Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Make it Go Away! Or Why I Don't Like Auto-Tune.

I love music, really I do. I am a child of the 80s and I love the fact that most artists from the 80s were willing to try anything different. Hence, most of the artists from the 80s [Prince, Elvis Costello, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Pet Shop Boys and early hip-hop] had a distinct sound. While some say most of the 80s music was 'over-produced'--a term I think does a disservice to the era, I will say that many of the artists weren't willing to sound like each other and tried to make a sound that was there own. I believe the artists from this era have not discovered that sense of musical experimentation.

Case in point, the artist [I'm using that term lightly] Ke$ha professes she doesn't use auto-tune. But as I was listening to her sing in the video Blah, Blah, Blah it sound like yes, she does use auto-tune and other studio wizardry to enhance her vocals. But she's not the only one who uses auto-tune; Little Wayne, TI, Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Cher, Drake and countless others have used this tool. Now, I don't mind if an artist uses a studio gimmick to create a certain sound, but when several artists start to use the same trick, well, it gets tiresome. Top 40 radio is filled with songs that have artists vocal tracks laced with the infamous studio trick--it's as if all the songs were sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks--and that's not a good thing.

The music industry has taken so many hits in the past decade I guess the big wigs figure if they can make music with a gimmick, people will buy it. Unfortunately,  we now have music that is boring, bland and doesn't challenge the listener. While I blame the record execs for this trickery and wanting to make a quick buck, I also have to call out the 'artists' who are too lazy to challenge their fan-base and themselves to grow and try something new. I don't like auto-tune because it's the easy way out for making a hit record and it has become the fall-back production tool for enhancing vocals.

I'd like to see some like Ke$ha scrap the whole auto-tune trickery and do something brave. Hey, maybe her next CD will be in the same vein as ABC's "Beauty Stab." Somehow I doubt she's willing to take that bold step and grow as an artist and challenge her listeners like Martin Fry did--but I could be wrong. Only time will tell.


  1. Oh Analog Boy, Come on now, Aretha, Garland, Caruso, Sinatra, Holiday...where would they have all been with auto tune? ;)

  2. i want that shirt. i despise auto tune. it's lame and passé.

  3. i don't understand the use of auto tune. if you are a musician (singer) why would you need to use this? what ever happened to practicing?

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