History of AutoTune:

AutoTune is a pitch correction software that was first introduced in 1997 by Antares Audio Technologies. Originally designed to correct small pitch errors in vocal and instrumental performances, the software has undergone significant development. It now offers a wide range of features. The first mainstream hit that featured AutoTune was not even a rapper. Cher was the first artist to have AutoTune on a mainstream hit with her single “Believe.”

The most well-known use of AutoTune is the “AutoTune effect”, which is characterized by a processed, robotic vocal sound. This effect became popularized by artists such as T-Pain and Kanye West, who used AutoTune to create exaggerated and distinctive vocal effects.

However, it can be used in more subtle and nuanced ways. Many contemporary artists, such as Billie Eilish and her producer Finneas, use AutoTune to achieve a distinctive sound. In their music, AutoTune is used not to correct pitch, but to create a glitchy, stuttering effect that adds to the song.


AutoTune being used

AutoTune and its Effects:

AutoTune works by analyzing the pitch of a singer’s performance and making adjustments to correct any errors. The software breaks down the vocal performance into parts and compares the pitch of each part to the correct note in the chosen key and scale. If the singer is singing off-key, AutoTune will adjust the pitch of the notes to bring them into the correct key and scale. Within the plugin, there are controls that are dedicated to different effects. The four effects covered are, Retune, Flex-Tune, Humanize, and Natural Vibrato. This guide will show you how to use its features.


The first effect mentioned above is Retune. Retune is how quickly autotune corrects the incorrect pitches. An example of when you need a faster Retune speed is when a rapper is performing more aggressive music or rapping quickly. You will need the faster Retune to have the AutoTune come stronger. An example of when you would want a slower Retune speed is for a singer giving a melodic performance. The slower Retune speed will allow a more natural voice to resonate throughout the song. The best way to think of Retune is to think about how exaggerated you want the effect to sound.


The second effect is Flex-Tune. Flex-Tune is how much of the AutoTune effect you want to use in comparison to the artist’s natural pitch. When Flex-Tune is at 0, it is using AutoTune pitch correction entirely. When Flex-Tune is engaged, the effect allows the artist’s voice to sound instead of the raw AutoTune effect. The way to think about Flex-Tune is how much of your pitch to use.


Third, is the Humanize function. Humanize will remove any robotic sound that AutoTune produces from the pitch correction. Depending on the style of music used, Humanize is a great way to get your vocals to sound natural. However, there are times when Humanize is not wanted. For example, in T-Pain’s music, he uses a strong AutoTune effect with little to no Humanize. As for Humanize, it is. a blend between the AutoTune effect and your own voice.

Natural Vibrato:

The final effect covered is the Natural Vibrato. This controls the amount of vibrato in the effect. At times singers use vibrato to enhance or highlight certain parts of a song. Vibrato is when a singer sings in and out of pitch intentionally to create emphasis. By allowing the Natural Vibrato effect to take place, it will allow the vibrato to shine through. In addition, prevents AutoTune from trying to correct vibratos from a singer’s voice.

How to Use AutoTune: 

There is no one way to use AutoTune. However, this guide will get you started on where to start creating your unique sound. We recommend starting with the Retune speed. This will help set how fast the tune is acting. Next, we suggest setting the amount of Humanize you are looking for. This helps set how much of your actual voice will bleed through the effect. Furthermore, this will help it take shape as to how you want to sound. Since each artist has a unique approach to AutoTune, you should be looking to do the same as well. Lastly, will help you create a unique sound and add more to your originality.

The next step is to set your Flex-Tune. Setting the Flex-Tune will allow your natural pitch to come through the effect. The more the Flex-Tune the more of your natural voice. Lastly, is the natural vibrato. As mentioned above this decides how much vibrato goes through the effect. Following this guide can help you set your sound by going through each component.


Artist using AutoTune


Overall, AutoTune has become an essential tool for music producers and artists alike. Offering a wide range of creative possibilities for vocal performances. The effect has found its place within the industry. The software has become an essential effect for vocals ranging from legends like Cher to Kanye using it. Also, throughout the years, AutoTune has innovated the industry and changed the sound across different types of music. Without a doubt, AutoTune has become a staple across the industry. Whether used for subtle pitch correction or for creating unique vocals, AutoTune’s versatility has made it a popular software tool in the music industry. Finally, here at Bay Eight Recording Studios Miami, we use AutoTune in professional settings. Come hear how a pro can set AutoTune for your voice and sound.

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