Ah, the roaring 12's...
September 13, 2013 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Composer Wesley Johnson (aka jimlapbap) barbershops the heck out of 2012's biggest hits. If you can get past the autotune (as he says, he's a composer, not a vocalist), there's some lovely moments, and apparently his Korean is not too shabby, either. (slyt)
posted by ericbop (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I like how " Barbershop revival" went from kooky, out there Simpsons joke to Actual Thing in like a short 20 years.

*puts on Bioshock Infinate soundtrack again*
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 AM on September 13, 2013

I had that exact haircut in 1996.
posted by dis_integration at 7:24 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

Parker Lewis Can Sing!
posted by kandinski at 8:05 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like the arrangement, but this kills me to listen to it. The thing about Barbershop -and vocal music on the whole- is that voices can be better at "ringing" a chord because of Just Intonation. Auto-tune works on flipping notes to Equal Temperment, which makes for an instrument with static notes that can play mostly in tune in any key. The problem with Equal Tuning is that it has to sacrifice PURE intervals in any one key to get close to them in all keys. This difference is why a good barbershop quartet can sing chords that sound like more than 4 people singing. (Seriously, from 1:37 on.. GAAAAH)

I couldn't care less about auto-tune when used as an effect, T.Payne style. But when I hear it applied like a blanket over all vocal tracks to fix harmonies like here. It kills me a little bit.
But the arrangement is great!
posted by onehalfjunco at 8:25 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I agree with onehalfjunco. His arrangements are well within the characteristic 'barbershop sound', which is not a trivial feat, so kudos for that. I hope he gets a chance to have these recordede by a real-live, non-autotuned quartet. I would buy the hell out of that album.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:46 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The second-most absurd thing about Rascal Flatts is that the lead singer chose his surname "LeVox" (meaning "The Voice") for himself.

The most absurd thing, of course, is that people buy their records.
posted by The Confessor at 9:26 AM on September 13, 2013

I went in prepared to love, but alas, the autotune kills it. Nthing the desire for someone else to sing it without the autotuning.
posted by immlass at 9:35 AM on September 13, 2013

I couldn't even put my finger on what sounded off at first, and opened the comments and that nailed it. Why did he even need to autotune it? it would have sounded cooler have a little error here and there, but not being completely neutered like that.
posted by emptythought at 1:51 PM on September 13, 2013

Interestingly enough on the autotune piece, there's a similar bit of software called Melodyne, which actually can do pitch correction using just intonation (or any other tuning you can think of).
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:16 PM on September 13, 2013

Oh man, Doleful Creature. I remember being floored by the demo vids of Melodyne before it came out, but couldn't justify buying it. Now, though...
This guy used Melodyne to pitch-correct his barbershop tag, and was able to avoid the sinewave/MIDI sounding aspects.
posted by onehalfjunco at 2:41 PM on September 13, 2013

I only have Melodyne Essential so I don't get all the fancy stuff but even that is...well it's like dark magicks for audio. Very cool stuff.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:37 PM on September 13, 2013

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