With Auto Tune Vs Without Auto Tune Ariana Grande

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Jun 29, 2009  The technique used these days is actually a software program created in 1997 as a means of audio processing. When a singer's voice is filtered through Auto-Tune, the pitch is tweaked depending on. Get your vinyl, cassette and exclusive merch at shop.arianagrande.com Shop Now. Jun 02, 2009 Oh, my ears! Auto-Tune is ruining music The device makes everyone sound good, which isn’t so good Below: x Jump to discuss comments below; discuss.

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I was busy blogging when I first heard Ariana Grande’s “The Way” on the radio, and like many of you, I'm sure, I mistook the ethereal singing and R&B vibe for none other than Mariah Carey. Because who else can successfully get away with that strange vocal whistle in a pop song? Obviously, I’m not the only one who's been tricked because Ariana Grande’s been lauded as “Mini Mariah” or “the new Mariah” — both of which are incorrect as Carey is still the only Mariah as far as I’m concerned. Of course Mimi had something to say about the young ingénue who is apparently herself reincarnated: 'First of all, I’m still young because I discount numbers. Numerically speaking, I stopped counting at 17.'

PopCrush reports that when the diva spoke to The Breakfast Club radio show, she was careful to avoid voicing her displeasure at the comparison, but still wished the best of luck to Grande. One of the radio hosts pointed out how Jay Z gets offended when he’s compared to other artists and Carey suavely replied that 'Jay said a lot of things I agree with.' Not exactly the warmest of welcomes from an industry vet, but hey, at least Grande takes the comparison as a compliment. She has cited Carey as one of her biggest influences, after all.

It's hard to deny that Grande and Carey are very similar ladies. So similar, actually, that I drew up a little game I like to call “Ariana or Mariah?” Think of it as akin to MTV's old claymation show Celebrity Death Match — the 90’s way of posing comparable artists like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, or the Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC against one another. Actually.. don’t think of it that way, because I lack the resources to run my own show and the sculpting abilities to capture Grande and Carey’s likenesses in clay. Instead, I’ll just ask questions.

Who possesses a five octave vocal range?

That would be Carey. Grande has a four octave vocal range which is still extremely impressive. They both have the diva finger wave down at least.

Who is most likely to have a pretty hair bow in her hair?

I tricked you with that gif, because it's not Carey. It's Grande. Her long, luscious ponytail is as much part of her identity as good lighting and constant dramatic wind is part of Carey’s. During her guest spot on Ally McBeal, Mimi even poked fun at it.

Who had her first hit single at age 20?

That would be both! Grande with her single 'The Way' in 2013, and Carey with 'Vision of Love' in 1990.

Who has a Christmas album?

Both ladies again! Carey's holiday album Merry Christmas is the best selling Christmas album of all time, and 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' earned its place in Christmas song canon. Grande even covered the song in a very Mariah Carey-like fashion for a Christmas tree lighting in Los Angeles, but she didn't have it on her Christmas EP Christmas Kisses. She did include her cover 'Santa Baby' though.

Who has been on TRL?

Trick question again. You really can't trust this game. Both ladies have been on TRL. This year Grande brought back a version of our favorite music video countdown seven years after its cancellation with 'Total Ariana Live.' And of course, we can't forget Carey's visit to the studio where she surprised host Carson Daly and the entire crowd by wheeling in a hand truck of ice cream.

Who has a song called 'Always Be My Baby?'

That would be Carey. Were you confused because Grande's been giving everyone a teaser of her upcoming single 'Be My Baby?' Grande doesn't really have a time limit on how long she wants you to be her baby.

Who has nodes?

That's Carey. This was a toughy, because Grande did suffer vocal hemorrhage at the end of last year, so we knew something was wrong. But lucky for Grande, she's rested and back. Carey's always been open about her vocal nodules, which she attributes to how she can still reach a 'huskier' level along with her wide range.

Either way, both ladies can successfully get through Carey's 'Emotions' without passing out which, to my karaoke dreams, is a feat. Seriously, give a listen and just be amazed at that super-high vocal whistle they can do.

Ariana Grande` on YouTube
MariahCareyVEVO on YouTube

Images: Getty Images (2); Diva Devotee (2), Music Video Gif, Mariah Gif a Day/Tumblr; Rebloggy; MTV; Media Factory

With Autotune Vs Without Autotune Ariana Grande Video

updated 6/2/2009 10:01:02 AM ET2009-06-02T14:01:02
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The following sentence might come as a huge shock to teens and Millennials, so stop tweeting for a second, kids, and get prepared for a totally outlandish statement. Here it is: Once upon a time, pop singers were actual singers.

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Yes, I know. That’s hard to comprehend since the pop charts are now dominated by artists who use Auto-Tune, the software plug-in that corrects the pitch of those who can’t really cut it in the vocal department and turns their vocals into robo-voices. While everyone under 30 recovers from that revelation, here’s what I mean by “actual singers.”

Back in the day, pop artists like Frank Sinatra and the Beatles used to be able to record albums in just a few days. Country musicians like Patsy Cline and George Jones trudged through grueling tours in out-of-the-way rural locales yet still missed nary a note. R&B musicians like the Supremes and the Four Tops navigated their way through complex choreography but still belted out songs out like their lives depended on it.

And while today, we still have singers with massively impressive pipes, a whole lotta them could never have rocked it for real like the Motown gang. These days, artists are able to get by on looks, publicity and aid from Auto-Tune.


You can hear the robotic, processed sound of the plug-in on recent hit records like “Blame It” by Jamie Foxx and T-Pain, “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga and “Right Now (Na Na Na)” by Akon. It’s also heard on tracks by Kanye West, Britney Spears and Lil Wayne. When West attempted to sing “Love Lockdown” without the plug-in on “Saturday Night Live,” the results were none too impressive and got ridiculed online. You can hear 10 examples of “Auto-Tune Abuse in Pop Music” on Hometracked, a blog geared toward home recording enthusiasts.

Paula Abdul also uses Auto-Tune on her new song, “Here for the Music,” which she performed (i.e. lip-synched) on “American Idol” May 6. It was evident just how artificial Abdul’s vocals were when she was followed by Gwen Stefani, who gave a warts-and-all live vocal on No Doubt’s “Just a Girl.”

Country and rock singers are said to use Auto-Tune to protect themselves from hitting bum notes in concert. Pop singers use it when they have a hard time singing while executing complicated dance moves (raising the question as to why they’re letting their dancing take precedence over their music). Auto-Tune has become so ubiquitous that indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie wore blue ribbons at this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony to protest its overuse.

Building the ‘perfect’ beast
The prevalence of Auto-Tune comes from two longstanding pop music traditions — the desire to alter the human voice and the quest for perfection at the expense of real talent and emotion.

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With Autotune Vs Without Autotune Ariana Grande Full

The first of these can lead to inspiring moments, as the New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones noted in an essay last year. Pioneering voice tweakers include producer Quincy Jones, who punched up Lesley Gore’s vocals with double tracking on “It’s My Party,” and George Martin, who gave us a childlike sped-up John Lennon on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Later on, Peter Frampton wowed audiences with his talk box guitar effect and a decade later, vocals were being put through harmonizers to get jarring outer space effects.

Of course, to pull off any of those effects, you had still had to be able to sing. With Auto-Tune you don’t.

Then there’s the quest for perfection. By the 1970s, producers were able to edit or splice together vocal takes from various tracks and eventually they started to use hardware that corrected vocal pitch to create “perfect” performances. When the sound editing program Pro Tools became the industry norm in the 1990s, kludged-together vocal tracks became the norm.

But too much meticulousness in pop music strips away passion. And the very reason we listen to music, noted the late rock critic Lester Bangs, is to hear “passion expressed.” Auto-Tune makes people sound like robots. And if there’s no feeling, why listen at all?

Some people apparently aren’t listening anymore. Sales of major label CDs are down. But more authentic sounding music still has fans. Paste magazine recently reported that indie music is selling more, and the one area of commercial music that’s remained popular is “American Idol,” where you can’t fake it (unless you’re Paula Abdul).

The producers speak
A lot of producers like to use Auto-Tune because it saves time, says producer Craig Street, who has worked with Norah Jones, k. d. lang and Cassandra Wilson. “If you have a smaller budget what you’re doing is trying to cram a lot of work into a small period of time,” Street says. “So you may not have as much time to do a vocal.”

Craig Anderton, a producer and music writer, observes that Auto-Tune “gets no respect because when it’s done correctly, you can’t hear that it’s working.

“If someone uses it tastefully just to correct a few notes here and there, you don’t even know that it’s been used so it doesn’t get any props for doing a good job,” Anderton notes. “But if someone misuses it, it’s very obvious — the sound quality of the voice changes and people say ‘Oh, it’s that Auto-Tune — it’s a terrible thing that’s contributing to the decline and fall of Western music as we know it.”

One producer who dislikes Auto-Tune is Jon Tiven, who cut his musical teeth in the punk rock era with his band the Yankees, and went on to produce soul singers Wilson Pickett and Don Covey as well as Pixies founder Frank Black. Tiven thinks Auto-Tune has led to the destruction of great singing.

“I don’t know how many levels you want to drop the bar for what it takes to become a successful musical person,” Tiven says. “You could sacrifice on some levels, but it would seem to me one of the first things you would really be hard pressed to sacrifice is if the person could sing in tune or not.”

Street says the like or dislike of Auto-Tune largely comes down to aesthetics, and likens people’s feelings about listening to unnatural sounds with the way some people feel about unnatural body modifications, such as breast implants.

And that makes sense. After all, today we have models and actors whose faces and bodies were never intended by nature, reality TV that’s not real, and sports “heroes” whose strength comes from pills not practice. It’s totally understandable that the commercial pop world would embrace an unnatural aesthetic. Whether audiences will someday want pop singers who are first and foremost singers remains to be seen.

With Auto Tune Vs Without Auto Tune Ariana Grande Album

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