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Shhh: 10 Make-or-Break Trade Secrets

6. Auto-Tune

When engineer Andy Hildebrand originally developed software for mapping underground oil deposits, he had no idea that it could correct pitch a musical recording. Yet, since its the 1990's, the program has become a popular tool for producers. Originally employed for creative effects -- as in Cher's 1998 hit, "Believe" -- it is now largely used to perfect the pitch of off-key singers. Some musical acts, including Loretta Lynne and Death Cab for Cutie, have refused to use pitch correction, but Auto-Tune has become almost ubiquitous in the music industry, yielding huge revenues for its owner, Antares Audio Technologies.

(iStock Photo)

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