Sunday, 11 October 2009

Yes, it is an outrage

AUTOTUNE. You probably know it from wonderful fellows like T-Pain who use it to sing like a robot. But autotune has been around for ages helping pop stars sound plastic and inhumanly glossy.

In my last band we found it useful for ironing out some glitches - basically, we weren't pro singers and you want to make a nice recording. Our producer would draw a tiny line on a graph just in the little bits where our voice had done something funny.

But I was fervently against the use of it all the time. Relying on it like some kind of crutch! Especially the true EVIL of automatic autotune - letting the computer automatically work out what note you wanted, which would barbarically destroy the individual nature of your vocals. It's an outrage against music and creativity!

Except now I have found it's very helpful for my album. So now it's less THE DEVIL ITSELF, and more kind of my friend.

I've been peeking around at the draft files for my forthcoming 10-track acoustic-rock album, and the good news is there's a lot of promising stuff laid down already. And since I'm recording with extremely limited equipment - my laptop's in-built webcam microphone! - I'm quite happy to use anything I can to make it sound nicer. And this includes autotune, particularly on backing vocals. Say for instance I've got 4 tracks of vocals that all have single-note "ah"s - I can just group them together, add autotune, and click the box that says "automatic pitch correction". And the backing vocals all come out neat and tidy!

I'm a philistine aren't I?

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