Auto-Tune the News


Auto-Tune the News

Is it just me, or does this sound like an R. Kelly song? A 24-year-old Brooklyn musician named Michael Gregory has combined a number of evening news broadcast clips and turned them into a vaguely acceptable faux R&B series called Auto-Tune the News. The first video featured Newt Gingrich, the NCAA Championships and Joe Biden. But this one? This one has a gorilla.

I’m not really sure why there’s a gorilla, but I’m also not really sure that it matters. What does matter is the fact that Katie Couric performs a touching solo about the fragility of our planet’s ecosystem. Watch out, Bono, there’s another socially conscious musician out there, and she wants to save the polar ice cap.

For those unaware, Auto-Tune is a software program that alters singers’ voices to achieve perfect pitch. Used too much — or when they’re not actually singing because, y’know, they’re on the news — it makes people sound electronic. Cher was the first to use Auto-Tune in her 1998 hit “Believe,” and since then everyone from Kanye West to Faith Hill has gotten by with a little technical assistance.

So in addition to making fun of nightly news coverage, Gregory has also shown us how ridiculously easy it is to make someone sound like a C-rated pop star . And although there are only two videos so far in Gregory’s series, we hope there will be many more .

Of course, Auto-Tune doesn’t work on everyone. Hillary Clinton still sounds like a robot.

Read TIME’s article on Auto-Tune
See the world’s most influential people in the 2009 TIME 100.

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