Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hometracked: Auto-Tune Abuse in Pop Music

Hometracked is a blog by Toronto Recording Producer and Engineer Des McKinney, where he covers the finer points of music producery and engineer-ery. Basically it's a blog for indie music-engineers (though I assume a large contingent of those readers are also indie-music engineers.)

The blog is full of confusing made-up words like "dither," and "reverb," and "is," as well as one awesomely lucid entry. This entry is called Auto-Tune Abuse in Pop Music. Auto-Tune is to music what Photoshop is to pictures.

You click on the playable mp3 up top and follow along with the text to see example after example of Auto-Tune abuse. The sound is uncannily familiar. It sounds like the singer is temporarily drowning. As Anil Dash explains:

[W]e've entered this brave new world of digital distortion of vocals [where] Auto-Tune isn't just correcting pitch, it's being used to arbitrarily alter them... Cher's "Believe"? Auto-Tune. Snoop's "Sensual Seduction"? Auto-Tune. And all of T-Pain's career? Auto-Tune.

If you have Garage Band you can play with this yourself by opening a vocal track under "real instruments", clicking on the scissors icon, setting the "Enhance Tuning" slider to max (wantonly disregarding the "Limit to Key" check box), and murdering your favorite song. Now please excuse me while I call T-Pain's agent and producer; I have an important career-starting business to attend to.
(From Buzzfeed)

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