Pros Using Autotune On Most Modern Music?

I was just reading the comments on a Five Finger Death Punch youtube video. A few people mentioned that all or almost all modern professional recordings use autotune on the vocals. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true but come on, it’s easy enough to sing in key…I mean how shitty of a vocalist do you gotta be if you need to use autotune!!! If you happen to go a little flat or sharp on a note, it’s easy to do another take. Listen to Zeppelin or old Black Sabbath…you can hear when Robert Plant doesn’t hit the note perfectly. It doesn’t hurt the expression of the song…sometimes it adds a bit of “something”. I never used to realize it but Ozzy Osbourne has many vocal flubs on the Sabbath albums as well as his solo albums. When his voice cracks it’s pretty noticeable. Yet with all the imperfections of that old classic rock/ metal, I still love that music.

In fact, modern music seems to have this monotonous sound to it…Almost like the dynamics don’t have the variety that they used to have. Not sure if this is true of all genres but with metal/ rock/ country/ RnB/ Hip Hop…the sound seems very “generic” across the board. Where’s the rawness? Most music is spit and polished.


Just a guess here but I think it’s like any big business deal. When you have financial backers there’s a tremendous pressure to conform and take the safest route possible. If it were my money at stake on something I wasn’t intimately familiar with I’d be inclined to take the safest approach too.


I will never mix an song without using some melodyne. I can’t stand it when you have an otherwise awesome vocal take and it is out of tune. Tuning is a tool, it can be used well or it can

that is all up to the user of the tool not the tool it self. If a swoop and pitch bend adds to the song then leave it.


Hi mr W Pickin a fight are ya…hahaha I use it on my bass tracks and look at all the notes. Some notes are messed up and I usually tweak them with melodyne. You can just double click them, but I remove the snap and go by ear and shove them around to fix them. I sometimes check out my vox when I think I can hear a mutt. Many times I will observe a note that is not between the lines and leave it anyway because it sounds alright to me? I too can’t figure out why folks post a really good song with many flat singing notes. They get under my skin. And whatever you do, don’t tell them they are singing flat. You just lost a friend:)



Aww man, I was hoping to read your post.

I had technical issues and called timeout.

I was just going to compliment Mr. Feaker on his Melodyne chops and then wondered if he got on the VST bandwagon too. :wink:


Regarding that last remix I posted on the forum, one of the things that stuck out to me while I was putting it together was that I’d never used such heavy-handed Melodyne processing on my vocals before, but that I needed to so that they didn’t sound horribly out of place. I do think it’s a modern thing, that songs sound weird if the vocals don’t have near-perfect pitch. And especially in pop music. It seems like a trend to me, so it’ll probably go out of style again someday.

I use Melodyne for all of my songs. I’m not a good enough singer to sing with near-perfect pitch, no matter how many takes I get. I’ll continue to work on my singing chops, but I don’t think I’ll ever ditch Melodyne. When I’m recording vocals I know that I can fix the pitch, so that allows me to focus on what else I’m putting into the performance. Great singers can do it all I guess!


The technology has become part of the music business, even part of the home recording business as we can see. People are now used to the ‘sound’ of tuned vocals and won’t accept any ‘less’ in some cases. The ears get used to it, and it becomes a trend, a sound in itself, much like us old geezers long for that old “analog warmth” at times.

I saw a video the other day, can’t remember the source, but it was a home studio guy with a YT channel showing how to record, process, and mix vocals. I do remember he was using both Auto-Tune and Melodyne (for different purposes), and he said something like “Auto-Tune shortens the notes” which is not something I was aware of. Maybe I mis-heard or he mis-spoke. Anyway, it was a decent video so I may try to find it again. He had a female singer live in the studio while he was doing the video, literally with the mic set up next to his computer, and he showed his whole process. He explained, and I have seen this multiple other places, that they now record many Pop vocals note by note and comp/tune them to ‘perfection’. I have read that many of the big artists hire a vocal producer just for this purpose. It’s apparently the new way of doing ‘business’.

And we’re seeing the technology actually being used for its own purpose, as happened with the T-Pain phenomenon. People actually liked that sound, I guess because it was new and different at the time (though it started with a Cher record IIRC). On another thread I have been analyzing the musical chops of Marshmello, and while vocals are sparse in his productions, there are some things that sound like real vocals but they are tremendously chopped and re-tuned to bizarre levels. The weird thing is that is does seem to work for him … very futuristic sounding even though kind of crazy. I assume he used Melodyne mostly, or perhaps hybrid.

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Hi Ingo I am a VST (very smooth talker) , but don’t know what that is in mixing? ha ha So I guess I don’t use it.

Yes you are a smooth talker, but VST’s are plugins that give us instrument and synthesizer sounds. A man of your talents could slay the eastern seaboard with the right plugin.

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I use Melodyne on all vocals - and on many other instruments too.

I suggest you zoom out and take an overview. Making records is not about adhering to principles, it’s about delivering the best possible end product. The listener does not share your principles, he/she will make a judgement based solely on what they are listening to - that is all.

I find it quite baffling that people can make such a noise about tuning vocals, yet they’ll quite happily edit the crap out of their mix, EQ it, compress it, limit it, high pass it, and generally mash the sound to their heart’s content using any number of processing tools.

Put it this way: If I’m mixing a track, and I come across a flat note, am I going to make that note in tune using Melodyne? Damn right I am!


You are a funny man bud. Almost spilled my coffee. Wonder if I can like get educated at 70 years old. OR find some 12 year old kid to help. ha ha

Why thank you Al. I will google if studio one likes the thought of having them on board. ha ha I need to take a ride, find one of you guru’s, get a case of beer, and learn a few things. I did say a few. best to you


Last EP I did with my band, 0% pitch correction, if something was glaringly wrong we re-tracked it.


I don’t use Melodyne ( ReaTune for now ) but if you can set up and run that you can do VST’s. I have a friend who is 69 who just got Reaper (he never recorded before) and is on a tear now, he said “Enough with the easy stuff, I want to do something challenging!”

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That seems like a weird way to look at it.

  1. People create music that matches what their expectation of music should sound like. People expect to hear vocals in tune. People had lower expectations in this regard 40 years ago.

  2. There’s a difference between using it heavily and using it where it’s needed. You can use autotune without making everything sound perfectly in pitch. You can use it to lock everything in perfectly.

when something sounds better fixed, you fix it. If it doesn’t sound better, you don’t do it.


Amen brother.

Yup, no problem with that. Use it if you need to fix out-of-tune notes.

I’d be curious to know what percentage of professional singers require this kind of assistance to correct their pitchy notes. Maybe a vocalist is short on time and needs to get in and out of the studio quickly, so the engineer fixes the bad notes. Other times like Boz mentioned, it’s done for effect and other times maybe a singer/ producer/ engineer would leave the flat notes alone if it doesn’t detract from the song, or if it’s punk, garage, folk style, etc.