What Is Autotune In Music?

This guide will answer what is autotune in music, how it’s used, what it’s used for, showcase examples, and share what popular music artists use it.

  1. What Is Autotune In Music
  2. What Is Autotune Used For
  3. What Are Some Autotune Examples
  4. Who Uses Autotune
  5. Why Do Singers Use Autotune
  6. What Does Autotune Do To A Voice
  7. Who Invented Autotune
  8. How Do You Use Autotune

What Is Autotune In Music?

Autotune is a pitch correction software created by Antares Audio Technologies. The software was created so singers could sound more professional and increase their musical range. Autotune helps correct flat notes or accentuate sharp notes. It is very common for rappers and singers to use Autotune today in their music.

Autotune was originally used to assist singers in their vocal performances.

However, with the introduction of recording software such as GarageBand and Pro Tools, this software made it into the homes of most music producers.

The software corrects pitch and timing problems you might hear in a song. Whether it’s an off-key or a bad beat, this program can fix all that. However, this software is very controversial because it makes the song sound robotic.

What Is Autotune In Music
What Is Autotune In Music

How Does Autotune Work?

Autotune works in two main steps: pitch detection and pitch correction. The first part is pitch detection. It detects how off-key the voice is. The second step is pitch correction, which moves notes to the closest correct note.

The audio processor is essentially the heart of most music producers’ gear, and it is responsible for the vocals and instrument processing.

This processor splits the audio signal into many separate parts and makes changes to those sounds.

How Does Auto-Tune Work? | Source

History of Autotune

Andy Hildebrand invented Autotune in the late 90s. He founded Antares Audio Technologies and introduced Autotune in 1997. By 1998, Cher’s hit “Believe” was the first song to use Autotune.

The software gained popularity and was used in many songs by artists in the 2000s. Even though it was made in 1997, it didn’t get popular until 2002 when The Black Eyed Peas used it in the song “Let’s Get It Started”.

Today, with the rise of Soundcloud rappers and Instagram singers, everyone is trying to use Autotune in their music. It works out well most of the time, but some songs sound very robotic because of autotuning.

Controversy About Autotune

There is a lot of controversy about the use of Autotune in music. Some people don’t like it because they say that autotuning makes the song sound too robotic. Others say that it is just another tool to express your creativity.

There are some songs that people do not like because they use Autotune too much. For example, artist Future’s album “DS2” has a lot of songs that use Autotune, and they don’t sound good at all.

On the other hand, some songs sound great because of autotuning. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” is a good example of a song that uses Autotune correctly.

The Autotuned part of this song is short and not too much, making it sound good. It is also the song’s chorus, so it catches your attention more.

Another great example is Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble“. This song uses Autotune the right way because it doesn’t take over the song. It’s a small part of the song, and it sounds good.

Regardless of the controversy about the software, Autotune is now a very common tool in songs today, and many people have been using it in their songs to make them sound better.

Related: What Is A Chorus

What Is Autotune Used For?

Autotune is commonly used in popular music for several reasons. Some artists use Autotune to add more uniqueness and originality to their music. While some artists use it because they are just poor singers and need some help with pitch correction.

However, most artists use Autotune to stand out from the crowd and make their music super unique. There are many different uses for Autotune in music, and it does the job well.

What Are Some Autotune Examples?

Many popular music artists use Autotune in their songs. Let’s take a look at some examples of Autotune in music.

1. T-Pain

T-Pain is known for his unique use of Autotune in his songs. T-pain made this style popular, and it has become an essential part of rap music.

One of his popular songs is called “I’m Sprung,” released in 2005. The song was a massive hit, and T-Pain was recognized as the artist who started using Autotune.

T-Pain tried to move away from Autotune when Jay-Z released D.O.A (Death Of Auto-Tune), but T-Pain still uses it to create music.

T-Pain – I’m Sprung (Official HD Video)

2. Future

Future is another popular artist that uses Autotune in his songs. He also combines it with rap/hip-hop beats to create music that is different than other artists you might hear.

Future – Real Sisters (Official Music Video

3. Daft Punk

Daft Punk is an example of how Autotune can be used in different types of music. Daft Punk is a popular electronic group that uses Autotune in its music.

Their song “Starboy” is a perfect example of how Autotune can make electronic music pop. The song came out in 2016 by the artist The Weeknd.

The Weeknd – Starboy ft. Daft Punk (Official Video)

4. Drake

Drake is one of the biggest artists in today’s music industry. He has made a career out of rapping and singing.

His song “Hotline Bling” is a perfect example of how Autotune can make someone’s voice sound unique and different. The song came out in 2015, and it was a huge success because Drake used Autotune to make his voice sound different than other artists.

Drake – Hotline Bling

5. Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne is another example of an artist that uses Autotune to make their music stand out. He is well-known for his ability to rap and sing simultaneously.

In his song “No Frauds,” he uses Autotune differently than most other artists would. He wants to make sure the beat is very catchy and unique, so he uses Autotune to make it sound different than other songs.

The song came out in 2017, featuring Nicki Minaj and Drake. It was a successful song, and Lil Wayne still uses Autotune in his music today.

Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne – No Frauds

Who Uses Autotune?

Many artists use Autotune to stand out from the crowd and make their music super unique. Some popular artists who use Autotune are:

  • Eminem uses it in the song “My Mom.”
  • Akon uses it in his song “I’m So Paid.”
  • Rebecca Black uses it in her song “Friday.”
  • Chris Brown uses it in one of his best songs, “Forever.”
  • Miley Cyrus uses it in the song “Party In The USA.”

Why Do Singers Use Autotune?

Many singers use Autotune to give their songs a more unique and original feel. Autotune is becoming so popular in music that it has become its own genre.

Some singers use Autotune to reach higher notes than they normally could if they did not use the software. For example, a singer who might not hit a high E flat may use Autotune to sing that note that would be out of their vocal range.

On the other hand, some singers use Autotune because they have a poor singing voice and need help with pitch correction. It also helps singers stay in tune.

What Does Autotune Do To A Voice?

Auto-tune makes the voice sound more perfect. It’s like Photoshop for your voice. It was originally made to fix off-key notes in a singer’s voice, but now it has become a genre of its own.

Auto-tune was very popular in the 2000s, and many modern singers are still using it, some more than others. It gives the song a very unique and stylistic feel.

Can Anyone Sing With Autotune?! (Real Voice Vs. Autotune)

Who Invented Autotune?

Andy Hildebrand is the inventor of Autotune. The tool was released in 1997, and many producers in this day and age use this invention in their music.

It was very popular in the 2000s, and many modern singers are still using it, some more than others. Originally designed to correct off-key notes in a vocalist’s voice, but it has evolved into a distinct genre.

How Do You Use Auto-tune?

Using Autotune is fairly simple. All you have to do is sing along with a song, and the software will let you know if it’s off-key or not. Then, you can either have the software fix it or not.

Music producers and singers can use Autotune in different ways. It can be used to either cover up the voice or enhance it. The choice is completely up to the person using Autotune.

Related: 18 Autotune VST Plugins

Summary of Autotune

Auto-tune, a significant component of the music industry, has proven to be a valuable tool for enhancing vocal performances.

It’s a vocal pitch correction technology that ensures a pitch-perfect output, primarily used in pop music. Developed by Antares Auto-Tune, it has become a staple in recording studios worldwide, serving as a trusted companion for industry professionals.

The essence of auto tune software is to refine a vocal track, ensuring the pitch is corrected to suit the desired musical key.

This auto-tune plugin can be applied in real time, ensuring an accurate and perfect pitch. When used effectively, can enhance the sound quality of vocal recordings, transforming them from off-key to perfectly tuned.

However, understanding how auto tune works is crucial to achieving a natural sound in the final output.

The auto-tune technology adjusts the retune speed to either discreetly correct imprecise intonations or adds vibrato for a more dramatic effect.

Mixing engineers and audio engineers use auto tune in digital audio workstations, where the pitch correction tools become invaluable in music production.

But the use of auto-tune is not without controversy. Many feel that auto-tune creates an artificial sound, potentially taking away the human voice’s unique emotional qualities.

Artists like T Pain and Kanye West are known for their heavy use of auto-tune, creating a signature sound, but sometimes it can lead to criticism for too much auto-tune, making vocals sound more like a robot voice than a natural, human voice.

Despite these debates, many professional singers and recording artists, including Lil Wayne, use auto-tune in a creative and strategic way.

They apply auto-tune to a vocal performance, not to correct errors or mask a bad singer, but to experiment with new sounds and even to emphasize specific emotional qualities in their vocals.

In the hands of skilled professionals, auto-tune can enhance a vocal track, even whole tracks, in recording studios or during live performances.

It can make sustained notes sound more solid, and it can help correct pitch problems in real time. This is why it’s still widely used in modern music and continues to shape the future of audio production.

So, to conclude, auto tune is more than a pitch correction tool. It’s a creative tool, often used to adjust the tune of a vocal track, making it sound natural or creating a unique vocal effect.

Its use in the music industry continues to spark debate, but its impact on the sound of pop music is undeniable. Whether you love it or think it’s cheating, there’s no denying that auto-tune is an integral part of our musical landscape today.

I hope you now have a good understanding of autotune and how to use it.

Mark V.

Written By Mark V.

Mark Valenzuela is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and educator with more than 15 years of experience in music production. In 2008, Mark founded Hip Hop Makers, a top resource for aspiring music producers and beatmakers. He specializes in content on music production, software, gear, and free music resources. Committed to empowering creators of all levels, Mark continues to inspire and help music creators pursue their dreams.

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