WNBC Blows The Lid Off The Whole Auto-Tune Story


“From Ke$ha to Indie singer Bon Iver to reality sensations like Rebecca Black and Real Housewife Kim Zolciak,” notes WNBC reporter Katie Tur, “artists across the board are using Auto-Tune — that handy audio tool that makes even the most dreadful voices sound musical — and other devices to either stylize or subtly smooth out tracks.” This was an actual segment on last night’s newscast–which aired right after NBC’s much-hyped debut of The Voice–and its main point seemed to hinge on the fact that Tur can’t really sing, but she can sound like a pop star with a little bit of computer assistance. Hey, maybe her warbly cover of “American Girl” will go as viral as Rebecca Black did! That should help out NBC, right?

Even where there are strong vocals, like with Kris Fuselier of “Gabriel’s Last Breath,” an up-and-coming band recording at The Cutting Room Studios, the musical tricks are still needed to an extent in order to record that perfect track.

“By the time you get to last take, your voice is tired and you need some Auto-Tune,” explained Fuselier.

Still, in the end, it is the voice that matters. The voice is everything, according to David Crafa, the owner of The Cutting Room Studios.

And The Voice is everything, too! And you can see it on NBC! Multiple times this week, even! Really hoping that WNBC’s news team follows this up with an exposé on swivel chairs:

[Thanks to Ally for the tip]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 27, 2011

Archive Highlights