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One of the more famous plugins available to recording artists is called autotune. Autotune allows a singer or instrumentalist's pitch to be adjusted to perfection. Is it cheating? Many would say it is. They want the singer to hit the right note and if they can't then either try harder, get a singing lesson, or leave it in. I wonder about that. What about visual manipulation? Is it cheating to crank up the color saturation of a photo? In my days as a photographer, I went through a number of phases. One of those phases was what I called my Ansel Adam's purist's period. From what I knew about Adams he was a purist. He lugged around a big view camera and waited for the light to be just right. Only then did he shoot his picture. I did the same thing for years. What he captured was pure. Until I learned it wasn't. Turned out Adams was also a master in the darkroom. There are books written about his techniques to save images or enhance what he had captured. In the same vein, I wonder if I wouldn't be happier to hear the perfect note even if it took a little manipulation to get there. If the music carries enough emotion to connect with me I really don't care how it got there.
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Paul McGowan

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