Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Horrors of Auto-Tune

In case you don't know what auto-tune is, even if you don't know the term you know the effect, that kind of warbly and "fake" sounding vocal effect
According to Wikipedia

It is used to disguise inaccuracies and mistakes and, due to its increasing use in modern music, has allowed many artists to produce more precisely tuned recordings. While Auto-Tune is only one out of many commercial pitch correction packages, the term "Auto-Tune" is frequently used in the media as a blanket term describing any audio processing with a similar effect.
The harmonization is intended to increase the musical quality of a vocal track without revealing the singing as processed. Still, with extreme parameter values, the Auto-Tune has also become popular as a distinctively electronic voice effect, similar to a vocoder. The most familiar example of Auto-Tune is the Cher effect, named for Cher, whose producers originated the effect in her 1998 hit song "Believe". Cher's "Believe" was in fact the first commercial song which used Auto-Tune as a deliberate, creative sound effect instead of the equipment's main purpose

This blogger, though a fan of what autotune can do, decided to compile a clip of what he terms "autotune abuse"

listen here to 10 of pop music's most blatant auto-tune abuse

The songs in this clip, in order, and the phrases most affected by auto-tuning to help you spot them:

Dixie Chicks - The Long Way Around - Noticeable on "parents" and "but I."

T-Pain - I'm Sprung - Especially obvious on "homies" and "lady."

Avril Lavigne - Complicated - Listen to "way," "when," "driving," "you're."

Uncle Kracker - Follow Me
The whole vocal sounds strained, but especially the word "goodbye."

Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved - Listen for "rain" and "smile."

Natasha Bedingfield - Love Like This - "Apart" and "life."

Sean Kingston - Beautiful girls - "OoooOver" doesn't sound human.

JoJo - Too Little Too Late - Appropriately, "problem" stands out.

Rascal Flatts - Life is a Highway
Every vocal, foreground and background, is treated, but "drive" in particular.

New Found Glory - Hit or Miss - "Thriller", and every time Jordan sings "I."

I'm proud to say that I don't enjoy any of those songs and never really have...except for Complicated, which is a guilty girly pleasure (shh don't tell anyone)

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