Camp Motorpsycho » General

Motorpsycho autotuning their vocals??

(41 posts)
  1. Maiximaxo
    Member

    Guys, I'm actually really sorry to open that thread and I know that some people will be pissed. But I'm participating in this forum for years and I know that the majority of posters are treading ideas and topics quite fair and respectfully. so here it is:

    I'm listening to the current roadwork vol. right now and recently amongst other mp-lps to it's a love cult; and listening to them and comparing other music and especially vocal performances, I'm curious and concerned if they used autotune to get their singing to the right notes while mastering both lps! my evidence are that there are parts where the vocals are yodeling a lil bit unnaturally. to my mind there are natural tonal nuances in between two singing notes missing.
    oversimplified they are singing to good tonalwise - it's makes me curious because I saw them live several times in the period the recordings where made for intrepid skonk; and everyone who did that too should slightly understand what I'm trying to say...

    I just wanna analyze that with people who I think also care like me! I hope you understand.

    btw incredible and beautiful recording on the new roadworks! stunning!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. otherdemon
    Member

    Yeah, it's no big secret that some vocalparts on Roadwork 4 were auto-tuned. Esspecially on the song Wishing Well where Bent in some places almost turns into a smurf here & there.

    You can compare the Roadwork-version of Wishing Well with the original live-version here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkmtXsbAmtw

    As for It's A Love Cult, I'm not sure if they used auto-tune on that album.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. fillmore
    Member

    Is this common nowadays? Every other Bon Iver review mentions the term "autotune" and I have have been wondering about it because I have not heard about it before. I guess this is something only tech/gear-nerds can decipher? Is it important? I mean they also play the Fuzz Pedal and all kinds of other shit.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. TAF
    Member

    Well... unlike most technical enhancements you can use, autotune is cheating in most people's eyes. Instead of actually being able to sing well, you can just sing a passable take, and the magic of autotune will make it note-perfect.

    It's really common nowadays - when my band recorded a demo a couple of years ago, the producer insisted on employing autotune on the vocals - even though our singer sings *really* well. The producer didn't accept any part of a phrase to be even slightly off-key, and used autotune to save time.

    If it's done well, you really can't hear that the vocals have been processed - it's simply the adjustment of the end of a phrase here, the beginning of a phrase there and so on. But if it's done badly you do get the "smurf" effect, where some notes have been transposed a full half step or more. Autotune can sound so ridiculous, and is so simple to use, that it lends itself easily to humour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bduQaCRkgg4

    EDIT: Also, I think the use of autotune on Roadworks is really annoying, and does detract a bit from my enjoyment of some songs.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. Hallejuwa
    Member

    Wow! hadn't heard that before.
    Really surprised.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Halitosis
    Member

    The autotuning on Wishing Well is even more stupid since Bent's vocals sound pretty good to me on that clip.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. Ratmaus
    Member

    I agree on the stupid smurfotune on Wishing Well. However, within their limitations in budget and technology, Motorpsycho have actually been "cheating" vocalwise since the very beginning. I've been listening to Lobotomizer quite a bit lately. For one thing, the album ain't half as bad as i remembered, despite the drums. Second thing, check out the pitched down vocals on Eternity. Haha! On Summertime Is Here, recorded a few years later, it's a funny effect taken to the limit and beyond on a song that is a bit of a joke in the first place. On the rather pretentious Eternity I'd say it's bordering on cheating, although not in the sense of digitally enhancing a bad performance. "Dammit, I can't sing in that low pitch. Who wrote this shit? Me? Uhm, would you please speed up the tape, mr. PlayRec?"

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. supernaut
    Member

    If that's true: Fine by me. A long long time ago bands used to re-record vocals on so called "live" records when these were fashionable and therefore important enough to be released. So MP use autotuning to keep the listening experience easy on the ears. I thank them.

    Cheating? Well there's pride involved. As a musician you don't really want your screeching, tour abused vocal chords heard for all eternity on a piece of music that was picked of the lot to be released because from the playing point of view it would be the best performance. And if we want the "true" odd note experience, there's more than enough fan recordings around.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. Un.Chien.d.Espace
    Member

    there is a soundboard recording of a motorpsycho concert in bielefeld from 2008 or 2009 (correct me if i'm wrong) which had to be taken down..i think stickfrau asked for it...but i once had the chance to listen to that recording....guess what? the "vocal performance" of bent was really bad...guess that was the reason it was taken down...so i think bent is really vain about thiese kind of things...:-)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. Maiximaxo
    Member

    another bite of autotuning: the mirror and the lie on love cult - listen to the word LIE.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. GBD
    Member

    One can get a pretty clear view of the boys feelings about autotune/pitch when viewing the tussler dvd - one the "gag reel". At the end bent is singing the harmony vocals for "Highway Zen", and states that any sourness on the vocals can be fixed with autopitch if it gets annoying while mixing. So there you go! They're using it, and don't seem to care that we know.

    Personally i think it sucks abit. Instead of hiding behind such ridicilous aids like autotune, why not just focus abit more on actually getting the vocals right in the first place?!

    Yeah and also...the worst case of auto tunage on RW4 in my eyes is the chorus of TBPR&B. Bent sounds like a synth at times.. Not good!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. marty
    Member

    They actually full-on admitted to fixing vocals in the liner notes accompanying the Haircuts DVD: "the odd out-of-key vocal line is still left in there, but the main offenders have been excised and replaced for your listening pleasure."

    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. GBD
    Member

    Well there you go!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. to me it's alright that they use it.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. fillmore
    Member

    The way I understood it "RW III / Haircuts" was overdubbed, not autotuned.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. yes, same with rw1.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. mcharen
    Member

    Although i'm a big Garage rock fan and loving the pureness of live albums like
    Live in atlanta by the oblivians, cut directly from the soundboard on vinyl!
    I have to agree with supernaut, i rather here a smurf singing in tune then a painfull out of tune
    vocal. But whatever they do they still be my favorite band, as long the complete peformance is as good
    as they are now i don't mind a "little" out of tune vocals. I think it's part of the charme.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. Yep, guess something in between would be cool. Get better singers (think Snah has improved pretty much) and what can't be done, do with autotune! Bent seems sometimes bored with singing or just emotion is too left behind. That can replace a little of out of tune singing as well.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. Be
    Member

    As long as the guitar solo on this Wishing Well version gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it, i don't care about fixed vocals!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. drugthing
    Member

    yeah that guitar solo is beyond amazing. I get the goosebumps everytime. so fucking massive guitarsound, and the build up is very nice. about the autotune, it doesnt bother me too much. the worst part is "and a void when she's glad" (first chorus).

    Posted 8 years ago #
  21. laila lou
    Member

    here another fan for having a smurf instead of a out of tune voice.
    MP charm is that they have their vocal 'flaws'.
    but i dont see it as a problem. They sing with passion, with love for the lyrics,
    love for the music and eachother. Cause if it all was perfectly, we would now all suffer from tuns of people really abusing MP songs in tv-hit shows like idols or x-factor.. thank god no!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  22. suntripper
    Member

    I've resurrected this topic in the light of comments made by dongonz and JERO regarding Leipzig Conne Island 16.10.2019 - comments with which I have sympathy.

    I don't have technical knowledge in this area. We all know autotune/autopitch was used on Roadworks 4, after the fact (and people have their views on that). What I am not clear on is the extent to which this sort of thing can be used live 'in the moment'. I understand that this is possible. I note speculation that this was done at the Rune Grammofon anniversary show (and that sounded pretty good to these ears). It seems to me like it has been done at other shows too.

    There is certainly a difference in the accuracy of the vocals' pitching comparing some shows to others. There are possible explanations to do with the room's acoustics and the performer's condition on the night.

    Bear with me - I am getting to the point.

    Looking on YouTube at some recent performances in particular, I think this is something we shouldn't be pretending isn't an issue. I feel like I'm being kind of sacrilegious here. I love this band so much - the material, the performances, and, sometimes, the singing. I really want to spread the word to others. So many people are missing out on a band I know they would really get into in a big way, as we all have. The trouble is: out-of-tune vocals make it a really hard sell. Some people just aren't going to get past that and hear all the great stuff. As a result, far inferior bands, but with better (as in more in tune) singers get all the attention.

    I totally understand that it's not all about being in tune. Of course you want sincerity, authenticity and passion - and Bent and Snah deliver that in spades. The likes of Nick Cave wouldn't get by if it was only about singing nicely. Nick Cave doing autotune? Well, I think that would be out of the question.

    But, but, but... with our guys? I think there is a case for it - selectively.

    Here's where I hope they might get to, having flirted with this stuff. When doing a weighty number with a lot of harmonising like The Crucible, switch it on. When doing something ballsy like You Lied, switch it off.

    Can that be done? Surely it is possible.

    Otherwise, particularly in the case of some of the more recent prog-inclined epics, all that effort and all that talent put into those pieces is going a little bit to waste when interested newcomers are hearing those YouTube live clips, and feeling that they can't get past the dissonance.

    I don't know whether practical or financial reasons might prevent the adoption of this policy at every show, but I really believe it would be for the better. Purists who call this cheating might be another obstacle, but those who dislike the prospect just need to get their heads around the idea that it's OK for a voice to be treated; after all, it's legitimate for everything else in the mix to be treated. Personally, if it could be only on some songs - the right ones - I am definitely in favour.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. JERO
    Member

    @Suntripper; well put, I agree and am also sick and tired of the music journalists who, for decades now, have been writing "yeah uhm, they could be really great, if they fixed their singing"
    And like I said earlier, sometimes the singing IS very good, but maybe it's just that when it lacks while everything else in the music works there's the risk it spoils an otherwise epic, dimension breaking rendition of a song that doesn't deserve that. As far as I'm concerned there's no shame at all in using autotune while playing live, to the extend you propose here.
    And...if future technical development makes it possible, please autotune the whole audience as well! (like when you're standing next to a guy wailing along to Vortex Surfer? :?...)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. Vegard B. Havdal
    Member

    Side note, the new Nick Cave is undescribably good.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. Punj Lizard
    Member

    Are there other avenues that could be explored before autotune? Someone mentioned the difficulty of hitting the right notes when it's so loud you can hardly hear yourself. What about vocal and breath coaching? Surely there's no harm in turning the sound down a bit and getting a bit of help, even this far into a career. Many musicians learn new techniques throughout their careers so why not? Of course the bottom line is this is us just trying to pretend like we have any influence on what they could do, but I do agree that it's somewhat of an issue for some (maybe many) people.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. Johnny_Heartfield
    Member

    I don't have a problem with MP autotuning their vocals. In the studio the whole process of mixing and balancing, let alone the huge number of possible audio effects is some kind of manipulation, which could either be regarded as cheating or as a special art form. Like most critics I tend to support the second view.

    Live MP deliver rather complex musical structures - both instrumental and vocal-supported, that would extremely challenge any four- or morepiece band. In order to be able to concentrate on spontanity and improvisation I find it quite legitimate to use any help to avoid having to concentrate mainly on the vocals, even more so as the vocal delivery does not constitute the dominant element of MP music.

    So autotuning vocals might even be the basis of MP playing free and adventurously. Let the vocals eat cake and hammer the instrumental stars for free!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. dongonz
    Member

    well, I think they do what they do best. And hell I will not complain about the fantastic output they got.
    My experience in Leipzig was that sometimes not only while singing but also when playing a guitar solo it seems like Snah is a tiny bit in a different tune. It doesn't sound harmonic whit the rest of the Band. My head is searching all the time for the harmony. In this case, this ruins the song for me.... Soooo I wonder if it es a problem with my hearing or not?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. mikke
    Member

    Side note, the new Nick Cave is undescribably good.

    indeed, perfect for old men.

    regarding autotune: use whatever means you got to create great things.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. supernaut
    Member

    Johnny_Heartfield

    I don't have a problem with MP autotuning their vocals. In the studio the whole process of mixing and balancing, let alone the huge number of possible audio effects is some kind of manipulation, which could either be regarded as cheating or as a special art form. Like most critics I tend to support the second view.

    Very true that. There's a slight difference, though, that you don't play shabby or wrong notes and then autotune them like you'd do with a wobbly vocal part. But there's manipulation in sounds of the instrument, like compression to even out wild dynamics in yer playing, all kinds of doubling and overdubs, or fixing wrongly played parts by replaying and -recording them or the drummer might play to a clicktrack to keep time.

    For a live album there might be an amazing version of Song X but the vocals were too low or off or whatever because the playing was super intense or needed all the musician's focus. So what to do? Throw that awesome Neverland version away? Nope, fix it just a bit to make it releasable.

    In the studio there could be vocal notes just too hard to reach with a desired intensity. Or you're out of time and budget to try it the umpteenth time. Bent & Snah vocals on record still sound "imperfect" in the classic rock singer sense enough for me to not really care. That said, their singing has to be that kind of imperfect for the music's charm. I got a few friends who'd prefer them to have better, as in "really good", singers. But The Crucible, Mad Sun or The Golden Core sung by the likes of Patton or Cornell? No, sir! And I AM total fan of those guys.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. Autotune was made acceptable or ok-to-use-as-an-effect when Cher's "Believe" came out.
    In nowadays pop-world too many artists are using this as an effect. For these singers or even rappers it's cool cause if they don't hit some notes it can be fixed with autotune and it's totally accepted by the listeners. Actually I guess some producers will add it because "the song needs it..."
    I don't think this effect works well in the rock-world. But for fixing some notes here and there, especially in a live-recording, why not. Or if overdubbing doesn't work or to save studio time.
    The more you pitch a note, the more artefacts become audible. Celemony's Melodyne and Antares Auto-Tune should still be the industy standard for the autotune effect.

    Posted 1 month ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.