This article is an examination of contemporary practices of pitch correction and what is called the Auto-Tune effect (TATE) on pop music voices. I argue that the split initiated by digital pitch correction softwares, which came to market in 1998, of the labor of precise pitch from the labor of singing more generally leaves in its wake a redoubled emphasis on the supposed truth of emotional delivery. Yet pitch corrected and Auto-Tuned voices are not understood to sound emotion in the same way, and instead rely upon and often reproduce hearings of voices as gendered and raced. I examine the status of pitch correction softwares (PCS) and the sometimes blunt, sometimes subtle ways they intersect with the statuses of marked identity and embodied vocality. These intersections inform ways of knowing emotion, creating epistemic relationships between emotion, body, voice, and work. Drawing on fieldwork conducted between 2014 and 2018 in Los Angeles and New York, I engage the specifics of the gendered labor involved creating pop voices, and the implications of the reality of that labor on the potentials the pop “cyborg” voice.
Making Voices: The Gendering of Pitch Correction and The Auto-Tune Effect in Contemporary Pop Music
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Catherine Provenzano; Making Voices: The Gendering of Pitch Correction and The Auto-Tune Effect in Contemporary Pop Music. Journal of Popular Music Studies 2 June 2019; 31 (2): 63–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2019.312008
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