July 27, 2011 12:06pm PT by Eriq Gardner
T-Pain Sues Auto-Tune Inventor Over Use of His Voice
Ah, auto-tune, the popular vocal effect used by producers to correct a singer's pitch. It's impossible to turn on modern hip-hop radio these days without hearing it. Now T-Pain, the R&B singer and producer widely credited with popularizing auto-tune, is suing Antares Technologies, the company that first developed it.
For years, T-Pain and Antares enjoyed a fruitful business relationship that gave modern singing a synthetic shine and drove vocal purists absolutely nuts. But T-Pain has partnered with a new company, Izotope, and intends to promote his own voice-manipulation product called "The T-Pain Effect."
So he's suing Antares in order to distance himself from the company.
According to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in California and first revealed by AllHipHop.com, T-Pain claims Antares continues to use his image and likeness in advertisements, packaging and marketing materials. The singer/producer believes that the continued implication of an endorsement will confuse and mislead the public and damage sales for his own new technologies, including the "I Am T-Pain Mic."
The guy who did more than anyone to let singers sound not like themselves now is demanding an injunction to prevent Antavares from using his name, photograph, likeness, and oh yes, his voice.