An Audience with Michael Bublé (ITV), and Autotune

UPDATE: Check out a recent live interview

The full-on mainstream media promotion of a tour takes some getting used to. Thirty-four year old Canadian ratpack singer Michael Bublé was on ITV last night, plugging ten dates at major UK venues in September/ October.

When music is designed to be this predictable, when the market only functions if singers stay millimetre-close to their records, I’ve stopped listening. The commerce becomes the spectacle in its own right.

ITV was milking the ad breaks for all they were worth. An ad for seatwave.com just happened to feature a fictitious poster for the tour. An ad for ice cream had as backing track the same song in the same key that had preceded the ad break. . So, ITV chooses to play fast and loose with Article 2.1.2 (b) of the CAP/BCAP advertising code on the separation of advertisements and programmes. But such is the search for the honest buck, perhaps.

I watched the programme intermediated by flow of Twitter comment. Sad, me? There were literally hundreds of women of all ages every minute declaring that they “<3" Buble. But there were also several mentions of AUTOTUNE, a device which corrects the pitch of a singer in live performance. And some of those made the assertion seemed pretty confident that distortion on the sound makingit “vo-coderish” was a dead giveaway. I don’t know. I’m not making the allegation, just reporting it.

But it raises two questions. First. It would be interesting to know if he was using Autotune. And there are clearly going to be ITV technicians who know. Or could deny it.

And secondly, does it make any difference? Some argue that amplification is the thin end of the wedge, and the use of tricks like this is just a logical extension? Or that music which is there to reassure a large public rather than challenge it might as well go the whole hog. Any thoughts?

Categories: miscellaneous

52 replies »

  1. Thanks for re-starting this debate which is nearly five years old now.

    We were writing about one show. We were disappointed with the lack of response that we had from ITV producers of it. We suspect that they ( Fiona Clark, Lee Connolly Katie Rawcliffe) are the ones who probably DO know the specific background as to what happened with this show, and why Autotune was used.

    This post has had huge readership. But has the issue ever damaged Buble's career in the slightest? Emphatically …NO!

Leave a Reply