Bryan Helmig

Co-founder of Zapier, speaker, musician and builder of things.

antares autotune review saxaphone trumpetI never thought I’d cross into the dark side. Using AutoTune? On jazz?! What?!?

Oh, I know how wrong it is. The “Trane” would roll over in his grave. Wes would be shocked. Miles would not approve. But, I don’t think those guys would listen to our records anyways (even if they were still alive). Besides, I think I speak for everyone when I say I am tired of doing 800 takes. We aren’t professionals who spend their lives playing live and in the studio. This is for fun. So here is my two bits about Antares AutoTune on woodwind and brass instruments.

Holy shit, it worked!

That was my first reaction. I snagged a copy (v5), installed it, and was thinking I just wasted time and money. Like we need Cher or T-Payne style AutoTuning on our sax duets. Right…  All I did was throw it on the tracks, leave it on the “Auto” setting. 10 seconds later… Well, holy shit, it worked!

Alright, so you know it worked, but how did it sound? Here’s a little excerpt on a song by Adam Loftin, named “Out Of The West Wood”. It’s a very angular jazz tune, slow and ballad like. You can hear our two sax players (who are quite talented), stray off on this strangely angular melody.

Now, that may not sound that different, but listen closely to the last note. The warble is gone. The harmonic dissonance is still there (this is jazz, remember). This is actually a pretty good example, hopefully you aren’t trying to fix horribly out of tune performances, just slightly out of tune.

Anyways, it was literally as easy as installing the software, attaching it to the track, and selecting the instrument setting. We could probably fix the slightly out of tune note pickups, but seriously, its so much better, we don’t even care.

Have you used it?

Just curious about your experiences with AutoTune and your stories. What genres did you use it on? What’s the strangest track you’ve run through AutoTune?

PS: If you care, the band’s name is Glass Cannon. The album is due out whenever it is done, which, at this rate, might be a while…


Posted August 13, 2009 @ 12:06 am under Interesting.