Auto-Tuning the Spoken Word

October 21st, 2009 Leave a Comment

I Am T-Pain iPhone appThe good thing about having a blog without a narrow focus is that I can blog about pretty much anything.

And I do.

Case in point, auto-tuning. Until a few months ago, I wasn’t familiar with the practice of auto-tuning, which applies effects to people’s voices. I guess it’s usually applied to singer’s voices to give them so-called perfect pitch.

Auto-tuning can also be applied to produce interesting effects, a la T-Pain and others. You might have seen the I Am T-Pain iPhone app released in September; the app, which costs $2.99, is already among the top ten grossing iPhone apps.

Key takeaway: auto-tuning is fun.

Auto-tuning the spoken word, rather than sung word, creates some funny and interesting work. Barely Political‘s Auto-tune the News was my first exposure to this¬†phenomenon. Funny stuff, if you like¬†irreverence, and also interesting, since you may not really realize the cadence (or lack of it) in everyday speaking.

Yesterday, I found the best use of auto-tune yet IMO, Symphony of Science, specifically We are All Connected, embedded here for your listening pleasure.

This work has a charm and beauty reminiscent of Where the Hell is Matt?

It’s very interesting to see user-generated content like this spring out of the interwebs, which is one thing I really love about my favorite medium.

Auto-tuning may be the next genre of music, although I suppose the usage rights and copyrights might ensure that it never makes any money. That might be fine though, since then, only those who truly love the production would undertake it.

Another recent UCG phenomenon that makes me laugh–record a video at your local Apple Store and post it to YouTube, like this kid and this guy.

I <3 intertubes.

Your thoughts should be free in the comments.


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