Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do You Wanna Get Frosty With Me?!

Jay-Z vs Wendy's : It seems I've stumbled upon an interesting celebrity showdown...

This commercial is HILARIOUS.... but touches on a dark trend in the music business. ;)




Alright, so if you haven't already figured this out.... all the controversy is about Auto-tune. If you're not familiar with Auto-Tune, it's a studio tool that corrects a singer's voice, and makes it "in tune". If you set Auto-Tune a certain way, it creates this Auto-Tune effect that you hear so much. Guys like T-Pain, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, Akon, and so many others in their genres use this effect on nearly every part they sing.

***
Now, the first question many people ask is this... "If someone needs auto-tune to be a singer, should they really be singing?!" The reality is that most of today's music has tuned vocals, and that's not really the issue in question here. The issue under the microscope here is the use of the "Auto-Tune Effect".
***

When Jay-Z saw this commercial, it probably didn't make him laugh like it did for me. He was saddened and disappointed, because he saw a brand like Wendy's clowning around with the state of hip-hop music today. Jay-Z thought about this pragmatically (one of the reasons I have a deep respect for Jay-Z, and how he thinks about music), and didn't blame Wendy's.... he blamed the state of hip-hop, for becoming something so easily mocked.

He then penned the song "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)" decrying the use (and over-use) of the vocal effect in hip-hop music today. He said this....

"I just think in hip-hop, when a trend becomes a gimmick, it's time to move on," Jay said in an interview with Chicago radio station WGCI on Tuesday. "I saw a Wendy's commercial and they're using Auto-Tune. They're joking on it. It's like, OK, enough of that ... It was a trend, it was cool in the beginning. Some people made great music with it, now it's time to move on."

So what do you think about the Auto-Tune Effect?

Is it fun and playful, or just plain annoying?

Personally, I don't mind it on certain parts of specific types of songs.... If the song calls for something with that electronic kind of feel, then fine.... But entire records full of songs that, stylistically, could have just been sung normally? I don't know about that.

In the wake of Michael Jackson's death, the King of Pop, I wonder if music listeners are going to rediscover their desire for real talent.... I wonder if they're going to get bored of gimmicks like this, and start to wonder if Jamie Foxx really can sing underneath that auto-tune effect. I wonder if music listeners are going to demand more from artists....

The one thing I know for sure is this... if music listeners are willing to buy crap music, the music business is certainly willing to create it for them.

Jonathan

12 comments:

Alyssa said...

I think the auto-tune is way over-used. I'm always wondering if this person or that can really sing or if it's all just fake. Like I've noticed all the Disney channel stars coming out with records and I really doubt they can all sing. My brother watches Disney, and music videos will come on for all different Disney actors, and their voices sound completely over prossessed to me.

Ida said...

i think autotune is way overused...

i want real raw talent..

HN uses, gives, produces, and has that talent, which is one reason why i like them so much..

janetplanet said...

THANK YOU!!! No, really Jon, THANK YOU!!

I'm a music sound nerd; that's what I went to school for. I've been studying sound since I was 14 (recently turned 25), so needless to say it's a passion of mine.

I remember the first time the auto tune effect was used in a popular song (it was dubbed the "cher effect" at the time by those at my school) and everyone went nuts over it.

Then, everyone went TOO nuts over, way, way, WAY too nuts. I remember there was this popular Spanish song that used that effect THROUGHT THE ENTIRE VOCAL TRACK!! When i first heard that song I wanted to strangle te editor that decided that was OK.

When it was used in the Cher song, it was in specific spot that sounded cool, so that was OK. But now, it's just out of control. It almost reminds me of back in the 50s and 60s when they first discovered reberb and panning and really took it out of control when it lost it's charm.

janetplanet said...

And if i could spell reverb correctly, that would be nice, hehe.

graciegirl said...

i dont really get da "Auto-Tune" stuf...... thas also because i dont listen to da music that uses that stuf.... i listen to GOOD music ;)
but i can see how you say that it seems like is bein over used.......

James5521 said...

Yeah auto tune is okay I just watched a thing on tv bout it the other day I think it's cool but they use it too much

Kyle Ray said...

Every time I hear that sound I think back to Cher and then I laugh. "Ganstas imitating Cher of all people.

Markus said...

Very interesting post...

I don't mind it on one song. I do mind an entire record of it. For example, Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak, every last song has the effect. After seeing some live performances on TV, it's apparent that this "effect" is not only an "effect" but also a way to cover up the fact that he can't sing so well. I think it's time for it to go away. It was cool, now it's not.

It's not "bad," it's just time to move on.

Riley Smiley said...

I think that commercial is cute and creative, but the auto-tune thing in music these days is pretty pathetic. It's sad that people who can't even sing well can make it big in the music business because of a fake "talent" that is computer-produced. I want real talent like Hawk Nelson!! :)

Anonymous said...

I can't stand auto-tune! If I am listening to a music group/singer, I like to hear their real voice...I don't mind it when it's used a little, just not alot! (pretty much why I like Hawk Nelson and Relient K!!)

Anonymous said...

The commercial is kinda stupid...so stupid it's kinda funny!

Morgan said...

I love this post by you Jon because I can't stand to listen to song that have auto-tone! It drives me mad!! I feel like I'm listening to a computer and not a person! SO thank you!