You recall Cher warbling “Do you believe in life after love?” in the 90s? She sounded like her voice was run through a weird synthesizer – like much of Cher’s body by now, but I digress.
The weird synthesizer is Auto-Tune, as you may know. Auto-Tune can make you sound weird, but more significantly it bends notes to the correct pitch.
In fact if you use it aggressively enough, it can mostly eliminate the need for musical talent. Take a good-looking kid who can dance and make him/her a star by scrubbing over the vocal track with your handy Auto-Tuner.
Aside, this has exactly the same cultural value as so-called Advanced Chess, where the combatants can consult with a computer to help ensure they avoid tactical blunders. It’s a proposition with minimal sportsmanship or interest to me.
Anyway, here’s the very interesting bit about this technology: According to Wikipedia it was originally developed by a seismic engineer working for Exxon.
You recall the Bud Light commercials with Auto-Tuned homeboys yapping about a party on their cell phones? (Plus a cameo by T-Payne asking someone to pass the guacamole?) Hopefully this is a sign that Auto-Tune has jumped the shark, to borrow another meme from the pop lexicon.