Auto-Tune- Love It or Hate It?
A Controversial Presence in Today’s Music
Has Auto-Tune changed music forever?
So many artists and music writers slam Auto-Tune. They say it helps poor singers disguise their mediocre voices. The distortion is a technique used more and more these days. Is it something you appreciate or hate? Are you a purist? There are some voices that are distinctly Auto-Tune. It seems to continue to create a buzz of controversy.
Auto-Tune, according to Wikipedia, is an “audio processor which uses a proprietary device to measure and alter pitch in vocal and instrumental music recording and performances”. It was “originally intended to disguise or correct off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned despite originally being slightly off-key.”
Little known fact, it all began with a 1998 Cher song, “Believe”.
I treasure a beautiful voice in all its original raw glory, because as a young girl my dream was to sing. When the choir director of my small church whispered to me to mouth the words of “Morning Is Broken”for the Sunday performance….I considered never singing again. I was only ten, but it made me aware of my voice, when I never thought twice about singing along to the radio. Sure, I never had the pipes, or the talent, but I still recognize and appreciate the power of a distinctly, compelling voice.
So I am curious what you think about this example of auto-tune. It blew me away when I first listened. I am generally not a big fan of this curious altered sound, but within this tune is something lovely and unique that most certainly draws me in. I am captivated by the haunting quality of the subtle pace and sound. It makes me want to listen again and again. The lyrics are deeply emotional and the arrangement is exquisite. I have a sneaking suspicion Moses Sumney doesn’t need autotune to perfect his voice, but clearly it propels this song into a creative, experimental realm.
Listen. What are your thoughts on autotune?
Moses Sumney-Worth It
Moses Sumney was living in San Bernadino, California until the age of 10, when he moved to Ghana with his parents, both pastors. He went to school there and experienced terrible treatment from fellow students and teachers. He was bullied and shunned primarily because he was viewed as an American, an outsider. He made every effort to overly embrace his American roots in frustration and thus found his way back to LA. Writing songs at 12, most of his friends didn’t know he could sing until he was 20.
Photo by Eric Gyamfi
Now he finds himself performing alongside Sufjan Stevens, Karen O, Solange, and many others. A glimmering star of talent worth exploring and diving into, Moses Sumney is one to watch. Here is another lovely example of his music with a little less Auto-Tune, but incredible loops.
Moses Sumney-Everlasting Sigh
Moses Sumney will be performing at The Tabernacle in Atlanta Ga on September 28. He is on an extensive tour right now, so if you find yourself curious about his talent check out his website, Moses Sumney.
Auto-Tune is here to stay, and they are even developing one for guitars that keep them perfectly tuned. On another front, they are also creating a similar invention for heartbeat abnormalities, where the embedded device would release energy pulses to correct the abnormal beat. Something incredible to think about, and I bet it won’t stop there.
Auto-Tune is definitely here to stay whether we like it or not.