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Readers' Letters: - Is it cheating to use Auto-Tune?, and more...

A post by David Mellor
Thursday November 30, 2006
"The Auto-Tune debate is unlikely to go away. Those who can, sing. Those who can't..."
Readers' Letters:  - Is it cheating to use Auto-Tune?, and more...

In response to Reader's Comment - Is it cheating to use Auto-Tune?, Richard Bonds writes...

I try to read all of your articles and I enjoy them greatly. I am a retired Minister of Music, (64 still with good descerning hearing) with my own small part time company called "Ministry of SOUND Advice." My two daughters are part of a trio called "2 or More." They are very, very good and have sung at Carnegie Hall and the White House. The greatest compliment that they are constantly given is, that they sound live, (basic sound system) just like their recording. Recording use to be the art called hi-fidelity, which you know was trying to capture as near as perfect as was the presentation or performance. Now it is what I call fixed-fidelity. You know what that means. Even mediocre artist sound good, and with the right contacts and money can make a living at it.. However, you can fix so much that, to the decerning ear, it sounds to good to be true and sometines sterile. All voices and instruments have nuances and charateristics that can be wipe out by fixing to much. My girls have a synergistic sound that is there in the environment of the sound of all three, but is not there when recorded individually. You talked about perfection in audio listeners, but it seems to me that we are dumbing down all of our wonderful 32bits at 96 Hz our more to MP3 & 4 files. Compressed to 20 to 1, whatever?? How many are listening to this lower quality and being programed to it.

Just as all people cannot sing as well as others, so all people are not created equal in the gift of hearing.

So sense artist have to make their living by selling to the masses, maybe it does not matter sense they cannot tell the difference between hi-fidelity and fixed fidelity anyway. What a vicious cycle.


In response to “How much should I charge to make a radio ident?”, Charlie Mizza, RUP writes...

Yeah I agree with Audio Masterclass on this one - get a contract drawn up, get them to sign it, and then submit the ISRC # and send the track to BMI, ASCAP, etc


In response to “How much should I charge to make a radio ident?”, Franko776 writes...

I think that if you are going to create an ID for a radio station, you should take it to another level. By this I mean you should offer them a complete jingle package for their imaging. you can check with companies like reelworld or TM century for examples and what the cost of their packages is (depending on the market and quantity of cuts they can vary drastically from $4000 and up). Now, the great thing about producing an entire package is that you can market it to other stations as well that are similar in format, so all you need to do after you have all the music is just bring in the talent and record the new parts for the new station. In the USA most libraries are done as a "buy out" which means you don't get royalties for the times it gets airplay, however, the music belongs to you and you can always use it again for another station. It is very common in the US to hear 5 different stations across the country with the same Imaging package and in some cases the production house takes the hit for the first production, but if you already have someone lined up, they can cover that and you can keep selling the final product.

I've been working on doing radio production for the last 10 years, and although it is not as glamorous as being a studio engineer, there is always money on the table and a salary for a production manager in a radio statyion can be in the 6 figure income per year.

Sometimes th road less travelled is pretty good too...

Hope this helps.

Franko


In response to GarageBand is killing music!, Nick Gibbens writes...

For the most part, I agree with this writer's views, the exception being one statement towards the end of the article:

"True musical creativity is only achieved through difficulty; through doing things that other people are not doing."

First of all, True musical creativity does not have to be acheived through difficulty. Sometimes the simplest things, the smallest, most basic nuances can make a huge difference and can be acheived relatively easily.

As for the second part of the quote, that can go both ways. Yes it is always important to strive for creativity and originallity. However, to say that it is impossible to be creative unless one does something that has never been done before is a ridiculous statement. That is like saying that Led Zeppelin or The Beatles never once used a previously established techinique or idea to write or record their material. If that were the case then the Beatles should be credited with inventing music as well as the entire recording process. Musicians today still acheive creative results by using established ideas, either directly (sampling0, or indirectly (taking inspiration from earlier artists). Think of Vanilla Ice taking the bass line from Under Pressure. I by no means support the way that he did that (changing one note and refusing to pay royalties because of it), but it was creative and produced a classic track, novelty or not.

To summarize, Musicality does not always have to be a difficult thing to attain; although it sometimes is. And Finally, an idea does not have to be "brand new" to be considered creative or musical.

Keep up the good work! You guys have a great site going.

-Nick Gibbens


In response to "Better Tomorrow" by The Negus, Mannik Dara's # 1 Fan writes...

Wow this is absolutely terrible. From the recording, the "musicianship" (I use that term loosely)and the blatant use of those cheesy stock Fruity Loops sounds. When you get a program like FL, the first thing people should do is get rid of all of those hideous stock sounds....This is where a lot of urban music is headed folks ---unfortunately. Hate to be so hard on the guy, but this is awful, man.

RP response: If someone hates a track that badly, then there is almost certainly someone else loving it at the opposite extreme.


In response to “How much should I charge to make a radio ident?”, Gareth writes...

With regards to competition that would charge less, you need to consider whether you have a better proposition for them. Are you going to produce a better tag than the competition could? What reason can you find to justify charging more than they do? There isn't always a need to have a race to the bottom.


In response to The shocking truth about working in pro recording studios, D.S. Elder writes...

I was disappointed to read your take on this young person's experience in the studio. To assert that standard social rules and workplace etiquette don't apply to the studio because it is filled with "special" people with "immense dedication" to what amounts to doing their job. The world is filled with special people that have immense dedication to their careers but no one should be asked to bow in awed reverence just because another person is talented at what they do. While the author of the original letter shouldn't have been surprised that he or she was treated as a gofer and that they were expected to be seen and not heard, everyone deserves some basic level of respect. No one, no matter how talented or experienced, is entitled to treat someone as inferior for lack of that knowledge. Most especially someone whose (presumably unpaid) job is to acquire that knowledge. Sadly, this attitude of arrogant superiority is what made me turn away from studying music. A little humility could have gone a long way on both sides of this dispute. The producer or engineer could have politely disregarded the request and the student could have continued with their head down.

Finally, it bears noting that if every "artist", record producer, sound engineer on the planet were to decide to do something else tommorrow, the world would not grind to a screeching halt. I only hope that I never have the "extraordinary priviledge" to share a studio or any room smaller than basketball arena with people that think so highly of themselves as to dismiss everyone around them.


In response to “How much should I charge to make a radio ident?”, Gerald Lopez writes...

"By the way, if you are a member of a performing rights organization, you should also receive royalties every time the ident is played."

i'm shure that most radio stations buy the rights to thi ident.

price calculation: what you consider a fair hour rate as a sound engineer, plus expenses and finaly plus a third for negotation, and if you're lucky they accept.


In response to George Martin *was* the Beatles, Jake Gerber writes...

I realize this is a sendup and some people may even believe it ... However,you are incorrect in rspect to many of your accusations ...

Penny Lane does not change key seven times ... I Am The Walrus is merely a chord sequence,which I believe John Lennon probably played ( There is certainly no extensive technical prowess to acheive this ) ... I like many others have several hours of the Beatles in the studio creating the songs they recorded .Indeed Sir George was a heavy influence on the Beatles talents it was however Lennon/McCartney and later Harrison that wrote every note of the Beatles canon/compositions ...


In response to Why is recording so difficult?, Solomon writes...

ive read about 96.234% of articles from you but this one truelly inspired me a lot. u know, i ve recorded songs for artistes and when they get to hear the "final" work they go like ...wow this sounds great! i will normally smile and say in my mind "it sounds terrible to me"

i know it doesnt, but i always think i could have done better. and so there is always room, much more room for improvement when it comes to an artistic work like recording.

hey...thanks a lot and watchout for ma first hit.(im in ghana but u will hear it wherever u may be)


In response to Well, could *you* hear the difference? Could you??, Tbop writes...

It's unbelievable !

I'm french and i'm hit for six.

Wow !

Do you think you can make one piece of this preamp for me ?

I'll pay of course.

Anyway... bravo !

RP response: Un coup de six? Formidable! You will never win at 'le cricket' neither will you have un preamplifieur. Unless you follow the links and find the schematic. We envy votre trains. Bravissimo!


In response to What important feature do analog tape simulators lack?, Devan writes...

I know a free VST plugin by the name of "The Interruptor" that does Wow & Flutter


In response to AKG D112 review - a kick drum microphone that you point backwards! (With audio samples), Daniel Ratcliffe writes...

I think your comment on the D112 being "Not that cardioid," was the main idea. Strange rethinking something as more of an omnidirectional device that can be used to capture subfrequencies however you desire. I like this sort of thinking and I think it displays our craft as having an ability to achieve artistic and free spirited approaches so as to perpetuate the cycle of interpretations of our past cultural prerogitives.


In response to Seven pro microphones tested, with audio - THE RESULTS!, David Ryan writes...

Even though the results were in I did the test before looking at the results. I was quite amazed that my choices were similar, (my order from best to worst was 1,5,6,7,4,3,2). I have no training or experience in sound recording I merely read the articles out of interest. So I guess I can attest to your conclusion that you choose what sounds best to you.


In response to “How much should I charge to make a radio ident?”, Kevin writes...

The price you charge should come from your rate sheet that you already have figured out. That particular job is at least $350.00, assuming it is used in a local market. If it is nation wide the fee would be much higher.


In response to It's music Jim, but not as we know it..., Kevin writes...

Oh my word ! That was almost sacreligious!

L O L


In response to Focusrite Liquid Channel Starts Shipping, Cory Cannon writes...

This unit is AMAZING...My mic never sounded better.


In response to The worst sounding example of a Neumann U87 I ever heard, an anonymous respondent writes...

Remy Ann David - Don't get your knickers in a twist. And stop writing such painfully long sentences, you tedious old bat.

RP response: Remy is referring to her own words! :-)


In response to Can you record and mix ENTIRELY without compression?, Andrew Wulff writes...

This may be partially true however compression is also used in mixing to get things louder that wouldn't normally be so. I agree with not buying a $2500 compressor. That is nuts. I just use a cheap beringher composer pro model and I get buy fine. But that is only for vocals. I would just say record all your tracks without it if possible and then add it in the mix if you want it.

A post by David Mellor
Thursday November 30, 2006 ARCHIVE
David Mellor has been creating music and recording in professional and home studios for more than 30 years. This website is all about learning how to improve and have more fun with music and recording. If you enjoy creating music and recording it, then you're definitely in the right place :-)
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