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Vocal Fakery: How likely is it in K-pop? Fuckin’ likely.


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#1 SAUCY

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:10 PM (Edited by SAUCY, 03 August 2015 - 01:11 PM.)

Not my article, so don't come at me

source: http://www.asianjunk...-fuckin-likely/

 

This is really long so I bolded relevant parts. Everything in The ghost voice part is relevant reading. 

 

 

 

 

We all know about how everybody uses Autotune and other pitch-correction programs these days, but while Autotune can make good vocals sound more accurate, it actually does a fairly shit-house job of making a completely crap singer sound good because to get the most out of Autotune you still have to be able to ballpark the note and sing tosome degree. There are, in fact, easier and more effective ways to hide crappy vocals and fool K-pop-loving bias-fueled dumbasses.

BEHOLD!

 

THE LIVE OVERDUB

 

Have you ever been to a live concert, been thoroughly unimpressed by the vocals of the lead singer, then seen the same live concert that you were physically at on a DVD, listened to it, and thought “Gee, I don’t remember the singer sounding all that good, was I just standing in a bad spot for listening?” Well, it probably wasn’t you. The large majority of live concert films feature vocals and even instruments that are rerecorded in a recording studio later. A classic example is The Ramones’ “It’s Alive” concert film. In the following footage, only the drums and audience cheering are live, everything else was rerecorded in a studio environment later on:

Don’t think it’s just the crappy punk singers that get this treatment though. Here’s a video that contrasts Mariah Carey’s live performances on the night with the “official” audio, showing that even good singers often redo their own vocals later in the cozy safety of the recording studio:

The reason for doing things this way is fairly obvious — at a live gig you only have one chance to get it right, whereas in the recording studio singers have the luxury of recording as many takes as they want until they get it perfect (or until the money for studio time runs out, whichever comes first). If you’re a producer and you’ve spent thousands of dollars hiring expensive camera crews for a live shoot, who wants to reshoot the whole thing again just because the singer had a cold that day?

 

How likely is this in K-pop? Fuckin’ likely. However, nobody in K-pop to my knowledge has been caught yet, but give it time. It’ll be another KPOPALYPSE I-told-you-so moment, and it’ll probably happen where someone who already has a reputation as a good singer gets busted doing a mediocre live performance on fancams that sounds mysteriously better on an official live DVD of the same night’s performance. So go hunting if you like, and maybe you can put together a video like the one of Mariah above, and then I’ll update this post and get you some views.

 

 

    THE PRE-RECORDED TRIGGERED SAMPLE

 

How likely is this in K-pop? Fuckin’ likely. Let’s look at T-ara’s tribute to Ennio Morricone and nail-painting, “Day By Day”.

 

 

If they’re not already included as part of the backing track, triggers are used in K-pop for money-note substitution/reinforcement. If you listen from 6:23Ahreum’s high note sure sounds very strong, has vibrato halfway through, and then descends at the end. It also sounds equally strong and has exactly the same vibrato and pitch characteristics in this performance, as well as this onethis one here, and so on. So either she really is a robot or that’s a sample that gets replayed along with the backing track at that point every time. In newer versions of “Day By Day”, performed after Ahreum left the group, her triggered sample is replaced by one recorded by Soyeon, which you can hear hereand here.

 
 
 
THE PRE-RECORDED KIT & CABOODLE

 

Listen to this recording of operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti at the 2006 Winter Olympics, his final performance before he died later that year. From 2:14:

Everything you’re hearing, including Pavarotti’s singing plus all of the instruments, was actually recorded several days in advance and then just played back through the speaker system with the singer, instrumentalists, and conductor all miming along pretending that they were doing stuffEssentially, the pre-record is the reverse of the live overdub — instead of singing it properly after the event and then adding it in, the singer sings it properly before the event and then someone just plays it back.

How likely is this in K-pop? Fuckin’ likely. Let’s look at AOA’s much-missed-by-hypocrites-who-did-not-support-them-when-they-were-active “band” concept to find out:

 

https://youtu.be/91SBr-ishGg

The above video of AOA is completely pre-recorded, which is fairly obvious given that they shot Jimin separately for the rap part. The backing track is the same one from the mini-album, however the vocals have been rerecorded to make it “sound live” so it’s subtly different from the studio version, then the group just mimes over the top of the newly recorded vocal. It’s also worth noting that because the new vocal is slightly different, this new vocal would be heard on an “MR removed” mix and isolated as “evidence of real vocals oh look they’re really singing oh gosh wow”, which is another reason, on top of an existing mountain of reasons, why those MR removed videos prove nothing, are a fucking useless wank for idiots, and you should always disregard anyone posting or commenting about MR removed stuff either positively or negatively as the ravings of a one-eyed lunatic. Not only does MR removed videos not tell you how good the vocals are, these videos don’t even tell you if there are live vocals!

 

https://youtu.be/b4R3lVgg2xI

The above recording has live vocals but mimed instruments, and you can tell by the huge decrease in vocal quality as well as some live vocal artifacts like the microphone wind-noise blowout at 0:26. The backing vocals for the chorus from the original backing track are also left in to fatten it up, which is why the chorus still sounds great whereas the verses are a bit sketchy. AOA don’t always mime and can actually play their instruments live when they want to/are allowed to, but most K-pop groups just completely fake it because it’s easier from a stage rigging point of view to play a recording than set up a bunch of pain-in-the-ass microphones on everything (it’s hard enough setting up the visual props alone). Plus, the final result generally sounds better.

Anyway, if a group specifically sold as a “band concept” group like AOA in their early days are miming it, you can bet your ass everyone else is. I guess K-pop has something in common with opera after all.

 

 

 

    THE GHOST VOICE
 

How likely is this in K-pop? Fuckin’ likely. Essentially it’s already happening in many groups, something we know from talking to singers who have been though the idol creation process.

 

With K-pop groups consisting of several singers, producers have a choice of who they want to get to sing which part. Producers will call in members one at a time to go through the parts, pick which vocals sound best for each section, and then electronically mess with the parts until even the singers themselves can barely recognise their own voices. This means that weak singers in a K-pop group are usually ghosted by the stronger ones, especially in the choruses. The line distribution (which members gets the lead vocal line at any particular point) that you see in the video doesn’t always reflect who sung the part on the recording, just who the choreographer thought would look best in the front of the group giving a vocal delivery at that given moment. Choreographers like to distribute parts as evenly as possible so everyone gets a shot (as that’s what fans want), but this rubs against the reality that each K-pop group only usually has one or two reasonable singers. Since K-pop tends to focus on specialisation, the gulf between the good and the bad singers is pretty wide. So the bad singers get given their obligatory non-demanding half-a-verse so their fans can see them for a bit, and the rest of the time they’re in the front it’s smoothed over or swallowed up by chorus overdubs. This is how very poor singers in a large group get carried with essentially little problem or issue. Basically, good singers aren’t needed in K-pop, you only need one semi-acceptable singer per group, otherwise it’s a case of “too many cooks”.

 

The only time you can’t really smooth things out too much is when there are groups with a singer that has a very characteristic tone to their voice that can’t be easily replicated (2NE1’s Park Bom, AOA’s Jimin). With them, you’ve got no choice but to have them stand out, and that’s why Jimin says “hey” every two bars in an AOA feature these days. This is a rare predicament in K-pop overall though, because in K-pop people are actually deliberately trained to sound the same. That’s why nobody can tell who the fuck is who on ‘Hidden Singer‘, as there would be no point to that program at all if the majority of K-pop singers had actual distinctive voices.

 




#2 Aniki

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:13 PM

That’s why nobody can tell who the fuck is who on ‘Hidden Singer‘, as there would be no point to that program at all if the majority of K-pop singers had actual distinctive voices.

 

 

 
/the truth has been spoken



#3 Arsene Lupin

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:13 PM (Edited by Arsene Lupin, 03 August 2015 - 01:19 PM.)

its not that surprising or subtle these days, the fact that everyone spazzes and goes crazy when they`re group is singing fully live proves that

 

 

and half of songs have sounds you cant even make irl, specially exo`s, i mean just listen to when they say you ``hurt me`` at 1:10. You really cant make that sound live. In most of exo`s songs, specially for high notes, they copy and paste the audio layer multiple times to make it sound like a harmony when its just one person

 

 

 

 

or just listen to AOA`s heart attack, half the song isn`t even singable , specially when they start singing at 00:40

 

 

 

 

its sad that they also pull this shit




#4 gamguu

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:14 PM

this article is probably completely true but i just want to enjoy life no matter how much fakery is going on




#5 ErikaEGO

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:16 PM (Edited by ErikaEGO, 03 August 2015 - 01:26 PM.)

I was just thinking about this when I was hearing SNSD's 1st Japan tour, the voices sounded too perfect like 0 voice cracks  :unimpressed:




#6 Stay Away

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:19 PM

it's mainstream pop music. If you are looking for authenticity you won't find much there to be honest. 




#7 rosinate

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:20 PM (Edited by rosinate, 03 August 2015 - 01:21 PM.)

 

I was just thinking about this when I was wearing SNSD's 1st Japan tour, the voices sounded too perfect like 0 voice cracks  :unimpressed:

 

 

Are you talking about the DVD? DVDs are notably audio-corrected. You can really tell if you compare to concert fancams. Even if the artists were singing live then, it gets mixed with the studio version and has other fixes. It's probably valid since concert sound engineering isn't always the best and you get a ton of interference from audience noise. Most people pay for DVDs for the dancing and closeups.

 

However, DVDs never claim to be authentic. It's disingenuous when companies release "live CDs" that have been significantly corrected. 




#8 S Q U I S H Y

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:21 PM

This is true and very obvious.




#9 noon

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:22 PM

knew about the concert film, performance thing, like duh.

Surprised the author didn't mention LE's vocals in Hyunas Bubble Pop and Tara's Number 9


#10 ErikaEGO

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:27 PM

Are you talking about the DVD? DVDs are notably audio-corrected. You can really tell if you compare to concert fancams. Even if the artists were singing live then, it gets mixed with the studio version and has other fixes. It's probably valid since concert sound engineering isn't always the best and you get a ton of interference from audience noise. Most people pay for DVDs for the dancing and closeups.

 

However, DVDs never claim to be authentic. It's disingenuous when companies release "live CDs" that have been significantly corrected. 

 

Ooo okay thanks, well I guess that explains why everyone sounded so good  :meow:




#11 aiyuu

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:28 PM

Nothing in the music industry is ever 100% real or authentic esp kpop this is not surprising




#12 sparkilene

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:31 PM

tl;dr but I think I got the gist.

 

Shorter OP: nobody sings live in kpop. ever. everything is autotuned. 

 

Got it. 

 

 

Man, that leaked mr sheet and that kbs report has clearly gotten a lot of people fucked up.




#13 NELLO-HOPE

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:35 PM

knew about the concert film, performance thing, like duh.

Surprised the author didn't mention LE's vocals in Hyunas Bubble Pop and Tara's Number 9

 

It was????????? I didn't even hear her........ :omg:




#14 Juvia

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:37 PM

this should be required reading for fans who harp on all day about their faves undeniable talents


#15 swiftswitchsurf

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:41 PM (Edited by swiftswitchsurf, 03 August 2015 - 02:11 PM.)

LE was in n9 and Bubble Pop?

 

que?

 

Like I know LE's written for hyuna and composed songs for her.

 

But sing? And bubble pop of all things?




#16 JiMiJu

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:47 PM

This is nothing new, and really easy to do - particularly adding in prerecorded singing that has minor flaws in it. As long as it is distinct to the normal version, many won't even question whether it is truly live or not.




#17 monologue

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:03 PM

isn't everyone already aware of all this? there's nothing earth shattering here




#18 hyotmess

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:07 PM

you're talking about an industry where "live" singing means singing with a loud backtrack




#19 Big Stupid Jellyfish

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 02:08 PM

I figured this out a long time ago. It really shouldn't be all that surprising.




#20 ricardox

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 03:11 PM (Edited by ricardox, 03 August 2015 - 03:14 PM.)

That’s why nobody can tell who the fuck is who on ‘Hidden Singer‘, as there would be no point to that program at all if the majority of K-pop singers had actual distinctive voices.

 

 

 

I agree mostly except this part. 

 

People who follow the music tend to know rather fast who the person is if that person's voice is familiar (despite attempts at disguise). More famous the singer easier they are identified.

 

If you check the korean boards, for eg. Kim Yeonwoo was identified LONG before he was "unmasked". It's the obscure people they bring on that cause true confusion.

 

Also with a current state of the art studio you really only need semi-competent singer in ANY genre to produce something decent sounding. This has kind of brought about a strange dynamic in korean music where they trot (not the genre lol) out the singer in a "live-singing" program (immortal song, masked singer, YHY what have you) to legitimize that singer (and thus sometimes the group he/she's from) in the public's eye (as well as publicity purposes). 

 

EDIT:

 

About masked singer, some of it is just pretending not to know for program suspense.. Seo Yuri was recently criticized for letting slip a clue she knew who the person was (of course she pretended not to know).







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