What is the worst thing that resulted from the digital revolution?
Of course, the devaluation of music and the even more accumulated assignment of funds and attention brought along with it has been most devastating to the music business and industry. Everbody lost income, labels can’t afford to really raise artists and so on and so forth…
But, sadly, we rarely talk about what happened to the artform of music over the last decade.
A few years ago, when I was getting into songwriting, I got in touch with a boy group of three who needed new material. Since I never wrote for anybody else than myself, I thought it was a nice change and challenge. We met, we talked and agreed on working with each other.
I wrote a party-ish song and they invited me to get in the studio with them. Getting there, they were recording a song that wasn’t even finished lyrically, so I wrote the last verse for them then and there. And they were able to finish the recording. But when they were in the booth, I heard at least one of them struggling hard with a little bitty off-beat rhythm I’ve put in the verse. Even after doing it for him a few times and him still not getting it, the producer asked if he could use my vocals for that little part. But that’s not the worst part of this story. That is, the producer/sound engineer surely knew what he was doing, recording and mixing their vorcals. But the input he got from these singers was, well, let’s say, not good. This was obviously not just a bad performance day, cause the one singer kept saying: “Well, just put some auto-tune on it.”
That was the first time I got in touch with the use of auto-tune, except for hearing it from Cher years ago. And I find it really upsetting, if so-called singers rely on a software to sound good. How about exercising and improving the capabilities of your vocal chords and breathing muscles??
Look, even somebody who became famous for it like T-Pain (who can actually sing!!) states that this tool should be used as such, but not as a substitute for skill.
You could even do it like Kanye West. He’s using auto-tune as a tool, but dares to let us hear him without it (or almost?) as well, even though the latter probably amuses the critics.
All I hear is complaints about the decrease of income and oversaturation of the market. Hearing somebody talk about the decrease of authenticity is rare.
Finding your individual voice is not about having perfect pitch all the time. Most people don’t have that naturally anyways. But greatness needs work and it’s so much easier to do that with a software in a few seconds. Maybe that’s another reason why so many artists these days sound the same.
That is why I created the graphic to this article for each and every singer, who is proud of putting out real vocals, letting people hear their real voices, that have flaws sometimes but can always show the effect of proper exercise.