- MIKE FORCE
In an attempt to grasp Future's rise to fame using an already-passed trend, here are a few of the most significant moments in Auto-Tune history:
1996: Engineer Andy Hildebrand had been working with an oil company interpreting seismic data from exploration. He used an autocorrelation formula to record reflections of sound waves sent into the ground, providing a map of potential drill sites. He applies this formula to vocal pitches in music, inventing the Antares Auto-Tune software plug-in.
1998: Cher's "Believe"—widely regarded as the first mainstream song to use Auto-Tune in its popular form—is released. The specific tonal effect is produced by setting the program's "retune speed" to zero, causing the output pitch to warp to the closest note instantly instead of transitioning smoothly between them. In a later interview with Time magazine, Hildebrand says he "never figured anyone in their right mind would want to do that."
Future plays the Showbox at the Market tonight.