Sweden: No Auto-Tune in Melodifestivalen, says producer Karin Gunnarsson!

The organizers of the Norwegian equivalent to Melodifestivalen, Melodi Grand Prix, have decided to allow Auto-Tune to enhance the singing voices in this year’s competition.

Now SVT is responding to the neighboring country’s decision. Karin Gunnarsson, competition producer of Melodifestivalen spoke to Sveriges Radio Kulturnytt and said that SVT follows the guidelines of Eurovision Song Contest and hence it would be challenging to use Auto-Tune in the Swedish national selection process:

“This means that there would be a version of a song that must be revamped to suit Eurovision. And that’s just a good thing.”

Auto-Tune can be explained as an effect used to correct and manipulate the pitch of a voice. Among, other things, to avoid false notes. It is widely used in both live productions and recordings. And sometimes it is used, says Karin Gunnarsson, as a personal artistic choice:

“Some use it as an artistic and unique selling proposition to make their music or song stand out. But it will be hard to get that expression into Melodifestivalen as it is now. Those artists are not relevant, so to speak. Furthermore, there is no need or pressure from the industry artists that they want Auto-Tune.”

And Mårten Tomassen, who is chairman of the Norwegian Eurovision fan club, spoke to Sveriges Radio and expressed his belief that allowing Auto-Tune would be a step in the wrong direction.

“I don’t like it, one of the dubious aspects of Melodifestivalen is that the artist sings with the voice they are known with. Sometimes it’s an amazing vocal experience, other times not so good.” 

Do you think that Auto-Tune should be introduced at Melodifestivalen or any other Eurovision national selection processes? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: Sveriges Radio / Kulturnytt / Helena Stinkvist Sörlin & Gustav Ingerhage

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EBU: The union’s take on Auto-Tune! | There is an exception to the rule!

While the EBU requires Eurovision participants to sing live with their raw vocals at the song contest, NRK has allowed so-called Auto-Tune in the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix. The Eurovision organizer had always been cautious about commenting on the topic, but now clearly outlines the rules for Auto-Tune to TV 2. EBU‘s communications department outlines:

“Live vocals are very important in our format and in the tradition of the competition. The quality of the main vocals is a large part of the overall assessment of the performance, both for the jury and the audience at home. That performance should happen live, and without manipulation.”

Auto-Tune is a digital music tool that corrects the pitch of the voice, even in real-time, so singers always hit the tone precisely. The technology became particularly famous in 1998 through the song “Believe” by Cher.

This is the exception

Despite the seemingly categorical ban, the EBU acknowledges that there does not exist a total Auto-Tune ban on the Eurovision stage.

“Auto-Tune can be used as a sound effect on parts of a song, but we don’t allow it to correct the tone of the lead singer or backing vocals throughout the song.”

This means that the controversial technology can be used in a registered song, but no more extensive form than as an effect grip. President Morten Thomassen of the Norwegian Eurovision club says about the new information:

“I think it is the first time they clarify these rules so much. It’s good that they’re still against Auto-Tune on paper, but the way I interpret the rules, it can be applied to the vocally difficult parts of the song and that’s probably where it’s needed most I would think.”

“Unfortunately, Auto-Tune is here to stay”

Thomassen is not satisfied with the fact that Auto-Tune is freely allowed in the NRK competition of MGP, which is the stage where Norway‘s Eurovision entry is to be selected from, expressing his clear dissatisfaction when he spoke to TV 2 on Tuesday.

He thought Auto-Tune in a contest like Eurovision is like “putting too much makeup on the bride”, and already last year asked NRK to reverse the choice of the sometimes reviled technology.

Do you agree with the use of Auto-Tune at the Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Source: TV 2

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Eurovision 2024: The rules of Eurovision 2024 are released! | The ratio between juries and televoting is still not specified!

EBU has released through the official Eurovision website the rules of the 2024 contest to be held in Malmö, Sweden.

What needs to be pointed out is that the National Juries and the National Audiences will be combined according to a ration which will be decided later. More specifically the rules specify:

“In the Final; the points of the National Audiences and of the National Juries shall be combined according to a ratio which is determined by the EBU, subject to the Reference Group approval, to calculate the official result of the Final.

For example, if the ratio is 50-50, the points of the National Jury carry the same weight as the points of the National Audiences”

As it seems there are also still no plans to introduce the use of Auto-Tune in the contest and use of such or lipsyncing are explicitly prohibited. The pre-recorded backing vocals are still allowed in this year’s contest too.

Do you think that there will be a later announcement for a change in the ratio of combined voting, by EBU? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: EBU

Norway: NRK adds Auto-Tune in Melodi Grand Prix 2023!

For the first time in Melodi Grand Prix’s history, NRK gives to its contestants, the chance to compete without the fear of not being perfect vocally, as they are going to allow the use of Auto-Tune, a virtual tool that corrects the wrong tunes and lets the singer be in-tune.

If for example, Stig van Eijk, Kate Gulbrandsen or Atle Pettersen lose their tune, the tool will make the required adjustment to take the note to the necessary tune.

This is what NRK’s ​​Melodi GRand Prix general, Stig Karlsen said:

“MGP follows the development of the concert industry and music shows on TV, by allowing tuning of the lead vocal for MGP 2023”

Auto-Tune is a common production tool, especially in Hip-Hop and R&B music, from Cher’s “Believe” in 1998 to today’s Billie Eillish.

As of now, Auto-Tune is not allowed in the Eurovision Song Contest, but that does not change NRK’s ​​decision to add it to the national final:

“But therefore it is absolutely essential that the artists we select for MGP deliver at a high level, even without tuning. In those cases where we do not know the artist’s performance level live, they are invited to an audition. We set high standards for the vocalists’ performance level, but will help to perfect the quality of the sound production through the use of tuning. This is done to give the audience a similarly solid sound experience as in the rest of the industry”

The director of Melodi Grand Prix in NRK, Stig Karlsen, adds that this is what corresponds to what has happened in other music productions in TV in recent years:

“MGP is one of the last remaining music productions on TV that will now use sound production tools of this type. Using Auto-Tune does not make anyone a skilled vocalist, Karlsen points out. A good vocalist must deliver on communication skills, power, rhythm and timing, empathy, attitude and timbre. A vocalist is also carried by the individual character of the voice. Auto-Tune is just one of several tools for correcting and optimizing the sound experience.”

Stig Karlsen believes that throug the many years of using Auto-Tune, the public has become more discerning with the listening experience and that they automatically get used to the vocals being corrected to their best form:

“MGP therefore sees itself as having to follow developments in order to deliver the product expected by the public in 2023.”

Will the winner of Melodi Grand Prix 2020, Ulrikke be in need of Auto-Tune, in next Saturday’s First semi-final?

Stay tuned on Eurovisionfun for all the news regarding the Norwegian participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, in Liverpool!