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"That's Auto-Tune, son! It lets you sing... even if you can't sing!"
Thugnificent, The Boondocks, "Bitches to Rags"

Auto-Tune is a pitch correction software suite offered by Antares Audio Technologies. While neither the only software of its kind on the market nor the first method of pitch correction, its high flexibility and ease of use quickly shot it to such prominence that it may qualify as a Brand Name Takeover.

Auto-Tune was conceived in the mid-nineties not by an audio engineer, but a seismic analyst working for Exxon named Andy Hildebrand. When asked at a party if he could use his software to modify a singer's pitch, he developed Auto-Tune. The first version of the software was released in 1997.

Auto-Tune was originally intended as a way to correct notes sung flat or sharp by less than a semi-tone, but it was discovered to create a distinctive robotic sound when driven much further and combined with abrupt pitch shifts. The first (successful) usage of this style was on the 1999 #1 Cher single "Believe", but because this method was kept as a trade secret at the time, it took a couple years for other artists such as Daft Punk to discover it.

The act of distorting vocals for a robotic effect is not new in and of itself, having been used since the 1970s with the vocoder, but this was mostly relegated to funk and electronica, both niche markets. Using Auto-Tune for a similar effect didn't become prominent until the arrival of T-Pain in 2005. Unlike other artists that relegated it to subtle uses or genres aiming for a digitalized sound, T-Pain used it obviously and flagrantly on nearly all of his releases. His huge success led to a slew of imitators within pop, R&B, and hip-hop. Within a very short period, Auto-Tune distortion became the norm rather than the exception.

With the wide adoption of Auto-Tune, the technique quickly became a source of controversy both within and in discussion about the music industry. The major criticism is how the program strips all the personality and subtle harmonics from a performer's voice, leaving those who utilize it sounding near-identical with each other. This ties in with the criticism that it is inherently lazy and dishonest: because the software ensures perfect pitch, the actual capabilities of the singer are a moot point. These arguments exclude artists who use it primarily to distort their voices into the aforementioned robotic sound, but they catch their own flak for their (perceived) unoriginality. Auto-Tune is such a source of backlash that in many circles, it's actually used as a general insult against singers regardless of context.

Still, with the majority of the best-selling singles and albums utilizing the method, it's unlikely to fade away any time soon.

See also the Loudness War, the other major controversy within the music industry.

Compare Synthetic Voice Actor.

Please remember that Tropes Are Tools and not to use this as a Take That! page.

Examples of artists, albums, and songs using Auto-Tune as a method of distortion include:

    open/close all folders 

  • Brian the robot's voice in British commercials for 
  • Used extensively in this Wendy's ad.
  • Oreo's Wonderfilled ad campaign is fairly obviously auto-tuned, though it's downplayed in the later ads.

    Alternative Rock 
  • Jars of Clay used autotuned backing vocals on the song "Headphones" (from The Long Fall Back to Earth).
  • Lifehouse: Used on "Wrecking Ball" and "Here Tomorrow, Gone Today". Jason's used it in some live performances.
  • Quietdrive's cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" uses it subtly but noticeably, as does Ashley Tisdale's version.
  • Radiohead
    • Used twice on their album Amnesiac. In "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box", Auto-Tune set to extreme settings was used to distort the vocals into a vaguely unsettling robotic melody (the Broken Record lyrics don't help), and on "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors", Thom spoke the lyrics instead of singing them and then ran them through Auto-Tune, producing crazy pitch-shifts that fit well with the already very Paranoia Fuel music.
    • On "TKOL RMX 1234567," two songs feature Auto-Tune; like on Amnesiac, it's used for artistic purposes. "Codex (Illum Sphere RMX)" and "Little By Little (Caribou RMX)" use it to alter the melody of the original song into an entirely new one.
    • "Kid A" (the song, not the album) features an Auto-Tune or vocoder effect that distorts the vocal part and makes it entirely incomprehensible. This was done because, while the lyrics on the face of it are simply enigmatic and rather unsettling, they reportedly represent something truly horrific to Thom Yorke, and he wanted to separate himself from it. He's never confirmed what exactly that horrific thing is, but considering the pied piper imagery and the disturbing lyrical outtakes that can be found on the Radiohead website, it looks rather like it's about rape or pedophilia. Other theories include mind control and the first human clone. The song was written while Yorke was regularly hallucinating and having out-of-body experiences, among other things.
  • The They Might Be Giants song "Bastard Wants To Hit Me". For... some reason. It is also used more seriously (ha) on most of their following album, The Else.
    • "Bastard Wants to Hit Me" is more of a stealth parody. As for its use on The Else, it surprisingly was NOT used on "I'm Impressed". Word of God says the vocals are strange in that song, due to the fact that demo for that song ended up on the final product, with the demo itself being captured on a very lo-fi mp3 file.

  • George Strait frequently employs Auto-Tune or other forms of pitch correction to make his voice sound better in studio. It's most noticeable on "It Just Comes Natural", where he flubs a note on the line "tumbleweeds roll" and not even the Auto-Tune covers it up. He also used it for deliberate effect on his recording of Rodney Crowell's "Stars on the Water", and his final live album, The Cowboy Rides Away: Live from AT&T Stadium, had it used to egregious effect.
  • The pop mix of "The Way You Love Me" by Faith Hill has Auto-Tuned backing vocals.
  • The end of "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland has Jennifer Nettles singing Auto-Tuned backing vocals over herself.
  • "Merry Go Round" by the JaneDear girls.
  • "Top Down" by Fast Ryde. The label sent out an alternate mix without it.
  • The opening to "Keep Your Distance" by Patty Loveless ("If I cross your path again"). This is particularly notable as Loveless usually went out of her way to avoid studio trickery on her voice.
  • Joe Nichols uses it for the entirety of his album Old Things New. It's especially noticeable on "Gimmie That Girl".
  • Practically a trademark of Joey Moi's production style when working with Country Music artists. It's most noticeable with Florida Georgia Line, but he has also done it on songs by Jake Owen, Morgan Wallen, Chris Lane, and Dallas Smith. The remix of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" featuring Nelly drowns the whole song in it, and "May We All" also applies it liberally to duet partner Tim McGraw's voice.
  • Tim McGraw's 2014 single "Looking for That Girl" was originally recorded with Auto-Tune, but an alternate mix was also sent out with it removed.
  • The verses of "Drink to That All Night" by Jerrod Niemann.
  • Shania Twain's 2017 single "Life's About to Get Good" really does a number on her voice. Justified in that a combination of functional dysphonia and Lyme disease had impacted her ability to sing.

    Electronic Music 
  • 2 Girlz is what you get when you apply Auto-Tune to the Cascada "hands-up" style.
  • Not necessarily Auto-Tune, but Assemblage 23's "Automaton" uses a robotic vocoder, which is fairly uncommon for him.
  • ATC's "Around the World (La La La La La)" didn't originally use Auto-Tune, but Auburn's "La La La", which samples that song, uses it to excess.
  • Cascada themselves use it in "Evacuate the Dancefloor" and many others on the album of that name and Original Me.
  • Caramell of "Caramelldansen" fame.
  • Covenant and Necro Facility's "Lightbringer" uses a T-Pain-like vocoder on the verse vocals.
  • Cylab, in the bridge section of "Greys".
  • Daft Punk
    • The album Discovery. Guy and Thomas also employed other voice processing tactics such as vocoders and talkboxes. The entire point of the band is to sound like robots. The band themselves were once asked what they thought about Auto-Tune, and Thomas Bangalter compared the opposition to it to a near-panic in France when they were children, where some musicians attempted to ban synthesizers.
  • Dune — "Dark Side of the Moon".
  • Electric Valentine, especially "Automatic" and "Chasing the Sun". They also frequently use vocoders. Averted by their live performances.
  • Not even the Eurobeat genre is safe:
    • April's "Hanami" and "The Magic I Feel".
    • David Dima's Eurobeat remake of Duran Duran's "Save A Prayer".
    • Jay Lehr's "Little Little Star".
    • Lilly — "You Got the Power" and "Back into the 80s", a rare use of Auto-Tune by Hi-NRG Attack.
  • Genki Rockets, the band of Tetsuya Mizuguchi, creator of Lumines, Rez, and Child of Eden. Most notably in "Breeze".
  • Groove Coverage used it in the chorus of "A Million Tears", and a few other songs.
  • Hot Chip uses this occasionally, although they mostly avoid it.
  • INNA uses it in "Wow", "Club Rocker", "More Than Friends", and many other songs on I am the Club Rocker and Party Never Ends.
  • Kandystand's "Black Pearl" and "Disco Queen" blatantly feature Auto-Tune.
  • Lights, especially in "Saviour".
  • Little Boots in "Remedy". Most of her other songs avoid it or use it more subtly.
  • Unusual for darkwave, Midnight Resistance used it in "Wastelands".
  •'s "Unknown" uses it alongside other vocoder effects that make the male singer's vox sound female. Also used in "Second Reality".
  • Just about all Nu Italo does this. It's a defining feature (and depending on who you ask, not necessarily bad). Examples:
    • Eiffel 65 — "Blue"
    • Kim Lukas — "All I Really Want"
    • Sarina Paris — "Just About Enough".
  • "Mayhem of Life" by Oscalator and Rogard.
  • Oscillator X, particularly "Party People All Night Long", "Dynamo", and "Safety Net".
  • Owl City uses Melodyne, a program similar to Auto-Tune, with the result (especially on his older songs) sounding like GLaDOS from Portal.

  • Nearly every song by Robin Fox, with the exception of her early material.
  • Vaniru heavily uses it for effect.
  • Most of WoodenToaster's songs use a vocoder, but the chorus of "Tough Luck" just goes for straight Auto-Tune.

    Hip Hop 
  • Black Eyed Peas. While the guys use it frequently, in a song Fergie opted to go with a robotic voice so different from her normal sound that it was unmistakably Auto-Tuned but really hard to tell that it was Fergie.
  • Kanye West's album 808s & Heartbreak features nothing but Auto-Tuned vocals, apparently because West thinks Auto-Tuners are the funnest things ever. Judging by the weirdness of the video for "Love Lockdown", the album's first single, the sterility was a desired effect.
    Kenny West: Alright, alright, I know, you think you're so hot, question is: can you sing like a robot?
    • Older Than They Think, though: Kanye actually first used Auto-Tune in his 2004 debut album to modify John Legend's voice on a track.
    • Kanye has also used Auto-Tune for rapping (like on T.I. and Jay-Z's "Swagga Like Us") and in combination with distortion and other processing for more dramatic effects (like the coda to his song "Runaway", where he sounds like a guitar solo).
  • Other than Kanye West, a few rappers have used this as a one-time thing (either to try something different or an attempt to get on the pop charts), examples being "Lollipop" by Lil Wayne (which had West on the remix) and "Sexual Eruption" by Snoop Dogg (the remix of which featured Robyn).
  • Hip-hop/R&B artist T-Pain is the Trope Codifier, though arguably different than most usages since he uses it blatantly to sound like a robot and not just to make it sound like he can sing. He stated that he wants to move on from using Auto-Tune and instead start using different vocal effects called the "T-Pain Effect."
  • Flex Entertainment is an American record label founded in 2018. Many of their signed artists abuse Auto-Tune for comedic effects, making them sound like incomprehensible robots. Flex's worst offenders include Submarine Man, Lil Meerkat, and Footye North.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History uses this for Stephen Hawking rather than the program the real Hawking uses to speak. This is because if you've ever heard Stephen Hawking speak, you know you can't rap with that program.
  • BTS (especially SUGA) have used this for stylistic purposes in their rap verses (as well as vocals - see the Pop folder below for more). Examples include SUGA's verses in "Come Back Home" and especially the more experimental "Outro: Tear" (and its pre-chorus), where he uses autotune to combine the complex, angry, self-loathing lyrics with a feeling of drowning, adding to the oppressive feeling of the song overall.
  • Self-Insert is an experimental hip-hop group that uses autotune as a way of identifying with machines, something outside of themselves. Sebastian Hedge stated in an interview that he "wanted to channel thoughts about music from a detached standpoint, like talking into a microphone" as a basis for the art.
  • Eminem:
    • Eminem has self-declared as an Auto-Tune hater, though his reason for hating it is more because everyone just uses it because it's cool rather than because he hates the sound. (See this lyric from 2010's "Cold Wind Blows" — "Rap is a landfill... you try to diss me, I'll slaughter you — I put that on everything, like everyone does with Auto-Tune.")
    • Slim uses it from time to time, usually to mock styles of rap he dislikes or occasionally to make himself even more annoying.
      • In "My Mom", he sings "I can't even write a rhyme without you in it", putting a slight stutter on the consonant so it sounds like "with Auto-Tune in it", then starts singing in Auto-Tune - "My Valium, my Vaalllaaallliiiuuuum!!"
      • His feature on Skylar Grey's "C'mon Let Me Ride" displays him using it most purely to irritate - singing lyrics from "My Bicycle" by Queen in both Auto-Tune and the Pee-Wee Herman voice he used on his abrasive novelty single "Just Lose It".
      • The conceit of "Tone Deaf" is that Slim Shady sings badly in Auto-Tune at all of the haters saying things that get him down, including music critics saying he makes bad music, other rappers who make bad music, people telling him to stop fighting with other rappers because he's embarrassing, or his manager asking him if he can have Christmas off.
    • He's also one of the few pop artists who doesn't always pitch-correct his out-of-tune singing vocals, with many of his producers (Dre and the Bass Brothers in particular) finding his slight tunelessness to be part of his Adorkable charm, though this is a controversial topic.
    • Unironic pitch correction is also audible on a few songs where he's pushing at the limits of his ability, like the Patter Song "I'll Hurt You" or his attempts at soaring R&B/rock vocals in "The Hills (Remix)" and "Twisted").

    Indie Music 
  • Many songs from Disko Warp Records, including their remix of Melody & Mezzo's "I Wanna Be Your Star".
  • fun.'s Some Nights album. Between the gratutitous, overall Narm-y-ness of Auto-Tune, and the album's generally more mainstream sound, the resulting Broken Base was no surprise.
  • Imogen Heap makes creative use of vocal processing, both in her solo work and with Frou Frou. Averted by her breakout solo hit "Hide and Seek", which used a keyboard vocoder instead of Auto-Tune.
  • Rediscover is a case of a band with terminal Vocoderitis; seriously, they can't go through at least one song without the thing.
  • Bon Iver uses Auto-Tune in the songs "Wolves" and "Beth/Rest". Taking it even further, "Woods" is nothing but Auto-Tuned vocals, layered one on top of another. The vocals to the album 22, A Million are processed almost entirely through Auto-Tuning.
  • Tay Zonday uses it on "Roll Your Dice".
  • Sufjan Stevens uses it extensively on The Age of Adz, although mainly for aesthetic purposes.

  • Babymetal's lead singer Suzuka "Su-Metal" Nakamoto is Auto-Tuned on some songs for a robotic effect. Fans mostly don't take issue with it in those cases, but do often complain about the tendency of studio albums to over-correct her vocals since she's known even amongst the music press to be a highly skilled live singer.
    • Su's voice is Auto-Tuned on "Kingslayer", her collaboration with Bring Me the Horizon, a deliberate choice to fit with the lyrics referencing a malfunctioning computer system (metaphor for life). Oli Sykes's voice is even more absurdly over-processed near the end.
  • Galneryus vocalist Masatoshi Ono/Sho uses Auto-Tune effects on both studio recording and in live performance. The results receive mixed reviews, although the sound is reminiscent of what would happen if someone created a Vocaloid based off of Toshi. Fans of Yama-B (who sang without autotune) are generally not pleased.
  • Unusual for Industrial Metal, Helalyn Flowers' "Frozen Star" has autotuned verses.

    Musical Theater 
  • Discussed and Invoked by the character Mischa Bachinski in the 2008 musical Ride the Cyclone. Mischa is an aspiring rapper (he goes by the name "Bad Egg" on his youtube page) who idealizes the wealthy, bad-boy lifestyle of famous Hip-Hop artists as the antithesis to his unhappy circumstances in the tiny Canadian town of Uranium, Saskatchewan. His signature song is a Boastful Rap that makes gratuitous use of autotuning, parodying the "the last bastion of pure strength and masculinity in society: self-aggrandizing commercialized hiphop" of the 2000's.
    Mischa: I feel the rage. And when I rage, I rap about money and auto-tune. Auto-tune will never die!

    Pop Music 
  • Ark Music Factory's entire output applies heavy doses of Auto-Tune. The most infamous of these is Friday.
  • In the aftermath of the 2010 disaster in Haiti, many pop stars released a cover of USA For Africa's Anvilicious yet still well-made and popular collaborative hit, "We Are The World". Unfortunately, since they were primarily modern pop artists, they couldn't record it without auto-tuning it until everybody hated them.
  • The Cher single "Believe" is the Trope Maker. The song opened the floodgates and made EDM the reigning genre for 17 years (and counting).
    • Parodied by Harry Hill who "performed" the song with a Cher-styled ventriloquist doll. When it got to the bit in the song which is clearly studio-enhanced, he did the classic ventriloquist's trick of seemingly drinking a glass of water while the doll "sang" on, in lip-sync to the song.
  • Britney Spears either caused or inspired the trend of electronically making your voice robotic (along with Cher) with her album Blackout, specifically the song "Piece Of Me".
    Michael K.: Because the music industry is run by the Illuminati and they get off on hearing our blood-curdled screams as our eardrums melt, they paired Iggy Azalea with Brit Brit Spears for a new song called “Pretty Messy” “Pretty Girls”. The song hasn’t been released yet, but I’m guessing it’ll sort of sound like an auto-tuned chipmunk exorcism in a warehouse full of ponies Riverdancing on Casio keyboards.
  • F.L.Y. egregiously uses it in Retraux synth pop/rock.
  • Heidi Montag used an Auto-Tuner for her debut album Superficial.
  • Darkchild's remix of Jennifer Lopez's "If You Had My Love".
  • GACKT, on almost anything studio recorded since around 2008. It has become harder to tell him and his Vocaloid Gakupo apart due to this - a properly Auto-Tuned Gakupo sounds nigh-indistinguishable from post 2008 Gackt.
  • Jennifer Lopez's cover of Shocking Blue/Bananarama's "Venus".
  • Kelly Rose (the American one, not the New Zealand one)'s "Stupid Memory" and "Head Turn". Also, the other KR's "Outta Sight".
  • Kesha. In "Tik Tok", even the rap/spoken words are Auto-Tuned. Let's face it, most of her work is vocodered.
  • Lady Gaga, in portions of "Monster" and "So Happy I Could Die" and "Poker Face"
    • Justified in that she uses it to create weird vocal effects rather than to cover up bad singing.
  • Miley Cyrus in "Party in the USA".
  • The Ur-Example is Fragments of Life by one hit wonder Roy Vedas.
  • With her album, She Wolf, especially the eponymous single, even Shakira has acquired vocoderitis, among other things.
  • Jordin Sparks, notably in "S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)" and parts of "One Step at a Time".
  • Katy Perry uses it in some of her songs, given the fact that she shared the same producer as Kesha.
  • Michael Bublé uses it sometimes. Very apparent on "Haven't Met You Yet" and his cover of "All I Want for Christmas is You."
  • David Guetta uses for the distortion effect on Nicki Minaj on their song "Turn Me On". Ditto for the chorus of Minaj's "Starships".
    • and indeed most of the dance music Minaj is increasingly making
  • Rihanna uses this in a few songs, notably "Disturbia" and her T.I. collaboration "Live Your Life". Justified in these two; in "Disturbia" it is used to create distortion to aid the dark atmosphere and vibe of the song, and in "Live Your Life" it's used only on the chorus, and there's a slight surprise when it's not used on her verse.
    • Played straight in "S&M"
  • The Madonna cover group Mad'House, especially on "Holiday".
  • Many acts in modern Japanese Pop Music. Notable examples include:
    • Perfume is well-known for this, especially early on in their major career when the shtick was they were robots from the near-future. The effect has been toned back a lot since LEVEL 3.
    • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Not coincidentally, her music producer is also Perfume's (Yasutaka Nakata).
    • Ladybaby used Auto-Tune on their studio tracks, rarely for effect. It's easy to tell when one compares how they sound in the studio versus at live shows – Ladybaby never lipsynced or used any live pitch-correction, so the different singing chops of each member was obvious. To their credit, they did continue improving until the final lineup disbanded in early 2020.
    • PassCode uses some type of vocoder for effect on many of their songs, especially ones that use a lot of chiptune. This also crops up at live shows where even their speaking will sound robotic.
  • Rita Ora's "I Will Never Let You Down".
  • Used for distortion effect in *NSYNC's song "Digital Getdown". Especially justified since the song was about cybersex and invokes the dial-up tone.
  • BarlowGirl uses it, notably in "Never Alone" and on Love & War.
  • Nick Festari never utilized Auto-Tune in his Eurobeat productions with Hi-NRG Attack, but his solo album This is Me... Slower and Faster has it all over the place.
  • Jessie J most notably uses it in "Domino".
  • While often averted for their vocal-heavy songs, BTS have used Auto-tune in some songs as a stylistic choice, such as in "DNA" (used subtly for a cosmic-like sound), and the pop-rap songs "Mic Drop (remix)" and "Dionysus".
    • "Shadow" and "Black Swan" heavily use autotune to convey feelings of drowning and loss of individuality underneath fame.
  • Farrah Abraham's album "My Teenage Dream Ended" is an unusual case. She decided to produce a form of audiobook, by reading extracts from her autobiography of the same name, and having a music producer autotune them and build pop-dance songs around them. The album is distinctively unmusical, and though poorly received by its intended pop audience, is considered an unintentional masterpiece by fans of avant-garde music.

    R&B Music 
  • Jason Derulo frequently begins his songs by bellowing his name with heavy Auto-Tune.
  • Akon uses it in many of his songs, though only as an accent. His voice is pretty high to begin with.
  • K-Ci and JoJo's Crazy overloads on the Auto-Tune, mostly on the background choruses, but on the radio version, there's a LOT more Auto-Tune on the lead vocals.

    Rock Music 
  • "If I" by Fiori.
  • The 2007 Maroon 5 album It Won't Be Soon Before Long. Maroon 5 in general. "She Will Be Loved" marked a point where Auto-Tune was used so excessively to create perfect pitch that it's often the song that initiates casual music listeners to be able to detect its use in other songs.
  • Among the strangest examples of this was Neil Young's largely forgotten experimental album Trans. On several of the tracks (including a remake of "Mr. Soul"), the vocals were 'sung' using a Vocoder. According to Young, the album was in part inspired by the difficulty which his son Ben had trying to communicate; Ben has severe cerebral palsy and used the Vocoder to speak. Others feel that it was also meant as a reaction to the rather jangly synthpop coming out at the time, however. Regardless of the intended message, the album was a flop, though some critics saw it as a bold effort. A recent review suggested that Neil had been paying attention to Kraftwerk as well.
  • Used for hauntingly beautiful effect on Safety Suit's album closer "Life Left to Go", a song about trying to keep a friend from committing suicide.
  • "Only God Knows Why" by Kid Rock. Cracked joked in one of their articles that Kid should receive a Medal of Dishonor for egregiously abusing the effect in the song.

  • Civilization VI plays different versions of each civ's Leitmotif as they progress through the game's eras, and when the Zulu enter the Atomic Era, their theme's traditional isiZulu vocals pick up some auto-tuning, in reference to contemporary African music's use of it.
  • Used in Paz's Image Song "Love Deterrence" in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, possibly for deliberate Anachronism Stew effect since the game is set in The '70s.

    Other Media 
  • It's subtle in Annie, but most prominent in "The City is Yours".
  • "Don't Copy That 2", the sequel to "Don't Copy That Floppy", uses Auto-Tune on B Sheba's vocals during the bridge.
  • Glee uses this by necessity, since TV production schedules don't allow them to do the number of takes that regular musicians would.
  • The background jingle in the Loquendo text-to-speech demo has this.
  • This fan-made remix of "You've Got A Friend In Me" auto-tunes Randy Newman's voice, which, considering Newman isn't much of a singer to begin with, works surprisingly well,
  • Space Hamster's opening jingle uses it.

Examples of Auto-Tune as a topic of discussion and within contexts other than music include:

  • Fox Sports Midwest has a commercial with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, stating that they are going to start broadcasting entire baseball games using Auto-Tune. Joe Buck's reaction is priceless.
  • Used in a Disneyland commercial spot.
  • Used in a commercial for Bud Light. With T-Pain.

    Anime & Manga 
  • A version of "Dragon Soul" from Dragon Ball Z Kai has some rather noticeable spots where Auto-Tune is applied to Sean Schemmel's voice.
  • In Space☆Dandy, QT's actresses' voices were auto-tuned to sound more robotic. It's more subtle in the Japanese dub since intonation is important in that language.

    Films — Animated 
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman: One trailer mentions that Peabody invented auto-tune, among other things.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: The villains of the movie are a trio of sirens who use their beautiful Compelling Voice to sow discord among the student body. In the final battle against them, the heroes shatter their magical amulets. The sirens are visibly horrified by this, and when they try to sing again, they sound horribly off-key and are booed offstage. Their amulets were not just the source of their powers, they were their auto-tune!
  • Rio uses Auto-Tune for its original purpose — correcting pitch. You can faintly hear it on Raphael's one sung line in the grand finale—evidently, George Lopez can't carry a tune.
  • Trolls: Guy Diamond can Auto-Tune his voice at will, and does this randomly when he talks.
  • The Loud House Movie: Very noticeable autotune in the singing, particularly with Lincoln.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jeopardy!: Played for Laughs in a category from June 2010. You haven't lived until you've heard Alex Trebek sing "Go Down, Moses" with the help of Auto-Tune.
  • Saturday Night Live: Played for Laughs in a sketch with host Kristin Wiig; an infomercial advertising a CD for socialites and by socialites entitled "Classy Sexy Elegnace" (yeah, that's what it's called). Everything on that album is haphazardly produced, by their HUSBANDS, no less, (Except for one song in which her husband Craig T. Nelson hires a black producer who "pretends to like her music..."), which results in HEAVY use of the Auto-Tune. The real payoff moment comes near the end, when all three women are singing one song using EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE AUTO-TUNE SETTINGS (in different keys and modes). The result is hilariously scary. Hell, EVEN THE ENDING ANNOUNCEMENT is auto-tuned!
  • Harry Hill skewered Auto-Tune on one of his shows by using a Cher ventriloquist dummy to mime "Believe". When it got to the bits which are "enhanced" by AT, the doll mimed along to the vocals whilst Harry, playing the ventriloquist, made a big thing of drinking a glass of water. note .
  • The Leverage episode "The Studio Job" has Hardison attempt to pass Eliot off as a country music star by providing a real-time auto-tune effect for him. He's horrified when he realizes it's not working, but it's okay: it turns out that Eliot doesn't need it.
  • On 30 Rock, Tracy is trying not to be seen acting badly at work while he's being filmed for his wife's reality show, which Liz uses to her advantage. Tracy then finds a loophole and starts singing everything to the tune of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl", because the show can't afford the licensing rights. Liz counters with Auto-Tune to make the melody incomprehensible.
    Liz: (flatly, into the Auto-Tuner) "Liz Lemon One, doo doo doo doo." That was me, singing The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" for free.
  • The storm surrounding its use during the auditions phase may be what finally kills the UK version of The X Factor.
  • A subject of much contention on message boards devoted to the TV series Glee. Was even lampshaded in the first episode of Season 2.
  • In Modern Family, after Phil gives an impromptu humiliating speech at Claire's political debate, the speech goes viral. At least one YouTube user uses Auto-Tune to create a Sampling music video out of it.
  • Used in-universe on an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation. The Three Tenners want to record a song but one of them can't sing.
  • Blackish features the kids using it for a performance of Carol of the Bells, in a scene that completely plays up how hideously unnatural it sounds.
  • In The New Edition Story, the majority of Woody McCain's vocals are clearly heavily processed with Auto-Tune any time he sings one of Bobby Brown's songs. This is partly justified since he was originally a dancer, not a singer, prior to being cast as Bobby Brown.

  • Jay-Z released a song called "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" as a criticism of the method. After half the hip-hop community went up in arms over him performing the song live with T-Pain, he elaborated that the message was to leave the Auto-Tuning to people who actually use it for an artistic effect, as opposed to just for cleaning up sloppy vocal tracks. This group includes T-Pain and Kanye, and apparently Lil Wayne to a lesser extent. Whether his own blatant use of Auto-Tune on various tracks, including all of the sung parts on "Young Forever", counts as hypocrisy shall be left as an exercise for the reader.
  • Korean rapper San E deals a Take That! to this, and to "hook songs".
  • Glorious Dawn and the other Symphony of Science songs Auto-Tune and set to music various related phrases said by scientists. Some of them are good, others less so.
  • Hip-hop group B.O.B.'s aptly-named "Autotune", which is a Take That! to artists who use it as a cheap cop-out to make up for their lack of vocal talent.
  • Mentioned in a neutral context by an alternative rocker Zakhar May in "Main Problem of Music in Russia", the point being that even if an artist has a subpar voice, ther's always Auto-Tune and that it's not an excuse for producing crap records.

    New Media 
  • Auto-Tune is part of the iPhone application "I AM T-PAIN". The backing tracks to a selection of T-Pain songs play and the user can sing along with their voice being distorted in the same style.

  • On NoPixel, Outto-Tune Tyrone, or OTT, had an auto-tuner installed into his vocal chords, and talks/sings in a constant Auto-Tune.

    Video Games 
  • Rock Band 3 has this (in real-time) for vocalists as an optional feature.
  • Justified with "Still Alive" (Portal) and "Want You Gone" (Portal 2) , since it's meant to sound like a computer is singing it. Not Auto-Tune, per se. There are lots of tutorials on the Internet showing the procedure Valve likely used for the GLaDOS voice effect (it comes VERY close, even with other voice actors).
  • The same applies to Kate Bush's 2011 reworking of "Deeper Understanding", much for the same reason.
  • Saints Row: The Third has Zimos, a pimp who after getting a tracheotomy had Auto-Tune installed in his voice box. In addition to the effect, it tunes his voice randomly.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, this is how Jade's default voice sounds like.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw has Josey Jones, the Funk Zombie who speaks much likes Zimos. When Juliet first hears him however, she thinks he's imitating Stephen Hawking.
  • Sonic Generations features auto-tune in the second verse of City Escape's Act 1 BGM. Justified as it's paying tribute to and trying to match the pitch of the Endless Mine melody.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Using Auto-Tune in wildly inappropriate contexts (e.g. babies crying, cats meowing, normal conversation settings) has become something of a meme on YouTube. The video series "Auto-Tune the News" does this with various news clips for comedic effect. It's hit a popular zenith with the "Bed Intruder Song".
  • Todd in the Shadows discusses Auto-Tune in his review of T-Pain's "5 O'Clock". Unlike most music critics, he doesn't mind it, calling it "a tool to be used well or used badly, just like anything else." He also Auto-Tunes the next two sentences of the review just for Rule of Funny. At the end of the review, he makes his own verse about how the song would play out in real life, also done by him singing with Auto-Tune.
    • Also used for laughs in his review of Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty": after a female backing vocalist states Derulo's name plainly, he points out that she pronounced it wrong, then imitates Derulo's Singer Name Drop.
  • Parodied by CollegeHumor in "Sing Talk", a spoof of Kesha's song 'Tik Tok', which lambasts this style of music in general.

    Web Videos 
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared
    • Duck Guy speaks exclusively through this, making him an oddly disconcerting character even if he's by no means sinister.
    • This also applies to Colin The Computer, who's autotune voice can be taken to sharp extremes whenever he's mad. Justified, as he's a computer.
  • Jacksfilms parodied this in Dubstep Solves Everything 3 when Auto-Tune Jesus is called upon.
  • Star Wars Uncut: Used in the dialog between Han and Leia about R2-D2 carrying the stolen Death Star plans.
  • Voxus
    • Let's Read Homestuck uses inconsistent autotune whenever any character references the in-universe comic Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff to present its Stylistic Suck audibly.
    • The same uneven, sporadic autotune used for Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff is played straight in ''Let's Read Undertale," to highlight Big Bad Flowey's demonic, inhuman nature.
  • ZdoggMD and a pediatrician named Dr. Harry poke fun at auto-tune in their video "Auto-tune Bad News." They use auto-tune singing to inform one patient that her fiance has been cheating on her and gave her gonorrhea, and another patient that they amputated the wrong leg. It's also used against them by a patient asking for opioid pain medications and disability forms.
  • Daniel Thrasher: Stan speaks entirely in Auto-Tune

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, Finn swallows a computer, which enables him to distort his voice.
  • In an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a siren sings with an auto-tuned voice.
    • In the live-action episode, Frylock is played by T-Pain, and several of his spoken lines are (appropriately) distorted.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph get drafted into a Boy Band. The band depends entirely on computer wizardry to make their singing listenable.
  • Mentioned in an episode of The Boondocks. (About 1:47 in.)
  • All the songs from Total Drama World Tour are autotuned. Oddly, two of the songs you can download on their website lack the Auto-Tune, and everyone is ridiculously off-key.
  • Brutally spoofed in the Grojband episode "Helmet", where Kin builds an autotuning helmet to hide Corey's voice cracks, only for Trina to sabotage the helmet and transform it into a rampaging robot obsessed with making everything perfect.
  • On The Amazing World of Gumball, Darwin the fish sings two songs in the episode "The Words". The first one is Auto-Tuned, and the second is styled like a Disney Villain Song.
  • The second appearance of the Time Police in Superjail! uses auto-tune for their sung lines, complete with some vocal distortion.
  • Used constantly by the boy band "Sev'ral Timez" in the Gravity Falls episode "Boyz Crazy", as part of an extended parody of boy-band music.
  • The titular character in Freaknik: The Musical, played by the master of autotune himself T-Pain, both speaks and sings with autotune.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Used in the episode "The Mane Attraction". Coloratura (who is actually quite talented) has a manager that cultivates an "image" for her that involves auto-tune (produced via magic). Subverted near the end of the episode, where she fires the manager and performs two songs as herself without the auto-tune (showing her actual talents, to the delight of the audience).
  • A non-musical example in Rick and Morty: when the family's dog builds himself a bipedal robot suit capable of translating his thoughts into flawless english, his lines are auto-tuned to make him sound more robotic.
  • Naturally, "Gay Fish" from South Park is sung with a heavy dose of auto-tune, as it's a parody of Kanye West's "Heartless." Trey Parker often relates a humorous story about having to sing badly on purpose just to make the effect sound right.
  • Say Wah from Kuu Kuu Harajuku did something to herself to make all of her speech auto-tuned in an attempt to get into HJ5.
  • La Cucarocka from D.N. Ace speak in an auto-tuned voice.


Nigel The Cockatoo

Nigel shows off his ability to mimic auto-tune during his audition while singing the song I Will Survive.

How well does it match the trope?

3.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AutoTune

Media sources: