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Ne-Yo Calls Auto-Tune Singers ‘Wack’

Amy Graves, WireImage

Ne-Yo recently spoke out regarding the overuse of Auto-Tune, the vocoder-like vocal effect popularized by artists like Akon and T-Pain. The ‘Beautiful Monster’ singer explained that the audio processor should be used to support singers by assisting their tired vocal chords during extended recording sessions, not as an actual “sound,” becuase it obscures their natural singing voice.

“You don’t want to blow your throat out trying to do the same note a thousand times, so you sing it a few good times and you let the Auto-Tune catch whatever notes fall out,” Ne-Yo explained. “It was not meant to be wings. You were not supposed to strap it on your back and jump out the building, that is not what Auto-Tune was meant to be.”

The singer/songwriter, whose production team Stargate, scored one of 2010’s biggest hits with Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Black and Yellow,’ continued to call Auto-Tune’s saturated use in hip-hop “wack,” saying artists who employ the effect as a signature sound like “robots.”

“If you using it for what it’s meant for, cool, fine and good,” Ne-Yo continued. “I feel like the best singers do… Not ‘I can’t sing at all so let’s just turn Auto-tune all the way up so that I sound like Willie the robot,’ that’s wack! That’s terrible, it takes all the character outta your voice and you become a robot. You hear it on the radio and you go ‘who is that?’ and you have no idea because everybody sounds the same. If you’re a singer, sing!”

Ne-Yo is currently hard at work on his highly-anticipated fifth album, which does not yet have a release date. He will also star in two forthcoming films, ‘Red Tails’ and ‘Battle: Los Angeles,’ both scheduled for summer 2011 release.

Watch Ne-Yo’s ‘Beautiful Monster’
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