The Love/Hate Relationship with Auto-Tune

A conversation about Auto-Tune feels more like a battle than chit-chat. Even if the people discussing are on the same side of the issue, it often results in red-faced yelling. War erupts.

Here’s the cool part about Auto-Tune: it could actually be helpful. It’s totally understandable if a singer needs some help on a couple of tracks on an album (especially for those new to singing professionally). If you’re listening to an album, you probably want it to sound clean, produced and with minimal mistakes.

Only that’s not how Auto-Tune is used.

What happened is that artists began using Auto-Tune in place of actual skill. Instead of working and developing that skill, some have just resorted to using all correction all the time. This sucks if you’re about to go see your favorite singer EVER for the first time only to find that your “singer” is more like a banshee wailing into a microphone.

At that point the entire illusion is ruined. It’s difficult to enjoy the album when you know that it can’t be reproduced on the stage without some kind of help.

Auto-Tune sucks in those cases.

However, Auto-Tune can be fun and hilarious. Take The Lonely Island’s “I’m On A Boat” featuring T-Pain for example. It’s funny, poking a bit of fun at the whole Auto-Tune/rap industry. It’s all in good humor because no one’s taking himself too seriously.

There are also remixes and mash-ups of popular songs, and Auto-Tune usually makes these really funny as well. I found these PBS videos that make the coolest use of Auto-Tune I’ve ever seen. The messages behind these shows are still apparent. The characters aren’t made fun of or disrespected in any way. At the same time, these classics are updated for a younger audience via Auto-Tune. This makes them a lot of fun to watch even if you were a huge fan of the originals (Mr. Rogers, FTW). See for yourselves:

Mister Rogers Remixed

Julia Child Remixed

Bob Ross Remixed

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