Join 3,377 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Know Your Meme feat. Weird Al
July 11, 2010 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Know Your Meme (feat. Weird Al) reviews the history of Auto Tune. (SLYT; via 3qd)
posted by jjray (24 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
yawn
posted by milnak at 10:20 AM on July 11, 2010


needs more ZAPP
posted by waraw at 10:34 AM on July 11, 2010


Wow. I did not expect to be educated or to have to think so hard.

Totally threw the rhythm of my Sunday afternoon.

Kinda interesting, though.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:47 AM on July 11, 2010


Please do not confuse Autotune and vocoders. The vocoder is a completely respectable if somewhat unfashionable effect. Autotune, if you've never played with it, actually REQUIRES you to sing completely off-key to get the cliche Autotune sound, and sounds like total crap to boot.

Also, the "Autotune sound" is basically abuse of the software - you have to turn all the settings up to ridiculous levels to get the robot sound. More judiciously applied, it can actually be a pretty decent tool to correct, say, a single off-key section without re-recording a whole track.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:50 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks. Didn't know about Know Your Meme before--these are pretty infotaining.
posted by emkelley at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2010


"The vocoder is a completely respectable if somewhat unfashionable effect."

UNLESS YOU AUTOTUNE IT
posted by jscalzi at 12:20 PM on July 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


That was really good! Thanks.
posted by vito90 at 12:31 PM on July 11, 2010


Surprisingly informative! I like those Know Your Meme guys. Weird Al too, but that goes without saying.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:55 PM on July 11, 2010


I enjoyed this, but the main Meme guy's not-looking-at-the-camera-but-obviously-reading-from-a-transcript is slightly disturbing, like he's in a mystical trance that explains annoying trends in pop music.
posted by The Whelk at 1:03 PM on July 11, 2010


That part about Autotune being developed from oil-exploration software was unexpected. And ... any old excuse to watch Al make faces is all good. He should team up with Bill Nye sometime.
posted by Twang at 2:27 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I've learned something.
posted by Hicksu at 2:30 PM on July 11, 2010


Fun and informative. Thanks for sharing.
posted by andromache at 2:37 PM on July 11, 2010


I want that cat shirt that the guy in the background is holding at the 1:45 mark!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:56 PM on July 11, 2010


Thanks for this! As far as autotuning goes, I like Ween's "Spirit Walker".
posted by not_on_display at 5:19 PM on July 11, 2010


DecemberBoy: "actually REQUIRES you to sing completely off-key to get the cliche Autotune sound, and sounds like total crap to boot"

Ya know singing completely off-key is rather trivial for some of us.
posted by MrLint at 8:04 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Autotune is awful when it can be heard when it's not supposed to be. It makes me cringe.
posted by wierdo at 10:56 PM on July 11, 2010


I thought we had reached Peak Auto-Tune, but when I listened to commercial radio recently for the first time in years, realized I was way off. Peak Auto-tune is a myth.

By the way Text by Jason Derulo is hands down the most ridiculous thing on the radio currently.
posted by yeti at 6:44 AM on July 12, 2010


I'm sorry, but you can't tell me auto-tune hasn't enriched our culture.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:49 AM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, now I have to go find that Carl Sagan one.

Symphony of Science Featuring Stephen Hawking. Oh, and previously.
posted by lysdexic at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2010


See? Oil is the root of all that is evil. E.g. Glee.
posted by spish at 9:38 AM on July 12, 2010


Also, the "Autotune sound" is basically abuse of the software - you have to turn all the settings up to ridiculous levels to get the robot sound. More judiciously applied, it can actually be a pretty decent tool to correct, say, a single off-key section without re-recording a whole track.

Autotune is awful when it can be heard when it's not supposed to be.

Which raises the question, when is it supposed to be heard? And can those attuned (heh) to it always hear it, or are there times when it's being used simply for pitch correction that it truly is undetectable to anyone?

I'm curious because it seems I've become more sensitized to the use of Autotune in the past year or two, with the higher overall cultural awareness of it, and more being written about it, with examples, particularly as a negative. I pick up on more subtle uses of it now which probably would have gone unnoticed by me a few years ago. And I am by no means an audiophile—it's not like I'm the sort of person who can pick up on very subtle differences between different high-end speakers. Does that mean the more subtle instances I now detect were intended to be just pitch correction, and supposed to go unnoticed by the listener, or does it mean that it was a deliberate artistic choice (whether good or bad), and just used more subtly than other instances?

Specific example: In the Glee version of "Don't Stop Believin'" (please don't shoot me), I can hear the Autotune on Cory Monteith's (Finn's) vocals: deliberate artistic choice, or pitch correction I wasn't supposed to notice? Conversely, I don't detect any Autotune on Lea Michele's (Rachel's) vocals: not being used on her, or just used more subtly (and would it even be possible to tell just from listening if it was)?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:09 AM on July 12, 2010


I have a hard time believin' that the monstrosity that was Cory Monteith's part in "Don't Stop Believin'" was intentional. It's not obvious if you're listening on laptop speakers or crappy TV speakers.
posted by wierdo at 10:36 AM on July 12, 2010


I've wondered if some young singers (a la Glee) who have been raised in the Era of the Autotuner are learning to emulate the sound without software. I don't mean that they are learning better pitch control, but that they may be able to slur between notes more quickly and less linearly.

(Since firefox didn't red-underline "linearly," I'm going to assume it's a real word.)
posted by robstercraw at 12:08 PM on July 12, 2010


If they're doing it on purpose, I wish they'd stop doing it wrong.

Damn KIDS! Get OFF my LAWN!1!!one!!
posted by wierdo at 1:31 PM on July 12, 2010


« Older Through clever manipulation of Final Fantasy V's R...  |  BP is reportedly in talks to s... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments