Yesterday I talked about the Britney Spears incident and her auto tuned tracks. While Ms. Spears “got exposed” I wanted to make sure that people realize that this is NOT just isolated to her. There are a good number of current day artists who “need and will use” auto tune to “spruce up” their vocals. Nowadays it seems to be the most necessary thing when it comes to recording vocal tracks. In fact, I am about to address the major differences in the recordings of today and those of years past. Old time recordings used to involve this small procedure known as “rehearsal.” in other words, artists from back in the day would actually “practice” before even “going” into the studio to record. Today, artists just go in and maybe hear the track for the very first time and then get asked to lay a vocal track down. Instead of singing through the entire song, the “hook” might be sung once and then the engineer will “copy and paste” it through the other parts of the song. Also, back in the day, “musicians” were the most important pieces to have in studios. Back then music was actually played by people on these things called “instruments.” Today it is all about some engineer who uses a computer and finds some musical “loops” online. In several instances there might not be even one musician present. Everything is gotten off of the computer. There also used to be a LOT more “orchestration” back in the day in songs as well. Often people would put horns, strings, different percussion and many other pieces to help enhance the music. Nowadays you are lucky if you hear more than 4 instruments on a track. Also, today’s music is “so” simplified. For some of the major hit artists you might hear a long repetition of just four chords throughout the entire song with no change in sight. Music used to have a lot more creativity than that. The simplicity can be attributed to one major factor: “Money.” Studio costs can be expensive if you spend a lot of time in one, so most labels are looking for “cheap product” that usually doesn’t involve a lot complexity. It is no longer about the “quality” of the music, but rather the “marketability” of the artist. Britney Spears is a young good looking woman who is promoted well through her “own” dramatic life. All the crazy things that seem to happen to her end up bringing even more controversy into her life, thus advertising her even more and enhancing more of her music sales. The same can be said for Kanye, Chris Brown, Lady Gaga, and of course, Rihanna. Auto tune and lip syncing has become the “automatic rescue” for so many artists, even those who can actually sing. There are still some artists out there who will sing naturally and use no artificial mode to enhance their vocals, but very few of them are big stars now. The industry has changed and in many cases talent no longer seems to be a major need. Welcome to the “new age” of stars. Let”s hope their “technology” helps them to have very “long and productive” careers. Have a great day.
Berry Gorday, Chris Tucker, Kool and the Gang and Brett Jolly in concert