Lady Gaga became a sensation with her catchy pop songs and quirky appearance. But she’s grown to be a full-fledged performer with iconic and flawless performances in the studio and in live concerts, which makes many wonder: Does Lady Gaga use autotune?
Here is what I found out:
Lady Gaga was forced by producers to use autotune on her earliest recordings, such as The Fame (later called The Fame Monster) and Born This Way. However, starting with 2014’s Cheek to Cheek with Tony Bennett, fans began to hear her natural voice, and autotune has been rarely used by her since then.
The singer informed Contactmusic that people never got to hear her natural voice.
“They’ve been autotuning it more or changing the timbre. They take the vibrato out, so you sound like a robot. They control you, especially in the beginning”.
At some point in the interview, she admits that autotune did not allow her to realize her presence for a long time.
Contrary to some artists in the industry who like to keep their use of any pitch corrections discreet, Lady Gaga has been open about her experiences.
But did she stop using autotune completely after that? Let us find out more.
Andy Hildebrand.. the inventor of autotune pic.twitter.com/HLsDHGN7Zn
— BabesWePetitions (@Neli_Ngqulana) June 30, 2021
Who invented autotune?
Dr. Andy Hildebrand invented autotune as voice-pitch correcting software. The first song ever released using autotune was the 1998 song “Believe” by Cher.
Since its introduction, autotune has changed the face of the entire music industry and became a versatile tool for creative uses.
Initially designed to help artists reduce the time needed to get the perfect pitch, the correction technology facilitated the development of multitrack recording, meaning mixers could fix mistakes without redoing everything.
Autotune spread like fire, and within a year, autotune was already being exploited for its potential by artists like T-Pain, Kanye West, and Radiohead.
2+ decades later, the practical uses of autotune were revered by creative artists, and many began to rely intensely on the tool.
Here are some of the artists who use autotune extensively in their music:
- Kanye West
- Bon Iver
- Daft Punk
- Childish Gambino
I feel the gradual shift in autotune’s use for digital pitch correction has largely impacted and brought about a dramatic change in the industry.
While autotune is subtle in some cases, it is extreme in cases like Childish Gambino.
Didn’t know Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, used autotune? Take a look at my recent article to see just how much he uses it and if there’s any trickery going on in his concerts. Just click that link to read it on my site.
Anyway, the autotune is here to stay for longer.
— ionuț 95 (@BraveForGaga95) February 8, 2021
Can Lady Gaga actually sing?
Lady Gaga is an exceptional vocalist. She CAN sing, which is quite evident from her 2020 album Chromatica. Autotune is only used on the song 911, while the remaining tracks showcase Gaga’s natural and powerful voice.
The album marked Gaga’s return to dance-pop roots, which proves her voice is stronger than ever.
The magic of Gaga’s voice was quite literally felt when she sang the national anthem at the 2016 Super Bowl. Twitter was flooded with genuine shock at her amazing performance. Didn’t see it? Just CLICK HERE to watch it on YouTube.
For many, it was the first time they got to see her vocal strength. One fan went by and wrote on Twitter:
“Lady Gaga can sing. Who would’ve thought of that?”
However, this is just one incident. Gaga has gone over and given similar performances like this for years. What is more perplexing is that her jaw-dropping performances have taken a backseat to the spectacle for years.
But she has made her comeback with her 2020 album Chromatica which is being hailed by fans and critics for all the good reasons.
Nevertheless, she is winning the masses with her positive soars, and the world notices her singing.
Lady Gaga is set to return to Las Vegas this fall.
— Lady Gaga Views (@LG_Views) July 21, 2021
Does Lady Gaga have perfect pitch?
Lady Gaga does appear to have perfect pitch, as evidenced by her performance of the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2016 Super Bowl.
But at a recent concert in Norway, a faulty microphone also showed the crowd the true power of her natural voice.
The incident occurred when Gaga’s faulty microphone began to give some trouble and got cut out during the live concert.
The singer was forced to reveal her natural voice to the audience, which she sang with pitch-perfect vocals, hitting each note immaculately and not seeming out of breath for once.
She told the Oslo crowd: “I told you I don’t lip-sync. My mic just went out.”
Well! With the current focus on autotune and lip-syncing, the realization that one of the greatest stars can sing naturally through and through was highly praised by the audience and the fans.
Lady Gaga is definitely among the stars who can sing her notes without the accompaniment of autotune like Brandon Urie.
Yes, you read it right. Check out my recent article discussing how much autotune Brendon uses. He may have a 4-octave range, but is it his real voice we’re hearing?
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Lady Gaga Concerts (@GagaConcerts) June 3, 2014
Does Lady Gaga sing live in concert?
Lady Gaga does sing completely live during concerts with no lip-syncing or autotune.
The Oscar-winning movie (A Star is Born) artist has tons of experience singing in live shows. Lady Gaga has embarked on five concert tours and performed live at various award ceremonies and television shows.
Here is a quick list of Gaga’s most notable live concerts or performances:
- The Fame Monster (grossed $227.4 million)
- 53rd Grammy Awards
- You and I (2011 MTV Video Music Awards)
- Tribute to The Sound of Music at 87th Academy Awards (received critical acclaim by Billboard)
- US National Anthem at 2016 Super Bowl 50
- Super Bowl LI Halftime Show (became the second most-watched show)
- Shallow Soundtracks at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards
She has a significant stage presence. Another example is when she decided to give the audience a real taste of her authentic vocals while making the movie A Star Is Born.
You shouldn’t be surprised to know that the film’s original songs were sung live by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper on the set to capture the real emotions.
More interestingly, to avoid getting the songs leaked before the movie’s release, their performances were not blasted into the venue’s speakers.
— 𖤐 rosalie 𖤐 (@caaptivated) December 12, 2015
How many octaves does Lady Gaga have?
Lady Gaga has a range that slightly exceeds a 3-octave range. The average singer has a 2-octave range. She is a Mezzo-Soprano whose range is F#2 to C6.
But she does sometimes get criticism for the lack of strength in her head voice.
For this reason, she doesn’t use it often, but when she does, it’s typically above E5, and while it’s gotten better over her career, she just isn’t as able to project and get power in that range as she can in her lower registers.
One more notable artist from the Mezzo-Soprano category is Halsey, but she can only stretch her range to 2 Octaves, for which Halsey faced intense criticism.
Read my recent article where I have talked about Halsey’s singing range in detail and how her different accent has often been referred to as a form of cultural appropriation.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Lady Gaga has proven time and again that her phenomenal growth as an artist has been impressive and revered by millions of fans.
She is amongst the rare artists who like to let their talent grab their attention.
She has won 12 Grammy Awards, 16 Guinness World Records, 18 MTV Video Music Awards, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Her massive live concerts are proof that she dislikes lip-syncing or using autotuning for apparent reasons.
Although she regrets that she used autotune in the initial years of her career, she stopped using autotune at all after her Cheek to Cheek album.
While Gaga has tons of experience singing and playing instruments live on stage in front of millions of audiences, the star chooses to ditch autotune whenever she can.
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