Jacked - Hullabahoos

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Jacked - Hullabahoos

Postby phollens » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:34 pm

I know Dio cannot post here anymore, but I had a question that possibly could be answered by one of the group members themselves, or someone who knows what dio did on this disc.... After conversations that I have had with dio I know that he is very much against using auto-tune with his mixing and the reviewer found the cd to contain very "auto-tuned" passages in the soloists and backs. Now, nothing against ya tom, I'm sure your ear is amazing, but I would bet that this is not the case unless dio recently changed his way of mixing. I have this full album and have probably given it about 4-5 full listens through, and I don't find this to be the case. But it also may be only because I really thought dio didnt use auto-tune.

Tom, or any members of the group please feel free to join in ....

Just in case anyone was wondering here's a quote from the review....

"I had two consistent complaints with the album: soloists and auto-tune.....Hampering the soloists most, however, is the auto-tune. The energy of the leads falter because much of the natural ebbs and flows of the voice have been eradicated by auto-tune. Background vocals are also heavily auto-tuned, yet have been tastefully mixed and covered with percussion to take the offensive edge off. The leads are too exposed to be covered up, and they just sound boring and fake. The worst offender is Higher and Higher, with backing, primary, and secondary soloists heavily auto-tuned, sounding more like a synth than a voice. Its consistent use throughout the album becomes tiring to listen to.


The Hulabahoos have made a solid album. If they continue to improve and drop some of the auto-tune their next will be unstoppable."


-- I for one find the album to be very solid as well, with a few unstoppable tracks to quote tom. Very solid guys.
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Postby phollens » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:15 pm

I know replyin' to yourself is lame, but after having a little convo with my friend G... I was told that the Hoos' gave the tracks to dave already auto-tuned.....

Out of curiosity Hoos, what method of auto-tune did you use?
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Postby dipika » Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:01 am

hey all, I showed dio this thread, and he asked that I post the following on his behalf:

Pete, thanks for your interest and your post. 'Jacked' was one of the most enjoyable records I've ever had an opportunity to work on, and the B'Hoos are all terrifically talented and fun guys. I used to hold a grudge of sorts against them when I sang with the Clef Hangers, as they'd regularly some to Chapel Hill and sing with more soul and style than us, and make our girlfriends swoon. Ahhh, but all that's in the (distant) past :)

The tracks these guys laid down were A) excellently executed, B) recorded to DA-88 ("tape", for all intents and purposes - no Pro Tools magic, just old fashioned punching-in and out, and limited to 24 tracks, by the way...), and C) tracked in some cases through a "real" Antares (Autotune) machine, with on-the-fly adjustments made as necessary (if you're going to use AT, this is the best way to do it, IMO). Also, the percussion was almost universally tracked live (as in not sampled or grid-moded). We mixed the tracks on a full Pro Tools system, and had a blast doing it. I was really impressed with the tracks they brought me, and with the abilities of Keith and the rest of the guys.

BTW, you can check out some clips from ‘Jacked’ here.

You're right in that I try to avoid using Autotune with almost everything I work on. My personal opinion is that whether in "auto" mode or graphical mode, the sonorific (?) effect is the same, that of an overall thinning quality, no matter how skillfully applied. Though you might not hear the artifacts, especially when used in small amounts, when Autotune is used on many tracks, there is an unmistakable loss of depth - and this applies to the majority of popular radio music as well. Whenever possible, I'll try to avoid using it, and do minor pitch correction by hand or try to address it by mixing sour notes "away". I find that if the group has the budget and time, this will produce a sound that is has much more depth and thickness. A good example of this is 'Breeze' which has almost no Autotuning on it at all. I still compare it to other well-executed CDs I work on and listen to, and for all it's (many) faults, it still sounds deeper, wider, broader than a lot of them. Of course, it took a lot of time and money to make.

That being said, a lot of the material I work on nowadays has already been Autotuned, as was the case with some of 'Jacked'. This has taught me a few things A) it can sure be a heck of a lot easier (read: faster/cheaper) to edit and mix tracks when tuning is not one of the issues you have to worry about, B) as Bill has pointed out to me, many, if not most people, when given the choice between a semi-sour note and thinness/fakeness, will pick up on the sour note first and foremost - especially non aca-heads, C) once the client hears what they can sound like when in tune, they rarely say "nah, we'd rather sound natural", and D) often given the available resources using AT is the only/best option, and a lot of times it's possible to an extent to work around/disguise in mixing, especially with more tracks to work with. In a nutshell, assuming a mean level of talent and preparedness, it usually comes down to budget.

As far as the review itself, with very few exceptions I felt that everything said was pretty dead-on, the good and the bad alike. I was a bit surprised by Tom's solo scoring, and outright shocked by his rating of "Where Is The Love", but I talked to him about it and I do understand where he's coming from. As I told him, I may not always agree with him, but I really respect the fact that he uses numbers other than 4 and 5 in his ratings, when he feels it's appropriate, and after all, he did give the CD a 4. And as I told the B'Hoos, it'd be pretty hard to get better soundbites than the ones Mr. Minkoff, President of CASA gave 'em :)

Nice talking to everyone again :) Hope all are well and happy.

dio

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Dipika Jain
ex - dcVocals * www.dcVocals.com
ex - Nothin' but Treble * www.nothinbuttreble.com
ex - Tin Roof Sunday * sadly no website
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Devil's Advocate

Postby Nick Lyons » Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:48 am

I'll have to play the other side of this argument and say that I (being an aca head/music major/complete nerd) would rather hear a few sour notes in the grand scheme of richness and depth of sound.

From my experience, it is very possible to get a group to sing in tune... even with that one guy that always sings "just a quarter step" under the note. It takes time, patience, and, in some cases, many repeated attempts, but it is very possible.

I'm getting ready to go to work but I wanted to commend dio on his work on Jacked. As soon as I heard it, I text messaged him to tell him what a great job he did on the album. It's a great album from a production standpoint. The Hoos chose great songs to sing and I commend them on that. I can't say I agree with the praise of their arrangements. Whereas, they are full in sound, I sort of feel they lack the creativity that the Hoos are capable of... and of what I have heard in the past. This isn't an attempt to bash on any single member of the group, even though most every song was arranged by the same member... because I've been there myself and after awhile, you're sick of your own arrangements a bit. I guess I was just looking for a bit more creativity in use of words, syllables, etc. Your arrangements are powerful and I would love to see you take them to the next level.

On the whole, it was a great album and I commend the Hoos on taking this next huge step. Dio was obviously a great choice for your album. Congrats on the awesome step!

Nick
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Re: Devil's Advocate

Postby tekay » Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:35 am

WareHauser wrote:From my experience, it is very possible to get a group to sing in tune... even with that one guy that always sings "just a quarter step" under the note. It takes time, patience, and, in some cases, many repeated attempts, but it is very possible.


hahahahah.

g-d, why can't i keep my outbursts on the inside.

Yes, yes you can, no matter how much this person wants to resist or exclaim "who me?"

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Postby Nick Lyons » Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:43 pm

Who!? Me!?

;-)
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