Tuesday, July 07, 2009

autotune in the spotlight

PBS show Nova takes a look at the science behind autotune music, and notes that the technology -- widely used in-studio and even live -- had its coming out with Cher's trancey, 1998 hit "Believe."

It appears to me that Daft Punk was using similar technology on tracks like "Around the World" in the mid-1990s, the Prodigy was laying it down in the early '90s with songs such as "Out of Space" -- although they didn't seem to have pitch correction back then -- and even such talk box taples as Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" (1980) and Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" (1973) were tweaking vocals in a similar manner before the computer-recording era. Feel free to add your own recollections of vocal tweakery in the comments.

[Spotted at Entertainment Weekly].

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weird, i always thought vocoder (a la Roger Troutman, Peter Frampton etc.) and autotune sounded the same. so auto-tune is a specific brand of vocodering? isn't vocoder kind of an effect in pre-production, played like an instrument/effect on top of your voice, and auto-tune is done in post?

Mr. Tunes said...

i read in a few places that the Cher song actually used a digitech talker effects pedal.

D said...

Somnambulist: Good point. I think you're right. Seems like autotune (I think various programs have it) was designed to fix vocals but when tweaked can produce that talk-box-ish/vocoder-ish sound.