I wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Washington Post on Auto-Tune!

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I wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Washington Post on Auto-Tune!

Post by TapeOpLarry » Sat May 14, 2011 11:10 am

I can't believe they let me do this.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sp ... -tune.html
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Post by Peterson Goodwyn » Sat May 14, 2011 12:23 pm

Awesome! Congrats.

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Post by plurgid » Sat May 14, 2011 1:36 pm

I LOL'd at the use of the term "mike" (after all the brouhaha here and in the magazine's letters section about it). Guess the post don't like "mic" :-)

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Post by TapeOpLarry » Sat May 14, 2011 2:00 pm

Yup, they changed the "mic" to "mike". I got edited a bit, in fact, but it's cool. Got to rant.
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Post by eeldip » Sun May 15, 2011 10:29 pm

*loves autotune, thinks it has helped create a lot of great music*

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Post by Marlowe » Mon May 16, 2011 5:12 am

Well done!

Tuning aside, I can't fathom why that overdone Cher-type of autotune effect is still being used today as if it's a new thing.

That gimmick has really worn itself out.

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Post by JGriffin » Mon May 16, 2011 8:15 am

Eh, how long did we have huge gated snare reverbs? Every fad has its lifespan.
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Post by fossiltooth » Mon May 16, 2011 8:32 am

Nice!

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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Mon May 16, 2011 11:35 am

Good form Larry!

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Post by TapeOpLarry » Mon May 16, 2011 2:07 pm

dwlb wrote:Eh, how long did we have huge gated snare reverbs? Every fad has its lifespan.
No kidding.
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Post by eeldip » Tue May 24, 2011 3:05 pm

one thing i am confused about, half of the artists mentioned (lil wayne class) use autotune as an effect. like intentionally supposed to sound weird/funny/robotic. the other half (shania twain class) use it to sound pitch perfect, but the effect is supposed to be somewhat invisible to the listeners.

i kinda get being annoyed at the shania twain types, although i think that falls under the GATED REVERB effect. as in, its annoying cause its overused. the old "using a tool poorly" problem.

but hating on lil wayne and kanye just comes off as odd. it just comes off to me as you not liking modern hip hop in general but blaming an effect. akin to someone not liking rock and roll because of distortion on the guitars.

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Post by Brett Siler » Tue May 24, 2011 5:11 pm

eeldip wrote:but hating on lil wayne and kanye just comes off as odd. it just comes off to me as you not liking modern hip hop in general but blaming an effect. akin to someone not liking rock and roll because of distortion on the guitars.
If you wanna use that analogy, I feel like auto-tune on Rap vocals is like if someone had flanger on rock guitars the whole time. It just sounds corny and bad.

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Post by eeldip » Tue May 24, 2011 7:07 pm

sounds corny and bad to you... but its pretty central to the sound. (unlike flanger).

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Post by JGriffin » Tue May 24, 2011 9:40 pm

eeldip wrote:one thing i am confused about, half of the artists mentioned (lil wayne class) use autotune as an effect. like intentionally supposed to sound weird/funny/robotic. the other half (shania twain class) use it to sound pitch perfect, but the effect is supposed to be somewhat invisible to the listeners.

i kinda get being annoyed at the shania twain types, although i think that falls under the GATED REVERB effect. as in, its annoying cause its overused. the old "using a tool poorly" problem.

but hating on lil wayne and kanye just comes off as odd. it just comes off to me as you not liking modern hip hop in general but blaming an effect. akin to someone not liking rock and roll because of distortion on the guitars.

It's a valid point. Larry's Op-Ed takes the stance that AutoTune is enabling artists to deliver less than their best because they know there is a crutch there (as if there haven't been several other crutches available over the last few decades, but that's a 15-page thread of another color)--but then by way of example, lists several artists who use AT for another purpose entirely. An artistic purpose, not a crutch. You may not like the artistic choice that's being made in T-Pain's work, but he's not using Auto-Tune dishonestly to fix a few wobbly notes.
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Re: I wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Washington Post on Auto-T

Post by feedback50 » Thu May 26, 2011 12:24 pm

TapeOpLarry wrote:I can't believe they let me do this.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sp ... -tune.html
Nice job Larry. I can't argue that as an effect it's been overused recently. Hip-hop didn't start out with AutoTune but it certainly adopted it and used it liberally. I think it is the sound of an era, much like telephonic-vocal EQ was a late 90's vogue. Extreme use though is likely to make the music sound very "dated" in the not too distant future. As for vocal correction, the problem I have is that there are a number of productions where it's not done intensely enough to be called an effect, but it's done so badly that it makes me assume that the vocalist is incompetent (which probably isn't the case). My wife watches the TV show Glee. They don't tend to use AutoTune to create hyper-fast note transitions, but they certainly have killed all natural vibrato on held notes that might normally occur at the end of a phrase. I think I've noticed recent episodes of the series where this trend is diminishing. Perhaps the producers realize they are limiting the appeal of possible syndication of reruns years hence when the effect seems pass?. I think there is some risk of creating unrealistic expectations for intonation on the part of the listener as well. Some older vocal tracks sung by very good singers (like from the 80s) are beginning to sound out of tune to me.

Lastly, I think anytime you dilute the natural human qualities out of any performance (be it a midi sequence, or a vocal track) you diminish the potential to impact the listener on an emotional level. Our DNA is pre-programmed to respond to the sound of the human voice (see "This is you brain on Music"). The less human the voice, the more distant that subliminal connection becomes. I don't think I ever got chills listening to an obviously re-tuned vocal. Maybe it's just me though.
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