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Joy Division - Pitch Corrected Songs
June 6, 2014 9:03 PM   Subscribe

The purpose of this compilation was to take all the JD tracks known to be set at the incorrect pitches and correct. (SLYT)
posted by CrowthorneRoad (31 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Nicely done! I am digging this era of amateurs (in the best sense of that word) undertaking such revisions of beloved media.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:44 PM on June 6

Dead Souls sounds just awful.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:45 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

hilarious. I remember really liking Interpol when I first heard them, thinking: these guys sound a lot like Joy Division, with a little less inspiration and a lot more musical ability.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 9:47 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]

hmm so this is to fix weirdness in the mastering and reproduction? that's disappointing I thought they were going to be autotuning Ian Curtis
posted by atoxyl at 10:05 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]

Is this the right place to admit that Ian Curtis' voice to me is grating and out of tune and hard to take? If there is something wrong with me that can be fixed, please point me in the right direction.
posted by oneironaut at 10:11 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]

well until I read the youtube description I assumed that was the joke. but alas it appears not to be a joke at all
posted by atoxyl at 10:15 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

I mean I always assumed it was intentional - that was famously Hannett's contribution, to take a live band with sloppy punkish energy and drearify them to be the anhedonic joy division we all love on record
posted by atoxyl at 10:37 PM on June 6

They are better live - Still is their best album.
posted by marienbad at 11:11 PM on June 6

Agreed. Still and Closer are by far my favorite JD albums. This is sort of weird, the odd dirgey off-pitchness of some of the songs are kind of key, not something I ever thought needed correcting. I'll listen through this though, because Joy Division.
posted by cj_ at 11:27 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

I'll have to listen to the entirety of this, but I've always liked the sloppy oddly pitched sound of Joy Division. Making it all perfect and clean might take away part of what makes them so good.

So I'm glad someone put in the time, and I will listen carefully, but I am skeptical.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:30 PM on June 6

(Encouraged not to see Decades on the list, which I would've thought was the first one someone with a mind to "correct" the songs would tackle, or In A Lonely Place)
posted by cj_ at 11:31 PM on June 6

Martin Hannet's idiosyncratic production is a feature, not a bug
posted by brilliantmistake at 2:12 AM on June 7 [10 favorites]

Er, in which the creator misses the point of punk, Joy Division, Martin Hannett, Manchester, rain ...
posted by fallingbadgers at 3:40 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]

WAV, WAV will tear us apart, again
posted by chavenet at 4:47 AM on June 7 [7 favorites]

Next week, watch as we apply some Photoshop kung-fu to Picasso's blue period works, and add some extra color to them. Because, hey, why use only one color, amirite?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:49 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]

A note: Looks like the guy is just speeding up or slowing down the whole master recording to in an attempt to match the original recording speed (though he acknowledges that some elements were recorded at different speeds, which makes the idea of a 'correct' speed kinda suspect to begin with).

Since the corrections are being applied to the master and not to the components of the multitrack recording, so any out of tune or "pitchy" features of the original will still be just as present in this one. This is not an exercise to correct problems with relative pitch between instruments, as some commenters seem to believe.
posted by blue t-shirt at 6:19 AM on June 7 [7 favorites]

An Auto-tune Morrissey project would more properly bring The Horror.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:21 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]

So it turns out John Peel was playing them at the right speed after all.
posted by howfar at 6:56 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]

I interviewed New Order back in the 80s, and they told me they didn't like the weird stuff Martin Hannett used to do to their tracks, particularly on Unknown Pleasures. I think if it had been down to the band the production would hVe been a lot more straightforward. This seems to be part of the Factory method of hiring creative people and letting them do whatever they want, which was the best and worst thing about the label. For example they let Peter Saville design such an elaborate cover for Blue Monday that the label ended up selling the record at a loss, and nearly went under when it became a giant hit.
posted by w0mbat at 7:41 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]

On a tape machine it is called "varispeed". There's two common things that could have happened- 1) The final master could have used varispeed to change the tempo (also altering the pitch). 2) When recording the vocals they could have slowed down or sped up the multi-track so the singer could reach the notes more easily. That way in the final mix the instruments are all at the correct pitch but the singing is fast or slow.

You can reverse a varispeed master, but you can't really reverse vocals recorded at different speeds without messing with the rest of the mix.
posted by bhnyc at 8:23 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]

it's like listening to a joy division cover band.
posted by echocollate at 8:29 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]

If "Dead Souls" was released at the "incorrect" speed and pitch, why does this "corrected" version sound washed out and insipid compared to the original? And when I say original I mean ORIGINAL. The one deemed by the band / producer / label to be suitable for release.

I mean, hearing something like this is interesting, but nothing is being fixed here. The band's canonical recorded output is what it is.

And when he talks about "slow pitch" I just want to start throwing things at the wall and screaming, a lot.
posted by El Brendano at 9:40 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]

posted by y2karl at 9:50 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]

"We've also added swapped in some color photographs and changed their name to 'Happy Brigade' so we lose that unpleasant concentration camp association."
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:18 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]

Changing the playback speed of analog tapes to get a different sound wasn't an uncommon technique at all - most famously used in "Strawberry Fields".

As for Curtis' voice, he was working with an unfortunately poor instrument, and he knew it - which didn't prevent him from trying to make the best possible use out of it. The brilliance of Joy Division's output is a combination of the excellent musical material, the deeply atmospheric results, and strikingly original voices (instrumental and otherwise) from all the band members.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:42 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]

Joy Revision.
posted by yoink at 4:37 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]

Geez, haters gonna hate, I guess. This is a labor of love.

I had heard of this about two years ago when they started the project. I am duly impressed with the effort. It may not "sound" like how you remember a JD track, but it's an interesting experiment.
posted by kuanes at 4:56 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]

It may not "sound" like how you remember a JD track
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:12 PM on June 7

I interviewed New Order back in the 80s, and they told me they didn't like the weird stuff Martin Hannett used to do to their tracks, particularly on Unknown Pleasures. I think if it had been down to the band the production would hVe been a lot more straightforward.

Interesting story, but two things:

1. We don't know, from this, what Ian thought of Hannett's production.
2. 80s New Order were also responsible for World in Motion.
posted by Pink Frost at 2:05 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Pfft. Autotuning is just the easy, Fourier stuff. Bin-in, bin-out.

Where's the software to make a modern classical recording sound like it's being played on contemporary instruments (with original tuning and concert A and contemporary performance technique)?? Or to make a Grateful Dead studio performance sound like a live one?

Time to push the frontiers a little. There's your gauntlet.
posted by Twang at 1:23 PM on June 8

El Brendano: "If "Dead Souls" was released at the "incorrect" speed and pitch, why does this "corrected" version sound washed out and insipid compared to the original?"

Because it's not the version you're used to? And because you know it's not a version produced by the band back in the day, but by someone else, years later?
posted by Bugbread at 7:51 PM on June 8

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