‘Auto Tune Gives You a Better Me’ by Jace Clayton

Jace Clayton works as a DJ (DJ Rupture) and as a writer. His collection Uproot: Travels in 21st Century Music and Culture reflects on the shift from the physical to the digital in music culture but also the effect that software has had on the actual making of music. My favourite piece from the whole collection – ‘Auto Tune Gives You a Better Me’ – goes from explaining Whitney Houston’s natural melisma, to Cher’s infamous use of autotune, to travelling to the Atlas mountains to meet musicians from the Berber communities, where auto tune has become the most widely used form of musical manipulation. Clayton has some examples on his website, but to read the essay you’ll need to buy the book. 

First published in Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, FSG, 2016. Taster available here