Lately the first thing people say when they hear one of my records is “Damn…you freak the auto-tune different than anybody!” My reply is, “I play the talkbox…not Auto-tune!” Then they say,”Ain’t it the same?” then I tell ’em, “Hell naw! Not even close!”
As a producer who’s been able to work with some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop from Drake to Kanye West, Big Boi, and T.I. by playing the Talkbox, it’s my duty to clear up the “urban myths” about the difference between the Talkbox and Auto-Tune, as well as to breakdown the best talkbox products on the market for all the aspiring talkbox artists and talkbox weekend warriors alike. I will write a series of posts to help you become more familiar with both Auto-tune and mostly Talkbox products. The posts will include free downloads, video and links to learn more or purchase the reviewed products.
Let me start by breakin it down like this: Auto-Tune is a computer program created for people who can’t sing (no disrespect to T-pain whom I’ve worked with….an amazing producer/writer and a better singer than he gets credit for). Auto-Tune does just what it’s name suggests: it automatically tunes a singers’s voice (or a rapper’s) once it’s been recorded into the computer. A “slow” Auto-Tune setting is barely noticeable, while a “fast’ setting creates the “computerized” perfectly-tuned “T-Pain” effect that is so popular. Although T-Pain is noted as the “Auto-Tune King”, my friend Sam Ward was the first to use Auto-Tune as an effect instead of just a fix for not so great singing. The song was 1998 Cher “Believe” an instant hit. The Auto-Tune effect had all but died out until T-Pain got “Sprung” in 2005 and took auto-tune and ran with it (marathon style!) making a career out of that one effect even…and I’m not mad!
Waves also makes a great auto-tune like program called “Tune”
part 2 coming soon!