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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: parlay on November 12, 2020, 08:07:01 PM



Title: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: parlay on November 12, 2020, 08:07:01 PM
When the 50 year reunion tour was held did the group use auto tuning during the live performances?

Also who was responsible for selecting what sidemen toured with the group?

Finally does the current Mike Love touring group use auto tuning in their live performances?

Thanks for any responses.

Parlay


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: c-man on November 12, 2020, 08:52:07 PM
When the 50 year reunion tour was held did the group use auto tuning during the live performances? -
It was used, at Joe Thomas' behest but without the group's knowledge, for the first couple of shows only. After that, the outcry from the fans and the band themselves forced it to be dropped.

Also who was responsible for selecting what sidemen toured with the group? -
Brian and Mike formed the production company that staged the tour, and the two of them (plus Joe) called all the shots. Hence, Brian's band and the two coolest guys from Mike's band were utilized (Mike's keyboard player was utilized as one of the tour managers).

Finally does the current Mike Love touring group use auto tuning in their live performances? -
I don't believe so.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: NateRuvin on November 14, 2020, 05:47:48 AM
Love's current group definitely doesn't use autotune.  I think that recent Drive In show proves this  :lol


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: twentytwenty on November 15, 2020, 04:54:50 AM
Love's current group definitely doesn't use autotune.  I think that recent Drive In show proves this  :lol
For sure!  ;D


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 15, 2020, 07:26:46 PM
Half assed usage of auto tune is very much similar to the idea of clumsily using one of those Instagram filters that makes your face appear smooth and adds shiny little sparkles. It's so completely ridiculous and obvious when it's done lazily. And it's an insult to the intelligence of the listeners for any producer to think that they could pull off using it in such a manner.

I cannot now and will never understand how Joe Thomas thought he could pull the wool over everybody's eyes and use such clumsy production techniques like that. But it's not just him. You will hear it being used in such a manner all the time these days on recordings, TV shows, you name it. A recent example was an episode of "Stranger Things" where the characters sang the theme song to the movie "the neverending story", and the lazily applied Autotune was there plain as day. It's so repulsive to my ears it makes me want to barf. And once again it just insults everybody's intelligence.

There IS a way that pitch correction software can be used in a very minimal and transparent way to help give an assist here and there, and when it's done properly by somebody with skill and precision, it can be virtually undetectable.

Honestly, the best BBs-related A/B example to compare pitch correction being done tastefully and skillfully, versus lazily and laughably, would be to compare The very well produced BW Gershwin CD, which has some pitch correction here and there, but it's done super well to my ears. Compare that to the BBs C50 2012 live album, or to any number of lazily applied moments on the TWGMTR album, and the difference is clear as day.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: NateRuvin on November 16, 2020, 10:59:45 AM
Good point that subtle , manual, (and various forms of) pitch correction has been used on BBs related recordings for years... BW88, Imagination, Postcard, Gershwin, TLOS, Disney, 12 Sides, BWPS, etc .... all use  manual pitch correction, only for bum notes--- used sparingly, and undetectable to the average ear, unless you really, really listen.

Annnnnd then we get to TWGMTR, NPP, Live C50 CD, and UTL with uber, turned up to 11 'live' autotune, where every note is being processed. You can hear it from a mile away. That "TPain" effect. Personally, the autotune doesn't really impact my enjoyment of the music--- I love all those albums I just listed.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: SaltyMarshmallow on November 16, 2020, 11:09:15 AM
TWGMTR and NPP still sound manual, but painstakingly smoothed through on every single note in a misguided attempt to make you forget you're listening to old guys, made out of skin and hair and organs and stuff. Auto software has the potential to make notes flutter or jump to the wrong place. UTL is some terrifying variant of that.

I think Gershwin is mostly fine outside of the two new songs and Rhapsody, which periodically step one ominous foot into Joe Thomas Land. What Love Can Do is heading in the same direction.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: B.E. on November 16, 2020, 11:49:18 AM
Some of Mike's leads on Knebworth are autotuned to death. Just listen to "Little Deuce Coupe"...


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: NateRuvin on November 16, 2020, 02:15:49 PM
SaltyMarshmallow, on second thought, i definitely agree that TWGMTR and NPP are manual. Every note being touched, yes. But manual. Pitch Correction as opposed to autotune.

UTL definitely has the digital artifacts of autotune, the fluttering and pitch jumps.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 16, 2020, 03:22:34 PM
Some of Mike's leads on Knebworth are autotuned to death. Just listen to "Little Deuce Coupe"...

Right. When I first started noticing Autotune artifacts on that album, it really made me retch. Count me as one of the people who is very much put off by blatant, lazy use of Autotune, ESPECIALLY on what's supposed to be a live album.

On a studio album, you can maybe sorta kinda forgive it a little bit, if you are listening to music with the mindset that it's an artistic choice to make it sound a certain way with effects. I mean, the band did use all sorts of weird FX such as on She's Going Bald, which could certainly be argued without question were an "on purpose" effect. I still think it SUCKS VERY VERY HARD on a studio album to have 70 year old men sound like robots, awful awful, but at least it's not masquerading as a "live" performance from 40 years prior.

But on a live album, especially a vintage live performance from decades in the past, it's literally as nausea as George Lucas adding CG characters to the analog universe of vintage Star Wars movies. Utterly unnecessary and horrifically embarrassing. And again, insulting to the listener's intelligence. But maybe the mindset that gave the thumbs up to CLUMSILY adding Autotune to a 1980 performance is akin to certain voting factions within the band knowing that the low-information meat & potatoes segment of the CD purchasing audience won't know or care or detect it.

Personally, I think they were talked into using it by Joe Thomas, or some music execs who have no taste. Also, this band is so notoriously difficult to deal with getting everyone to agree and sign off on things, and more so as the decades have gone by. So maybe Autotune on some otherwise poor or possibly thought to be unreleasable lead vocals was the only way a release would happen, or at least it might have cut down on arguments, and sadly, would cut down on the number of takes which the members would have to do. The members have not been interested in doing as many takes as needed to get a decent sounding take minus the bowling lane cheating bumpers that Autotune provides. (Yet look at the Gershwin album - when Brian CARES, he will do great leads). UTL is bar none the worst Autotuned disaster I've EVER heard by ANY artist.

I still wonder what Joe Thomas was thinking - was he trying to make things simply "in pitch" and didn't think anyone would notice Autotune was added? Did he think most people would not care even if they noticed? Or was it just that the bar has been lowered by many artists doing crap Autotune stuff and it has become so commonplace as to think that this is what sells and how things SHOULD sound on modern music? The proliferation of lazily-applied Autotune is absolutely a travesty as far as I'm concerned. I'm very sad that some late-era music by my fave band has been tainted (in some ways minimally, in other ways very much so) by this utterly terrible trend. History won't be forgiving to it.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: B.E. on November 16, 2020, 03:28:46 PM
Was Joe Thomas involved with the Knebworth CD/DVD?


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: BeachBoysCovers on November 16, 2020, 03:34:57 PM
Personally I very rarely notice autotune on things, and very rarely care. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 16, 2020, 03:55:50 PM
Was Joe Thomas involved with the Knebworth CD/DVD?

That's a good question. I don't think so but I don't really know.

Other than solo BW material, I think that CD must be the earliest-released product by "The Beach Boys" that has autotune on it, unless somebody has information that I don't.

I remember hearing there was perhaps some sort of primitive 1980s pitch correction used on the BBs 1985 album, but whatever that was, it doesn't remotely have the yucky nature that autotune has...


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 16, 2020, 04:10:49 PM
He's nowhere in the credits for Knebworth and wouldn't have been involved anyway at that time. I may be misremembering it, and please correct if so, but I think the pitch correction on Knebworth was applied at the request of certain band members or involved parties after hearing the raw tapes. I also think it may have gone against the wishes of others involved, but again that's for another discussion if that memory is accurate.

As far as BB '85, they were going for a current hit record sound which is why they brought in Steve Levine, who is a top-notch producer and did what he was hired to do on that album. Steve could speak to more of what he did (and has spoken highly of working with Brian on the record but not as highly about the band as a whole) with the mixing and recording. But in 1984, if it was a use of pitch correction that was audible, it could have been as simple a patch-in as an Eventide Harmonizer which would digitally generate a harmony or doubled note on top of the original note (the Eventide was literally everywhere in the 80's), or as in-depth as sampling vocal notes into whatever early samplers they had available and pitching each sampled note digitally.

Keep in mind both the Eventide and those early samplers were used as aesthetic, sonic effects as much as trying to correct something and sound natural. Those sounds were on hit records in 1984-85 and labels would ask producers and engineers to use them to make songs sound like hit records.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 16, 2020, 04:42:22 PM
He's nowhere in the credits for Knebworth and wouldn't have been involved anyway at that time. I may be misremembering it, and please correct if so, but I think the pitch correction on Knebworth was applied at the request of certain band members or involved parties after hearing the raw tapes. I also think it may have gone against the wishes of others involved, but again that's for another discussion if that memory is accurate.

As far as BB '85, they were going for a current hit record sound which is why they brought in Steve Levine, who is a top-notch producer and did what he was hired to do on that album. Steve could speak to more of what he did (and has spoken highly of working with Brian on the record but not as highly about the band as a whole) with the mixing and recording. But in 1984, if it was a use of pitch correction that was audible, it could have been as simple a patch-in as an Eventide Harmonizer which would digitally generate a harmony or doubled note on top of the original note (the Eventide was literally everywhere in the 80's), or as in-depth as sampling vocal notes into whatever early samplers they had available and pitching each sampled note digitally.

Keep in mind both the Eventide and those early samplers were used as aesthetic, sonic effects as much as trying to correct something and sound natural. Those sounds were on hit records in 1984-85 and labels would ask producers and engineers to use them to make songs sound like hit records.

Agreed, whatever effects the Eventide and samplers added in the 80s to BBs material sound good to my ears. Autotune is as dreadful as it gets, and once you hear it, and can recognize it, it's impossible to unhear it.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: patsy6 on November 20, 2020, 06:46:22 PM
He's nowhere in the credits for Knebworth and wouldn't have been involved anyway at that time. I may be misremembering it, and please correct if so, but I think the pitch correction on Knebworth was applied at the request of certain band members or involved parties after hearing the raw tapes. I also think it may have gone against the wishes of others involved, but again that's for another discussion if that memory is accurate.

As far as BB '85, they were going for a current hit record sound which is why they brought in Steve Levine, who is a top-notch producer and did what he was hired to do on that album. Steve could speak to more of what he did (and has spoken highly of working with Brian on the record but not as highly about the band as a whole) with the mixing and recording. But in 1984, if it was a use of pitch correction that was audible, it could have been as simple a patch-in as an Eventide Harmonizer which would digitally generate a harmony or doubled note on top of the original note (the Eventide was literally everywhere in the 80's), or as in-depth as sampling vocal notes into whatever early samplers they had available and pitching each sampled note digitally.

Keep in mind both the Eventide and those early samplers were used as aesthetic, sonic effects as much as trying to correct something and sound natural. Those sounds were on hit records in 1984-85 and labels would ask producers and engineers to use them to make songs sound like hit records.

Agreed, whatever effects the Eventide and samplers added in the 80s to BBs material sound good to my ears. Autotune is as dreadful as it gets, and once you hear it, and can recognize it, it's impossible to unhear it.

I obviously don't listen to a lot of music that has autotune. At the risk of being revealed as a complete recording neophyte, can you tell me what autotune sounds like? Or point me in the direction of one recording that has been autotuned and one that has not?


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: roffels on November 20, 2020, 07:36:08 PM
He's nowhere in the credits for Knebworth and wouldn't have been involved anyway at that time. I may be misremembering it, and please correct if so, but I think the pitch correction on Knebworth was applied at the request of certain band members or involved parties after hearing the raw tapes. I also think it may have gone against the wishes of others involved, but again that's for another discussion if that memory is accurate.

As far as BB '85, they were going for a current hit record sound which is why they brought in Steve Levine, who is a top-notch producer and did what he was hired to do on that album. Steve could speak to more of what he did (and has spoken highly of working with Brian on the record but not as highly about the band as a whole) with the mixing and recording. But in 1984, if it was a use of pitch correction that was audible, it could have been as simple a patch-in as an Eventide Harmonizer which would digitally generate a harmony or doubled note on top of the original note (the Eventide was literally everywhere in the 80's), or as in-depth as sampling vocal notes into whatever early samplers they had available and pitching each sampled note digitally.

Keep in mind both the Eventide and those early samplers were used as aesthetic, sonic effects as much as trying to correct something and sound natural. Those sounds were on hit records in 1984-85 and labels would ask producers and engineers to use them to make songs sound like hit records.

Agreed, whatever effects the Eventide and samplers added in the 80s to BBs material sound good to my ears. Autotune is as dreadful as it gets, and once you hear it, and can recognize it, it's impossible to unhear it.

I obviously don't listen to a lot of music that has autotune. At the risk of being revealed as a complete recording neophyte, can you tell me what autotune sounds like? Or point me in the direction of one recording that has been autotuned and one that has not?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cwgU-TIwNU&list=PLnG-ujX3czmVh9i4aBRE1grwgHGhUc73F

Listen to Mike's vocals, he sounds like he's part Speak And Spell.

Here's a live recording:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBFOuzhubFQ
No speak and spell quality


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 20, 2020, 09:20:06 PM
I made a recording recently that I wish I could go back now and autotune one note. I know nothing about autotune, how to get it, how it's applied, etc.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: CenturyDeprived on November 20, 2020, 10:30:06 PM
I made a recording recently that I wish I could go back now and autotune one note. I know nothing about autotune, how to get it, how it's applied, etc.

There are free programs like Audacity which allow for pitch shifting of waveforms, which at its core is the same concept as Autotune. It's a great thing to use sparingly, here and there. Autotune allows for lots more specific tweaking, but can become absolutely wretched if overused. A little goes a long way.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: c-man on November 21, 2020, 03:59:22 AM
I made a recording recently that I wish I could go back now and autotune one note. I know nothing about autotune, how to get it, how it's applied, etc.

What format did you use for recording? - if digitally, and with a computer recording program, it's quite likely the program includes a pitch correction feature.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: guitarfool2002 on November 21, 2020, 11:23:46 AM

I obviously don't listen to a lot of music that has autotune. At the risk of being revealed as a complete recording neophyte, can you tell me what autotune sounds like? Or point me in the direction of one recording that has been autotuned and one that has not?

No harm at all asking questions!

Every effect that is "new" and catches on to where it's heard everywhere on hit records has to have a starting point, a song that sells millions featuring some new sound or gadget which then other artists, producers, and label execs want on their own recordings to make them into hits. In the case of Autotune, and the way you deliberately push the effect to its max so it's not transparent as it was designed to be, that record was "Believe" by Cher. I know there will be arguments as to who was first, or if some underground DJ or hip-hop artist had it first, but this was the big hit that crossed over and made people listen to the effect and what it could do.

This is probably the best video to give an A/B example of the song and Cher's vocals without and then with the Autotune effect added. This is her producer Mark Taylor at the mixing board with the raw tracks demonstrating how he did the maxed-out Autotune effect on her vocal which became iconic, and became a trademark for basically 99.8% of all hip-hop and R&B hits to follow in the next decade, and which T-Pain took to such heights as his trademark sound that he developed an app for our phones so we can all sound like T-Pain lol. Kanye, Post Malone, etc...the list goes on.

Check it out, Mark Taylor at the board with the "Believe" tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScxV4iozqnQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScxV4iozqnQ)

That is the prime example of the first major hit to deliberately overuse and push the Autotune so it becomes a deliberate effect and not a transparent correction or smoothing tool.



Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: Lonely Summer on November 21, 2020, 06:38:43 PM
I made a recording recently that I wish I could go back now and autotune one note. I know nothing about autotune, how to get it, how it's applied, etc.

What format did you use for recording? - if digitally, and with a computer recording program, it's quite likely the program includes a pitch correction feature.
I'll probably just re-sing that one line.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: c-man on November 21, 2020, 11:44:54 PM
I made a recording recently that I wish I could go back now and autotune one note. I know nothing about autotune, how to get it, how it's applied, etc.

What format did you use for recording? - if digitally, and with a computer recording program, it's quite likely the program includes a pitch correction feature.
I'll probably just re-sing that one line.

That works too! :)


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: patsy6 on November 22, 2020, 07:04:10 AM
Thank you, roffels and guitarfool2002. These examples help a lot!


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: UEF on November 28, 2020, 09:32:01 AM

I obviously don't listen to a lot of music that has autotune. At the risk of being revealed as a complete recording neophyte, can you tell me what autotune sounds like? Or point me in the direction of one recording that has been autotuned and one that has not?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cwgU-TIwNU&list=PLnG-ujX3czmVh9i4aBRE1grwgHGhUc73F

Listen to Mike's vocals, he sounds like he's part Speak And Spell.

Here's a live recording:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBFOuzhubFQ
No speak and spell quality



Another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4inGP8qMnPE


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: Awesoman on November 28, 2020, 09:56:26 AM
I think in some cases the use of Autotune comes off as a trendy effect to sound "modern".  Hell, rapper T-Pain makes a living off of it.  I don't understand the appeal.  It's no secret that studio wizardry is used to sweeten vocals in the mix, but when it's this blatantly obvious it makes you wonder if the effect was deliberate.  🤷‍♂️


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: Emdeeh on November 28, 2020, 02:14:54 PM
Extreme Autotune makes me cringe, which is why I don't care for a lot of current popular music.


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: Tom on November 30, 2020, 02:02:41 PM
I have a feeling Eagle Rock use a degree of autotune on all their live releases. Most of the Queen concerts they've put out have a fair bit of tune on Freddie's voice. I guess it's the simplest way to 'clean up' performances which weren't necessarily perfect/intended for release in their initial formats. Still, it's historical revisionism and it sounds like sh*t (and will continue to sound worse as 2000's era autotune technology becomes more and more dated).


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: Pretty Funky on November 30, 2020, 04:54:21 PM
Extreme Autotune makes me cringe, which is why I don't care for a lot of current popular music.


+1


Title: Re: Auto Tuning / personnel
Post by: The 4th Wilson Bro. on December 04, 2020, 02:55:44 PM
Many of you are obviously knowledgeable about music and recording techniques. I love great music, but I'm a novice when it comes to knowing about/recognizing autotune, pitch correction, etc.

But haven't studio recordings always used techniques that make the vocals sound better (maybe not better, but at least different) than they sound in live performances?

Please try to explain in layman's terms to someone who would really like to know.