After autotune accusation, singer Adele tells producer Tony Visconti to "suck my dick"


#1

[Read the post]


#2

In what world was that an apology?


#3

Tony is absolutely right. Even two decades ago, we were bringing in sound alikes that could hit the right notes and editing the two performers together in a way that no one would even know. Turns out a lot of the sound-alikes didn’t know either because we’d have them sing nonsense at various pitches and styles that WE knew were going in something completely different but they didn’t…and as it was a work for hire with no artistic interpretation, no credit was required (or so said the producers).

So the accusation is 100% correct…there is NO way of knowing if she is actually singing these notes. It isn’t an implication of her, but the music industry.

That said, who the hell cares? I wouldn’t care if a robot sang everything if it touched me. This precious need for authenticity as if art suddenly becomes worthless if somehow it is manipulated is bullshit to me. The end result is what matters, not the origin. I don’t care for a lot of modern music, and Visconti is right about all of this – it is too perfect…sadly, even in the digital manipulation phase, it isn’t hard to build in imperfection. I know when I was doing just standard sound design for synthesizers I put in random glitches (a guitar string that is ‘accidentally’ muted in a strum 2% of the time, single violin in a string section that occasionally has to pitch into the group)…so many things to make digital instruments sound more human. It wouldn’t be hard to edit in a few bad notes in to a flawless performance in areas that show emotion as opposed to showing technical prowess and everyone would be applauding the human frailty.

Back to the point, Visconti didn’t insult Adele…she decided to take an affront to something that she should have taken as a compliment. In a world full of crap that has been perfected artificially, Adele seems artificial because she is just that good. Supposedly. But we’d never know.


#4

It’s recorded music. As soon as anything is recorded, it’s subjected to the constraints of the recording equipment, the physical environment it was recorded in, and the choices made in production/engineering. There will always be distortions, which will either call attention to the recording (“bad”) or enhance the performance (“good”).

To suggest any recording isn’t “real” is just silly. They never were.

I’m not sure why Visconti brought it up – he ought to know better – but Adele’s totally in the right to tell him off IMHO.


#5

Well, at least Visconti had a chance to plug his new TV show so he can find a new guitar virtuoso like Bowie (?). /eye roll


#6

“With a singer like Adele, it’s hard to know exactly how perfect she is singing, because you don’t know how much computer tweaking has gone into it”

His point isn’t that Adele is a bad singer. His point seems to be that Adele is undeniably a good singer and yet that doesn’t make her above manipulating her voice/music.”

"there is definitely something to the production sound of some music of the last 15-20 years or so. And it’s not about whether the artists are actually ‘good’ or not, it’s not a test. It’s just a boring sound. It’s all carefully reverbed, pitch-corrected, noise-cancelled, ultra-compressed, etc. "

“It doesn’t sound like people “playing music”, since they aren’t actually playing it. Everything is drum programming, loops and samples in most pop songs. There isn’t a band that is in the studio playing together and being recorded. This is why everything sounds so perfect.”


#7

While Adele’s music isn’t the first kind I’d turn to, she is completely and unapologetically working class. It’s a delightful quality that I really like about her. You go, girl!


#8

He’s right, be she’s right.

If he had said “look, Adele’s got a great voice, but we don’t know what we’re listening to on record. I doubt that’s changed her voice much, but we don’t know” it might have been a different story. He picked one person out as an example. If he doesn’t qualify his remarks, he is holding her out as the example of manipulated voices that can’t be trusted.

What he followed-up with is in no way an apology to her - it is an apologia, a defense, of his own remarks.


#9

Given that he SPECIFICALLY stated it wasn’t an apology – “yet I cannot apologise for something taken the wrong way” – I’m not sure where there confusion is. It wasn’t. Nor was it intended to be. Nor should he have had to apologize for someone misconstruing her.

He isn’t using her as an example of manipulated voices that can’t be trusted, he is using her as an example of a voice that MAY HAVE BEEN manipulated, but we don’t know because the industry does this so routinely. Big difference, at least to me. I mean, I parse my words carefully and people misconstrue the nuance all the time so I’m a little defensive of these sort of things.


#10

I agree as a matter of aesthetics(plus, unless you want to renounce all those newfangled ‘instruments’ that use artificial devices to produce unnatural sounds that humans cannot the difference between banging rocks together and sophisticated DSP is one of degree, not of kind…); but there is the question of representation:

If someone is representing themselves as 100% ‘natural’, either because they think it’ll sell better or as a matter of taste; having someone claiming that they are modified is certainly either commercially threatening or insulting. In my enthusiasm for American-style libel law; I’d say that if the accusations are true the artist doesn’t have a leg to stand on; but calling them out if false, or telling them to put up or shut up seems perfectly valid.

Just because I wouldn’t be offended at being accused of being autotuned, nor would I care if someone were autotuned to produce an effect that I like, doesn’t mean that it is therefore an innocuous nonissue if the person being accused does care or has an audience that does care.

Again, if the accusation happens to be true then too damn bad; but if false I could easily see grounds for a deeply displeased response.


#11

Then I guess it’s a good thing he didn’t actually claim that.

Again, it’s not an accusation Visconti even made.

That said, if the accusation Visconti didn’t even make about her recorded voice does somehow get proven true, Adele might have a hard time living down the kerfuffle she’s suddenly made of this whole thing in that viral clip.


#12

No, [quote=“clifyt, post:3, topic:79651, full:true”]
Tony is absolutely right.
[snip]
So the accusation is 100% correct…there is NO way of knowing if she is actually singing these notes. It isn’t an implication of her, but the music industry.
[/quote]

No, I’m sorry, that is bullshit. He said “90% of pop music is artificial” and then called her out by name. The “We don’t know”, “I am just pointing out this is possible” are the same weasel words used by conspiracy theorists of all types, from gold standard nuts to 9/11 truthers. They are a way to make allegations and insinuations without having to back it up with facts. If Tony knows of specific signers who are misrepresenting themselves, he should name them and be willing to back it up. If he doesn’t, and only knows it is “possible” then he is just a rumor monger. If he knows people who are doing this but is prohibited by contract from disclosing that, he should just shut up. If he is just trying stir up shit and make people think that his new project is different from everyone else (perish the thought), he should leave other people’s names out of it, and just say that “you can never tell if a given pop star is using …”

As it stands, he was totally out of line, and Adele was totally right to tell him off.


#13

So, because someone wants to be offended and read something different than what was said, it is alright to be offended. Says Generation Snowflake. And if the words don’t agree with what you perceive them to be, we can just rename them weasel words because even though he specifically didn’t state something, we can say that we know what he meant and therefore it is even worse.

At least this is what I get.


#14

Most people online are fat slobs who post in their underwear and stink like week-old fish. Look at these posts from @clyft - we have no way of knowing.

… but I really highly doubt that’s the case.

Tony Visconti never said.


#15

Most people could be. Who knows. If someone said this about me, I wouldn’t take offense. I mean, I’m not THAT fat, but I am a slob and when I actually feel like pulling up some underwear, I might be wearing some.

Either way, not going to be offended. Especially if I were a public figure in a field where this were the norm.


#16

Good for you. You are not the Ideal Human everyone else must live up to.


#17

But I didn’t attack your core identity or career. Visconti implied that Adele was possibly a fraud “we have no way of knowing.”

That’s not nice.

If somebody implied that about me, I’d be right pissed. I’m not a rockstar programmer, but I’m not faking it. I can google-bing algorithms on StackOverflow with the best of them!


#18

From the moment that multi-tracking, compression, equalization and clanky spring reverbs were introduced into the recording studio, popular recorded music has been fantastically artificial. You could say that the Beatles’ greatest innovations were simply embracing how artificial the whole thing could be.

Tony Visconti should talk: In what audible universe is David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy” a creation of live musicians playing in a room? In what real world place do snare drums sound like they do on the album Low? Is Tony going to tell us that David Bowie never “comped” a vocal? People have come to embrace this artificiality along with the musicians, which has led us to the point we are now.

The technology has advanced to the point where it’s indistinguishable from magic. It is now more labor intensive and expensive to record quality audio with “musical flaws.” It’s so much quicker to snap everything to a click-track grid and replace the bad timing and bum notes than it is to record take after take until you get that magic recording that sounds better than the doctored version.

That’s pop music. It’s not real and it never was. Most bands playing in other genres would be better served by a “live-to-tape” recording, but they don’t want to play chicken with what the listening public will accept.


#19

He implied that the music industry uses these schemes. And that we have no way of knowing any artist. And selected one that he thought was exceptional as a way of explanation. But we are going to look at two sentences and make our disdain known without the context.

If you are a public figure, expect to be used as an example. If you aren’t, then you might take offense.


#20

Says the person who might be the zodiac killer. I am not saying clifyt is the zodiac killer, but we can’t be 100% sure, and I wouldn’t want to be alone with him.

Go ahead and make excuses for someone being a scumbag. While weasel words like “we can’t be sure” may absolve you of legal responsibility as slander, they don’t resolve you of moral responsibility for making unfounded accusations. Which is what he did