THE AUTO-TUNE EFFECT
One of the most popular vocal effects is the Auto-Tune effect, named after the Antares pitch correction software. The extreme use of the effect leads to artificial, robot-like vocal lines. Cher's Song Believe (1998) is considered the starting point of the popularity of this effect. After the release and the big success of "Believe", the effect was also called the 'Cher Effect'.
After a short period of popularity in the early 2000s, Auto-Tune became one of the most 'overused' vocal effects from 2008 until now.
The pitch correction software Auto-Tune by Antares (introduced in 1997) was developed by Harold Hildebrand, an American scientist working as a specialist in DSP (digital signal processing). His development of Auto-Tune goes back to hardware pitch shifters and harmonizers, which made it possible to correct vocal or instrumental passages in post-production or in real-time.
This opened up the possibility to edit the tuning of vocals and instruments and thereby even achieve alienation (e. g. the 'chipmunk voice'). In the pre-digital era this effect was done by changing the audio tape speeds. In later digital effect processors from 1980, a differentiated pitch correction was possible regardless of the duration of a signal.
Today's (hardware) vocal effects processors such as the TC Helicon Voicelive 3 include pitch shifting, harmonizers, vocoders or Auto-Tune-like effects ("Hard-Tune"). Stepless pitch shifting can be achieved with the Digitec Whammy (since 1989), especially for electric guitars.
Auto-Tune was used in an extreme setting in the song Believe (1998), interpreted by singer Cher. Cher's voice jumps unnaturally within an interval.
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