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Suck It, Autotune

Topics: Technology | Add A CommentBy admin | October 23, 2010

Thanks to new voice synthesis technology, we’ll no longer need Auto-tune to fix pop stars’ crappy voices. In fact, we may not need the pop stars at all.


T-Pain ponders life without auto-tune

Finally, some good news in the world of pop music production. You know all those no-talent artists out there that rely entirely on auto-tune for their singing careers? Well, thanks to the voice synthesis software Vocaloid, we can now do away with their voices altogether. But why stop there? Because of recent innovations in the rapidly evolving field of holographic technology, we can even dispense with the artists themselves! This isn’t some sci-fi near-future prediction of things to come, it’s already happening. Just check out this concert appearance by Miku Hatsune, the Japanese pop sensation that – in spite of not even existing – has millions of fans worldwide. This should be a boon to the tragically poverty stricken, litigation-happy major labels that are using the same excuse they have since the 80′s for not making any money. Labels probably spend more on a typical artist’s room service in an hour than the total cost of this software package, and there’s even a free alternative called Utau. This is going to be bigger than you think; when you think “auto-tune” you probably think T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West, but this now-two-year-old list of Auto-tune abusers (complete with audio example) already included artists like Dixie Chicks, Avril Lavigne, and Maroon 5. T-Pain probably has less to worry about than many others; as the undisputed king of Auto-tune abuse, he was approached early on by iPhone app developers to license his name for I Am T-Pain. Which I just have to say represents to me the ultimate in meta-irony: nerdy rich white guy iPhone owners thinking they’re hip and witty for acknowledging their total lack of masculine sexuality. But back to Vocaloid. The software seems to be stuck in a weird cycle of marketing and product development; it’s hard to tell if Yamaha has any interest in developing it as a recording tool, or if they’re going to let second party developers like Zero G and Crypton deliver it more as a “virtual celebrity” creation tool. Personally, given the two-dimensionality and high maintenance costs of many real pop superstars like Hanna Montana, Lady Gaga, and the artists already mentioned, I’d put my money on the latter. Vids below.

One of the most amazing things about J-Pop superstar Miku Hatsune is that she does not in fact exist:

If you don’t think holograms are a suitable replacement for flesh and blood pop stars, maybe we could interest you in a robot version:

Some background on the evolution of Vocaloid and Miku Hatsune:

The software will be a boon to the tragically poverty stricken, litigation-happy major labels that have been using the same excuse since the 80′s for why they’re not making any money: