John Lennon would have loved using Auto-Tune, according to Paul McCartney and the late Beatle's son

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paul mccartney mark ronson watch the sound
Paul McCartney and Mark Ronson in the first episode of "Watch the Sound." Apple TV+
  • The new Apple TV+ docuseries "Watch the Sound With Mark Ronson" premiered on Friday.

  • In the first episode, Paul McCartney tells Ronson that John Lennon would've loved using Auto-Tune.

  • The late Beatle's son, Sean Ono Lennon, says he agrees: "My dad didn't like his voice alone."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Paul McCartney believes John Lennon would have loved using Auto-Tune, the controversial production tool invented nearly two decades after the Beatle's death in 1980.

"I'd say that if John Lennon had had an opportunity, he would have been all over it," McCartney says in the first episode of "Watch the Sound," a new Apple TV+ docuseries hosted by producer Mark Ronson. "Not so much to fix your voice, but just to play with it."

Auto-Tune was invented in 1996 by mathematician Andy Hildebrand, who used his research on geophysics to digitally correct vocal pitch. After its first mainstream use in Cher's 1998 hit "Believe," it was popularized in the aughts by stars like T-Pain and Kanye West.

Auto-Tune has been criticized by some music fans as inauthentic, or a "crutch" singers use when they can't hit certain notes.

But as McCartney points out during his conversation with Ronson, the two Beatles frontmen never shied away from new production techniques or avant-garde flourishes - and Lennon was particularly interested in vocal manipulation and layering.

In fact, McCartney notes in episode two that "Tomorrow Never Knows," the 14th track on the band's 1966 album "Revolver," employs processed vocals and looped tape effects to simulate seagull chirps. The sounds were actually made by McCartney himself.

The "Maybe I'm Amazed" singer also tells Ronson that he's open to using Auto-Tune in his solo music: "If I've done a vocal that I don't think is that good, oh come on, let's stick it through. Why not?"

Sean Ono Lennon
Sean Ono Lennon in “Watch the Sound With Mark Ronson." Apple TV+

Lennon's son Sean Ono Lennon, who is also a songwriter and producer, agrees that his famous father would've enjoyed experimenting with modern technology.

"It's definitely true that my dad didn't like his voice alone, like a single voice," Sean told Ronson. "Part of it is why he found all those flangers and phase effects, because he was always trying to find a way to make his voice sound better to him."

"He always was not just keeping up with the technology, but the Beatles and my dad, they were always on the cutting edge of what was happening," Sean added. "I think for sure he would have tried Auto-Tune."

"Watch the Sound With Mark Ronson" is currently available to watch on Apple TV+.

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