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Old 05-07-2003, 01:57 PM
Larbabe Larbabe is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: LA, CA
Posts: 179
Default OT - ProTools blamed for making vocals sound too good

All right Toolies, fess up! Is that really your vocal performance, or is it the end result of pitch-correction and tweaking? [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]


By Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune

As a sales pitch, it's unique, if not downright baffling.

"Absolutely no vocal tuning or pitch correction was used in the making of this record" reads the sticker affixed to every copy of "Miss Fortune," the latest CD by singer-songwriter Allison Moorer.

The average consumer would be forgiven for wondering what pitch correction is, and if the Chicago Cubs will be able to use it this year.

Pitch correction is actually one of many computer-based tools that producers use to make singers sound better.

Using increasingly common studio software such as Pro Tools, flat notes can be fixed, off-key vocals can be spruced up and entire performances can be cut and pasted together from several different takes.

According to industry insiders, many successful mainstream artists in most genres of music — perhaps a majority of artists — are using pitch correction.

Now some in the music industry think the focus on perfection has gone too far.

"Vocal tuning is contributing to the Milli Vanilli-fication of modern music," says R.S. Field, who produced Moorer's record. Putting the sticker on the record, he says, "was sort of our little freak flag."

What a singer sounds like has always been manipulated and massaged by producers: The difference nowadays is that it is so easy to do — maybe too easy.

"Pro Tools is the industry Frankenstein that's taken over," says Nashville musician and producer Mark Nevers, who has worked with country artists such as George Jones and Waylon Jennings and indie band the Silver Jews. "Everything has to be exact, and I blame engineers and producers. It's been overdone."

In the past, a producer would force singers to redo subpar vocals again and again, but "now they just have them sing it five times in a row, edit that together and then use Pro Tools" to tune it, Nevers says.

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