A Beautiful Song Played Beautifully

Back in my formative music tech years, I started playing with MIDI files through a program called Guitar Pro (which still exists!), which was very simple back in those days, and I was still clueless. It came with a bunch of example songs, many by a French guitarist named Michel Dalle Ave. This was my favorite song back then – I wish the recording quality was better, but the performance is fantastic.

Autotune Strikes Again

Just when you think nobody needs further proof of how autotune (and similar products, since there are multiple now) is shaping the industry and giving people unrealistic expectations, this happens:

Big credit to the engineer, who actually made it sound human and pretty decent, but this is dripping with autotune. If you listen to her sing, you can hear how nasal and untrained her actual voice is, it just sounds in tune because they made it that way. But hey, it’s a catchy song, and it’s mixed really well.

My prediction: she’ll make a bunch of money from it, make more music, release an album, and go on tour. And since she won’t be able to sing in tune on that tour, it’ll all be prerecorded. But the audience won’t notice or care, and she’ll make more money than all of us.

10 Great Ways to Piss Off Your Audio Engineer

These are all things that I LOVE when people do them.

  1. Stand far away from the mic, and definitely don’t point your mouth at it.
  2. If the mic is wireless, definitely hold it like a “cool rapper” and cup the top – not only does it look great and sound great, you’ll be able to smell the breath of the last person before you. And who wouldn’t want that?
  3. Speak or sing as quietly as possible. If I don’t have the gain knob all the way up, you’re too loud.
  4. If you’re using a guitar, make sure the amp is louder than anything else on stage – who else can compete with the drums?
  5. If you’re a drummer, be sure to play much louder during the show than you did in sound check.
  6. Tell the engineer that something doesn’t sound right, but be sure to do it within the first 3 seconds of hearing it – the less of a chance they had to fix it beforehand, the better.
  7. Touch the gear. Isn’t it pretty?
  8. “Oh, that’s the old stage plot. The input list is different too.”
  9. Tell the engineer that it needs to be louder. Much louder. Despite the fact that the speakers might already be catching on fire.
  10. Give the engineer your phone to play a track. Especially if it’s playing something from YouTube, the obvious pinnacle of audio quality.
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