Yep, it’s this again. I don’t want to belabor this point too much, since it has been done so in many, many places, but it is worth talking about because, let’s face it, auto-tune is everywhere nowadays.
Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that I hate auto-tune in every shape or form. In fact, it might be useful to start off with a few examples of very effective use of auto-tune.
First of all, obviously, there’s Auto-tune the News, which takes news footage and – actually, you’ve almost certainly heard of this before, so why don’t you just enjoy this classic?
Now here’s something you might not have heard about. Mogwai released this album about a year ago, and this track featured, of all things, some auto-tune. Don’t panic if you can’t understand the words, that’s kind of the point.
(Source: Mogwai, 2011, fair use)
Finally, probably the best example of effective use of auto-tune comes from Kanye’s now-classic-but-still-much-hated “808s and Heartbreak.”
Notice a pattern here? In each of those cases, auto-tune was used as an actual instrument for an actual purpose, whether that was making a song from something that wasn’t, giving vocals an ethereal, angelic quality, or using the dehumanizing aspect of auto-tune to complement the lyrics.
Now listen to this.
And (forgive me) this.
(I’m sorry you had to watch that last one)
See what I’m getting at here? If you’re just using auto-tune to correct your voice, it becomes a prop and distracts us from the music. Granted, in some cases that may be desirable, but that’s not really a point in your favor, is it?
I guess what I’m getting at is that if you feel the need to auto-tune everything you do, then either STOP DOING IT or STOP SINGING.
Your move, Jason Derullo.