"Thank You, Vocoder"  AINSLEY DREW  ·  MAR 27 2009

"Vocoders are an instantly recognizable synthesizer sound, having been used in popular music since the 1960s. They allow you to 'talk like a robot', which while fun, is often not musically useful."

This from "Introduction to Vocoders," proves the point that the vocoder does not, in fact, turn a song into music. The voice analyzer/synthesizer system that was originally developed in the 1930s to facilitate early telephony has now become a seemingly inescapable accessory to popular music.

Rapper Ice Cube also awkwardly reflected on the negative effects of vocoders on rap:

"Records sales really not concerned to me as much as doing it my way. And doing the kind of records I want to do. Without some A&R dude trying to tell me to go find T-Pain and get you a voice box. Ya know, all this stupid stuff that they do that mess up a lot of records, mess up a lot of artists."

This clip of T-Pain v. His Vocoder is the audio equipment equivalent of Stephen King's Christine, and it certainly backs up Mr. Cube's claim.

Update: Turns out that the actual device Mr. Pain uses to alter his voice box is referred to as an Auto-Tune, and it's the weapon of choice for Cher, Kanye, and T-Pain, who seems just as oblivious as this author was. The two machines are entirely different.

Thx jason freeman

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