Audio Engineering

Finetune Your Vocal Performance: Melodyne 4

Melodyne 4 Beginner's Guide
Comments (9)
  1. Tobi says:

    Watching the video raises a fundamental issue I’ve started to find, now I’ve started editing tracks by hand. I can edit no problem (spent 7+ years editing film & video), but…

    Don’t you have to be a pretty damn decent musician to be able to make decisions about timing, pitch etc with confidence?

    …there’s nothing worse than having to work on vocals that have been poorly or overly pitch corrected / adjusted. Particularly when it’s a great vocalist. It’s unforgivable to trash a beautiful vocal performance with second rate pitch FX.

    1. L Scott says:

      Hey Tobi, I’m nothing close to an expert but I’d say that if you are really sticking to cleaning and polishing and not trying to re-paint the vocal then you are doing the song justice. If it is in the realm of being an effect (pitch FX) then that’s a production thing the artist is/should be involve with. Fixing the stand-out errors is, IMO, part of the job, whether with fine line editing or using Melodyne. Depending on budget too, I guess. Then there is the morality factor, should we be making tone def wannabe’s sound so good they can never live up to it live? Is it our place judge? I guess that’s the delicate part of producing music, those fragile artist hearts.

      1. Tobi says:

        …my point was… doesn’t the producer have to be a competent musician, in order to make those judgements?

        A Producer can only adjust an Artist’s performance, if they understand what the Artist was going for in the first place, in terms of timing, pitch, arrangement etc.

        Often when I hear ‘overworked’ vocals, I suspect it is because it was easier for the Producer to lacked the skill / knowledge / time / work ethic / taste (one, some or all of the above), to do job properly.

        To ask the question in a different way…

        In this modern era of editing and pitch correcting performances after the fact, can a Producer be a good producer, without also being a good musician?

        1. Warren Huart says:

          Great points @plap-disqus-e44fea3bec53bcea3b7513ccef5857ac:disqus and @plap-disqus-44c4c17332cace2124a1a836d9fc4b6f:disqus! The answer to this question is simple, use your taste. If you don’t hear that needs to be fixed, then don’t automatically fix it! The badly tuned vocals I hear are from automatically assuming that everything needs to be tuned! Have a marvellous time recording, mixing and occasionally tuning if at all needed! haha Many thanks Warren

          1. Tobi says:

            Thanks @plap-disqus-d3d9446802a44259755d38e6d163e820:disqus ! A lot of the issues I have with editing span from my dodgy music theory.

            The other week, I had to google ‘triplets’, then watch a drum tutorial video on them, then watch a Cubase tutorial video on how to work with them. Then I edited the track – but talk about, ‘working without a net’ and ‘winging it’.

            My latest googling has led me to ‘Polyrhythmic’. Steep learning curve.

          2. L Scott Knight says:

            Hey Tobi, I’ve been away so just saw this. I get you. Certainly music skills help, but there are different types of “Producers” You might recall one of Warren’s previous interviews when the guest said there was the musician producer and the radio producer. I think both can make those judgements but the latter might use an engineer to make the actual adjustments. But by all means study music, it’s good for you in so many ways. It is here I will cite Keith Richards. Does anyone think he’d still be alive were it not for music? 🙂

          3. Tobi says:

            The advantage of being a ‘non musician’ producer, is that you hear music more like most people hear it. You role becomes to help the musicians hear their work as a ‘song’, rather than a ‘composition’, if I can make that distinction.

            Equally, the music remains the domain of the musician, with the producer providing the ‘ears of the audience’, rather than involving themselves in the act of creating the music.

            Of course, different musicians will prefer different approaches, need different approaches at different times in their careers, and both approaches (the musician producer Vs the radio producer) can give wonderful or terrible results.

          4. L Scott Knight says:

            This is true but to do that does take a special talent in itself. My Mom was an A&R person for Atlantic back in the day. She said it required the ability to employ taste without involving your personal taste.

          5. Tobi says:

            That’s such a great way of putting it, ‘taste without involving your personal taste.’. I like that a lot.

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