You are here

What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Moderator: Moderators

What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Tjbenz » Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:33 am

Curious what Key you guys use when using auto tune for vocals. I know the "classic T Pain" style is a C Major but I have been using D-Major on my vocals and it seems to sound better. Curious what you guys are using. Attached is my vocals with D-Major for reference.
https://youtu.be/LQLKdus7woA
Tjbenz
Poster
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:00 am

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Ramirez » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:59 am

Sorry if I’m missing something here, but surely you set it to the key of the song?
Ramirez
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1198
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Pwllheli, Cymru
www.stiwdiosain.cymru

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Luke W » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:04 am

Ramirez wrote:Sorry if I’m missing something here, but surely you set it to the key of the song?

Also a little confused and thinking the same thing.
User avatar
Luke W
Frequent Poster
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:00 am
Location: Northamptonshire, UK
Studio - Techical Audio Services - Bespoke Construction

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby CS70 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:11 am

I just read an article about this T-Pain at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/art ... ink-he-is/ and I felt like I had just arrived from Mars.

There is apparently a mega-hit called “Fancy” by a guy called Iggy Azalea and I have never heard of either.

Jesus.

For the OP: I have no idea. I suppose you put it in whatever key sounds good to you. That, has not changed in music since we went past Gregorian chants.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6946
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:57 am

Hmm. Add me to the 'why would you not tune to the key of the song?' group... :?:

[EDIT] Just listened to your track, which is in Am I think, so I think part of what might be happening here is around the use of autotune as an effect rather than as a corrective process (which might be how a few of us think of it).
By choosing an autotune key that's not the key of the song you're going to get a very obvious and pronounced slurring of the note - highlighting the effect. If you're chosen to use C over an Am track that's going to be much less apparent as Am is the relative minor of C.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12932
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Ramirez » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:15 pm

blinddrew wrote:Hmm. Add me to the 'why would you not tune to the key of the song?' group... :?:

[EDIT] Just listened to your track, which is in Am I think, so I think part of what might be happening here is around the use of autotune as an effect rather than as a corrective process (which might be how a few of us think of it).
By choosing an autotune key that's not the key of the song you're going to get a very obvious and pronounced slurring of the note - highlighting the effect. If you're chosen to use C over an Am track that's going to be much less apparent as Am is the relative minor of C.

A very good point!
Ramirez
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1198
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Pwllheli, Cymru
www.stiwdiosain.cymru

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:55 pm

CS70 wrote:There is apparently a mega-hit called “Fancy” by a guy called Iggy Azalea and I have never heard of either.

Er, Iggy Azalea is a female rapper :beamup:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 16945
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:48 pm

I was going to let that pass, I thought CS70 was having a tough enough day already... ;)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12932
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:51 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
CS70 wrote:There is apparently a mega-hit called “Fancy” by a guy called Iggy Azalea and I have never heard of either.

Er, Iggy Azalea is a female rapper :beamup:


Martin

He did say that he hadn't heard of them :bouncy:
User avatar
Music Wolf
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2203
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:00 am
Location: Exiled to St Helens

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby MOF » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:27 pm

CS70 wrote:
There is apparently a mega-hit called “Fancy” by a guy called Iggy Azalea and I have never heard of either.

Er, Iggy Azalea is a female rapper :beamup:


Martin

He did say that he hadn't heard of them :bouncy:

Autotune can make it very difficult to ascertain what gender the vocalist is. :lol:
MOF
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:39 pm

Should I be rethinking my assumptions about Iggy Pop as well now?

This is so confusing.

I'm not an autotune connoisseur but the way I understand it from my explorations is that choosing a key (in it's most basic form) merely limits the options as regards the number of notes that the effect will pull towards.

If this is the case and your performance isn't too far off the mark then "chromatic" should suffice for most applications.

...or am I stuck in the early 2000's?
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5686
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK
"Dance, dance. wherever you may be, for I am the Lord of the damp settee..."

Do yourself a favour, wear earplugs at gigs.

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby BJG145 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:12 pm

Tjbenz wrote:Curious what Key you guys use when using auto tune for vocals. I know the "classic T Pain" style is a C Major but I have been using D-Major on my vocals and it seems to sound better. Curious what you guys are using. Attached is my vocals with D-Major for reference.
https://youtu.be/LQLKdus7woA

The track moves between two chords based on Em and F. It starts on Em.

The first note you sing is F#. That note appears in the scale for Em, and in the scale for D. So if you set up Autotune with either of those, it will aim to pull that note to the correct pitch.

It doesn't appear in the scale of C however. So if you set up Autotune with C, it would try to pull that note either flat to F, or sharp to G, depending which it thought was closest. Neither would sound good.

So like people say, it depends on the key, or the chords that are used in the song. It doesn't necessarily have to be the key the song is in, but whatever key or notes you select for Autotune need to reflect the notes you're singing, or it will try to pull them sharp or flat. I'd agree that chromatic is usually a safe option as long as your pitching isn't more than a semitone out, unless you're going for an hard Autotune effect where it will snap changing tones to notes in a particular scale, rather than a 'chromatic scale'. I can see there's a bit of an art to this when you're rapping and moving between sung and spoken words.
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4840
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:47 pm

I think this is right. Going for the hard tuned sound I'd start with the actual notes in the melody and create a custom scale by removing all the notes that aren't in the tune from a chromatic scale. I don't see an issue with a mix of rapping and singing, just defeat the AT plug in during the spoken parts?
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14556
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Still taking this recording lark seriously (and trying to record my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:15 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
CS70 wrote:There is apparently a mega-hit called “Fancy” by a guy called Iggy Azalea and I have never heard of either.

Er, Iggy Azalea is a female rapper :beamup:


Martin

I am currently looking for someplace to crawl under :lol:
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6946
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby zenguitar » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:05 pm

CS70 wrote:I am currently looking for someplace to crawl under :lol:

How about an Azalea bush?

:angel:

Andy :beamup:
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 11051
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Devon
liberté, frivolité et vanité

Next