Vocal Processors.

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31,251
I'm curious who you have in mind here. Maybe Ashlee Simpson? But even that doesn't quite fit. She became SNL's most famous live-tech failure, when she started to perform her second lip-synched song for SNL, only to see it implode when the tracks for her first song were replayed.

Other pop singers have been criticized for their pitchiness on SNL, but I can't think of any who'd be described as having killed their careers as a result of autotune or vocal-processor debacles. (Heck, even Simpson performed on SNL again the following year to support the first of two follow-up albums, and she sang a role in multiple productions of Chicago.)
I wonder which would be a more diabolical sabotage - to give the singer a dry voice in the in-ear mix and pitch shift their voice a partial semitone in the FOH, or to pitch-shift their voice n the IEM, then send their dry voice to FOH as they try to push their voice into tune with the monitor mix?
 

rednoise

Member
Messages
1,101
I wonder which would be a more diabolical sabotage - to give the singer a dry voice in the in-ear mix and pitch shift their voice a partial semitone in the FOH, or to pitch-shift their voice n the IEM, then send their dry voice to FOH as they try to push their voice into tune with the monitor mix?
Something like that happened to Billy Joel once. I don't remember the exact details, but it was something like... he may have been singing The Star Spangled Banner at a sports event that was also broadcast on TV. For the TV audio, somebody had the not-so-bright idea of putting his vocal through an auto-tune box... but the box was accidentally set incorrectly to shift his vocal a half-step off pitch. The TV audience heard his voice clashing a half-step different from the piano - the live audience heard Billy and his piano au naturel as God intended, which was in tune just fine.
 

chrisr777

Member
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25,549
Back in the early 80's, when I was in my Phil Collins phase of playing in a double drum band plus singing, I used a rack mounted digital delay to essentially double track my vocals live. I think it worked.
 

DrewJD82

Member
Messages
1,103
I wonder which would be a more diabolical sabotage - to give the singer a dry voice in the in-ear mix and pitch shift their voice a partial semitone in the FOH, or to pitch-shift their voice n the IEM, then send their dry voice to FOH as they try to push their voice into tune with the monitor mix?

The guys in Avenged Sevenfold had their monitor guy pitch the guitarist’s vocals up into chipmunk territory as a prank, only the band/techs could hear it. :roll

 

DrewJD82

Member
Messages
1,103
When they’re used well I love them, just as much as I do guitar effects.

For the 10 years I was only singing in bands I took a big chunk of my guitar rig apart and used it as a vocal rig. I just ran a mic directly into a TC Electronics G-Force and used an expression pedal/Ground Control Pro to switch effects. I mainly just used reverb and delays, making things sound like they would in the studio.

I am quite anti-auto tune for my own voice, but everything else is fair game!
 

vicjoy1945

Member
Messages
544
What is the effect used that makes the voice/vocals sound as though the singer is in a large auditorium? Is it a slight reverb or echo? I do like this effect, and you can hear it on lots of records...especial Broadway musicals.
 

Albion9

Member
Messages
1,019
If its used as an effect for a certain part of a song I have no problem with that. Think Pink Floyd Animals and the use of the vocoder/Tommy James Crimson and Clover. If it's used for the whole song/set to correct singing deficiencies, then hell to the no. And as already mentioned it should be used judiciously and mixed properly. When I hear most vocals on most popular music these day and hear THAT effect, the one that is ubiquitous, whatever it is, I cringe and stop listening. I have lots of live recordings/bootlegs from the 70s and 80s recorded by people in the audience on cassette tape and it wasn't used back then by bands/singers except for a special effect here and there.

The Chipmunks are excused.
 

VaThump

Member
Messages
369
Not a fan of heavy handed vocal effects. Whoever came up with autotune needs a beating.
autotune's inventor (Andy Hildebrand) seems like a smart, imaginative guy with a sense of life's absurdities. Excerpts below are from an interview in Vice:


I heard that Auto-Tune software had its origins in your work as a geophysical engineer, locating oil deposits with sound waves from dynamite blasts.
[Laughs] Yeah, well that's exactly wrong.

Oh, is it?
My training started at the University of Illinois, where I got a PhD in [electrical engineering] specializing in signal processing. I went from there to Exxon, and then later on started my own company [Landmark Graphics] in the areas of oil exploration, to do signal processing on seismic data. So you would say that I'm a practitioner of digital signal processing and I've applied that to geophysics, and I've applied it to music. There was really no overlap between the two, other than a point in time.

When did you realize that method could be used to correct a singer's pitch?
Around 1995 I was at a trade show, it was me and a couple partners, and we were with a person who was distributing our products. His wife was there, and we were talking about what products would be interesting to do next. His wife said, "Well, Andy, why don't you make me a box that would have me sing in tune?" I looked around at the table, and everyone just stared at their lunch plates, they didn't say a word.

So I thought, "boy, that's a lousy idea." About eight or nine months into the year, I'd gone to work for a different project, and I came back to that idea, I said, "you know, that's pretty straightforward to do, I'll do that." At the same trade show a year later I had producers ripping it out of my hands.

Was it ever bothersome to you that people seemed more interested in the synthetic, "discretized" sound, rather than how you intended the technology to be used?
Well, my emotional response was more surprise [laughs]. When I first heard the Cher song, my reaction was more like, "She did that?"

That's how I felt when I heard it too.
I almost didn't put that feature in the software, but I was told, "Why not, you know? It won't hurt."
 

Strummerfan

Member
Messages
8,077
autotune's inventor (Andy Hildebrand) seems like a smart, imaginative guy with a sense of life's absurdities. Excerpts below are from an interview in Vice:


I heard that Auto-Tune software had its origins in your work as a geophysical engineer, locating oil deposits with sound waves from dynamite blasts.
[Laughs] Yeah, well that's exactly wrong.

Oh, is it?
My training started at the University of Illinois, where I got a PhD in [electrical engineering] specializing in signal processing. I went from there to Exxon, and then later on started my own company [Landmark Graphics] in the areas of oil exploration, to do signal processing on seismic data. So you would say that I'm a practitioner of digital signal processing and I've applied that to geophysics, and I've applied it to music. There was really no overlap between the two, other than a point in time.

When did you realize that method could be used to correct a singer's pitch?
Around 1995 I was at a trade show, it was me and a couple partners, and we were with a person who was distributing our products. His wife was there, and we were talking about what products would be interesting to do next. His wife said, "Well, Andy, why don't you make me a box that would have me sing in tune?" I looked around at the table, and everyone just stared at their lunch plates, they didn't say a word.

So I thought, "boy, that's a lousy idea." About eight or nine months into the year, I'd gone to work for a different project, and I came back to that idea, I said, "you know, that's pretty straightforward to do, I'll do that." At the same trade show a year later I had producers ripping it out of my hands.

Was it ever bothersome to you that people seemed more interested in the synthetic, "discretized" sound, rather than how you intended the technology to be used?
Well, my emotional response was more surprise [laughs]. When I first heard the Cher song, my reaction was more like, "She did that?"

That's how I felt when I heard it too.
I almost didn't put that feature in the software, but I was told, "Why not, you know? It won't hurt."
Damn. He sounds like a nice guy. Now I don't want revenge quite so much. I just hope he gets his least favorite song stuck in his head three times a week for the next few years.
 

Aceman893

Member
Messages
2,102
As with all things, less is more.

In my band we on occasion use a TC Helicon Voice Live.

But - it is not to slather on Compression, EQ, Autotune, Harmony, Reverb and Delay all the time.

A basic reverb, maybe a basic echo in case sound man isn't about that. Maybe a deep reverb as an effect for a tune.

Or, add harmonies just to make it a bit easier for a chorus.

A splash here and there can really set the vocals of. Too much can definitely be off-setting. I think the OP has been victim to people who just use too much all the time.
 




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