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

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

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:28 pm

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

How about an Azalea bush?

:angel:

Andy :beamup:



Er.. there's so many bad taste jokes that I could make that I won't.. but wouldn't be a bad option :lol:
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:19 pm

The Internet thanks you for your restraint.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:27 pm

biting tongue here too. But chuckling!
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby RichardT » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:43 pm

In most cases I would have thought a chromatic scale would be fine, which is probably the default in auto tune.

If that doesn’t work, I agree that the first step is to identify what the notes in the melody are and find a scale that matches.

That isn’t always easy, so if it’s difficult, you could set the key either to the key of the song or to a closely related one. Each key will put your melody into a different ‘mode’ which has a specific sound. There are also some special scales which are very common in modern music such as the minor and major pentatonic.

If your piece alternates between E minor and F major, and you want a single scale over both chords, then C major is a good choice. You’ll get a kind of Spanish or middle-eastern feel.

If you want separate scales over each chord then there are many options.

If you are in E minor, For example, the commonest scales / keys are

E dorian - Equivalent to D major Scale
E aeolian - equivalent to G major scale
E melodic minor
E minor pentatonic
E minor blues, often referred to simply as E blues

All these will produce different effects. With the first three, the differences are subtle. With the last two you’ll get a very different sound.

I don’t know if you can select all of these in auto tune, but if you can, try them out.

In F major, the commonest scales are

F major
F Lydian
F mixolydian
F major pentatonic

Again, try them out.

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

Postby MixAndMatch » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:08 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

Yes, C major is the sweet spot.

It has to do with ear anatomy but also frequencies and how they resonate within the ear. This is why some keys sound 'better'. It is because the inner ear drum is resonating at a more comfortable frequency. The further you go from C maj the more the resonation so this could explain the effect on/in the listener. This is why very few pieces (if indeed any) in the classical period were written in B major (although at the time no one would have been aware of the fact even though they may have been witnessing some light ear discomfort). C major is the 'purest' of all keys and resonates at just 262 hz (which matches certain bodily biorhythms) so it seems reasonable that vocals put into this key are going to be more easily absorbed in the ear canal because those resonances are cancelling each other out.

This is in fact how some noise cancelling hearing aids work. It is also the same principle as the need for troops to break marching pattern when going over certain bridges in big cities (London or NY for example). It makes sense then, to tune a vocal to the most sonically amenable key. There may also be psychoacoustical factors at work here too. It's certainly an interesting area and there's a few articles available online.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Commander » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:42 pm

I thought Autotune was a car mag from the 70s.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Folderol » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:48 pm

Commander wrote:I thought Autotune was a car mag from the 70s.
Well here's a surprise :lol:
Where have you been for the last 2 or 3 years?
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Commander » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:04 pm

Folderol wrote:Well here's a surprise :lol:
Where have you been for the last 2 or 3 years?

Mainly defending the oceans from Titan and the Aquaphibians but then Marineville got locked down because of Covid so we had to dry dock Stingray.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:53 pm

MixAndMatch wrote:
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

Yes, C major is the sweet spot.

It has to do with ear anatomy but also frequencies and how they resonate within the ear. This is why some keys sound 'better'. It is because the inner ear drum is resonating at a more comfortable frequency. The further you go from C maj the more the resonation so this could explain the effect on/in the listener. This is why very few pieces (if indeed any) in the classical period were written in B major (although at the time no one would have been aware of the fact even though they may have been witnessing some light ear discomfort). C major is the 'purest' of all keys and resonates at just 262 hz (which matches certain bodily biorhythms) so it seems reasonable that vocals put into this key are going to be more easily absorbed in the ear canal because those resonances are cancelling each other out.

This is in fact how some noise cancelling hearing aids work. It is also the same principle as the need for troops to break marching pattern when going over certain bridges in big cities (London or NY for example). It makes sense then, to tune a vocal to the most sonically amenable key. There may also be psychoacoustical factors at work here too. It's certainly an interesting area and there's a few articles available online.

Interesting idea but concert pitch back in the classical period and earlier varied from A = 390 Hz to 450 Hz so C could have been anything from 232 up to 268 Hz. But either way the key of C contains notes over the full range of the human voice so I'm not sure how what you say can be true?
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby RichardT » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:07 pm

MixAndMatch wrote:
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

Yes, C major is the sweet spot.

It has to do with ear anatomy but also frequencies and how they resonate within the ear. This is why some keys sound 'better'. It is because the inner ear drum is resonating at a more comfortable frequency. The further you go from C maj the more the resonation so this could explain the effect on/in the listener. This is why very few pieces (if indeed any) in the classical period were written in B major (although at the time no one would have been aware of the fact even though they may have been witnessing some light ear discomfort). C major is the 'purest' of all keys and resonates at just 262 hz (which matches certain bodily biorhythms) so it seems reasonable that vocals put into this key are going to be more easily absorbed in the ear canal because those resonances are cancelling each other out.

This is in fact how some noise cancelling hearing aids work. It is also the same principle as the need for troops to break marching pattern when going over certain bridges in big cities (London or NY for example). It makes sense then, to tune a vocal to the most sonically amenable key. There may also be psychoacoustical factors at work here too. It's certainly an interesting area and there's a few articles available online.

I don’t believe this is even slightly true. Plus it’s pointless tuning vocals to C major if the tune is in E major, say.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:20 pm

MixAndMatch wrote:
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

Yes, C major is the sweet spot.

It has to do with ear anatomy but also frequencies and how they resonate within the ear. This is why some keys sound 'better'. It is because the inner ear drum is resonating at a more comfortable frequency. The further you go from C maj the more the resonation so this could explain the effect on/in the listener.

Citation?

This does not correspond with other well established consensus.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby GilesAnt » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:27 pm

B major is not the most common choice of key for the major composers by any means, but only one semitone away we have B flat - for which there are symphonies, concertos and sonatas galore.

Mind you I have never liked any of them - now I know why!
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:23 pm

GilesAnt wrote:B major is not the most common choice of key for the major composers by any means, but only one semitone away we have B flat - for which there are symphonies, concertos and sonatas galore.

Mind you I have never liked any of them - now I know why!

Oh, no. As a guitar player Bb is F in disguise. Great key for tunes.

This does not, of course, come from piano based music theory or orchestral tradition, apart from some folkie based stuff like Janacek or Dvorak, but rather the experience of playing tunes and the accidental notes (proper accidents, not those namby-pamby planned ones) that fall to your hand unexpectedly.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby forumuser840717 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:40 pm

MixAndMatch wrote:
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

Yes, C major is the sweet spot.

It has to do with ear anatomy but also frequencies and how they resonate within the ear. This is why some keys sound 'better'. It is because the inner ear drum is resonating at a more comfortable frequency. The further you go from C maj the more the resonation so this could explain the effect on/in the listener. This is why very few pieces (if indeed any) in the classical period were written in B major (although at the time no one would have been aware of the fact even though they may have been witnessing some light ear discomfort). C major is the 'purest' of all keys and resonates at just 262 hz (which matches certain bodily biorhythms) so it seems reasonable that vocals put into this key are going to be more easily absorbed in the ear canal because those resonances are cancelling each other out.

This is in fact how some noise cancelling hearing aids work. It is also the same principle as the need for troops to break marching pattern when going over certain bridges in big cities (London or NY for example). It makes sense then, to tune a vocal to the most sonically amenable key. There may also be psychoacoustical factors at work here too. It's certainly an interesting area and there's a few articles available online.

Can you cite any actual, real, peer-reviewed medical and/or psychological studies (by actual, real medics/psychologists who aren't making it up as they go along and who havent been completely discredited) to back up any of this? (I mean properly researched and accredited ones rather than random internet articles or initial proposals/un-examined postulations or gibberings, or papers written by people with degrees in New Age Idiocy or Homeopathy.)

Only because, at the moment, I can't help but hear the sound of tiny hooves (in the key of C-Maj of course) as the word "bollocks" canters cheerfully into view.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:43 pm

I've been trying to find a link to a BBC radio series that discussed this very subject. Various orchestral luminaries played and analysed the "unique" properties of the various keys but when the question was asked whether this was intrinsic to the key or the mechanics of the piano and stave there was conflicting opinion with the majority being with the "mechanical" argument.

The killer point seemed to be that the different properties of brass family meant that the "home" key varied with the physical properties rather than the ear of the listener.
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