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August 31, 2015

Does the computerized music in Glee bug you?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Sep 17th 2009 6:00PM
Amber Riley in GleeIn my review of last night's Glee, I praised Amber Riley's voice, noting that it sounded like a combo of Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna when her character Mercedes sang about busting the windows out of Kurt's car. Commenter "czaravm" noted that after about 30 seconds, the computerized music kicked in, giving it a canned sound. I was pretty mesmerized by Riley's voice and the way she was workin' that body, so I didn't really notice it.

Does this sort of canned music bother you? Is it enough to make you stop watching Glee? Based on the comments on my review post, it sounds like some of you are disappointed with how the show is going.

I'm still loving it, but musical shows don't often fare well -- think Cop Rock and Viva Laughlin -- so I'm a little scared that Glee won't make it. Maybe it just needs a little time to find its footing. What say you, TV Squad readers?

Watch the video of Amber Riley's solo number, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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I like the fact they actualy use computers to make hit songs stand out, especialy if u have a real theatre system at home like i do, you can realy hear the differnce between something shot directly on camera and something that has been pre-recorded, engineered, produced, and polished to perfection. This is the way it should be, its professionalism at its best, you can even login to itunes and buy the music, in its full uncut versions.

So think about it, if u were in the studio for a week recording a several songs, wouldn't you put that high quality recording, that can only be done inside a professional music studio, in the show. Its a no-brainier for me.

The only thing they need to fix up, is their lip syncing. I agree its a bit off sometimes, but I'm sure they will get much better as the show progresses. They do use melodyne or autotune, or waves tune to fix some of the vocal harmonies, trained ears can tell that they do, but so what? If u have a calculator at your disposal, would u still try to solve 54x73 by hand? or quickly punch it into the calculator and get your result? Obviously you use the calculator to figure out that the answer is 3942.

Its the same with autotune/melo/waves. It makes their job alot easier, not to mention absolutely precise, theirs no room for error. And if not overused (like T-pain), most people cant tell the processing. Oh and by the way their not ONLY using auto tune to hype up their songs, just liek all other producers, their using high quality equalization, multi band dynamics, and maximization to make the vocals sound so crisp and clear, like on an album CD. However, this is nothing new, artists and producers have been doing this for ages.

Overall Glee is a great show, and from a musical perspective the best on the air right now. The comedy aspect of the show is what hooks alot of people in, then the characters problems and solutions pull you in and make you hang on tight to what is exceptionally great entertainment.

October 15 2009 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have noticed that they need to work on their lip-synching, but considering the fast turnaround for a TV show--especially one with as much going on as Glee--they're doing well for the first few episodes. The first season of any show the actors are finding & developing their characters. These actors need to do that AND learn a whole bunch of different skills that keep changing every week. You need to give them time. And as far as the canned & tweaked music goes, I get what you're saying about making it sound more like an actual performance, but since the "Bust Your Windows" number was a dream sequence, the unrealistic audio work was just fine to me.

September 21 2009 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I understand that the realities of TV, movies, etc, mandate that the songs are recorded and the performances are lip-synched. But they don't have to sound so jarringly different from what any sort of live performance would. All the episodes have suffered from at least a few moments of poor editing with the synching, but there was an issue that was particularly distracting for me in the most recent episode. while the accafellas are doing their numbers, one of them (i think Ken) is supposed to be doing the baseline and snare beat (this is besides the fact that the beat they use doesn't sound like it can be done by one person), and this beat is continuous throughout the song. Even, when it's obvious none of the men are singing a non melody or harmonic part.

I don't like the way that the musical numbers sound, but I can understand why they sound the way that they do (more marketable, lack of vocal talents to a certain extent with some of the actors), but at least make the performances sound semi-plausible (perhaps why I like duffy and amy winehouse numbers).

September 19 2009 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let me start by saying that overall I love the show. This issue is the one thing I absolutely hate about it.

As a long time actor/director in theater I understand all too well the necessity of doing the show they way they do due to time and budget restraints. That said, there is good and bad in this sort of thing and so far Glee is doing it very badly.

The idea of the show centers around a live performance group. If you want us to believe it, you have to do two things: 1) Lip-synch accurately, 2) Record the singing in a way that makes it sound live and natural rather than filtering/reverbing/pitch adjusting everybody so much that it doesn't in any way resemble their speaking voice. Glee completely fails on both points.

I think the explanation is simple. Apart from Lea Michele, the cast was selected primarily for their appearance, personality, and acting skill with their singing and dancing ability coming in second. This makes the filtering necessary. The lip-synching is bad because they're having to focus all their attention on remembering a couple of brand new dance routines every week and have to just let the lyrics fall where they may. Let's hope that as the cast gains experience, their voices and dancing will grow, and these issues will go away naturally.

September 18 2009 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

Oy vey. It is a TV show by RYAN MURPHY!!! It is not grounded in any semblance of reality. It is supposed to be over the top for comedic purposes. If you don't think it's funny, that's something you should complain about. But stop whining about it not be realistic. It won't EVER be realistic.

Watch the first season of Popular, particularly any scene with the character Mary Cherry, and you'll see how ridiculous (and hysterical) this show is probably going to get.

September 18 2009 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Horse N. Buggy's comment

Hi! Something I don't get is the seemingly light and funny brush off of the gay pedophile teacher. First of all, it does no good to the gay community- to show a gay teacher as a molesting one, thus promoting stereotypes. Then, to act as if that's not a big deal and actually funny. That offends me. I find also a lot of the sexuality on that show not appropriate for kids. and I'm very liberal, so I'm not trying to do some kind of Fox news rant. This just bugs me. I know it must be just trying to make a point, but, it's a bit fuzzy. The good guy teacher is in a way, too lighthearted about that. he seems tobe the moral compass of the show, but not enough, IMO. this is a High School drama.

The canned music also bothers me. It would be nice if at least sometimes the kids could just sing for real. That would be a better example also for kids watching. Give them sometime real for inspiration. Those singers can do it. Or at least use the amount of singers in the recordings that you actually have on stage. It reminds me of the Partridge Family, which I loved as a kid. But the canned grown up sound on that also bugged me, even at age 7. So, kids notice this stuff!

I do enjoy other aspects of the show. The acting is great, and the Cheerleading teacher is HILARIOUS.

Just my opinion!

December 09 2009 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed the song and dance routine and thought Amber Riley did a great job with it. My problem was that the lip syncing was particularly bad. Her lips started singing before the lyrics even came in. I don't expect them to sing live, but when it's so obvious it's lip syncing it's distracting.

September 17 2009 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jen's comment

You're right, jacki, the fact that they are social misfits has nothing to do with their ability to sing.

misfit... 2 : a person who is poorly adapted to a situation or environment

They are poorly adapted to the social hierarchy at their high-school. social misfits.

It is statistically unlikely an entire high-school, let alone a glee club, would have that many Broadway quality voices.

September 18 2009 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It doesn't bug me so much, but it certainly doesn't fit. These are supposed to be a bunch of social misfits... yet they all have Broadway quality voices???? They could have at least pulled a Whoopie Goldberg (Sister Act) and had a few voice lessons.

September 17 2009 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Aaron's comment

Why would the fact that they are suppose to be social misfits have anything to do with whether or not they can sing? Plus, they are not necessary social misfits, they are just not part of the popular crowd.

September 17 2009 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The canned music certainly takes away from it.

September 17 2009 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


I mean, middle-aged guys singing Poison? I get it...older suburbanites singing hip hop should be funny, but it wasn't. That being said, Amber Riley's song was this episode's only watchable moment.

OMG, she sounds nothing like Jennifer Hudson. Cute & entertaining but not JHud. Why can't she just be Amber?

I think I'll be bailing soon.

September 17 2009 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't mind as much last night as I did with Showmance. That whole rap number kinda threw me off.

September 17 2009 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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