Not all that long ago, record producers and engineers used to spend long hours with singers in the studio making sure that they got the best possible take of their performance. It was very important to make sure that the singer sang everything in tune and that there was no ‘pitchiness’ or parts of the melody that were sung a little flat or sharp. This was critical for it meant that when it came time to mix the track, there was simply no way to correct a performance for pitch.
This all changed with the invention of pitch correction software. Most studio recordings these days are done on what is known as a ‘DAW.’ This stands for Digital Audio Workstation and has become the standard throughout the music industry replacing tape based multitrack machines. Because the process is entirely digital it means that the recorded audio can be processed in ways that most musicians never even dreamed of in years passed.
Remember when Cher had a huge hit with a song called ‘Believe’? That strange warbling effect on the vocal is actually created by the pitch correction software. Someone discovered that by setting it to over-correct it would actually produce a pleasing effect. Like all these things it has been over-used since by many artists.
Pitch correction works by analyzing the audio and resampling it back to correct pitch. It operates in real time which means that a studio engineer can apply pitch correction to a vocal where and when it is needed. Many regard pitch correction as a lifesaver in the studio. Singers often feel relieved that a great performance need not be erased and redone simply because one or two notes may have been a little flat or sharp. Studios often see it as a great time saver as it reduces the need to record many takes in the hope of getting a performance that is completely in key.Continue reading Pitch Correction? – Can Singers Actually Sing Anymore?