Great Moments in Auto-Tune – Evanescence

Amy Lee is actually a decent singer, which is why the overuse of Auto-Tune is so pointless here. You can really hear it on the long notes, where they just seem to freeze in mid-air. It becomes very apparent in the chorus when the harmony comes in (0:52). Notice how the lower harmony sounds almost more like a synth than a voice – too clean, too perfect.

Now, I am anything but a purist. I have no qualms about using pitch-shifting when I need it. If a sung note in a long passage is a few cents low, I’ll reach in there and pull it up. I’m a better producer than a singer anyway. Auto-tune however, is a constant effect applied to everything sung – if it’s too high or too low, it pulls it into the center. It is also none too graceful with the portamento, which is why you will hear often hear passing notes jolt into the next, in perfect creepy harmony.

I’m not against Auto-Tune, I think it’s a brilliant piece of software and has it’s uses. I’ve toyed around with it and it’s pretty fun. Actually I recommend anyone who has a slight interest to mess around with the demo. It’s incredibly easy to use and will give you a better ear for hearing it in the wild, so to speak. I’m not against it as a tool, but misuse is incredibly apparent if you know what to listen for. Either use it delicately or go apeshit – like some of the R&B singers for whom it’s really an effect – ham-fisted use will render your music unlistenable in about ten years when the general public learns how to hear it.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Great Moments in Auto-Tune – Evanescence

  1. Arty

    Yeah, this is a very late reply, but that IS a synth. In fact, I’ve never once thought that was supposed to be anything but a synth. It seems like a pad synth.

  2. Anonymous

    Are you seriously gonna discredit her vocal skills? This webpage is bullshit, seriously. Listen to her live and get real. The fact that she rarely misses notes, but on occasion does, should testify to the fact that SHE IS AS REAL AS IT GETS. Get over yourself and listen to the hip hop world before you try hacking on pure talent.

    • Shann

      I do love Evanescence, but honestly, she’s off key a lot live. Not so much in acoustic performances, but she’s not that perfect.

    • Anonymous

      THANK YOU!!! I might just use some of this comment in a…. Discussion I am having with some chick over whether or not AMy Lee can sing or not

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