Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Deconstruct This

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  • James Harton,

    I'm sure it'll show up in Lessig's next presentation. I'm quite sure it made my morning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    A summary of world problems and current vocalizer of choice, making the morning much easier to begin... Thanks Russell.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    A summary of world problems and current vocalizer of choice, making the morning much easier to begin... Thanks Russell.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    SweetHolyJesusFuck, that was awesome

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Waiting for my internet account to be disconn

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I want a T-Pain soundalike to punctuate my speech with interjections of "SHAWTAY".

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Man, I hope all news programmes start using the vocoder, bad news never sounded so good.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Never thought I'd see the day...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I blame Kanye.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Man, I hope all news programmes start using the vocoder, bad news never sounded so good.

    Strictly speaking, it's not a vocoder but the Auto-tune, as employed by Cher, T-Pain, Kanye, etc ...

    The creator is nerdcore "star" Michael Gregory, who has a channel fulla auto-tune mash-ups.

    He also auditioned for American Idol:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Strictly speaking, it's not a vocoder but the Auto-tune, as employed by Cher, T-Pain, Kanye, etc ...

    A vocoder just makes the voice sounds robotic. Auto-tune changes the pitch, which is why the newscasters speech has become tuneful (as well as robitic) in the video.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    BTW, there's areally good recent article from Time magazine about Auto-Tune and its impact on modern pop and our expectations of singers.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Well that didn't take long to turn edumacational. Good link, thanks Robyn.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The Katie Couric part, in particular, is genius. I am slightly afraid of how compelling the news is when autotuned.

    A vocoder just makes the voice sound robotic.

    No one wants me to embed Frampton Comes Alive up in here, do they? DO THEY?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I too liked the "thin ice" segment and wonder how long it will take for just that bit to be posted somewhere. Frampton on the other hand, no thanks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    No one wants me to embed Frampton Comes Alive up in here, do they? DO THEY?

    Nobody wants me to get out of the wardrobe my "I survived the twelve guitars concert", do they? DO THEY?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Another reason why Obama is a man for the times: his voice auto-tunes brilliantly:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    our expectations of singers

    Like for example how I expect my ears to come our in a rash every time I hear a hip hop song these days.

    Awesome mashups, but for listening I prefer to hear humans singing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    A vocoder just makes the voice sounds robotic. Auto-tune changes the pitch

    Actually, the vocoder does both, as it imposes a pitch or chord upon a voice. Or strictly speaking, it's the other way around: it takes a sound source then alters the dynamics of the each frequency band in that source to match the dynamics of the voice: in crude terms, it makes an instrument talk rather than giving a voice a pitch. Wikipedia has a useful summary. The only reason it sounds "robotic" is that the multi-band filtering and dynamics-following are only approximations to the dynamics of a voice. The more accurate the processing, the more natural it sounds.

    Which takes us to Auto-tune, which is in one sense a more sophisticated vocoder. As the article says, the intention was always to sound natural, and most Autotuning will be transparent to us. It's only when they tweak it to sound like a deliberate effect that we notice it like this. This video is clever since, unlike most of the pop/R&B uses of it, the effect is made even more obvious by using external sources.

    A lot of innovations in electronic music come from mistakes or deliberate misues of equipment that was supposed to make things cleaner and more pseudo-natural, or from outside the world of music. Vocoders were for voice compression & encryption before Walter/Wendy Carlos did A Clockwork Orange and Kraftwerk did Autobahn; the TB-303 was supposed to sound like a real bass guitar, not like a squealing bout of acidic mayhem; the famous machine-gun kick drum in Blue Monday was meant to sound like a soft echo; and of course guitars were never supposed to be fuzzy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • R A Hurley,

    No one wants me to embed Frampton Comes Alive up in here, do they? DO THEY?

    go on....... embed the Frampton!... Frampton haters (including myself) can step off... nobody's going to force them to click that link... hell, i'd embed it myself, but things like that have got to come from the HEART, y'know?...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    A vocoder just makes the voice sounds robotic. Auto-tune changes the pitch, which is why the newscasters speech has become tuneful (as well as robitic) in the video.

    [muso geek stuff]
    IMHO better than both of these is a Harmonizer which can sound truly awesome. I have very happy memories of an evening session I spent with a group of mates, a microphone and a harmonizer plugged into a stereo (and lots of beer). They don't get used that much in home studios as they remain quite expensive and software emulators don't come close to the real thing. However I have to take my hat off to people like Michael Tretow who created Abba’s famous wall-of-sound vocal harmonies without any of this digital studio jiggery-pokery (and didn’t shoot anyone either…)

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    hell, i'd embed it myself

    Agreed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    As far as I can tell, there's no auto-tuning in this setting of Bush's last press conference:

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Deconstruct that

    Hey, that's nothing - just ask Danielle.

    Robbery is now taking issue with Jake's commentary on his argument style by using the same masterfully annoying tactics Jake just analysed. Is this now called... MetaDeathSpiralNui?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

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