#1
Hi,

I'm still relatively new to the recording world (have only been doing it "properly" since about January time), and have just learnt about quantizing and autotune, and have a few questions on them.

1. Is quantizing only used on drums, or is it also used on other instruments, even vocals?
2. I know that autotune is very widely used in the pop world, but was wondering if it is used in the rock world too, because one of the things that I've always liked about rock music is that it's more "real" than pop music. Is quantizing used much too?

Thanks
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#2
Quantizing can be used on almost any instrument, including sometimes vocals. It can lead to an unnaturally in-time sound, however.

Autotune is, I'd imagine, used in most music at least a little bit, including rock music. I wouldn't say all rock bands use it, and it depends what you classify as rock, but as a general answer I'd say it is definitely used.
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#3
^Agreed. If you overuse quantizing, then your music will sound robotic. Unnatural. Same goes with auto tune. Use it when it needs it, but don't pour it on.
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#4
Quote by Mr_Jubby_Jubs
Quantizing can be used on almost any instrument, including sometimes vocals. It can lead to an unnaturally in-time sound, however.

Autotune is, I'd imagine, used in most music at least a little bit, including rock music. I wouldn't say all rock bands use it, and it depends what you classify as rock, but as a general answer I'd say it is definitely used.


That's a bit sad I think.
Really makes me appreciate the classic rock bands of yesteryear.
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#5
Quote by jtwylie
^Agreed. If you overuse quantizing, then your music will sound robotic. Unnatural. Same goes with auto tune. Use it when it needs it, but don't pour it on.


Is autotune or quantizing ever NEEDED? They seemed to get by with it fine years ago...
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#6
Most of them had some overdubbing or retakes aswell.

And yeah, almost every band uses a little bit of autotune these days.
Drummers sometimes use quantizing and also use triggers.
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#7
Quote by Pr0teZT
Most of them had some overdubbing or retakes aswell.

And yeah, almost every band uses a little bit of autotune these days.
Drummers sometimes use quantizing and also use triggers.


Hmm, they might have had overdubbing and retakes etc, but at least at the end of the day what you were hearing was them, and not some "digitally perfected" version of them.

What are triggers?
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#8
Autotune can be a great time saver, as long as you use it to cover up mistakes you could correct with re-takes. Fewer retakes means less time is used in the studio, so you save money. If you just use it to cover up the fact you can't sing, then that's a different story.

Although saying that, I use autotune in my own recordings to help harmonies stack better. I think of it as a way of recording what I'm wanting to, despite my own limitations.
If music was the food of love I'd be a fat romantic slob.
#9
another reason autotune is more needed in todays music is that with in the box recording the track count is almost limitless. you dont have to cram a song on 24 tracks. that means you can stack your vocals all day and never have to worry about bouncing them down to a pair. even the best singers in the world cant sing a line the exact same way that many times with the exact same timing.

as was mentioned before, time is money in the studio. the faster you can get those stacks done the better. if you get the most perfect take with all the feeling and expression and energy but that last note was a little flat... you'll be happy you have autotune.
#10
Quote by sandyman323
another reason autotune is more needed in todays music is that with in the box recording the track count is almost limitless. you dont have to cram a song on 24 tracks. that means you can stack your vocals all day and never have to worry about bouncing them down to a pair. even the best singers in the world cant sing a line the exact same way that many times with the exact same timing.

as was mentioned before, time is money in the studio. the faster you can get those stacks done the better. if you get the most perfect take with all the feeling and expression and energy but that last note was a little flat... you'll be happy you have autotune.


Hmm fair enough. I guess the only justification for using autotune (unless it's actually being used as an effect) is for saving time in the studio.
However if its being used simply because the singer can't sing in tune well enough, well that's another story...

And remember, Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded without autotune, and that had A LOT of vocal tracks on it (don't know the exact number).
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#11
Im willing to bet almost all modern rock music has a touch of autotune on it. Its not a big deal and isnt noticeable when its only slight adjustments that are made
#12
Yeah I don't see what the deal with autotune is. Sometimes when it's over-autotuned it can produce a pretty interesting result. I'm not a fan of one-day-flies who can't actually sing getting all these hits out though.

Also, as far as quantization goes, I usually only trigger/quantize kicks on faster / heavier songs. The rest of the drums I keep as they are. Unless I'm using a drum machine of course, in which case I don't really have a choice.
#13
i use autotune on songs in the end, but i've noticed my songs don't sound like the auto tune you normally hear (im using antares auto tune, not the antares EVO like used in rap songs) and normally the pitch correction isnt much more than a quarter step (on bad days)
#14
Auto-Tune & Quantizing (along with every other effect out there) is a tool, not a solution.

Is it wrong to use Auto-Tune or Quantizing? In my opinion, no. It can help fix minor pitch differences or slightly out of sync drums. Can they be abused? Totally, it happens all the time.
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#15
Quote by sandyman323
another reason autotune is more needed in todays music is that with in the box recording the track count is almost limitless. you dont have to cram a song on 24 tracks. that means you can stack your vocals all day and never have to worry about bouncing them down to a pair. even the best singers in the world cant sing a line the exact same way that many times with the exact same timing.


This is a valid point but when it comes to stacking harmonies I think that VocAlign is much more important in modern music than Autotune/Melodyne. For the kind of huge backing vocals that are in use in some styles timing is a lot more important than pitch. Sure, your intonation can't be completely off but a few minor tuning glitches tend to "cancel each other out" when doing vocal layering (this is one of the many reasons why almost every single lead vocal is double tracked, especially back in the day; call it an "organic" Autotune). Timing is a different story. Unless your hard vocal sounds like 't' and 'd' all line up you'll end up with flamming which sounds like crap. Same goes for phrase endings where every single take needs to end right otherwise it will just sound sloppy (or endearing depending on your point of view).

But to answer the original question: vocal tuning and timing fixes are everywhere. It's better to fix a few minor mistakes than scrap a good take, especially for drums (I've personally "built" triplet kick drum patterns using cut-and-paste to salvage a great performance where the drummer missed just the kick parts for one small section). And if a vocal take has great attitude but a missed note here or there it can usually be fixed using Melodyne (which I prefer to Autotune) which is a lot easier, and usually gets better results, than trying to get that same performance again through endless overdubs/retakes.
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#16
Quote by ebon00
This is a valid point but when it comes to stacking harmonies I think that VocAlign is much more important in modern music than Autotune/Melodyne. For the kind of huge backing vocals that are in use in some styles timing is a lot more important than pitch. Sure, your intonation can't be completely off but a few minor tuning glitches tend to "cancel each other out" when doing vocal layering (this is one of the many reasons why almost every single lead vocal is double tracked, especially back in the day; call it an "organic" Autotune). Timing is a different story. Unless your hard vocal sounds like 't' and 'd' all line up you'll end up with flamming which sounds like crap. Same goes for phrase endings where every single take needs to end right otherwise it will just sound sloppy (or endearing depending on your point of view).

But to answer the original question: vocal tuning and timing fixes are everywhere. It's better to fix a few minor mistakes than scrap a good take, especially for drums (I've personally "built" triplet kick drum patterns using cut-and-paste to salvage a great performance where the drummer missed just the kick parts for one small section). And if a vocal take has great attitude but a missed note here or there it can usually be fixed using Melodyne (which I prefer to Autotune) which is a lot easier, and usually gets better results, than trying to get that same performance again through endless overdubs/retakes.


What's the difference between melodyne and autotune?
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#17
Quote by dwally89
What's the difference between melodyne and autotune?


I find Melodyne to be slightly more intuitive and easier to make minor changes with but the main difference is that Melodyne doesn't really work in real time. The basic interface is the same when you compare Melodyne and the graphic mode of Autotune though (and you shouldn't really be using the automatic mode of Autotune, it's a very blunt instrument). I also feel that Melodyne has a more transparent algorithm. You can't really transpose things more than a 3rd or so without horrendous artifacts but you shouldn't really need to.
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