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?

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

CS70 wrote:There is apparently a mega-hit called “Fancy” by a guy called Iggy Azalea and I have never heard of either.


Probably some pop act or dance craze.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Sam Spoons »

It's all been downhill since we let them Morris Dancers onto the village green... :D
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by RichardT »

shufflebeat wrote: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.


Yes, it’s quite common for musicians to give keys certain qualities. Before equal temperament, each key had slightly different intervals - though they weren’t always consistent - and so could easily have a different emotional effect. Less so after equal temperament and I wonder how much is down to expectation and how much is real. I don’t know.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by MixAndMatch »

RichardT wrote:
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.


It is fairly easy nowadays to tune the track to C maj. On Cubase for example, this can be done with a simple mouse click. Most pop music nowadays is in C maj. There has to be a reason for this and I agree with the OP as to the vocal advantages of this key. Simply put, the best results can be obtained in C. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourselves!
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Sam Spoons »

And we haven't touched on A = 432 Hz yet :beamup:
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Martin Walker »

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


How about an Azalea bush?


Andy is obviously aware of the main area of Iggy Azalea's notoriety ;)

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

Post by N i g e l »

RichardT wrote: it’s quite common for musicians to give keys certain qualities. Before equal temperament, each key had slightly different intervals


no no no ! Equal temperment is the bodge.

The natural doh ray me ... scale exists for each of the base notes and are harmonious to the ear.

The equal temperment scale is based on mathmatics that minimise the frequency error for each of the scales when they are compressed into 12 notes/frequencies.

[fretless instrument & gypsie jazz players stop laughing now !!!! ]

each of the scales therefore has differnt errors, giving different emotions & qualities.

Modern synthesizers allow for the different rootnote/scales & its on my list of things todo once ive mastered the bigger picture of choosing the right notes, playing them in the right order & at the right time.

in the mean time [normal times] listen to the Academy of ancient music, playing authentic scales on authentic instruments.

"If it isnt baroque dont fix it "
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Murray B »

It is fairly easy nowadays to tune the track to C maj. On Cubase for example, this can be done with a simple mouse click. Most pop music nowadays is in C maj. There has to be a reason for this and I agree with the OP as to the vocal advantages of this key. Simply put, the best results can be obtained in C. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourselves!


I have no opinion on whether or not C major is a more resonant key for the human ear, but there are a lot of scales with many of the same notes in and many shared chords too. But this could also explain the claim that Dm is also a key of extreme power and is perhaps the saddest of all keys.

I also have no clue if the majority of pop music is in C but I'd also contend that as DAW input via a midi keyboard has become the standard way of creating music for many artists working from home - it's just easier to stick to the white notes if you aren't a skilled keyboard player? It gets a lot trickier to use the black notes if you aren't sure what you are doing :-)
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Johnsy »

MixAndMatch wrote:
Most pop music nowadays is in C maj.


Not according to this:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-chart-of-the- ... 1703086174
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

MixAndMatch wrote:Most pop music nowadays is in C maj.


I suspect this to be a case of most trolls preferring C-maj and do not predict a glittering future on the forum for them should they continue in the same vein ;)
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by IAA »

Simply put, the best results can be obtained in C. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourselves


Crikey, fancy Mozart, Rachmaninov, Bach, Handel, Wagner etc etc ...not knowing this! :headbang:
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by RichardT »

N i g e l wrote:
RichardT wrote: it’s quite common for musicians to give keys certain qualities. Before equal temperament, each key had slightly different intervals


no no no ! Equal temperment is the bodge.

The natural doh ray me ... scale exists for each of the base notes and are harmonious to the ear.

The equal temperment scale is based on mathmatics that minimise the frequency error for each of the scales when they are compressed into 12 notes/frequencies.

[fretless instrument & gypsie jazz players stop laughing now !!!! ]

each of the scales therefore has differnt errors, giving different emotions & qualities.

Modern synthesizers allow for the different rootnote/scales & its on my list of things todo once ive mastered the bigger picture of choosing the right notes, playing them in the right order & at the right time.

in the mean time [normal times] listen to the Academy of ancient music, playing authentic scales on authentic instruments.

"If it isnt baroque dont fix it "


No, under equal temperament all keys sound the ‘same’ - they are all wrong, I agree.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by Aled Hughes »

RichardT wrote:
N i g e l wrote:
RichardT wrote: it’s quite common for musicians to give keys certain qualities. Before equal temperament, each key had slightly different intervals


no no no ! Equal temperment is the bodge.

The natural doh ray me ... scale exists for each of the base notes and are harmonious to the ear.

The equal temperment scale is based on mathmatics that minimise the frequency error for each of the scales when they are compressed into 12 notes/frequencies.

[fretless instrument & gypsie jazz players stop laughing now !!!! ]

each of the scales therefore has differnt errors, giving different emotions & qualities.

Modern synthesizers allow for the different rootnote/scales & its on my list of things todo once ive mastered the bigger picture of choosing the right notes, playing them in the right order & at the right time.

in the mean time [normal times] listen to the Academy of ancient music, playing authentic scales on authentic instruments.

"If it isnt baroque dont fix it "


No, under equal temperament all keys sound the ‘same’ - they are all wrong, I agree.


Surely not. Equal temperament is a way of incorporating all keys with 12 ‘fixed’ pitches, so the relationship/ratio between intervals/scale degrees inherently have to be compromised, so different keys could conceivably sound different.

Just tuning, on the other hand, maintains the same ratio between scale degrees/intervals in all keys, so it is these that will sound the ‘same’.
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Re: What Key do you put your vocals in when using Auto Tune?

Post by alanonguitar »

Ramirez wrote:Sorry if I’m missing something here, but surely you set it to the key of the song?


hi raimrez this is a comon misconstruction the best way to use automictune is in the key of c major this is because it connects directly too the emoshional center for the brian when i was at colledge many moons ago now haha our lecturor geof always said music is about emoshion get across a feeling so most impotran thing is obsrving the key for this kind of comminication as the op sayd this is c major befause it connects to the hart doesnt reallty matter the key of the song you fool haha

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

Post by RichardT »

Ramirez wrote:
RichardT wrote:
N i g e l wrote:
RichardT wrote: it’s quite common for musicians to give keys certain qualities. Before equal temperament, each key had slightly different intervals


no no no ! Equal temperment is the bodge.

The natural doh ray me ... scale exists for each of the base notes and are harmonious to the ear.

The equal temperment scale is based on mathmatics that minimise the frequency error for each of the scales when they are compressed into 12 notes/frequencies.

[fretless instrument & gypsie jazz players stop laughing now !!!! ]

each of the scales therefore has differnt errors, giving different emotions & qualities.

Modern synthesizers allow for the different rootnote/scales & its on my list of things todo once ive mastered the bigger picture of choosing the right notes, playing them in the right order & at the right time.

in the mean time [normal times] listen to the Academy of ancient music, playing authentic scales on authentic instruments.

"If it isnt baroque dont fix it "


No, under equal temperament all keys sound the ‘same’ - they are all wrong, I agree.


Surely not. Equal temperament is a way of incorporating all keys with 12 ‘fixed’ pitches, so the relationship/ratio between intervals/scale degrees inherently have to be compromised, so different keys could conceivably sound different.

Just tuning, on the other hand, maintains the same ratio between scale degrees/intervals in all keys, so it is these that will sound the ‘same’.


But yes - the semitone intervals in equal temperament are all the same (100 cents each) so the ratio of each pitch to the next is exactly the same. In other tunings, the 'semitone' intervals are not the same and this is what results in different intervals in different keys.

The price is that some of the intervals in equal temperament are not 'natural'.
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