t-painful

painfulWhen I first heard the judicious misapplication of autotune on that Cher hit from a number of years ago (the one that goes “I believe in love after love…” or whatever the hell she’s saying) I cringed.  And I cringed whenever I heard it, but I hoped it would go away.  It sounded vaguely like a vocoder (think Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express” or the voice of Soundwave from Transformers) or a talkbox (think Tupac’s “California Love”) but with all the cool sucked out and replaced with a yodeling Kermit the Frog.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go away.  As anybody who has listened to a mainstream rap radio station once in the last few years can attest, it’s grown into this horrible phenomena.  If you don’t know what autotune is, it’s a pitch-shifting software that was designed to subtly correct a singer that gave a not-so-pitch-perfect performance.  Subtle is the key word here.  Somewhere along the way some knuckleheads discovered that if you tweak the settings to the extreme, your voice gets quantized to exact pitches and the normal gliding between notes that happens when a human sings suddenly becomes instantaneous and robotic.  Kind of like a vocoder or talkbox, but not.  I love vocoders and talkboxes.  I hate autotune (the misuse of it).

Luckily the fellas over at the Rappers I Know blog hate autotune too.  They made a podcast mocking the judicious use of autotune in mainstream rap, and it’s hilarious.  Plus, the podcast has a mix of some dope new songs as well.  Listen here.

Oh, and in their continuing war against autotune they whipped up a few more mixes.  Listen to the Tribe song for especially painful hillarity.

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Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 10:01 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. People thought that dj’s scratching records was a misuse of that tool as well. Here’s to NOT reading the instructions.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with you. And if someone could find a misuse of autotune that actually sounded dope, I’d love it.


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