What Do You Think Of Autotune?

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

Autotuning is quite simple.  It can also be used to turn regular speech into music (with Cher-like effects if desired), like the guys who routine autotune the news of the day:

But more controversially, autotune involves the ability, through software, to correct one's singing pitch in real time.  With a software program which runs only a couple hundred dollars, a performer's voice is automatically and in real time tweaked to the correct pitch if it happens to be a little sharp or flat.  Without effects.  It can even add/remove vibrato – live, in real time – according to whatever parameters you preset.

And it's used.  In theaters (I'm looking at you, Jersey Boys).  In concerts (Beyonce, etc.)

Now, God knows I could certainly use it when performing.  But what about the professionals?  A cheat?

One side of the argument is that it's not much different than Milli Vanilli.  What you're hearing isn't real.

The other side of the argument is that you still are hearing the tone of the voice (Harvey Fierstein will still sound like Harvey Fierstein), and the singer can still sing, but you're hearing it at its best, since nobody can sing 7 shows a week with heavy chorerography.

What do you think?