Auto-Tune is a digital audio processing tool or software plugin that is commonly used in music production. It was developed by Antares Audio Technologies in the late 1990s.
Auto-Tune is primarily known for its pitch correction capabilities, which can alter the pitch of a vocalist's recorded vocals to correct inaccuracies or create specific vocal effects. The main function of Auto-Tune is to correct or adjust the pitch of a vocal performance. It detects the pitch of an incoming audio signal, compares it to a desired pitch or scale, and then makes subtle adjustments to bring the performance closer to the desired pitch. This helps to correct notes that are slightly sharp or flat and can result in a more polished and in-tune vocal performance.
Auto-Tune has become popular for its ability to create unique vocal effects, such as the iconic "T-Pain effect" that exaggerates pitch correction for a robotic or synthesized sound. Over the years, Auto-Tune has been widely used in a variety of music genres, including pop, hip-hop, R&B, and electronic music. It has become synonymous with the sound of pitch-corrected vocals and has been both praised for its ability to enhance performances and criticized for potentially removing natural vocal nuances.
It's worth noting that Auto-Tune is a trademarked brand name and there are other pitch correction plugins and software available on the market that provide similar functionality but under different names. MELODYNE, Waves Tune and others can acheive the same goal, some with more detailed control over specific notes.
I personally This autotune is GREAT and I use it (sparingly) on my own voice, as well as my clients. Sometimes I pitch-correct my singers recordings and send them back to them to hear themselves singing with perfect pitch, to practice to.