Inventor of Auto-Tune Claims No Responsibility for Killing Hip-Hop

June 29, 2009

Dr. Andy Hildebrand, inventor of the pitch-correcting software Auto-Tune, is claiming no responsibility for nearly murdering popular music with his overused vocal device.
Hildebrand is set to appear on PBS' NOVA this Tuesday and recently spoke to the Seattle Times about car crashes, the engineer/mathematician/musician correlation, and not listening to T-Pain. However, the most important topic he chatted about had to be the backlash over Auto-Tune, recently led by Jay-Z with his track "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)."

If you have listened to any hip-hop/R&B in the past year you are obviously aware that Auto-Tune has dominated these popular musical charts and continues to do so. Thanks, T-Pain.

Hildebrand started the interview off by explaining that the original intention of Auto-Tune was to apply it in a way that the listener wouldn’t know it was being used. He also stated that the popular "zero" setting used by popular hip-hop/R&B artists is a setting on Auto-Tune that causes instantaneous transitions in pitch. “It's an extreme setting,” he said. “And we allow the user to do that. We didn't think anybody would do that, but apparently it's a popular thing nowadays.”

Interviewer: Yesterday, I posted on my Facebook profile "I'm interviewing the inventor of Auto-Tune tomorrow" and the only comments on my update were people saying, "Can you ask him why he ruined music?" I forget what the other ones were, but they were similar.

Hildebrand: I just give people a tool. I don't tell them how to use it. I think some people did some stuff that some people are getting tired of hearing.

I’m not gonna say I hate Auto-Tune, but I will agree that it does allow non-singers to get away with musical murder.

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