IT’S AN AUTOTUNE WORLD!

December 3, 2009

There’s a new vocal effect that’s making it onto the soundtrack of our lives and it’s called Auto-Tune. You can hear it on roughly one third of all pop records out today. But trying to explain it is like “trying to tell a stranger ‘bout Rock and Roll.”

Here are four examples of how Auto-Tune is used. From Cher and “Believe” 10 years ago to Britney Spears who’s currently topping the charts with “3”. I’ve also included a couple of side trips to the hood with Snoop Dogg, where Auto-Tune has digitally given a melody to the spoken word, and to Jay Sean’s club smash “Down, Down, Down” where a new level of sophistication is reached with what some are already calling “a new Instrument”.

“BELIEVE” BY Cher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5xsiKBJGW4

“SENSUAL SEDUCTION” by Snoop Dog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKz-RXSeIYA

“DOWN, DOWN, DOWN” by Jay Sean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m34xyw8E-Qs

“3” by Britney Spears http://www.britneyspears.com/2009/10/official-3-music-video.php

EXTRA! TO SHOW WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH THE SPOKEN WORD, HERE’S VINCE THE SHAM-WOW GUY AND HIS PITCH AUTO-TUNED UP!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWRyj5cHIQA

Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/thank-you-for-one-million-hits/

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4 Responses to “IT’S AN AUTOTUNE WORLD!”

  1. Joe Nelson Says:

    It seems to be a glorified talkbox. (For those unfamiliar with the technology, a talkbox is basically a small amplifier whose output is channeled into a rubber tube. The tube is placed in the mouth of the “singer”, turning the basic timbre of the instrument into an alternate voice for the singer. Popularized as a guitar effect by the likes of Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton and Ritchie Sambora among others, the urban market has transformed its popularity into a keyboard tool.) My question through all of this is whether the likes of Chris Brown and Kanye West, either of which are rarely heard singing without it, are incapable of carrying a tune au naturel. I’ve long considered West to be one of the most talented personalities in rap, but it would definitely be interesting to hear him use his pure voice just once.

  2. NewMediaJoe Says:

    You’re right Joe. This AUTOTUNE story is old news. Just a digitally synthesized version the old rubber tube sound first poularized THIRTY YEARS AGO. Basically, every old analog trick and effect is now being digitally recreated, and most of them are included with even the most basic audio software programs like GARAGE BAND.

    This effect was one of the most “natuaral” to be recreated digitally to allow many of the current artists a way to expand and enhance their sound, and this digital incarnation of the effect has been in use for years!

    ///”NEW MEDIA JOE” KLEIN///

    • Artie Wayne Says:

      Joe and Joe…You’re both right and you’re both wrong! The Vocorder was used on mostly rock tracks because it’s one dimensional sound fit. Autotune is a pitch changer that is played on a keyboard, which can make the sound far more diverse. It can bring melody to a rapper’s monotone delivery or liven up an otherwise dull passage.

      In recording sessions today an “Autotunist” is as essential as a drum programmer. In fact I predict that by spring 50% of all pop recordings will be using Autotune or risk sounding dated.

  3. Music Says:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your opinions. Any way I’ll be coming back and I hope you post again soon.


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