Ex-JOURNEY Frontman STEVE PERRY Blasts Auto-Tune, Says It 'Has Turned Everybody Into The Same Singer'
December 24, 2021
Former JOURNEY singer Steve Perry has criticized the pitch-correction technology Auto-Tune, saying it is the imperfections of the human voice that make music appealing.
Created by musician and geophysical scientist Dr. Andy Hildebrand in 1997, Auto-Tune is a software program that digitally corrects pitch, allowing singers who sing off key to produce perfectly tuned vocal tracks. Since its introduction, the plugin has become standard equipment in professional recording studios, but the anti-Auto-Tune movement is vocal.
In a new interview with Kyle Meredith, Perry stated that perfect pitch is almost impossible to achieve, and that it is natural flaws and imperfections that make a voice memorable and affecting.
"Auto-Tune has turned everybody into the same singer, which I think is tragic," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
"I was told a long time by a very bright musician, he said when you listen to somebody as beautiful as a [Barbra] Streisand, your heart just goes, 'I can't believe she can do this. How is she doing this?' And then you listen to Muddy Waters and you get an emotional touch too. Well, they're totally two different vocal directions, totally two different vocal timbres, different styles. Well, one is angelic and beautiful and the other has some struggle in it, and it's the struggle and the imperfections that you pull for too. There's this human thing.
"Singing is the most primal thing — it really is a very primal form of communication," Perry added. "And, obviously, it's gonna be around for a while. Which is why I'm not so happy that people are washing out this description we just talked about with Auto-Tune."
Proponents of of Auto-Tune have compared the human voice to an instrument, and have argued that Auto-Tune is merely an effect like a vocodor, talk box or a wah-wah pedal.
According to Hildebrand's Antares Audio Technologies, more than 90 percent of its Auto-Tune units are in the hands of hobbyists; amateur musicians and looking to smooth out their latest basement recording.
Earlier this year, Paul McCartney made headlines when he said he believes John Lennon would have loved using Auto-Tune, which was invented nearly two decades after Lennon's death in 1980. "I'd say that if John Lennon had had an opportunity, he would have been all over it," McCartney said. "Not so much to fix your voice, but just to play with it."
Perry's holiday album "The Season", came out November 5 via Fantasy Records.
One of the most iconic voices in rock and roll history, Perry has captivated generations with the sheer power of his range and extraordinary warmth of his tone. His phenomenal career has included landing on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list, fronting JOURNEY during the band's most massively successful era, and gaining entry into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.