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In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:11 am

Well, it's been several steps backwards this week. I've had a cold which I'm hoping has a lot to do with the regression but, in summary;

Despite the cold my ability to pitch hearing the reference note via a speaker + voice without any artificial monitoring just keeps getting better with practice. It doesn't matter whether I've warmed up my voice or not - I can sing in tune (I'm not claiming that it's a nice voice)

Opened backed headphones or closed backed on one ear – also good.

In-ears, of any kind, are way off and have definitely got worse (I’m hoping that this is due to my cold). Previously I wasn’t too bad with the custom moulds but not anymore (irrespective of levels). What I can’t understand is that If I use a single in-ear (doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s left or right) for the reference note and hear my voice without foldback my pitching is ok. The in-ears don’t seem to affect my ability to hear the reference note correctly (I haven’t checked yet with note through single in-ear + speaker to see if I can detect a mismatch), having them in does beggar up how I hear my own voice.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:38 pm

Many years ago I read an interview with some accomplished engineer who said he found giving more voice in the right ear helped singers stay in tune.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:46 pm

Interesting.

I've done some more trials today (this is part of my daily singing practice). I downloaded a sin wav at 440Hzto see if I could pickup pitch difference in-ear vs speaker (I can't).

Pitching through in-ears is better today (maybe related to my cold getting better)
Pitching in general is better singing at higher registers (maybe what they call head voice vs chest voice?). Not really a problem when using speakers but very noticable with in-ears.

I shifted my test scale up so that I'm starting 7 semitones higher and I can achieve an acceptable level of accuaracy through the whole range with IEMs (I'm just covering 1 octave in the tests) so I think that I'll just keep practicing and extending the range downward a note at a time.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Random Guitarist » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:51 pm

TC Helicon do a pedal called the voice correct.
As well as compression/eq it has a gentle autotune that you can send to the IEM in conjunction with the unprocessed signal, while the unprocessed signal just goes to the main.

Gives a way of hearing where you should be without exposing everyone to the autotune

I found it very useful for practicing with as it gave me immediate feedback on where I was out, and helped me get better quicker.

I've also found a very useful quick PA fix 'make the vocals better' box for quite a few singers.

Your mileage may vary of course.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:30 pm

I'd expect that to have the opposite effect, how can you sing in pitch when you are not hearing that you are singing off pitch*

* which is what sending an autotune signal to the IEMs would do, you can't tell whether you are in pitch or not because changing the actual pitch of you voice will not change the pitch you are hearing. Not sure if that makes sense but I know what I'm trying to say.......
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Random Guitarist » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:39 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'd expect that to have the opposite effect, how can you sing in pitch when you are not hearing that you are singing off pitch*

* which is what sending an autotune signal to the IEMs would do, you can't tell whether you are in pitch or not because changing the actual pitch of you voice will not change the pitch you are hearing. Not sure if that makes sense but I know what I'm trying to say.......

Because you hear both the tuned and original, it's a bit like sharing a mic with someone who pitches really well, you can end up following them. (or in this case following the tuned you)

But yes you do need to be careful, it is possible to lose the sense of where you are relative to where you should be if you have really bad settings.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:46 pm

Have you tried it? It doesn't sound like it would work but maybe I'll give it a go. I have always believed the standard wisdom is that autotune in IEMs is an absolute no-no?
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby CS70 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:55 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'd expect that to have the opposite effect, how can you sing in pitch when you are not hearing that you are singing off pitch*

* which is what sending an autotune signal to the IEMs would do, you can't tell whether you are in pitch or not because changing the actual pitch of you voice will not change the pitch you are hearing. Not sure if that makes sense but I know what I'm trying to say.......

Britney and friends seemed to do that without problems all the time? :D :D
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Random Guitarist » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:04 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Have you tried it? It doesn't sound like it would work but maybe I'll give it a go. I have always believed the standard wisdom is that autotune in IEMs is an absolute no-no?

Yes, it certainly has worked for me, both as a confidence thing for live performance in days gone by (I'm probably wrong but feel like I don't need it now) and as a training tool to improve when practicing. Might not work for everyone, but for me definitely.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Music Wolf » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:01 pm

I actually have a TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 which has some impressive pitch correction and routing options. As Sam suggests - the best results come from being able to hit the correct note to begin with. I'm leaving the VoiceLive off until I've fixed my ability to pitch.

I've run further trials (I'm spending my life doing this) and, within range, I'm on pitch with or without in-ears. My pitch is tighter without any artificial monitoring i.e. hit a note on the piano and just sing it (recording and checking of course). Singing this way extends my lower range.

In short, something happens to the way I hear my voice at lower frequencies through in-ears that doesn't happen when I hear naturally. The fact that my in-ear accuracy dipped when I had a cold yet my natural accuracy didn't is, I feel, telling me something. I just don't know what.

This is turning into a three pipe problem.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:33 pm

Fascination discussion. Certainly at least a three beer problem, not sure about pipes, mine are a little blocked as usual this time of year.....
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby DanDan » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:45 pm

There is a correlation between volume and pitch. To hear oneself in a mix our voice has to be way louder than anything and everything else. This will cause one to sing flat.
It is very hard to convince singers to listen at a normal or slightly elevated level, but it does cause better pitching. Conversely, when they really cannot hear themselves, sharpness is likely.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:48 pm

Music Wolf wrote:This is turning into a three pipe problem...

Sam Spoons wrote:Fascination discussion. Certainly at least a three beer problem...

Mmm, I agree - this sounds like a seven-spliffer.
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:22 am

shufflebeat wrote:
Music Wolf wrote:This is turning into a three pipe problem...

Sam Spoons wrote:Fascination discussion. Certainly at least a three beer problem...

Mmm, I agree - this sounds like a seven-spliffer.

So 3 pipes = 3 beers = 7 spliffs.
We’d be lost without standards. !
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Re: In Ear Monitors causing me to sing out of tune

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:56 am

Well, I was wrong, two large glasses of wine and two beers and I'm still no nearer......
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