AutoTune needs to die. Seriously.

I don’t think I’m alone in suggesting that AutoTune, the musical effect that has been used by practically every current pop artist in the past four years, needs to die a slow, agonising and painful death.

We have all heard it – it’s the effect that Cher famously utilized in her 1999 song Believe. You know, the effect that we all laughed at because it sounded so ridiculous.

Ten years later, it’s become an epidemic of biblical proportions, with the AutoTune locusts of doom flying into our ears at any given opportunity out of every car speaker and Supre store we happen to walk past.

Initially, the effect was created by musical software developer Antares to use as a subtle pitch correction for bum notes that might have soured an otherwise perfect vocal take.

Over time, studio producers tended to ramp up the effect, especially when working with rubbish talent, to smooth out completely weak vocal performances.

Later it was discovered when you crank up AutoTune significantly in a mix, it creates a kind-of-cool-sounding futuristic effect.

But now, it’s completely been done to death and really, really needs to die.

Unlike the talk-box used by Peter Frampton on Frampton Comes Alive, and the Vocoder used by German tech-masters Kraftwerk in We Are The Robots, AutoTune has ceased to be a cool vocal effect, used sparingly, and has now turned into a monster that masks a significant lack of talent.

Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, T-Pain, Avril Lavinge, Chris Brown, Black Eyed Peas – I’m naming and shaming all of you as systemic AutoTune abusers.

For far too long you have hidden behind this technology, leaving the body of culture bruised and bloody with your incessant hammering of this overdone technique.

I call upon all who are victims of AutoTune abuse to come forward and speak – with your vocals unprocessed – and let the world hear your protests.

We must let the world know ‘artists’ who use AutoTune are anything but.

These animals should be put in the same category as those who believe they have musical skill because they play Guitar Hero or Rock Band.

Namely, mouth-breathing, bottom feeding digi-zombies who are frequently seen covered in Doritos crumbs with their eyes as frosted over as the box of Krispy Kremes laid out in front of them.

So how about it, musical lightweights? Why not try stepping away from the effect and give it a bit of guts – just you and a mic?

Sadly, I don’t think many will rise to the challenge.

To make it today all you need is image, marketing and masking.

But then, who will remember Lady GaGa in 20 years?

And why are Beatles, AC/DC and Nirvana albums still played today?

AutoTune masks more than vocals – it masks the very heart of music, obfuscating emotion, passion and brilliance.

It can’t die soon enough.


2 Responses to “AUTOTUNE MUST DIE!!”

  1. benben78 Says:

    Agree with most of that.

    I think a key example is Kanye West releasing a ‘singing’ album, thanks to auto-tune.

    But if he seriously thought it would hide his lack of an actual singing voice, he was terribly wrong. You can still hear the bad tone and pitch changes. It’s such a pity because his regular work was great and he is certainly very talented.

    What adds to the annoyance is when people with good voices like Chris Brown, jump on the bandwagon and use it.

    The Britney of Asia, BoA – who sings fine on her Asian pop recently teamed up with Sean Garret for her US launch and big shock, he turned on auto-tune for most of her album.

    It’s never ending unfortunately. But I’m glad there are people who are voicing their dislike for auto-tune. Good post!

  2. Autotoonces Says:

    Thank you for this post. The thing is rampant nowadays. I am sure they are making loads of money from selling this plugin and such (Antares) but they really must get their money from elsewhere, because this effect has indeed taken over the whole musical universe and that cannot be allowed to continue. And I dread that it may become some kind of defacto standard, such as having drums and guitar in your mix is today. I can see the ads now…

    “Looking for horridly poor vocalist to engage Autotune consistently in our new band”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: