This is sort of a sideline thing to Ed's subject of "The Future".
I have this dream/nightmare that I have to share with you. I swear it's true. Any of you also had it?
There is this black box that I just KNOW has already been invented in some garage somewhere that has no glitches, works flawlessly, goes way beyond the auto-tune technology and does the following...
You plug an inexpensive little Radio Shack mic into one jack of the box and deliberately sing in the most off-key, raspy, unintelligible way possible. What comes out of the audio out jacks is your mouth formations, now in perfect pitch and intonation..sounding exactly like any type of voice..even a celebrity! Just hit the "crooner" button on the box and you sound like a perfectly tuned, intonated Frank Sinatra. And I mean EXACTLY like Sinatra. You can not tell the difference. Or, let's say you're a ten year old kid and you hit the "Jazz" button ... your voice now comes out sounding exactly like Louis Armstrong. Or if you push the "British 60's Invasion" button, you sound just like ...agggh...Jagger! Or you might be a member of a heavy metal band. You write a tender ballad that's not conducive to your basher singing voice. What do you do. You go into the studio, hit the "Barbra Streisand" button and record the ballad in a perfect female vocal voice. And I mean exactly! And the tweaking buttons on the unit include things like, alter celebrity voice to something not quite so noticeable", "U-87 at Abbey Road #1", "U-87 in a barn", etc so that you get completely accurate control of how the voice is produced. And of course the unit has SMPTE or wordclock sync and the ability to quantize your phrasing to capture any kind feel in the most perfect way without sounding quantized.
And in this dream, the box is released and available at places like Target and Sears. And of course, because of the perfect "sound-alike" nature of the box, the lawyers for people like Jagger and Sinatra come out in force. But since the box is now being made out of the country and is multiplying in astronomical numbers, the lawyers finally give up and begin to license the use of the sound of celebrity voices for a reasonable royalty fee. And then the price of the box drops to $29.95 and everybody has one, especially anyone who can't carry a tune.
There you go ...I see THAT in the future. Pretty scary huh?