Music recording software just took another giant leap, now able to do what was thought to be impossible. Direct Note Access individually manipulates groups of musical notes (chords), giving recording engineers the ability to completely and undetectably create pitch-perfect performances, even from groups of tone-deaf musicians playing together. Created by German programmer and erstwhile guitar maker Peter Neubäcker, his company, Celemony, will offer the software as a plug-in for its Melodyne voice and instrument tuning software.
Until now, this trick was only possible with single notes — an exaggerated example can be heard in Cher’s 1998 hit, “Believe,” which used the competing Auto-Tune system. For more than a decade, that software has been the recording industry’s dirty little secret, fixing any out-of-tune notes crooned by an individual singer or played on any single-note instrument. But this breakthrough takes that magic manipulation many steps further, allowing engineers to create entirely new music from existing recordings.
With this astonishing software, engineers can dig deep into a mix. For example, they could change each individual note of a guitar chord, or fix one wrong note played by a musician in a symphony orchestra. It’s like Photoshop for music. Available this fall, let’s hope Direct Note Access is ready in time to fix up next season's American Idol performances, especially the auditions. Randy Jackson might like the resulting absence of "pitchiness," but then maybe some humanity of performance will be lost, too. Hit Continue for a remarkable demo: