What did most famous Auto-Tuned songs sound like before they were Auto-Tuned? Just...talking? Is there even any way to hear them un-Auto-Tuned?
Many demos are leaked on YouTube or other parts of the internet that have the song, though usually not with the original lyrics, before it's been edited. Some demos never even make it to the auto tuning, or even on the radio, obviously, so they are thrown away, and sometimes later, leaked. For example, you can hear Ke$ha without autotune at theselinks- it seems like she's not autotuned.
Well, if they were previously made, and then auto-tuned by someone else later, then yes. You just google the original version. For example, Auto-Tune the News is just the news being auto-tuned. Certain songs, however, were made with auto-tuning in mind, so you probably can't find any versions where they aren't.
Auto-Tune corrects the pitch of vocals. It would be applied during the production process. At that point, the song's not even finished, so that version is never released to the public. If you want to hear what it sounded like before, you have to make friends with a record producer who'll let you listen to the raw tracks. He might not even be allowed to, depending on what kind of agreement he has with the record label.
Am I the only one who can't tell when these things are auto-tuned? Most of them just sound like singing to me.
That's the point: it's supposed to come out like regular singing, only in tune. At extreme settings, Auto-Tune can be a special effect.
A good way to tell if a piece is auto-tuned is if shifts in word and tune sound abrupt or overly electronic, as if their voice is a setting on a keyboard. It may be combined with regular singing, making it even easier to compare and contrast. This artist is famous for making auto-tune ubiquitous.
Here's what bugs me: people declaring Vocaloid songs to be no better than Auto-Tune, on rather shaky grounds. Considering the amount of tweaking you have to do to make a Vocaloid voice track sound realistic, calling it cheap and lazy really doesn't seem right; the fact that Hatsune Miku's voice isn't perfectly realistic is entirely acceptable to Vocaloid fans — it's even part of her charm as a character, arguably.
Should Vocaloid be an inversion of Auto-Tune? Since the uncanny-ness is the desired result (Yamaha said so).