Is ALL contemporary popular music Autotuned®?

I should say this is an extreme example. Bonham and other drummers back then played by their own internal feel of rhythm.

Modern music is played to a click track. Beat Detective makes small adjustments to Quantize. Some people say it’s fixing the drumming. Others say it removes the human factor in drumming.

Unfortunately modern listeners grow up hearing this very structured beat and expect it.

Yeah, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: All studio recordings are a fiction. The only question is how much? Even on my band’s current record (which isn’t yet in the can), where the drummer and I recorded our tracks together pretty much all on the first take, there’s a studio trick or two employed. I actually did overdub half a track due to a clam when the drummer’s track was too perfect to replace. On top of that, my bass has varying amounts of compression added, which is normal in the studio.

That said, not everything is manipulated to hell and back, even these days. There’s lots of slickly-produced songs out there, but there’s also quite a few who aren’t afraid to show a few warts. Autotune does seem like more of a cheat than most effects such as reverb, which also makes you sound better and can get annoying when overused. But, once you get to processing vocals, it’s hard to say when you’re overusing it. It’s more of a matter of taste than anything.

My go-to recommendation on this topic is to check out Ali Lohan’s Christmas Album. Lindsay Lohan’s little sister recorded it when she was, I think, 13. And she just plain didn’t have the pipes to be recording an album. You can hear the artifacts of pitch correction all over the place.