Thursday, August 19, 2010

Live Singers and Auto Tune

Auto Tune. It sounds harmless enough - a pitch correction software meant to correct for minor intonation errors. Its distorted sound has been used by various singers for its effect, from Cher, to T-Pain, to Kanye West, to Rihanna ("Disturbia"). However, with the advent of Auto Tune have come countless singers who rely on it to hit their notes and sound good. Examples?

Train.

Katy Perry.

Kesha. (No dollar sign. NO DOLLAR SIGN. Also, I just realized that the singing part of Tik Tok consists entirely of five notes.)
Upsetting though this trend may be, I think that there are some good points.
1. It allows music to be more accessible to people, so some people who have songwriting or artistic talent but not necessarily musical talent can still use music as a medium.
2. It makes singers who don't use Auto Tune that much more awesome. (e.g. Jason Mraz, Beyoncé, Leona Lewis)
3. Auto Tune the News.

But in the end, I think it's just something that we have to accept. It's like the guitar: those scandalous frets allowed it to be a lot more accessible than other string instruments (like the violin....) to people, which is one main reason why it's such a fixture in music today - music writing and performance was no longer limited to a highly trained elite class. Frustrating to people playing instruments without frets? Maybe. But a bad thing? I don't think so.

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