Slide1Slide are a difficult band to categorise – kind of a mix between rock and synth elements. Based in Orange County, California, the group includes members of the 80′s alternative group Sincerely Paul.
Their new debut single January is a catchy piece of work, which you can hear on the band’s home page, their MySpace page, or streaming on FaceBook. I like it in particular because not enough bands write in triplets. This is my absolute favourite groove structure, and found natively in both Celtic and African traditional rhythms.
But the song, therefore, presented some unique challenges in remixing – Jim had some very clear ideas about how he wanted it to sound, and it was solid, 4 to the floor club all the way. But a triplet rhythm vocal doth not upon a club beat sit.
Melodyne to the rescue. People (including me) rave about what a natural tuning tool it is, far superior (IMHO) to AutoTune*. But Melodyne’s real gift is the ability to shift timing as well as pitch.
This meant tracking through the entire vocal and nudging it back to square eighths, syllable by syllable.
Melodyne’s results are impressive, particularly in how organic the end result is. If you hadn’t heard the original, it would never occur to you that it had ever been in any other time signature.
Take a listen to the radio edit of the track here:

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(Feedreaders click here.)
Visit the band’s website, they’re offering their debut single as a free download for 30 days after release.
Update: This track just picked up a Platinum Auddy award from uPlaya.com.

*AutoTune is a pet hatred of mine, not because it’s not a good tool – it is – but because of how the hip hop industry has killed it. It’s supposed to nudge an off-pitch singer back on key, but if you turn the knobs all the way to the right, it applies pitch correction so hard that you sound like a robot. Many hip hoppers do this intentionally on their entire vocal performance, as a combined vocal effect and to hide the fact that they cannot sing. The effect is a fad, however, and will (please god) go out of vogue soon, as evidenced by the fact that it has already become an Internet meme (recurring joke) – people are using it to AutoTune cats, political leaders and Carl Sagan. And before you start hating – I love hip hop. I just cannot stand that f***ing sound.