How the Search for Fossil Fuels Ruined Music Forever

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with carbon emissions, cap and trade or climate change. It has to do with a dude named Andy Hildebrand who accidently discovered how to ruin music for everyone. From Business Insider.

Before inventing Auto-Tune, the software that would change the music industry forever, Andy Hildebrand was a research scientist in the oil industry.

Working for Exxon Production Research and then Landmark Graphics, a company he co-founded, Hildebrand developed software for processing data from reflection seismology, a method of estimating properties of Earth’s subsurface using reflected seismic waves. His innovations were great for finding oil, and they reportedly made him a lot of money. But reflection seismology was not his first love.

A professionally trained flutist since a young age, Hildebrand really wanted to be involved in music, and he found a way to transfer his skills to that field in 1990 when he launched Antares Audio Technologies, a company originally focused on digital music processing and sampling software.

His breakthrough with Auto-Tune was inspired by a fluke comment in 1996 or 1997, when a distributor’s wife mentioned how great it would be to have a device that kept her singing in tune, according to Greg Milner’s “Perfecting Sound Forever.”

*Sigh* Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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