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Author Topic: Autotune used on James' voice in DT  (Read 22778 times)
lifeofthemind
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« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2010, 05:10:16 pm »

To me it sounds like a backing track is used on the chorus of a rite of passage live.  Sounds like I'm hearing more than 3 voices for sure and at least 2 of James.  If that is the case, that might have led you to the autotune conclusion.
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nicoli
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« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2010, 12:15:19 pm »

I think I should have put in a few smilies with my post. I didn't mean that the way I typed it.  Sorry guys.  I didn't mean any harm.  I said it "tongue in cheek".  Next time, I will remember to put my smilies in.   

Haha no prob Donna. Those emoticons do wonders don't they? Maybe I should start using those things, because I don't think I always come across the way I intend to on here.  Wink Smiley Grin Cool

I'M SO OFFENDED, OMG.
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Donna
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« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2010, 03:48:48 pm »

I love you, nicoli!................. Kiss Kiss
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Irock
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« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2010, 05:35:58 am »

Let's get something straight. I do not use auto tune live. I have in the studio and post live recordings.
You use autotune in studio? This is news to me and my world is crushed. ;_;

I hope it's not often. ;_;

I've heard you sing great without autotune; why do you use it?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 05:39:16 am by Irock » Logged


Rockstar
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« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2010, 02:22:20 pm »

As a performer and sound engineer myself, I thought I'd chime in...

Honestly, auto-tune is in fact a wonderful tool.  But it gets a lot of flack (and rightfully so) because of how overused it is in current music.  Once engineers lose their awe over it, it will probably begin to be used more tastefully in general.

This is similar to how chorus and reverb effects were abused in the early 80s and 90s, respectively.  Now that people have learned to tone them down, they can accomplish very nice things.  Notice how all of these serve a common purpose of embellishing a performance.  Auto-tune is no different, and technically no more "fake" than any other effect as it transforms the original sound.

To those surprised that James has used auto-tune in the studio, don't be.  You'd probably be surprised how few singers have *not* used it in the studio.

In a live context, it is much harder to properly use auto-tune on a voice like James's which slides a lot in between notes (unless you are trying to create a very obvious effect), so I can certainly understand the decision to simply not use it at all.  However, James has in the past confirmed that he uses other effects live, such as a harmonizer, which will definitely create harmonies that are auto-tuned by their very nature.  I can't listen to the samples posted right now, but maybe that's what you are hearing?
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ashflower
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« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2010, 05:27:02 pm »

^ Very good point. We all just tend to associate the term "autotune" with Kanye West and T-Pain these days. Since most of us hadn't even heard of this studio technique until it was popularized by overuse, we might be surprised to see GOOD singers using it in the studio. Admittedly, it is cheaper than overdubs, and faster. The point is, JLB doesn't need to use it to make him sing better. It's just to fix little mistakes that nobody noticed until the final stages of recording an album. So there's really nothing wrong with it I guess.
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Dentachi
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« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2015, 11:20:53 pm »

My question is this: James LaBrie, why do you use autotune? You don't need it one way or another, so...I don' get it.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 12:28:08 am by Dentachi » Logged

Asianhawk
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2015, 07:31:10 pm »

If or when James uses any kind of auto-tune in the studio, it would be just to fix and tweak some part that (as someone just earlier) was only noticed when they start mixing the album.
Ok to use as an example--I am a fantasy/ sci-fi book cover illustrator. After I have my finished painting it is  pro-shot. But before sending the file to the client I often have to use photoshop to tweak where the camera could not help some slight glare, or the deeps blacks or more saturated color did not pick up in the picture, or often dust fibers collect in areas after 3 weeks of painting. This all needs to be fixed in a photoshop before the final product is in print, so it looks as close to the original painting as possible. They are all minor fixes because a camera is a one-eyed idiot, and cannot capture the essence of a painting; just as recording a voice is PROBABLY never perfect either.
 So for James to use any kind of auto-tune to tweak something makes sense. I really doubt he would have to use it very much since any time I see them play live in person or watch live shows on youtube, his vocals are as close to the studio album more than really any singer out there. I mean seriously---can we really name very many (if any at all) rock/metal singers that can keep up the vocal power and sound the same live as in the studio? Even Fabio Lione can't do it.
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Dentachi
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« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2015, 01:53:12 am »

Well, if that's all it is, cool. Otherwise, I was beginning to wonder. Thanks for clarifying.
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6degrmatichaosOnaxmasmorn
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« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2016, 06:07:22 pm »

Something that has really bothered me about certain live releases is the POORLY-USED pitch correction. If you must touch up a live performance to make it perfect for DVD- fine (not my preference, but I totally get it)... However, if the pitch correction applied is tuning my favorite singer, Mr. LaBrie to the wrong note, it makes me extremely frustrated to listen to it.

People think James sounded bad on CiM (what I believe to be one of his best tours vocally), because the DVD does not capture what he actually sounded like in concert. The tuning was applied sloppily, and it would often tune his glorious, super wide vibrato to nearby notes. This means that instead of the pitch wavering evenly around, for example, an A (the way it was sung), you hear the pitch jumping back and forth between A and the note above or below it. Plus the auto-tune sound of snapping pitches, overall made it sound extra nasally.

On Breaking the Fourth Wall, the pitch correction detracted from the quality of the vocals as well, at points. If you listen to certain parts, notes were tuned to notes other than what they were supposed to be, and the pitch snapping was too extreme and is very unflattering for the vocals.

I'm saying that if you use pitch correction- use it accurately and neatly, and only on notes that are actually out of tune, or it's just detracting from the quality.

 Angry Grin
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Asianhawk
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« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2016, 08:10:22 pm »

Wow dude...you MUST be a singer, and can hear those pitch corrections, etc. Because I just can't hear it. I honestly would never know.
I will say, after your descriptions, it makes sense now that I think about it, I have always loved listening to DT's live performances of the yester years on the Images and Words and Awake tours--maybe without ever realizing it, the vocals to the songs sound more natural and not 'fixed' in post-production like today? So naturally I have been drawn to that more raw sound. I am the first to say James is an infinitely more dynamic singer than he was back then, and has grown exponentially. So it always pisses me off beyond belief when I read or hear people knocking him.
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B-rad
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« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2017, 05:15:53 am »

Something that has really bothered me about certain live releases is the POORLY-USED pitch correction. If you must touch up a live performance to make it perfect for DVD- fine (not my preference, but I totally get it)... However, if the pitch correction applied is tuning my favorite singer, Mr. LaBrie to the wrong note, it makes me extremely frustrated to listen to it.

People think James sounded bad on CiM (what I believe to be one of his best tours vocally), because the DVD does not capture what he actually sounded like in concert. The tuning was applied sloppily, and it would often tune his glorious, super wide vibrato to nearby notes. This means that instead of the pitch wavering evenly around, for example, an A (the way it was sung), you hear the pitch jumping back and forth between A and the note above or below it. Plus the auto-tune sound of snapping pitches, overall made it sound extra nasally.

On Breaking the Fourth Wall, the pitch correction detracted from the quality of the vocals as well, at points. If you listen to certain parts, notes were tuned to notes other than what they were supposed to be, and the pitch snapping was too extreme and is very unflattering for the vocals.

I'm saying that if you use pitch correction- use it accurately and neatly, and only on notes that are actually out of tune, or it's just detracting from the quality.

 Angry Grin

You said exactly what I feel about all this. I sort of regret starting this thread the way I did because my claims were inaccurate. James never uses autotune live; they just tend to add it in post-production. But it's basically become a mainstay of audio production these days (all of the new rush live releases have some form of pitch correction on geddy's voice too). Chaos in motion was a bit of a disaster audio-wise; aside from the autotune being applied poorly, the mixes were very thin sounding and James' vocals sounded like they were coming through a telephone. I agree with you on Breaking the Fourth Wall; there are some uncomfortable pitch-snapping moments for me (like the long note at the end of Trial of Tears), but overall the autotune is alright on that dvd and perfects James' vocals well. As far as the last self titled album, I actually love the level to which autotune was used to perfect his vocals- they sound extremely clean and punchy (maybe just a tad to perfect for my taste), but Rich Chycki definitely knows how to produce a clean and punchy mix; I feel like with today's level of compression used on vocal tracks, the imperfections tend to jump out a lot more, which is why almost every producer uses some sort of pitch correction to clean up a vocal track.
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