The Effects of Autotune on the Music Industry

Topics: T-Pain, Kanye West, Auto-Tune Pages: 4 (1419 words) Published: December 11, 2010
Throughout the years, musicians and artists have used many different techniques in order to make themselves sound different and to sell records. Quite recently, many musicians and artists have been using a pitch correcting program called Autotune. One rapper/hip-hop artist, T-Pain, is mainly responsible for transforming the use of Autotune.

Autotune was first invented in 1997 by Dr. Harold “Andy” Hildebrand. Dr. Hildebrand founded Antares Audio Technologies in 1990 after working as a research scientist for Exxon from 1976 until 1989, when he realized that the same technology he used to detect oil reserves in the sea floor could also be used to correct a singer’s unruly notes. After leaving Exxon, Hildebrand created a program called Infinity, which allowed musicians and producers to created endless loops of multiple instruments in samples. Due to the success Infinity had attained, the Dr. had decided to move on to his next task at hand. In 1997, Auto-Tune was released. Auto-Tune was a program designed to fix and correct pitch problems in not only singers, but other musicians who played instruments as well. The release of the program gained instant notoriety, as Auto-Tune became an instant phenomenon and grew to become the largest-selling plug-in of all time ( Auto-Tune is based on “phase vocoding technology”, which is an analysis-synthesis algorithm. The software detects the pitch of the voice of the singer or the instrument of the artist, analyzes the pitch along with the overtones and content, and then autocorrects the notes to the desired/correct pitch ( In the years following the development and release of Auto-Tune, there wasn’t much commercial use of the product. The first big hit to feature the use of Auto-Tune was Cher’s “Believe” in 1998 (Blame Cher). Since then, many prominent artists have featured the use of Auto-Tune, such as Kanye West, Lady GaGa, Ke$ha, and of course, T-Pain. About ten years before the...
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