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Author Topic: Auto-tune America  (Read 6157 times)

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Offline GSOgymrat

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Auto-tune America
« on: April 04, 2011, 09:53:22 PM »
I’ve been listening to a lot of new music lately and have notice an increasing number of “artists” relying on auto-tune. It case you haven’t heard of it, auto-tune is software that can correct a singer’s pitch but gives a telltale electronic effect, the worse the pitch the more distinct the effect.  Studio magic has been used for decades, and auto-tune was kind of cool when Cher used it on “Believe”, but now it appears some people can’t sing without it. Katie Perry, Britney Spears, Glee singers and lots of other popular acts  use it extensively. I guess what really brought this to the forefront is little Miss Rebecca Black and her huge internet hit/punch line “Friday”, which some have called “the death of music”. On one hand the idea that anyone, and I mean anyone, can sing a song and express themselves seems like a good thing. Conversely when everyone you hear starts sounding like robots and you begin to wonder if anyone has any vocal talent. Will we be listening to today’s music years from now thinking everything sounds cheesy and dated thanks to auto-tune?

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 02:10:29 AM »
I've noticed it being used a lot more, too.  Hip-Hop artists use it probably the most.  Chris Brown did sing live on Good Morning America, but even with Auto-Tune, he sounded awful.  I guess they still need to tweak things post-production to make them sound better.  I didn't realize Katy Perry used it.  I know Brittany Spears claimed to sing live, but she would have a running track of her playing much louder.  So, she could claim she was singing live--even though the recorded version is what people were hearing.  Rihanna has to use Auto-Tune and other computer fixer-uppers.   

I think singers who can really sing are rare.  Celine Dion can sing.  They said she recorded "My Heart Will Go On" in one take.  Not sure how true that is, but I know she rarely hits a bad note.  I'm not sure I've ever heard her hit a bad note.  Josh Groban is another.  I think Pink sings really well live.   

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 03:44:33 AM »
It's not just singers but musicians (in popular music) which are becoming incredibly rare.  I don't mind if someone is autotuning for the sound effect, but I do mind if someone is autotuning simply in an attempt to make themselves sound better.  I've always heard Jennifer Lopez can't sing a note and has been put through more music production machinery than any one person has a right to be.

Offline carousel

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 03:52:19 AM »
At least Cher was using it as an effect, rather than trying to pass it off as something else.

I'm not sure it's any worse than singing to a backing track or getting somebody else to sing the song.  As most of these singers aren't trained, it's not that much of a surprise.

This is a video of New Order in the 80s.  They made a big deal of the fact that they were going to be live.  Unfortunately, it went a bit wrong and they could really do with auto tune.

I think it made history on the TV programme, Top of the Pops by being the first time an appearance on the show was followed by their record going down the charts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTb2rZ0SBg4

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 06:34:08 AM »
At least Cher was using it as an effect, rather than trying to pass it off as something else.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTb2rZ0SBg4

That's the key reflection, isn't it?

If there's NO music education of young people, they might not be able to make this reflection.  

Its like the debate on fast food.  If the only tastes some kids develop is "sweet", "salt", fat, etc., then they can't enjoy a carrot.

Its the cultures and the parents and the schools responsibility to make sure everyone has a concept of "authenticity" -  otherwise people live in "simulacrum".  

If people can't adjust their ears to find any pleasure or interest in "authentic" music, then there is a loss of diversity in experience.  

If playground games can't hold interest against virtual games, same deal.

If industrial processed foods win totally over "real" food (they are both "real" actually) -- same thing.

Another reflection is - well, is simulation bad?? Is it inauthentic to like the inauthentic, etc. ?

Personally I like processed food sometimes, who doesn't? I like glossy advertisements where everything is perfect.  I love techno music, electro music.  Stretched old ladies and Amanda Lepore, this is interesting.  

All music has a "production" filter between live and your ear.  Except completely electronic, which never had a live performance source.

Finally, I guess its important that people know what they are eating, drinking, listening to, looking at.

What's tiresome is the "critical" voice and groups that would call fakery "bad" - when they take it too far into some anal retentive group definition of real.

I'd rather listen to Britney's new, 100% auto-tuned disc than some dreary "real" folk singer with average talent and no interesting production.  Maybe if the words are fascinating ok - but then it would be a talented song writer.

I'd sometimes rather go to McDo's than to a hippy PC restaurant that will push some raw-food gruel and political sanctimony down my throat and tell me I should like it.

Cher is a master, just brilliant, at always bridging the gap between "real" and "manufactured".  Her music, her acting, her body - there's always a staged glamorous produced performative part, but her natural person, her genuineness, almost always touches us too.  I think this is why she's one of the longest running successful acts in history.  
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 12:35:29 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 06:39:39 AM »
  Celine Dion can sing. 

She can sing. Fabulously. Like Whitney Houston.  But two artists who's artistic interpretation and taste never keep my attention, never send me flying.  I find them both interesting as famous people - Celine for her amazing propriety mixed with huge success, Whitney for her well you know - dramatic struggles.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 12:03:15 PM »
I wish the people who run the twice-monthly karaoke at my local would get an autotune machine. ;D
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Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 12:58:38 PM »
 American Idol - Autotune fail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40lmMMViSIk

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 01:02:48 PM »
I remember the Beyonce playback fail hoax.


Never saw this Miley Cyrus autotune fail hoax (hopefully its a hoax!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMkiFaVh3AU&feature=related
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline CaptCarl

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 01:22:33 PM »
  Celine Dion can sing.    

But I sooo wish she wouldn't.

CaptCarl (who thinks Sheila Broflovski nailed it when she sang "With Canada dead and gone/There'll be no more Celine Dion...)
The only thing I can do straight is shoot..

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2011, 01:45:04 PM »
I wish the people who run the twice-monthly karaoke at my local would get an autotune machine. ;D

The only time I hear karaoke is Thursday nights at the psychatric hospital where I work. I guess it is like anywhere, some people are remarkable singers and others... well, no amount of technology can fix it.

Offline IgotTigerBlood

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 12:36:07 AM »
I wish the people who run the twice-monthly karaoke at my local would get an autotune machine. ;D

Amen to that!  :D

But, other than that, I don't appreciate the way it's being overly abused in the music industry. Personally, I think it's tacky, and a testament to the lowered standards of society. You may hate it, but it seems that a majority of the world continues to progressively accept this synthetic garbage.

I swear, if I hear one more robot-voiced lyric in another song, I'm going to have a fucking aneurysm!

You wish you knew...

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2011, 02:24:41 PM »
I guess it is something that is going to become the "norm".....the attitude will be, why be a tad off-key when the pitch can be corrected to 100% accuracy?

It's refreshing to hear a good singer, on recordings WAY before any of this was even dreamed of....Karen Carpenter comes to mind;  also, Marilyn McCoo (5th Dimension)
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2011, 03:24:57 PM »
It's refreshing to hear a good singer, on recordings WAY before any of this was even dreamed of....Karen Carpenter comes to mind;  also, Marilyn McCoo (5th Dimension)



In my day we didn't need auto-tune. We had VOICES!

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011, 05:39:18 PM »
"Don’t hate me, Joe. I did it because I need you. I need you as I never needed you. Me, me, me, me. I need you. Look at me. Me, me, me, look at my hands, look at my face, look under my eyes. How can I record my new disk without Autotune if I’m wasting away under this torment? At least you could give me a little, every now and then."

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bunjff4J7Y4/RqpVwLc0cwI/AAAAAAAAA0I/zXcdA9a88Ps/s320/vlcsnap-25621.jpg

http://www.gospelinfinity.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/britney-spears-ugly-glasses-stoned.jpg
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Cliff

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2011, 04:00:58 PM »
I don't mind and sometimes love autotune....it's mostly harmless.  I doubt many use it to fool anyone.  We all know Britney and Kylie can't sing.

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2011, 04:29:56 PM »
Well she is off-key but it's not God awful.  The backup singers do the fill in and all the high notes?
Yes we prefer the autotuned Kylie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfEqeXj2_54
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 05:35:57 PM »
For comparison purposes: 2 ancient legends get up on the stage and still bring it:

Baker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNwt-q8rabY&feature=related

Dietrich
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGQgFhvYwOA








“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2011, 06:39:00 PM »
For comparison purposes: 2 ancient legends get up on the stage and still bring it:

Baker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNwt-q8rabY&feature=related




Big time Goddess!  The likes of her, Lena Horne, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday would have never needed any of this rubbishy autochoon bullshit. 
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2011, 12:44:34 PM »
I like auto-tune and electronic processing when it is done creatively rather than as a crutch.

I love the other worldly effect on "I'll Fly With You"- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vQmgUrtceE

Big time Goddess!  The likes of her, Lena Horne, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday would have never needed any of this rubbishy autochoon bullshit. 

K.D. Lang is releasing a new album today, and she clearly doesn't need auto-tune. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5KRVtjgMkM

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2011, 03:42:23 PM »
I like K.D. Lang a lot.   In "The Black Dahlia" she was the performer in a Lesbian Nightclub scene, in the late 1940's...she has a sort of etherial quality about her, that I love...

I wonder if they could auto-tune the 'twang' out of an old Tammy Wynette song?  LOL  but then, what good would it be, right?  I make my partner crazy by listening to Tammy Wynette CD's....
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2011, 04:07:58 PM »
I like K.D. Lang a lot.   In "The Black Dahlia" she was the performer in a Lesbian Nightclub scene, in the late 1940's...she has a sort of etherial quality about her, that I love...

I wonder if they could auto-tune the 'twang' out of an old Tammy Wynette song?  LOL  but then, what good would it be, right?  I make my partner crazy by listening to Tammy Wynette CD's....

Your partner knows how to stand by his man. ;)

Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2011, 04:40:07 PM »
It's funny I was having a similar discussion some months back with someone about his "discovery" of auto-tuned vocals in music and I had to give him a quick lesson on how this technology has been around for quite some time.  Only back then it was known as using a "vocoder" ~ damn, I'm feeling even more ancient, now

Let's not forget about Peter Frampton, ELO, Giorgio Moroder, Roger Troutman/Zapp of "More Bounce To The Ounce" fame, Kraftwerk, The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock (before the days of "Rock-It" when he actually sang), and even Stevie Wonder have all been guilty of including vocoded effects in some of their tunes.

edited to add: how could I forget this gem: http://youtu.be/rcCS8AK6csg

And on another note: there are many artists out there who require all sorts of processing in order to keep them on pitch, period.  I have a friend who remixed some of Madge's stuff back in the day and he hated it because he had to process every other note so he could stand to even listen to it before he could even start to remix it.  I'd laugh because it reminded me of songs with live drummers where the tempo would fluctuate every few beats because they couldn't keep time.

Thanks for the laugh GSO  :D

Signing off now to make a playlist of all vocoded music to put on the iPhone
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 04:57:13 PM by Solo_LTSurvivor »
don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
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Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
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Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2011, 07:32:18 AM »
Speaking of authenticity in music, and thin skins:

http://music.aol.co.uk/2011/04/20/lady-gaga-madonna-comparisons-retarded/

Ever the centre of attention, the outspoken Lady Gaga has drawn more attraction to herself by, in a recent interview, haughtily admonishing comparisons with Madonna as "retarded".

Speaking to the NME, Gaga was answering questions about February single 'Born This Way,' which the interviewer pointed out -- perhaps not unreasonably -- shared similarities with Madonna's 1989 single 'Express Yourself.' At this point the star lost her temper, saying "why the f---? I'm a songwriter ... Why would I try to put out a song and think I'm getting one over on everybody? That's retarded. If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression."

Continuing her profanity-laden tirade, Gawker reports Gaga exclaiming, "just because I'm the first f---ing artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist. It means I'm f---ing smart. Sorry."

Perhaps sensing she'd gone too far Gaga then changed tact, saying: "I feel like honestly that God sent me those lyrics and that melody... There's no way for something that pure to be wrong."
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2011, 08:20:56 AM »
"Born This Way" definitely has similarities to "Express Yourself". "Alejandro" sounds just like Ace of Base's "Don't Turn Around" and even includes the dramatic dialogue at the beginning. Maybe Gaga lost her temper because she recognizes there is a ring of truth. I still like her songs, even some are derivative.

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2011, 08:34:23 AM »
Yeah, how much "originality" can we expect in basic pop. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2011, 12:27:02 PM »
Yeah, how much "originality" can we expect in basic pop. 

Well the similarities are there but not close enough that I would say she "ripped off" madonna.  I can also hear what Ford is talking about with alejandro but it's more a stylistic similarity than say an interpolation of the Ace of Base song (which was a cover itself btw)

Offline Solo_LTSurvivor

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2011, 10:48:24 AM »
I rarely ever pay attention to anything related to one-trick ponies such as the ones being discussed at the end of this thread but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share.

The comments on both sites really have me rolling....
don't equate intelligence with lack of masculinity
Jim Phelps, Mission Impossible
____________________________

Seroconverted: Early 80s
Tested & confirmed what I already knew: early 90s

Current regimen: Atripla. 
Last regimen:  Epzicom, Sustiva (since its inception with NO adverse side effects: no vivid dreams and NONE of the problems people who can't tolerate this drug may experience: color me lucky ::))
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Apr 2012: 964/22%
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Oct. 2012: 920/23%

Still UD after all these years

Offline GSOgymrat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2011, 02:08:35 PM »
Weird Al "Perform This Way": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUxXKfQkswE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Nice that he asks viewers to donate to HRC.

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2011, 04:58:56 PM »
Madonna's song is kind of a uptempo remake of Respect Yourself by the Staple Singers.

Gaga should just lighten up and say something generous like "Madonna is such an inspiration, if my music reminds you of hers, I'll take that as a great compliment!"
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2011, 03:34:59 PM »
Today my shuffle function put on Dietrich's Hot Voodoo number from Blonde Venus. The track included the saucy dressing room banter before the number.  Dietrich danced around in an ape costume which she pulled off to reveal a blond sparkly afro.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyVrH1OfVjw
And then my shuffle played The Smiths Meat is Murder.
It was a Gaga by association moment.

Considering the crazy shit from the Jazz age and cabaret, I don't think there's anything new whatsoever about Gaga.  But she does make provocation work, so kudos for her.  Christina Aguilera tried to sustain interest last year with all her "provocative" videos and music and it was a big FAIL.

If you've never seen the Dietrich number, you had better watch it now.


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2011, 09:22:27 PM »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline leatherman

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2011, 09:48:06 PM »
Lady's gag me with a spoon Truth or Dare homage
is that her crying about being such a Madonna-clone? ::) :D

Dear lord, give me the courage to strip off my clothes, act like a slut on stage and enjoy my millions of dollars.  ::) ::)
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Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2011, 10:01:15 AM »
I could barely make it through that and sad to say, I'm now officially off her.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Cliff

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2011, 12:11:31 PM »
Judging by the snifflings and rantings, she's on coke.  Also, she could use a referral to a good rhinoplasty surgeon.

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2011, 04:42:06 PM »
Hey, cheap shot on the nose! It's one of her few endearing qualities - no plastic yet.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2011, 07:44:34 PM »
OK - well maybe she had an 'off night' or something....I've always liked her (until I saw this)   will give her the benefit of the doubt this time....

I'm not a big fan of "poor me" celebrity whining....
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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2011, 10:54:48 AM »
I'm slowly making my way through this forum and found this thread to be very educational and entertaining. Wow...some of the clips are so revealing, e.g. Miley Cyrus...yikes!

I've always admired Karen Carpenter...it is said she had perfect pitch and most, if not all her recordings were done in one take. She was a perfectionist.  Also liked Marilyn McCoo (Fifth Dimension).

I've tried watching Lady Gaga on YouTube to see what all the hoopla was about. Her videos give me a headache and I can't watch the entire performance.  Maybe it's the drugs I'm on!  :)

Offline mecch

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2011, 02:50:51 PM »
I've tried watching Lady Gaga on YouTube to see what all the hoopla was about. Her videos give me a headache and I can't watch the entire performance.  Maybe it's the drugs I'm on!  :)
The combination of jarring visuals and pow pow music is indeed headache inducing. Don't blame your drugs!
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LabRat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2011, 05:21:20 PM »
Just spent an hour on YouTube watching and listing to 5th Dimension vids...love their sound!  Also The Spinners, Earth Wind & Fire.  It certainly brought back good memories.

In '79 I met The Spinner's on a flight I was working. I was lead flt. attend. on a 727 and had them all to myself in first class.  They boarded wearing full length fur coats which I carefully placed in the overhead bins. They were all very friendly and nice. I was so blown away!
 I mentioned that I used to be a high school band director and they offered me a job! Seems they just lost their band director and needed a new one. Me? I politely refused. We spent most of the flight joking and talking about music. Fun flight, great group of guys!

Offline Ann

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2011, 07:05:41 PM »
Hey Lab, what a wonderful memory! Do you ever find yourself wondering "what if" you'd taken them up on their offer?



But hmph... this thread has totally ruined Glee for me. I can't watch it now without hearing the effects of the auto-tune and it really takes the shine off. >:(
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LabRat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2011, 09:27:35 AM »
Hey Lab, what a wonderful memory! Do you ever find yourself wondering "what if" you'd taken them up on their offer?

No really. I certainly didn't have the experience or the "chops" to handle professional musicians and recording sessions. Had I been experienced in that field, I would have jumped at the chance.

LabRat

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Re: Auto-tune America
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2011, 09:28:38 AM »
Hey Lab, what a wonderful memory! Do you ever find yourself wondering "what if" you'd taken them up on their offer?

Not really. I certainly didn't have the experience or the "chops" to handle professional musicians and recording sessions. Had I been experienced in that field, I would have jumped at the chance.

Sorry for the double post. I tried to edit my original post and both were included. ???
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 09:32:03 AM by LabRat »

 


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