ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context: AudioProtoplasm

Quora Answer : Do you think the trend in noticeably auto-tuned vocals in popular music will soon become passe? Will they become a kind of time-stamp for this moment in studio production?

Jun 15, 2020


I think it's here to stay.

Think of autotune as the equivalent of distortion for electric guitars.

Distortion started as a gimmick. Distortion was hated by musical purists in the same way vocal processing is hated by purists today. But autotune, just like guitar distortion, makes possible entirely new sonic worlds and genres of music.

In particular autotune is highly culturally relevant to us today, when we are starting to see, and to fear, the synthesis of humans and machines. Angst about autotune reflects our wider angst about ArtificialIntelligence, our worries that humans are "too dependent" on our machines. Fears that we are becoming incapable of acting independently of them. That we're merging into them.

What can illustrate that drama better than the human voice, the most fundamentally "human" part of music, allowing itself to become roboticised thanks to autotune and vocoding? And the computer sound becoming more human and animal-like thanks to formant filters etc?

Autotune is as fundamentally the sound of now, as electric guitars were the sound of the 60s and 70s. And everything you than think of to say AGAINST autotune, people were saying against electric guitars back then.

Transcluded from AutoCroon

Quora Answer : What musical instrument can replace a rapper?

May 15, 2020

No instrument is an exact replacement for the human voice. Because the voice has a special place in music, representing a human.

Perhaps rap as we currently understand it will go out of fashion and be replaced by singing again.

I personally would say that even in hip-hop there's a new style of vocalization evolving which is somewhere between rapping as traditionally understood and singing. It's already replacing "old-skool rap" of the kind that came out in the 80s and flourished through to the 2010s. This cloud-rap / trap / future soul style of what I call "auto-croon" is taking over the world. (Phil Jones (He / Him)'s answer to Can you sing and rap simultaneously? Are there any artists that do this?)

But no abstract instrumental sound is going to replace the human voice.