The Revolution Will Not be Autotuned

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Sawwave, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Sawwave

    Sawwave Member

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    I just listened to this awesome radio segment on WNYC's Studio 360 that talked about the quintessential studio effects throughout the decades. Here are their thoughts on the matter:

    50's - slapback delay tape echo
    60's - reverb and fuzz
    70's - phaser and flanger
    80's - chorus
    90's - compression
    00's - autotune

    What do y'all think of the list and what would you add?

    Link to the radio clip:http://www.studio360.org/2012/jan/06/the-revolution-will-not-be-autotuned/
     
  2. Funky Monkey

    Funky Monkey Member

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    Add:

    50's - tremolo

    90's - pitch shifting/whammy/harmonizer as an effect (not a tool for doubling or smart harmony, but an effect for wild bends and lo-fi non-polyphonic tracking.)

    10's - back to basics. low gain overdrive, organic fuzz, not much else.
     
  3. AXXA

    AXXA Supporting Member

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    I think that list is pretty spot on for the most part, I'm just not so sure about the 90's. Compression? To me, more heavy distortion comes to mind, like Muff, Rat, DS-1, etc. I know those pedals weren't developed in the 90's, but they were certainly used a lot, as well as others. For me, 90's=grunge=distortion. Maybe the comp refers to the pop side of things more so?

    BTW, the reason wah wasn't included in that list is because its never gone out of style!:dude
     
  4. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    I hope the auto tune technology will be lost forever sometime soon.
     
  5. CaptainAwesome

    CaptainAwesome Supporting Member

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    The 90's (early 90's) for me was all about grunge, which really only came from the flannel and long-johns, not a compressor. Other than that, it looks like a pretty good generalization.
     
  6. stratguy23

    stratguy23 Member

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    Amen brother! I totally agree with this! When I think '90's it's grunge like Nirvana, AIC, Soundgarden then bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and STP. (I guess chorus was also important to the '90's sounds, at least for some of those bands.)
     
  7. HayekFan

    HayekFan Member

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    Yeah, good list but I think they missed with compression in the '90s. I think the use of compression in the studio was perfected in the '60s, and of course it's been essential to creating professional sounding recordings since then. For the 90s I would said the beginning of digital editing.
     
  8. whackystrings

    whackystrings Member

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    60's - Stereo panning (introducing stereo as an effect), ADT
    70's - Aphex Aural Exciter
    80's - gated reverb on drums, (late 80's - Rockmans)
    90's - ?
    00's - Volume wars (hard limiting)
     
  9. Sawwave

    Sawwave Member

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    I agree that compression seems odd but think it makes sense. These are studio effects, not just guitar effects. Although grunge used lots of distortion, the 90's was full of super compressed pop songs utilizing the punchy loudness that could be achieved in digital recording.
     
  10. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Member

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    2010's is all about the wah. Get ready.
     
  11. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

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    No, they were dead on about compression in the 90's. Instead of using it for leveling like in the pre-automation '60s, compression became much more of an effect in and of itself. Sidechaining the kick drum and bass, smacking the snare drum and overheads, and using audible pumping artifacts became the norm. Listen to Cornell's vocals on the whole Superunknown album, or the mixes on Sheryl Crow's stuff. Anything by Tchad Blake.
     
  12. Footbutt

    Footbutt Supporting Member

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    as much as i hate autotune, i've heard it being used tastefully with artists such as: Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens.
     
  13. sameoldblues

    sameoldblues Supporting Member

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    The mention of compression in this context refers more to the practice of compressing the final mix of a track/album in the mastering process, rather than applying it to just one instrument. It's a much less obvious use of compression that results in smoothing out the volume dynamics of a recording when it hits the radio waves/speakers/listener's ear. It's the primary reason that modern recordings are "louder."

    Autotune (pitch correction) is used pretty much universally these days, and is imperceptible when used tastefully, but extreme settings lead to the sound we've all come to...*ahem*...love so much. We've got Cher to thank for that, I believe...
     
  14. cajone5

    cajone5 Some guy Silver Supporting Member

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    I love it when it's used as an effect -- example -- Cocorosie - St. Michael



    Most blantant uses sound awful to me but this one sounds killer because the singers natural singing voice has some extreme pitch vibrato to it :aok

    I know most here will turn up their nose to this but there's more out there than the traditional stuff and that's OK :)
     
  15. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    It's not about being traditional. I like plenty of modern effects. It's the fact that every singer and his brother (or sister) is using autotune for lead vocals and it masks the beauty and nuance of the human voice. Once I'm a while in the right place, ok. But as an always on effect, it's getting really old. It's like taking a very dramatic compressor, turning it up to the max, and using it as your always on effect for guitar.
     
  16. FuzzGazer

    FuzzGazer Member

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    The 80's were all about reverb.

    Sure guitarists overused chorus, but studios put gobs and gobs of reverb on everything.
     
  17. cajone5

    cajone5 Some guy Silver Supporting Member

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    Cool -- I agree :aok
     
  18. L_Totti

    L_Totti Member

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    Really? I'd put reverb at the 50's...
    That surfy Duane Eddy kinda thing.
     
  19. dave12

    dave12 No commericals! No mercy!

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    I think a distinction should be made with this list, that it is not only the widespread use of the effect, but also it's introduction that puts it in the decade. I think this will help some people's disagreements with the compression/chorus placements.

    Distortion and fuzz (a la Grunge in the 90s) had been around for a while. In fact, a lot of these effects have seen a revival with the back-to-basics approach many indie bands have taken, and by the way, I don't think the use reverb has ever gone away since the 60's.

    As the production of music has become more and more decentralized, the widespread use of effects has become more diluted, as certain genres, subgenres, and sub-subgenres (mainly tongue-in-cheek) cling to certain effects. What you will see is a lot of posters talking specifically about the bands they listen to and not the genre as a whole.

    Completely agree. Love both those guys/bands. Bon Iver's use is especially tasteful and refreshing.

    I hate the auto-tune that has made talentless rappers famous and the overuse of pitch correction that plagues popular music. Even already very good singers overuse it on their vocals (Jared Leto).
     
  20. JHVRay

    JHVRay Member

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    :agree

    My two cents: I think we've gone to a more of a "perfection" style of recording. It's not achieved by using an effect, but the advances in digital recording that allow for the correction of a lot of mistakes/cover the fact that maybe that artist isn't a very strong musician.
     

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