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John Lennon Would Have Loved Auto-Tune - Paul McCartney

In a recent interview, Beatle Paul McCartney declared that his fellow Beatle John Lennon would have loved to use Auto-Tune. Auto-Tune uses a proprietary device to measure and alter pitch in vocal and instrumental music recordings and live performances.

Auto-Tune was originally intended to disguise or correct off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned despite originally being slightly off-pitch.

"I'd say that if John Lennon had had an opportunity, he would have been all over it," McCartney says in the first episode of "Watch the Sound," a new Apple TV+ docuseries hosted by producer Mark Ronson. "Not so much to fix your voice, but just to play with it."

(Via Insider)

The idea for Auto-Tune, and the music culture that it would spawn, was first imagined by Bernard Brown in his 1931 story Prima Donna 1980. He called it Perfect Voice Modulation:

They hurried through the central projector hall into a smaller chamber, the walls of which were decked with huge photographic prints of sound records. Several men were adding to the collection as though their lives depended upon the job.

“Look here,” Nash indicated three six-foot long prints. “This represents part of a single sound pronounced by Dorna Guiselle and Miss Wentworth. It was recorded by the ‘fulltone’ process having an effective response up to twenty thousand cycles per second. See the difference?”


(The perfect voice from 'Prima Donna 1980' by Bernard Brown)

“Aren’t you as badly off as you were at first?” asked the doctor with a puzzled frown. “You seem to have cut off the top of Miss Wentworth’s voice and then elaborately put it back again.”

“Rot!” snapped Nash. “I cut her off her top, if you like, but then I add a fresh one. Not Dorna Guiselle’s even; scientifically perfect frequencies as can be obtained only from a thermionic oscillator. It is the perfect voice.”

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