When artists put Auto-Tune in, I auto-tune out

By Molly Kaplowitz

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I used to enjoy listening to the radio, but sometime last year I realized I no longer liked mainstream music.  I’ve stopped tuning in because of a despicable music feature: Auto-Tune.

The Black Eyed Peas sing out of tune notes at this year's Super Bowl. Their performance exhibited their reliance on technology in order to produce music. Photo courtesy sheknows.com.

Musicians’ use of these pitch alteration and voice distortion technologies will never be acceptable because they subtract from the music’s originality.

Despite their rising popularity among artists, using voice effects to “improve” the musical quality of a song doesn’t make the music better.  The most renowned artists of other generations worked without them, and their music is still appreciated today.

Today’s artists should be held to a higher standard for their natural talent, not for the ability to use technology to enhance songs.  Adding voice effects doesn’t accurately reflect emotions. Pieces can come off as contrived and silly, rather than works of art.

Take, for instance, the Black Eyed Peas’ Super Bowl performance, where no note was on pitch.  Or the T.V. show “Glee,” which uses Auto-Tune to perfect the pitch of songs. Or T-Pain, “the king” of Auto-Tune.  The renowned rap artist has made entire albums using the enhancement.  Instead of making music better, voice effects make his songs nearly intolerable.

Auto-Tune also distorts the sound of the music to the point where the listeners can’t understand the lyrics.  If used in excess, it creates an unnatural “yodel” in the singer’s voice.  It comes off as cheesy and gimmicky because artists use it throughout songs instead of strategically applying it to a few notes.

Mainstream artists should return to an older musical style where it’s up to their voice, their instruments and their creativity to create beautiful, entertaining songs.

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