Where even the most talentless of singers can become superstars overnight.
- Developer: Antares Audio Technologies
- Release Date: 1997
- Twitter: Unknown
- Known For: Pitch Correction
Auto-tune is a proprietary pitch-correction software that is used by many recording studios, and therefore, many singers, such as T-Pain or Ke$ha, in the music industry. When originally conceived, it was mainly used to correct the few mistakes in a song, a little pitch shift here or there, and made sure that the vocals were in tuned with the beat. Over the years, the producers enjoyed the ease of use when it came to recording as it saved a considerable amount of time compared to editing music without the use of the software. Likewise, there's no other way to edit out horrible pitch.
Despite being a very helpful asset in the music industry, many criticize auto-tune for being a pick-me-up for those with no singing talent whatsoever and giving people a distorted, robotic voice, which auto-tune's owners gleefully promote. Though some artists have claimed that they don't use auto-tune when recording songs, many of them happen to use it on stage for a better performance. This also cuts down time as many artists now don't have rehearse or practice before performing on stage. With this in mind, it's quite possible to literally turn just about anyone, even someone with no talent at all, into a successful megastar over night with the right amount of market appeal added. This is assuming they aren't fugly.
For over a decade, auto-tune assures that now there is no need to have any actual singing talent and has made the editing process for producers a lot easier. To make the subject more succinct, auto-tune can be viewed as a cheating tactic for singers and producers.
Auto-tune isn't only used by singers. Many people on YouTube have taken clips, usually those that are viral, slap a beat and pitch shift so that the vocals are on beat with the instrumentals. Famous examples include the Antoine Dodson "Bed Intruder" song, which has received millions of views on YouTube.
Artists Known for Autotune
- Justin Bieber
- Lady GaGa
- Essentially, any artist referred to as "good" by your average tween
Auto-tune was created by Dr. Harold Hildebrand (AKA "Dr. Andy"), a geophysicist specializing in seismic data who formerly worked for Exxon. In 1990, he formed the company that would become Antares Audio Technologies, where he developed digital signal processing applications for audio engineering. Auto-tune was created to match a pitch with its closest semitone. It can be used to generate that unnatural, "auto-tuned" vocal effect by making its pitch correction speed ("Retune Speed") instantaneous. Lowering the correction speed will make the pitch sound more natural.
It was first introduced to the world in 1997 and saw an explosive amount of usage towards the beginning of the 21st century. Compared to any other method of pitch-correction, auto-tune is the most popular amongst professional and amateur studios. One of the very first songs to use auto-tune was the Cher song "Believe" back in 1998.
Used by many singers. Some say it's responsible for a sharp decline in quality of music, but we can also blame capitalism.