From Snoop Dogg to Sean Kingston to Billy Joel: it's an Auto-Tune pile-up

Music News, To Mime Ain't A Crime

No Comments

dogg.gifA couple of months back I posted about the new Snoop Dogg song, “Sensual Seduction” (aka “Sexual Eruption”, if you’re all about the uncensored version), which I mistakenly credited with bringing the vocoder back. Apparently, as folk who know about these things will confirm, there’s actually no vocoder at work in this song at all. Nope, all that wibbly-wobbly voiceness – aka “The Cher Effect” – is done through Auto-Tune.
Auto-tune is the audio equivalent of skin concealer. It smoothes out inaccuracies in vocal performances, and can be used in the studio but also in the live arena. Hometracked.com have a very interesting article with ten examples of “auto-tune abuse” – Sean Kingston, Natasha Bedingfield and Avril Lavigne all feature, and once you know what an auto-tuned vocal sounds like you’ll be spotting it every time you turn on the radio.


Even more amusing than Hometracked’s examples is the video of Billy Joel’s 2007 Superbowl performance of the American national anthem, which you can find at Anil Dash’s blog. From rock legend to pitch-perfect android in two minutes – magic!
I wonder if this musical magic wand might be used retrospectively to clean up past musical crimes? I’m sure there are some Morrissey wails that could have the edges ironed out? And how about Biz Markie’s output – think how beautiful “Just A Friend” could sound if wrestled into tune. Why, Mike Skinner’s whole back catalogue could be sprinkled with vocal melodies that don’t sound like inebriated pub slurrings! And imagine what Auto-Tune could do for Crystal Waters’ previously nails-down-the-blackboard “Gypsy Woman” – it might prove listenable for the first time since 1991.
If evolution gets a move on babies may soon be born with this technology built into their throats, you know. Fingers crossed, eh? Down with imperfections!
[via Buzzfeed]

Have your say!

Leave a Reply