Auto-Tune Lead to the Downfall of Musical Talent

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Cole Tarrant, Entertainment Editor

Auto-tune will be the downfall of music. Music isn’t about talent anymore. Many of our most popular vocalists are covering up their voices and mistakes with special effects, such as Auto-Tune.

Auto-tune should be used sparingly, as a sparse vocal effect, not as a crutch. Auto-Tune was invented in 1996 and was intended to correct off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned.

However, in 1998 pop singer Cher released “Believe”, popularizing Auto-Tune as a technique to distort vocals. “Believe” is the first commercially successful release featuring Auto-Tune.

Auto-Tune would later find its way into the rap and hip-hop genres through artist T-Pain. T-Pain introduced Auto-Tune through his lead single “I’m Sprung” from his 2005 album “Rappa Ternt Sanga”. “I’m Sprung” led artists, such as Kanye West, Post Malone and Nicki Minaj, into using Auto-Tune as a crutch in their music.

T-Pain was contacted for Auto-Tuned productions to add Auto-Tune to hip-hop vocals. This was the downfall of rap. 

Not only has Auto-Tune made its way into the rap community, but it has also made its way into the pop and country genres. Popular pop and country singers such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, George Strait and Faith Hill use Auto-Tune as a crutch.

Not all singers use Auto-Tune. For singers such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Daron Malakian, Serj Tankian and Bon Jovi, Auto-Tune would destroy the unique sound of their voices. Many of their songs depend on going out of key and changing keys. It helps define their style.

The pop culture of music is changing. Auto-Tune and rap will someday go out of style like ragtime, jazz, or blues. What does the future hold for the music industry? Will expired genres come back to the spotlight?