Music Mayhem

May 27, 2010
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Music: the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity, according to the site of Merriam Webster . What one person might define as music one might define as garbage, but one thing is for sure. A relatively new technology called auto-tune has made a recent climb in the music industry, especially in the rap, hip-hop, and pop industries. Now what it exactly is auto-tune? Auto-tune is an audio processor that will automatically “tune” the pitch of a singer’s vocals or the instruments of a musician. This program has allowed many artists to sing perfectly pitched tracks without actually singing in tune. Though auto-tune may sound “cool” it abstracts the all meaning of music and disgraces the musicians out there who have worked hard in the music industry all their lives. Auto-tube is now a well known device all around the world. But what exactly is so bad about this program? The reasons why auto-tune is so detrimental is because of the people who use it, the growth rate of the product and the limitless uses.

Many people in the music world have experimented with auto-tune but no musician knows more about auto-tuning then T-Pain. The Tallahassee born rapper and songwriter has a countless number of songs with auto-tune. T-Pain has fully supported auto-tune and not been ashamed of its usage. One quote from T-Pain off of the website for Time Magazine says , “I would rather be known for something then unknown for nothing.” Though many believe T-Pain is the root of the auto-tune evil, who exactly was the first to use it? In 1998, artist Cher released the first publically released auto-tuned song “Believe”. After the release of this song the public questioned what had been used to produce this new sound but the production team of Cher said it was a different program called a talk box used in a famous song called “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Soon the public found out and auto-tune was publically known by all music enthusiasts. Whenever you ever hear that weird distorted sound in an auto-tuned song this has been called the “Cher Effect” because of Cher’s release of the very first song auto-tuned. Now it is hard to compare T-Pain to the world famous Cher. They are two different artists in two different genres one successful with auto-tune one without. Both however are the main contributors to the growth of it.

Since the release of Cher’s “Believe” the auto-tune trend grew then dropped. It wasn’t until T-Pain experimentmented with the “Cher Effect” that it brought back the trend. Ever since this climbing increase countless artists from Britney Spears to the hardcore sounds of “Attack Attack.” It seems like everyone from all genres are trying out this auto-tune. But where is the line drawn between auto-tune and lip-synching, both make the music sound perfect. How far will artists go to make the consumer happy and achieve that ultimate sound? With new technology there are endless possibilities.

According to the Seattle Times auto-tune’s creator Andy Hildebrand never thought that his program would be used “T-Pain style”. Andy Hildebrand created auto-tune as part of a sarcastic bet his friend made but he got the idea and went for it. He used his experience in the oil industry and applied it to sound waves and pitch. Never did he think that years later would his program be used to make a big minority of music. But, auto-tune hasn’t been fully developed. Artists such as T-Pain and Kanye West work day to day to develop new audio editing technology. Who knows, maybe the next big thing will change the way we hear music forever.

So, thinking back to the definition of music, is this new craze of auto-tune actually music at all? Music is whatever anyone wants it to be. For me I would much rather listen to an actual human sing with their own voice using their talent than listen to some robot.

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