Monday, May 11, 2009

AutoTuning Them Out

Auto-Tune, the pitch-correction plug-in for music production software, has become almost an auditory cliché, which appears in everything from music by T-Pain to hit singles from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Now the online version of TIME magazine points out in "Auto-Tune the News" that the software is now being used for satiric purposes, as the video above indicates. I might argue that Obama's voice doesn't work as well being rendered musically by Auto-Tune in this imaginary duet with the Obama girl. And bad compositing was part of the group's aesthetic in an earlier auto-tuning news video as well.

One of the most interesting videos is called "Martin Luther King Sings," which combines an august rhetorical occasion in the history of Civil Rights with computer-generated musical alteration. Surprisingly, the video hasn't yet been hit by a takedown notice from King's notoriously litigious heirs, who rarely allow his voice and image on the Internet.

More on the background of creator Michael Gregory is here.

(Apparently amateur content-creators can't resist Auto-Tuning five-year-olds and babies as well.)

Update: Now there is an Auto-Tune remix of the TV pitches of the Sham Wow Slap-Chop guy.

For more on Auto-Tune, see this NPR story about Auto-Tune and Melodyne.

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