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Was Jay Z Wrong? Auto-Tune Is The Bomb

Auto-tune is perhaps the most heavily derided musical invention to ever grace the music industry or the popular consciousness. We’ve heard its overt use in the robotic caterwaul of T-Pain and have been mystified by its ability to turn non-artists such as Paris Hilton into an ephemeral pop moment. Can this seemingly annoying, expressionless tool be used to create great things? We believe it can and already has. We will take you through the history of this digitized voice tool as well as the qualitative phenomena that its prevalence in popular music and culture has created. Beyond that, we will uncover how auto-tune has had ramifications outside of the musical universe.
Via cultural examples, we will present reasons to accept auto-tune. As professional musicians, our presentation documents our quest to make soulful music using the pitch correction software. After all, it is not the tool that defines a piece of work, but what an artist puts into it. Can this be the case for Auto-Tune?

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How is Auto-Tune software being used outside of popular music?
  2. In what innovative ways is Auto-Tune being used by artists?
  3. How do you see the backlash against the software decreasing?
  4. What are some historical precedents for a technology reversing its place in the minds of the populace?
  5. What qualitatively new phenomena has the digitized voice created in our society and in the musical landscape?



Jeff Bartell, Student / Researcher, The Dynamic Media Institute

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