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Forums > Prince: Music and More > Is it safe to say Prince used auto-tune in 'Dance with the Devil'??
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Thread started 04/09/12 10:14pm

Emancipation89

Is it safe to say Prince used auto-tune in 'Dance with the Devil'??

What a haunting song...he just sounds so possessed. :dig:

Anyway, just curious what you think of the auto-tune use in this song (towards the end of the song).

As far as I know the origin of auto-tune in popular music is credited to Cher's song "believe" which came out in 1998. But "Dance with the Devil" was obviously written during Batman era, so the late 80's approximately. If this was officially released at that time, would it have been known for the first popular song that used auto-tune technology?? And is this the very first song he used auto-tune in??


[Edited 4/9/12 22:16pm]

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Reply #1 posted 04/09/12 10:22pm

toejam

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I don't have the song in front of me right now to check, but I do know that a lot of the material from Lovesexy through to Graffiti Bridge he was very fond of the sampler technology, i.e. recording vocal samples (a chorus etc.) and then sampling them at different pitches to create interesting effect. Not really sure if that's what you're talking about, but if so, that's different to what is typically referred to as modern day "auto-tune".

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Reply #2 posted 04/09/12 10:27pm

Emancipation89

toejam said:

I don't have the song in front of me right now to check, but I do know that a lot of the material from Lovesexy through to Graffiti Bridge he was very fond of the sampler technology, i.e. recording vocal samples (a chorus etc.) and then sampling them at different pitches to create interesting effect. Not really sure if that's what you're talking about, but if so, that's different to what is typically referred to as modern day "auto-tune".

To me Camille songs are also an obvious influence on auto tune.

I was paying attention to the end of the song where he goes "Dan- dan- dan - dance with the devil in the pale moonlight! Dance, dance, dance with the devil in the pale moonlight!" lol sounded pretty much like the most common form of modern day auto-tune to me.

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Reply #3 posted 04/09/12 11:14pm

unique

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autotune wasn't released until 1997, a few years after the track was released, so no

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Reply #4 posted 04/10/12 2:42am

toejam

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Emancipation89 said:

To me Camille songs are also an obvious influence on auto tune.


Nah, I think you're trying to give Prince too much credit here. The 'Camille' voice is created by speeding up the tape. He wasn't the first to do this. Sly Stone and George Clinton for example had several alter-egos they created by altering the speed of their vocals.

But "Auto-tune" is really a totally different digital effect that was probably created simply as a means to fix people's off-key singing... But several artists have used it as an artistic effect. Prince most prominently on songs like "Incence & Candles" and "(Never B) Another Like Me".

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
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Reply #5 posted 04/10/12 10:54am

alphachannel

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toejam said:

Nah, I think you're trying to give Prince too much credit here. The 'Camille' voice is created by speeding up the tape. He wasn't the first to do this. Sly Stone and George Clinton for example had several alter-egos they created by altering the speed of their vocals.


But "Auto-tune" is really a totally different digital effect that was probably created simply as a means to fix people's off-key singing... But several artists have used it as an artistic effect. Prince most prominently on songs like "Incence & Candles" and "(Never B) Another Like Me".

I 100% agree with everything toejam says above. What's surprising is that the Auto-Tune effect (suposedly first on Cher's "Believe") was used before Auto-Tune was employed as means to transparently correct a vocalist off-key singing: http://inventors.about.co...o-Tune.htm

[Edited 4/10/12 10:56am]

[Edited 4/10/12 10:57am]

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Reply #6 posted 04/10/12 8:53pm

Emancipation89

thanks. I guess we can at least say Prince used auto-tune effect on Dance with the Devil, and obviously his purpose wasn't to correct off-key mistakes. I think its still pretty impressive considering how no one, well technically "rarely anyone" was using the technology at the time.

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Reply #7 posted 04/10/12 10:10pm

sfinky1

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The year was only what 1988/89

auto tune didn't exist until nearly a decade later

so what we hear on the song is definitely not auto tune
[Edited 4/10/12 22:11pm]
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Reply #8 posted 04/10/12 10:50pm

toejam

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^Exactly. I don't think Emancipation89 is getting the message though lol

I just don't think it's right to say that Prince pioneered auto-tune because it's just not true. You could say he experimented successfully with tape-speed and sampling effects, but that is not auto-tune! They are completely different effects. Saying Prince pioneered auto-tune is like attributing George Lucas with every single new visual-effect innovation post Star Wars... I mean, you could kind of worm your way around making a case, but it's a bit of a stretch, really.

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
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Reply #9 posted 04/10/12 11:04pm

Emancipation89

Nevermind

[Edited 4/10/12 23:22pm]

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Reply #10 posted 04/10/12 11:32pm

toejam

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^No offence, Emancipation89... I can be a bit pedantic about it, I know. I think I know what you were trying to say - it's just a case of misused terminology.

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
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Reply #11 posted 04/11/12 3:04am

funkomatic

Didn't Prince invent the wheel also? lol

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Reply #12 posted 04/11/12 4:44am

Dave1992

Auto-tune didn't exist back then and there is absolutely no pitch correction device used in Dance With The Devil.

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