I’ve decided to stray a little from my previous blogs, which were more about my past, and about the music business in general, for today’s “rant”! The problems with the music business are one thing, and yes, I’m sure it is connected to problems with the music in general, but there are some serious issues I have with what is taking place in today’s music.
First of all, be sure I am talking about “mainstream” stuff here … I am aware there are still great audiences everywhere for great music, but the stuff we are getting shoved down our throats these days that is considered “pop,” or Pop Country for example, is really getting hard to swallow.
The number one culprit in the “unlistenability” of today’s music has got to be AUTO TUNING! This is a device that with the advent of digital recording, has made it easy for producers and engineers everywhere to correct the pitch of any singer or instrument they want. The problem is that when overused, which is usually the case, it gives the voice an incredibly artificial sound bordering more on the sound of an electronic keyboard than the human voice itself! Also, depending on how it is set, and how out of tune the singer may be, it creates these really annoying “bumps” in the vocal that sound like an obvious effect. Just think of Cher’s “Do you Believe in Life After Love,” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The saddest usage of this effect is on country recordings. I mean, after all, isn’t it Country music that really embodies the best of people playing and singing in tune?! I have actually heard contemporary Bluegrass recordings that have heavily used this auto-tune thing that makes it sound like a totally artificial creation! What ever happened to real human beings using their own ears to tune to each other??!! This little device totally defeats all the originality and soul that hopefully was there to begin with at least, and just renders it useless, in my opinion. Worse than all of this, I can hear it being used LIVE! I mean why not? These artists are so dependent on auto-tuning, and their audiences are so used to hearing it, that they must feel they’d not be giving a real “show” unless the auto-tuning was being used. So now, the “fake” recording gets to be replicated at a “fake” concert!
The whole sound of it sickens me, and I can’t help but hear it everywhere! If I walk into one more convenience store and hear Rascal Flatts in the background sounding like a bunch of auto-tuned “Chipmunks,” I’m gonna scream! More on this “blight” of the business next time! Till then …
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