Journey’s Steve Perry criticises pitch correction with Auto-Tune: “Auto-Tune has turned everybody into the same singer”

Author Samuel Järvinen - 29.12.2021

Correcting pitch in the studio with software like Auto-Tune or Melodyne is modern day practice. As well as correcting mistakes, programs that affect a singer’s timbre and pitch accuracy are also a common spice in hip hop music, for example, to give vocals a certain sound.

Now Steve Perry, lead singer of the rock band Journey, has criticised Auto-Tune in a recent interview with Kyle Meredith. According to Perry, Auto-Tune has taken the emotion out of the singers’ voices and made them all sound the same.

“Auto-Tune has turned everybody into the same singer, which I think is tragic”, Perry says and continues:

“I was told a long time by a very bright musician, he said when you listen to somebody as beautiful as a [Barbra] Streisand, your heart just goes, ‘I can’t believe she can do this. How is she doing this?’ And then you listen to Muddy Waters and you get an emotional touch too. Well, they’re totally two different vocal directions, totally two different vocal timbres, different styles. Well, one is angelic and beautiful and the other has some struggle in it, and it’s the struggle and the imperfections that you pull for, too. There’s this human thing.

“Singing is the most primal thing. It really is a very primal form of communication. And, obviously, it’s gonna be around for a while – which is why I’m not so happy that people are washing out this description we just talked about with Auto-Tune.”