Nowadays that we have such amazing technical abilities to shift and control sound, we can take anyone in the world and make him the best singer ever born. Or, can we?
This question has actually been asked an enormous amount of times ever since AutoTune was invented. After all, if we can truly make anyone an amazing singer, then there’s nothing special about truly great singers anymore.
That’s why so many people have been arguing this question for such a long time. Thankfully, there is a clear answer.
AutoTune can eventually fix anyone’s singing after they record enough takes. However, the worse the singer, the less realistic AutoTune will have to become.
Moreover, AutoTune can’t correct everyone’s live performance, as it usually takes quite a few takes for bad singers to perform in a way that is fixable by AutoTune.
After learning this information, it makes us wonder, who are the people AutoTune can fix easily, and who are the ones who’ll be able to sing live?
Who’s Singing Can AutoTune Fix?
AutoTune can fix anyone that has the ability to record as many takes as they want.
Since AutoTune tunes every note to the closest note in the scale, all the singer needs to do to achieve a great recording is to sing closer to the note he wants than other notes.
This way, if he has enough time for it, he’ll be able to record every part right enough and get awesome, super-accurate recordings in the studio really easily.
However, if a singer wants to sing live, he will need to have at least basic singing abilities that will allow him to get close enough to the notes.
But, nowadays, as just doing lipsync (only pretending to sing and using a pre-recorded version instead) has become more popular, even super inaccurate singers can perform live easily.
This is a major part of the reason why there are so many actors, models, and lousy singers who can seem to be singing beautifully while they can’t even sing at all.
Some people claim that this has ruined the music world since you can’t know who’s actually talented these days.
But, in my opinion, it is a blessing since there are lots of great composers that can now output their genius songs a lot more easily than ever before.
How To Tell If An Artist Is Using AutoTune?
Nowadays, almost every professional and unprofessional singer uses AutoTune. Since it has become so easy to reach and makes your vocals sound that much better, there is no reason not to use it.
However, some singers (especially rock, jazz, and other old genres) still prefer the old-school way of recording everything a million times and letting some inaccurate notes in the recording since it sounds more natural to them.
So, the best way to tell whether a singer uses AutoTune is to think about the genre. If it’s an old-school genre such as rock, jazz, opera, etc, he’s probably not using AutoTune. But if it’s a new genre such as trap, pop, hip-hop, EDM, etc, he/she is probably using AutoTune a lot.
Another way to figure out whether an artist is using AutoTune or not is to look for incredibly sharp note transitions.
If you suddenly hear the singer go through several notes in a way that sounds weirdly similar to a synthesizer, for example, it’s a sure sign that he is using AutoTune.
In fact, some artists nowadays, such as Post Malone, Juice WRLD, Travis Scott, etc., use AutoTune as a special effect to make themselves sound robotic.
What To Do When AutoTune Doesn’t Work?
Sometimes, you’ll face a situation where your singer just can’t get any recording to work with AutoTune, or maybe you’ll just need to fix little glitches/single notes that aren’t tuned correctly, and you’ll need to do some stuff manually.
In that case, you can use AutoTune manual pitch correction options or use another plugin such as Melodyne.
They both analyze the whole vocals track and allow you to edit each note individually, so you can make it sound exactly how you want it.
I personally use Melodyne and AutoTune’s usual version combined since I’ve found that it gives me a much better result overall and gives me incredible control over each note.
Actually, Melodyne is so powerful that it allows you to control and shift guitars, pianos, and any other instrument. You can even use it to change chords. YES, it’s that powerful.
Can You Learn To Sing With AutoTune?
Yes! In the end, our vocal cords and ears are muscles that we can train to work better, just like any other muscle. If you train them both repeatedly, and correctly you will become a better singer. Usually a lot quicker than you might imagine.
There are many techniques you can use to improve your singing, but one that I’ve found to work best is to actually sing with AutoTune as it will work on your brain and train it to sing all the notes accurately.
Even if it doesn’t happen instantly, it will most necessarily happen.
I usually load AutoTune on the recording channel and record myself/singers I work with without printing it. Then I listen to the recording with & without the AutoTune and understand what I should change to sing better.
I also check for parts that I struggle with and then search for techniques to deal with them online and work on them more often.
If you repeatedly work with this method, I guarantee you’ll improve your singing in no time.
Can AutoTune Fix Anyone Live?
Unfortunately not. AutoTune can’t fix anyone’s live performance since it can only tune you up to the closest note in the scale. Therefore, if people are closer to a different note than the correct one, AutoTune will move them further away from the correct note to another one.
But, through correctly training your voice and ears, you can take anyone from not being able to sing to being able to perform live with AutoTune correctly.
However, singing live nowadays isn’t that important as you may think. Lots of incredibly successful singers can’t sing live correctly even if they use AutoTune. That is a major part of the reason why so many people use playbacks on their shows today.