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The Deceptive Perfection of Auto-Tune 437

theodp writes "For a medium in which mediocre singing has never been a bar to entry, a lot of pop vocals suddenly sound better than great — they're note- and pitch-perfect. It's all thanks to Auto-Tune, the brainchild of Andy Hildebrand, who realized that the wonders of autocorrelation — which he once used to map drilling sites for the oil industry — could also be used to bestow perfect pitch upon the Britney Spears of the world. While Auto-Tune was intended to be used unnoticed, musicians are growing fond of adjusting the program's retune speed to eliminate the natural transition between notes, which yield jumpy and automated-sounding vocals. 'I never figured anyone in their right mind would want to do that,' says Hildebrand." As these techniques improve and become more popular, it makes me wonder what music produced twenty or fifty years from now will sound like, and how much authenticity will be left.

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham