How Auto-Tune works

Following its projection into the media spotlight earlier this week, we thought we had better have a more detailed look at the ins and outs of autotune software.

Designed to ease out the flaws in singers’ vocals, autotune works by smoothing out flat or sharp notes to make a pitch perfect sound.
Even the best singers in the world are prone to sliding between notes and the practise of using autotune is now ubiquitous in most modern recorded music.
Indeed, most of the time listeners may be completely oblivious to its use.
“It’s pretty much used in 99 per cent of recorded music now,” Daniel Griffiths, editor of music recording magazine Future Music, told the BBC.
“I’ve spoken to engineers who have recorded really big artists and they just say it’s there on the mixing desk all the time. If the artist wants to use it, then they just flick the switch.”
However, simply using this software is not a guarantee of a pitch perfect recording, as singers need to know what note they are trying to sing in if the application is going to have the desired effect.
Jim Anderson, president of the US Audio Engineering Society, ¬†told Time magazine that music fans’ expectations of artists and their songs are now no longer the same as they used to be.
“People are getting used to hearing things dead on pitch, and it’s changed their expectations” .
But in an industry where some of the best-loved and most successful vocalists have not been pitch perfect it begs the question as to whether its widespread use is justified.
What are your views on the technology?

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