Dr. Harold “Andy” Hildebrand, founder of Antares Audio Technologies
Antares Audio Technologies was founded in 1990 as Jupiter Systems by Dr. Harold “Andy” Hildebrand, a geophysical scientist who created the first stand-alone workstation for seismic data interpretation. Merging his knowledge of DSP, audio and music composition, in 1994 Jupiter developed MDT™ (Multiband Dynamics Tool), one of the first commercial plug-ins for Pro Tools.
The breakthrough came with Antares’ 1997 Auto-Tune plug-in. Able to correct pitch problems in vocals and solo instruments, it was embroiled in controversy once the general public was aware of it. The erroneous impression was that automated pitch correction meant anyone could perform with perfect pitch. However, Auto-Tune was hardly different from punching a passage 75 times until it’s right, comping a final vocal/solo or cut-and-paste editing to replace a flawed chorus with a good one. Now in its seventh generation, Auto-Tune is still popular, not only for fixing a note or two, but sometimes to provide an exaggerated perspective or to bring musicality to a narrated vocal track.