Autotuning - is it for you?

United States
November 26, 2010 10:17am CST
Last night my daughter introduced me to this new feature of many of the newer singers out there, including Taylor Swift. Apparently, they use a computer to keep them on tune. They are tone deaf and so they just belt it into the microphone, route it through the computer and it comes out on tune. Artists who use this feature always seem to sound the same, no matter what song they sing. Taylor Swift being the only artist I am aware of that uses this gimmick, I have to admit that I can take or leave her music. I have never been impressed with her, even before I found this little tidbit out about her. When my daughter informed me of it, my reaction was, "Oh, that's why she doesn't impress me!" Mind you, it is not my intention to diss Taylor Swift. I'm not saying that I can't stand her music. I just find it terribly monotonous. Do you have an artist that you are aware of that uses this gimmick? It used to be that singers who couldn't keep tune "talked" through their songs. I can't help but think that those tone-deaf who don't use autotune go into rap. LOL Personally, I much prefer to listen to someone who can sing, thank you very much. What are your thoughts???
1 person likes this
5 responses
@jazzsue58 (2672)
26 Nov 10
I'm a jazzer, but I admire anyone who can carry a tune with just a basic PA and mic. If I want to see a mime artist, I'll take my chances with the creepy white-faced guy pretending to climb walls in Covent Garden. At least he's honest about it!
2 people like this
• United States
26 Nov 10
Love it!
@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
26 Nov 10
I think I heard a little bit about this. I know they have boxes that help you tune instruments like guitars by telling you what note the guitar is putting out. I am not a great singer, but I have tried a trick I've seen others on TV do when I try Karaoke. If you block one ear, it helps you to hear the music and hear yourself go that you can stay on key. (Of course I probably look silly with a finger stuck in my ear.) One thing I've seen with a lot of older rock and rollers is that some of them use headphones. I'm not sure if that's due to a loss of hearing from loud concerts or trying to stay on key.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Nov 10
LOL...actually, it's cupping one ear that helps you hear yourself...it directs the sound of your voice back through the tunnel your hand creates to your ear. Yes, I have used this trick when singing in choir. What I am talking about here, though, is actual mechanical changing of what comes out of your mouth so that it sounds better on the other end when it comes out of the speakers. Apparently, Taylor Swift is tone deaf but she writes songs so in order to sing her own songs, she uses autotune to bring her voice in alignment with the instruments. She does have talent, carrying a tune just isn't one of them.
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@burrito88 (2779)
• United States
26 Nov 10
No I actually plug my left ear and I find that it works for me. An autotuner would have been great back in the day for Burt Bachrach. Although he wrote some great songs, the times I saw him try to sing them were, ah, ungood. This might have also helped Neil Young. I remember on his studio albums,his voice sounded good, but it was not so good on live albums. I also noticed that a lot of his songs on the live albums were never put out on studio albums. I figured this was a trick he used to make you buy the live albums.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Nov 10
LOL...actually, as I understand it, autotune can't be used in live concerts. At least, that's what I've heard so maybe Neil Young was using it and we just didn't know. LOL I know what you mean about Burt, though...Paul Williams was another great song writer who should never have tried to sing. LOL
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
28 Nov 10
Swift does that? I am surprised, & displeased. I think it's a phony thing, & people who "need" it are phonies. And I thought better of her, although, I must tell you, I don't much care for her music anyway. Too boneless. Too saccharine. Not my style. You don't have to go as far as Tom Waits to get that grit, but I'll take Wait's music over Swift's yawn-worthy efforts every time! Maggiepie "Know the rules first. Then learn when to break them!" ~ C. Crouch, SF writer, article writer, & poet
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Nov 10
Yes, Maggie...it's the autotuning that makes it sound like that. That's why all her songs sound the same. My daughter is a fan of hers and she's the one who told me that Taylor does that so I believe it is true. I do think she is a talented songwriter but she is tone-deaf and so uses autotune. I don't know who else uses it but I do agree with you. I much prefer to listen to a singer who can carry a tune.
@Neo1000 (84)
• Switzerland
26 Nov 10
Auto-Tune is a really popular tool for most singers to make some places of the song better. Or they just use this the whole song. I think it's really stupid. I mean, when the singers use Auto-Tune, they mostly sound like a robot...
• United States
26 Nov 10
Yeh, I appreciate a singer who can carry a tune much more than one who relies on autotune. It is really a question of talent or no talent, eh?
@la_chique (1499)
26 Nov 10
Such a cheat isnt it! It means that if the tone of your voice sounds ok, then you can be a singer. I far preferred the days when people used to just sing properly. It all comes out though when you go and watch them perform live though. Painful!
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Nov 10
Too true!!! There are truly talented artists out there, too, who deserve our attention and loyalty. It bothers me when I hear someone diss a truly talented singer and touts someone who can't sing at all. How "rap" ever became a legitimate music genre I will never know. LOL....but now we have autotune, which to me is just as bad. Oh, sigh. I suppose the techno-geeks need work, too. LOL
1 person likes this