posted at 19:50
Author: Frank Pallotta & Gus Lubin, Business Insider
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:34:00 +0000
How an oil engineer created Auto-Tune & changed the music industry
Working for Exxon Production Research and then Landmark Graphics, a company he co-founded, Hildebrand developed software for processing data from reflection seismology, a method of estimating properties of Earth's subsurface using reflected seismic waves. A professionally trained flutist since a young age, Hildebrand really wanted to be involved in music, and he found a way to transfer his skills to that field in 1990 when he launched Antares Audio Technologies, a company originally focused on digital music processing and sampling software. Although there were ways to correct pitch before Auto-Tune, it wasn't easy. "After the take, their producer will announce 'great but the second phrase was pitchy so let's do it again.' Well, now the singer's worried about pitch and has to focus on the intonation and the vitality and emotion are gone from their performance. What Auto-Tune lets the producer do is fix the first take." Auto-Tune caught on quickly but was treated as an industry secret until Cher brought it to the forefront with her 1998 smash "Believe," which used the software at its most aggressive setting for a strange, robotic effect. "We've been trying to fix pitch for years. Well before Auto-Tune, we've had tons of methods to speed things up, slow them down, fly them back in and get them right. It [was] really hard. So I'm glad it's easy." "Since rising to fame as the weird techno-warble effect in the chorus of Cher's 1998 song, 'Believe,' Auto-Tune has become bitchy shorthand for saying somebody can't sing," wrote The Verge's Lessley Anderson. Of course, not everyone likes what Auto-Tune has done to music.

Posts Archive