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Artists overusing autotune = FAIL

October 6, 2009

Autotune -Pitch correction software specifically for vocals in music.  It’s often an unnatural sound, maybe a yodel or other ‘off’ sound coming from a singers voice.

The thing I worry about most when going to a show is that the main act (or any of the openers) will sound horrible live.  With all of the technology in today’s world, it’s sometimes even hard to tell when someone is using auto-tune.  Then, I think, well..since I’m listening to music so frequently, can I even tell when a band is using autotune?

I would say sometimes.  And I have a perfect example to back this up.  This summer, we all saw 3!OH3 explode with the single ‘Don’t Trust Me.’  While catchy, I admit, it’s obvious that these singers can’t naturally have an ‘electronic’ sound to their voices.  I thought it was one of the most unnatural things I’ve heard in a while, so I thought I’d check them out while I was at Warped Tour this summer.  I couldn’t get close enough, but I was still able to tell that they were obviously lip-syncing. They tried to get the crowd not to notice by acting out strange stunts, but I was paying attention, and laughing because I wondered what they really sounded like.

3OH!3’s ‘Don’t Trust Me’- (Forgive me, just trying to prove a point.  If anything, the video will make you laugh.)



Live on Jimmy Kimmel (again, this is even worse..) 


Here, it starts off badly, but it’s obvious as the song continues that something is off about it.  During the chorus, you can hear the backtracking playing, one of the artists trying to sing (badly) above it.  

Alas, this ‘electronica’/pop band (call them what you will) now turns into a band you’d see playing at your friends Frat house.  Not the same, isn’t it amazing what a producer can do in the studio? 

At the moment, my iTunes is on shuffle and the song ‘She Will Be Loved,’ came on.  I can’t help but think this song was even modified even a bit.  When Adam Levine sings ‘rain’ in the phrase ‘..out on the corner in the pouring rain’, it sounds like some autotune may have been done to modify this high note (it sounds a bit modified at the end of the word.)  But I’ve listened to this song many times, and the only reason I happen to notice it is the fact I am writing this blog.  

I’m not saying that artists shouldn’t use autotune, but they shouldn’t be a band based on the sound.  3OH!3 and Maroon 5 are two completely different bands, one banking off a fake sound, one on more of a real sound.

Other artists/bands that OVERuse autotune (to where it’s obvious):
Kanye West, Hellogoodbye, The Secret Handshake, Cher, Owl City, Sean Kingston, T-Pain

So the real question here is, why should we care?
Well, these artists are making $$$ off of the fact they can’t really sing.  It could be considered a gimmick.

Just something to think about next time you listen to your shower radio, iPod or car stereo.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joseph Aguero permalink
    August 24, 2010 10:57 am

    Kesha ABUSES auto-tune but I think this article was written before she exploded so yeah

  2. November 13, 2010 12:05 pm

    the car stereos that we bought have built in equalizers and it sounds great ~.~

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