Garnish Music Production School in London

Antares Autotune pitch correction software on Xfactor shows

Antares Autotune pitch correction software on Xfactor shows:

I had a chap called Will Payne from the Sunday Mirror contact me and ask if I could spot any Antares Auto-tune pitch correction software on Susan Boyle’s pre-recorded audition performance of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ on Britain’s Got Talent, which is a Simon Cowell show like Xfactor. He gave me two Youtube links to analyse – one of the pre-recorded audition which apparently had been Auto-tuned and one of a performance in the live final which can’t have been as it was live. I did point out at this point that you can run Antares Auto-tune pitch correction software live in real time.

Audition pre-record performance HERE

Live final performance HERE

I listened to both, one after the other trying not to analyse the vocal tuning too much. The first thing I realise is that overall the performance from the live final seemed to be much better than the pre-recorded and allegedly tampered with audition. Because Auto-tune can tune in real time, why the accusations only for the pre-recorded shows? The performance was so much better in the final so there’s more chance they were using it then than the audition anyway! Having said that, Autotune doesn’t cope well with vibrato and this big old bird loves a bit of vib. I put the improvement down to her being more relaxed and used to singing in front of an audience. I’m assuming there are endless rounds where everyone has to sing and each week one gets knocked out each week until just a few are left in the final. Does she sing the same song every single week?

Learn how to compress audioSomeone who can’t sing at all asked me if I could make them sound like a great singer using pitch correction software, and my reply was that I could probably make you sound 20% better almost immediately and if I was left with your lead vocal performance for a a few hours with Melodyne or in the old days Auto-tune in graphical mode (how tedious was that?), I could probably make you sound around 40% – 50% better. The point is that you have to be pretty good in the first place to sound great. Over the years I can probably count the amount of times I haven’t used Auto-tune on a vocal on one hand – from the very best in the business to the really bad ones. Of course, no names. The only reason I haven’t used it is when the artist insists that they don’t want it which is rare.

I analyse the pre-recorded audition for signs of Antares Auto-tune pitch correction software and notice that a lot of the longer notes tend to fluctuate in pitch at the tail end of the note when she begins to run out of breath as it’s more difficult to stay in tune, Auto-tune will not let that happen so I’m pretty convinced that no Antares Auto-tune was used at all. I told Mr Payne this and that given the poor quality of compressed audio on Youtube clips, I couldn’t hear any evidence of Melodyne either. I’ve investigated a bit now and find there have been some stories flying around the net that this performance has been tampered with, but how and who could tell, I don’t know. If it had, then it must have been Melodyne and whoever was doing the tampering didn’t do a good job because the tuning was all over the place!

Apparently Mike Stock was also asked by the Sunday Mirror at the same time as me to analyse the two videos too. I bought the Sunday Mirror and was sheepishly reading through it on my way to my gig at Carnival and didn’t spot any Susan Boyle Autotune scandals. I see now that THIS is Mr Payne’s Sunday story so Mike Stock must have came back with the same conclusion as me.

George pointed out, it’s tough that Antares are bragging about all the publicity and fuss this story is generating but the more sophisticated Melodyne can’t because it’s more difficult to spot so no one is talking about it so the general public have never heard of it!

Comments: 2
  • technoxsoft
    September 20, 2010 9:17 am

    ah! what a nice site.

    • Garnish
      September 21, 2010 12:25 pm

      Thank you very much!

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