In case you haven’t seen any of the Auto-Tune the News stuff, it’s worth a few minutes to watch these videos.
Auto-Tune the News is a series of music videos which are mostly taken from real news coverage and set to music. But the real genius behind these incredibly popular viral videos is that the voice of the main person in the video is manipulated using Auto-Tune software to sound like they’re singing.
Here’s an example of how this works.
I’m Not a Witch
First, watch this video — it’s the real 30 second ad for Christine O’Donnell, the candidate running for the U.S. Senate (and infamously known for having once said on a 90s talk show that she dabbled in witchcraft):
Actually, I thought it was a pretty good ad. Then, enter The Gregory Brothers, a quartet folk/rock group who are behind the Auto-Tune the News videos. Here’s what they did, using the above ad as the main content:
Amazing, eh? And catchy as hell. The Gregory Brothers have a knack for coming up with very catchy tunes.
Enter the Swedish “powerpop” band Roomie, who did a cover of The Gregory Brothers’ video:
Pretty amazing work. I hope Christine O’Donnell has seen these!
A couple of other Auto-Tune the News songs:
The Rent Is Too Damn High
This candidate for New York Governor drew a lot of media attention because of his over-the-top platform. Here’s are the original clips:
And here’s what The Gregory Brothers did with it:
Unfortunately, YouTube has pulled down the original newscast that was the source of this next song. Basically, it’s from an interview of a quirky woman who witnessed a convenience store robbery. The song pulls from the portion where she tells the interviewer how she managed to get out without being spotted (She backed up, because her daddy taught her good.)
By far the best Auto-Tune the News video, in my opinion, is the Bed Intruder song. It’s from a newscast covering an attempted assault on a woman in “the projects.” But it’s her flamboyant vigilante brother who captured The Gregory Brothers’ interest. Watch the original video — her brother comes in at about the one-minute mark:
And here’s what they did with his interview:
Genius! And Antoine became a genuine star! Here’s the newscast’s follow-up story:
Eventually, he was invited on BET’s awards show. Watch how many people in the audience are even singing along:
And of course, the money started coming in. This local radio station hired him to make a commercial for a local mortgage company (skip to 2:10 to see him tape the ads):