#1
The title is very misleading i know, i couldnt come up with anything better, but anyway here is the question.
I heard Adele's Someone Like You on the radio ( i have no problem admitting i like her music) and i noticed "something" wrong with the vocal line. In some spots it sounds like its a little out of key.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0&ob=av2n

For example at 1:17 its a bit sharp, same at 1:24, 2:41, 2:47, 3:56 etc... My question is: how can it be possible with today's technology which can make EVERYONE sound in tune, to have these "mistakes" on a record? Also why does she sound out of key only in these spots? Maybe it is hard to hit the right note when singing the "U" ?

Thanks.
#2
I must admit that I noticed it the first time I heard the song too. Especially on the long "yoooou" note. But instead I thought: "She dosn't use autotune. Awesome."

The truth is that pitch dosn't really matter all the much when it is so close. It's actually pretty natural in singing. **** this obsession people have with it being perfect, this is human.
#3
I agree with you, im glad she doesnt use auto tune. My question was not directly aimed at this example though, i meant how it can be possible to have this kind of silly mistakes on a record. I wonder why she didnt re-do it... I want to buy the album but im extremely picky and im afraid it will be full of things like these /.\
#4
I don't really see the problem...

When I'm working on my songs, I purposely make some notes out of key, if it makes it sound awesome and good and etc.
#5
It is not a mistake, it's just a little pitched. It makes it human. Try reading this:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/tim_palmer_auto-tune_can_be_an_amazing_toy_but_you_must_be_careful.html

"Auto-tune can be an amazing creative toy, but I think you must be careful. I hate to over tune music. On some of the classic records that we all seem to love, the bands were tuning mostly by ear and everyone may have started out referenced to a simple tuner but as overdubs built up it was never all perfectly in tune, but never to the detriment of the song. In reality, some of the parts may be a little sharp and some players may be a little flat but the sound is now a lot wider and thicker. Often these days, with each overdub everybody retunes way too precisely and the sound seems to stay thin. When the vocals are then added there is little room for expression, it's really tough to sing and then you can end up having to fine tuning the vocals as well. Why not just use Auto-tune and tuners a little less and leave the pitch to breathe a little?

The same applies to Beat detective. Rhythmic feel can also be damaged by too much correction. If you chop the whole thing up into enough pieces so it's all bang on a grid, the ear doesn't hear any natural ‘flamming’ of instruments any more. In many cases a bit of that ‘flamming’ makes the music sound bigger and more appealing. Think of an orchestra; one of the main reasons it sounds good is because they are a bit out of time and out of tune. In a way, the creation of Auto-tune and Beat Detective, have given us solutions to problems that the listener never really had a problem with. I have bought so many albums and never once thought, 'that record would have been so much better if it was more in tune or the drum tracks a bit tighter’."

I actually agree with this guy. But yeah, if you are musicians like us, being so used to perfect pitch as we are today, it can be directly annoying if something is a little out of tune. But I don't think it matters on this specific example.
#6
So the question is:

Question: How could they leave these mistakes in the record?

Good question? How could all these people with millions of dollars, the most experienced record producers/sound engineers in the world have left something like that in? Something that the average listener could hear?

Answer: It's left in there on purpose.

Why would they leave it in there on purpose? Probably to give the recording a more "human" feel. Yes they could have had Adele sing it perfectly (or autotune) and press copy past thanks miss now the recording is "perfect". But they didn't, and it doesn't seem to have affected record sales either.

It's all a matter of personal taste. You can get a Timberland produced record and it will be "perfect', but may lack that human element you'd like to come across.

Alternatively, those imperfections may be what Adele wanted. Why not check live performances of the songs to see if they are recurring in the same place.
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#7
Quote by Fleur de Lys

The truth is that pitch dosn't really matter all the much when it is so close. It's actually pretty natural in singing. **** this obsession people have with it being perfect, this is human.



dude, + 1million

and to the reply ts did, Get the **** over yourself man. I personally like live music better, because the natural sound of it, the mistakes and the emotions displayed from the artists.

studio albums very rarely have that... and if you're complaining that one might have a bit of emotion/liveliness to it, then you are 12, and i hate you.
It's over simplified, So what!

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Last edited by Obsceneairwaves at Dec 11, 2011,
#8
Wow man, calm down if you read the entire thing you would notice that i actually agree with you and the guy you quoted. You said "studio albums very rarely have that" which is true and is exactly why i asked the question. Im not pissed off because its not *perfect*, i just thought non-perfection would not be tolerated in today's music industry but apparently i was wrong.
#9
That's not of key.
Of key is when she would've sung a melody that wasn't supposed to be in that key.
This is defiinately meant to be in that key she's making accidentals.
#11
Quote by Myshadow46_2
Accidentals are out of key.

Yes they are out of key but the bigger line is remaining in key.
If a song is out of key:Then the melody isnt designed for that song.
If a note is out of key:That's an accidental.
That's what I understood, is it wrong?
#12
Quote by tappooh

For example at 1:17 its a bit sharp, same at 1:24, 2:41, 2:47, 3:56 etc... My question is: how can it be possible with today's technology which can make EVERYONE sound in tune, to have these "mistakes" on a record? Also why does she sound out of key only in these spots? Maybe it is hard to hit the right note when singing the "U" ?
Thanks.

I wish I had my Guthrie Govan book with me right now.
In his book, he said that music isn't supposed to sound robotic.
The best drum machines (those machines which give you a drum beat to jam to) aren't in time.
Guthrie himself experimented and found himself that 1/98 1/96 off time and some others in a particular order sounded least robotic.
#13
Quote by Myshadow46_2
Accidentals are out of key.


I dunno why but the bluntness of your reply made me laugh XD
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#14
Quote by liampje
Yes they are out of key but the bigger line is remaining in key.
If a song is out of key:Then the melody isnt designed for that song.
If a note is out of key:That's an accidental.
That's what I understood, is it wrong?


That's better.

Quote by GangsterLi
I dunno why but the bluntness of your reply made me laugh XD


#15
If a guitarist plays a microtonal bend do you consider that to be a "mistake"?

Adele is a skilled vocalist and can make her voice do whatever she wants, that note is intentional...really it's no different to the warbling histrionics of the likes of Beyonce or Christina Aguilera, it's just much more subtle
Actually called Mark!

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#16
Quote by steven seagull
If a guitarist plays a microtonal bend do you consider that to be a "mistake"?

Adele is a skilled vocalist and can make her voice do whatever she wants, that note is intentional...really it's no different to the warbling histrionics of the likes of Beyonce or Christina Aguilera, it's just much more subtle


This.

I couldn't have put it better myself.
#17
Quote by steven seagull
If a guitarist plays a microtonal bend do you consider that to be a "mistake"?

Adele is a skilled vocalist and can make her voice do whatever she wants, that note is intentional...really it's no different to the warbling histrionics of the likes of Beyonce or Christina Aguilera, it's just much more subtle

I listened to the live version performed in her house and its pretty much perfect, i dont see why she didnt do the best she could on the record. You say its intentional... it really doesnt make sense to me, if i had to play a quick 16th triplets run i would make sure every note is picked as clean as possible, i wouldnt make it sound sloppy just for the hell of it...
Oh well i guess im making it sound like a big deal, i will go buy the album tomorrow.
#18
You really think it was one take?

There'll have been dozens, and between the artist and the producer they'll have picked the one they thought worked the best.
Actually called Mark!

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#20
Also, Creep with Radiohead would not have been as emotional with autotune. There are definitely some out of tune notes in that song, but it suits the song and the lyrics well, making him sound fragile.
#21
I read one time, (don't remember where, or when) that Led Zepplin's Black Dog's "change in tempo" from 4/4 to 5/4 was a "mistake" in the studio that Jon Bonham refused to "fix" and even caused an engineer to quit. now of course it's written in the sheet music.

Just some useless trivia, whether it's true or not... I don't know.

Fact is, that music is an art form, and art is far from perfect. I agree with most here, I like the fact that "auto tune" wasn't used, and they left the majority of the computer software out of it...

adds "Art" to the art....
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#22
Quote by steven seagull
You really think it was one take?

There'll have been dozens, and between the artist and the producer they'll have picked the one they thought worked the best.


This.

The producer probably went for the best performance in terms of interpretation and feeling, even if it wasn't the most perfect one in terms of technique or tuning