esp. with a DAW. (Of course, in a live performance, they have no choice, they must sing it all. Perhaps that's the situation with this YouTube video.)

 

I'm a big believer in the school of "if you're going to do something, do it right." There's too much garbage out there already. If the purpose of having something is to distinguish oneself, why not go for something better?

 

I'd seriously consider redoing this. Also, now that we know that there's a defect, can it be corrected? Is this singer occasionally flat (which happens to many, esp. when they can't hear themselves)? Is it certain parts of the song that are challenging?

 

I'd also do my best to not rely on these tools, unless the specific music calls for it. Hearing the correction happening may make it stand out even more. (Doing that right requires its own time and effort.)

 

You may state that it's all amateurs, yet you may have goals for this video. Audience people who aren't musicians won't know things like "it's supposed to be C there, not C#." They'll just simply hear it and say "Something's off." Why not eliminate them from ever doing that?

 

Moreover, some audience members are venue operators, from club owners to places like coffeehouses and food courts at malls. Yes, some have the power to hire. If you want to get gigs, those little things matter.

 

This could be a great moment for all to get comfortable with doing multiple takes. No you don't have to be 100% perfect, even live recordings by touring megastars have glitches. Yet why release something that'll be nagging you? Why not remove the discomforts by personal improvement methods (for each?)

 

Good luck!

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I have audacity, and didn't realize there were any relevant plug-ins. I am looking at Molodyne but really don't want to spend much time learning any program that is not pretty simple.

 

Problem with doing this kind of thing is that it's hard to do it in a half-assed manner.

 

This is a recording made by a grandfather and granddaughter. They want to post and share the recording, and like the idea of making improvements but aren't going to take the time to do it themselves, let alone spend the time to make another recording (which really would be the best approach). But even though it'll never be used for any professional purpose, I expect that if I try to apply some technological fix I'm going to be at it for hours, when I'm the only one who will notice or care about any shortcomings.

 

Anyway, I appreciate all the responses. The info here is good to know for the future, even if not for this project.

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