Billie Eilish made her way onto the music scene only a few years ago. Since then, she has gained worldwide acclaim, and initially, she claimed to not use any autotune. But has that changed with her popularity? How much autotune does Billie Eilish use?
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Billie Eilish avoided using autotune whatsoever on her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”. However, she has occasionally used autotune since then and used some form of it or pre-recorded backing tracks for live performance.
Billie has popularized a style of pop music that is both weird and catchy.
She has a very soft, breathy vocal style, with her brother providing some very unique song structures and sounds behind.
So let’s examine Eilish’s vocal style more, whether her views on autotune have changed, and whether she uses autotune or backing tracks for her live performance.
Let’s get into it.
Does Billie Eilish ever actually sing? (as opposed to whispering)
While Billie Ellish is known for her soft whisper vocal stylings, there are a few songs, such as “No Time to Die”, where she does hit high notes as opposed to her normal singing.
While Billie Ellish has not faced intense discussions about whether or not she can sing, there are questions. Her style is much quieter and understated.
Often, her songs depend on various effects to create a mood.
Fans have accepted her style of singing because it is different. She does not have a bubble gum pop sound, nor does she use a big voice to sing. However, there are examples of her using her full voice.
One example of Billie Ellish actually singing is a live performance of the song “No Time to Die”. The song itself is understated. However, with her performance at the 2020 BRIT awards, she “demolished” a high note, according to MTV News.
Billie Eilish is perfekt, her voice is fantastic, and if I meet her one day I’m sure I wil past out. @billieeilish pic.twitter.com/3WuPHsUEdv
— Billie’s1fan (@TheaHolmen2) October 4, 2020
How many octaves can Billie Eilish sing?
Billie Eilish’s voice ranges over 2 octaves. Her voice spans from D3-B4-G5. The average vocal range for most singers is 2 octaves.
One of the best ways to judge a singer’s overall ability is to look at their range.
This is because range truly shows what a singer can do with their voice. For Billie Ellish, her voice spans two octaves and two notes.
As I mentioned, two vocal octaves are pretty average for singers.
There are singers with many more, but two is perfectly acceptable. When it comes to being a famous singer, it could actually help because it makes the artist sound more recognizable.
For example, Brendon Urie, like Freddie Mercury before him, has a 4-octave range.
It is also important to point out that Billie is categorized as a soprano. Her unique tone gives her music an almost dream-like vibe. She stands out because there is almost no one else singing the way she does.
Billie Eilish’s voice. That’s it. That’s the tweet. ❤️
Tune in now on @FOXTV: https://t.co/F2LOxSbA0m #iHeartConcertOnFOX pic.twitter.com/9xIruKvgi6
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) March 30, 2020
What song did Billie Eilish use autotune on?
Billie Eilish used extensive autotune on her song “When I Was Older” from the soundtrack for “Music Inspired by the Film Roma” from late 2018.
But it’s worth noting she completely avoided autotune on her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” released in 2019.
Artists use autotune for several reasons. Sometimes it is done to smooth out rough vocals. Other times it is used to simply add an effect to the music.
On her debut album, largely recorded in her brother’s bedroom, Eilish chose to painstakingly record her vocals over and over again until every note was perfect.
But once bands get popular, get signed to record labels, and get assigned to work with expensive producers, they often lose the luxury of taking a large amount of time to record an album.
That’s where autotune comes in. Autotune allows a producer to quickly get the vocals sounding “perfect” as long as they were sung halfway decently to begin with.
As I mentioned, the biggest example of Eilish and autotune is on the track, “When I was older”. The song is described as having an “autotune drenched murmur” by The Fader.
It should be noted that, like many singers of today, the use of autotune is not seen as a negative. Autotune works with the type of singing Billie does.
It helps to add to the melancholy nature of her songs.
Want to see @BillieEilish perform at @Golden1Center as part of her Happier Than Ever, The World Tour? Make sure you’re listening LIVE in 15 minutes for your shot at a pair of tickets! 🤩 #G1C pic.twitter.com/uO3IHJj8df
— NOW 100.5 FM (@Now1005FM) June 20, 2021
Does Billie Eilish use autotune live?
Billie Eilish uses some form of autotune when performing live or at least pre-recorded backing tracks, including some of her vocal tracks. But she is also known for occasionally performing with just an acoustic guitar and no backing tracks.
There isn’t a great deal of information about her use of autotune in live shows.
However, there are a few videos online that show moments where Billie is performing, and the autotune seems to go out. In these moments, a change in vocals is heard.
The use of autotune in concerts has become commonplace.
Singers have been doing it for years. More than likely, it is done in this case to not have a big disparity between the recorded track and the performance.
While many fans assume they know when a singer is using autotune for live performances, it is difficult to know for sure. However, it is a decently safe bet that if a song has autotune, the performances of it will.
All that being said, check out her concert on NPR’s Tiny Desk series to see and hear exactly what she sounds like without any studio trickery.
She clearly has a great voice and can sing just fine without autotune.
Can you say, Record Of The Year #GRAMMYs winner? 🔥 @billieeilish 🔥 pic.twitter.com/or487zx7D8
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) March 17, 2021
Is Billie Eilish a trained singer?
Billie Eilish is a trained singer, having learned as a member of the Los Angeles Children’s Choir. She has stated that they taught her how to properly use her voice.
Billie Eilish is not known for having the biggest or boldest voice in the industry.
However, she is a trained singer with a beautifully unique voice and has been singing since she was a kid. She told Vogue magazine that she got her start in the Los Angeles children’s choir.
Billie stated that she was taught how to properly sing and not ruin her voice. This is important for many reasons to a singer. For Billie, she is not doing damage to her vocal cords.
Another reason why she does not have to worry about damaging her voice is that Billie does not push herself vocally.
There are many famous singers who spent their careers hitting high notes. Now, many of them can no longer do so. It can be argued that Billie won’t have a huge change in range as she gets older.
Billie Eilish is one of the most exciting young pop stars to make it big in recent years.
She has taken the world by storm, won several awards, and shows no signs of slowing down. Billie’s voice is not known as being the biggest, but she has a steady one. Her tone works very well for the type of songs she and her brother Finneas write and produce. Billie has a haunting tone that stands out to many listeners.
Her use of autotune has garnered a small amount of criticism, but not as much as it would if she made traditional pop music.
Photo which requires attribution:
Billie Eilish ::: Red Rocks::: 06.05.19 by Julio Enriquez is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, with a text overlay added.