We are aware that the “autotune” effect is a widely used audio enhancement technique in the music industry in today’s generation. Well, the purpose of autotune lies in smoothening out certain notes struck by vocalists.
However, the mystery lies in whether there exists something like an autotune microphone. So, come let us unravel the facts that answer this question.
What is autotune in a microphone?
To understand what is autotune in a microphone, you must first know that it refers to a typical pitch-correcting audio processor, among many others available on the market.
It came into existence in 1997, and it either softly or strongly alters the pitch of instruments and vocals. When the microphone sends a signal through the autotune processor and the processor is adjusted at the proper key and setting, the mic signal gets autotuned. There are no standalone “autotune microphones.”
Microphones are paired with autotune processor to create the autotune effect. Now that we know autotune effect is only the result of a pitch-correcting processor connected to microphones, that answers our question regarding what an autotune microphone is.
Now, let’s discuss the question that do microphones have autotune? The autotune processor or pedal acts as the sole autotune effects unit of a microphone. It can be turned off or on by using a microphone button.
Is there a microphone that makes you sing good?
Another blazing question is if there is a microphone that makes you sing good.
While there is a range of microphones that can render a certain quality to your singing with the added effects of general ambiance or other filters, the truth is that the purpose of microphones is to polish the audio output.
Mics affect the tone, pitch, pronunciation, delivery, and rhythm of your singing. To narrow down the dilemma of choosing a suitable microphone, I recommend you the safest and most widely used option of condenser mics for recording songs.
The consecutive choices I recommend are the dynamic and the lavalier microphones. Hence, it is clear that the crassness can be removed, but there is no alternative to skill and practice for better singing.
Autotune is undoubtedly an interesting technological advancement. It has multiple uses in pitch-correcting live and studio performances besides being used for post-recording edits.
What seems fascinating during a live performance of our favorite artist is how they sound quite precise despite a million fan interactions, dance moves onstage, and surrounding commotion. It makes us wonder to what extent you can autotune live vocals.
There is a range of autotune systems that work the best for live performances and have presets that can guarantee you perfection in live performances. These systems are loaded with software that allows you to edit your recordings.
These features include layering your voice, among other cool effects. The pedals allow the artist to pause the pitch correction while engaging with his audience.
How different singers and bands use autotune:
Talking of renowned artists, we often hear allegations against a bunch of them who sing as “smooth like butter.” It seems you have already understood who I am referring to. Does the world-acclaimed BTS use autotune mics?
Well, BTS has owned and sworn to the fact that they use autotune mics. They use heavy pitch correction and auto tuning effects in their studio.
The songs that BTS makes are usually high-pitched and are heavy on the choreography aspect. It is thus their claim that even the biggest expert artists cannot execute the songs naturally while dancing as gracefully as they do.
Most K-Pop bands, including BTS, have been completely vocal about using heavy autotune and lip-sync methods to create their best entertaining music for the world.
Music today is easier than back in the day when singers had very few audio enhancing or modulating backups. I often watch music performances and am taken aback by the perfect illusion that each one generates.
You must have also wondered if recording artists do use autotune. It is almost unbelievable how recording artists and the media fool us into thinking that the greatest singers or bands are naturally performing with that unbelievable flare.
Recording artists today have access to innumerable technical support starting from autotune, guide vocals, backing instrumental tracks, click tracks, and teleprompters, among myriad others. This happens not only in recording studios but also in live concerts.
By this time, you may have an altered perception of how singers perform. The seamlessness of concerts has started to be highly suspicious as we start doubting if our favorite artists ever had the skill that made us fall in love with their voice in the first place.
Do singers actually sing in concerts?
What you must know is that the key factors that decide the singers should sing with or without enhancing aids are the genre and type of performance the song demands onstage. In my opinion, singing onstage has become more about performance, and singers are not just singing these days.
The audience has high expectations to be entertained and reap the cost of their tickets. Here, comes to play are the wise use of lip sync and autotune effects besides having backing music and singers. A lot also depends on the singer’s choice to perform raw to captivate the audience with pure skill. Genres like classical music, opera, and broadway performances often showcase untainted talent.
Now what strikes off as a stronger notion is whether all singers use autotune. As we have realized, autotune is like a finishing touch that artists aim to add to their work. The software was created just to align the entire vocal to a specific scale, being its primary job as a pitch-corrector.
The use of autotune can be so subtle that experts in the field may miss out on the edit. Being said so, Daniel Griffith, the editor of music recording magazine, Future Music, says that 99% of music recorded now is autotuned in nature. Although very few artists have been open about using autotune, we surely know that various ways of autotuning have given a separate identity to certain singers and their songs. Most singers in today’s generation are tech savvy and opt to turn it up a notch when it comes to creating appealing music.
Throughout the discussion above, what comes off as the highlight is that autotune is like a “touch-up” to a photo. In the modern world, we seek unbelievable perfection in everything.
Our increasing desire for perfection is fueled by the ever-evolving technology that promises us to hand out even our favorite music as a seamless experience. What we do miss out on at this point is the human touch and authenticity.
We often complain about artists using autotune, but we have encouraged the development of this software at some point for sure.
What is even more startling is that autotune has made way for singers to not perfect their skills as against their performances.
Are we going to lose out on real singing talents in search of perfection? The future of singing lies with the singers and not the auto tuned musical experiences.