When T-Pain (and to a lesser degree, Cher) took the Antares AutoTune plugin to its logical extreme, pitch-correcting the human voice into stairstep intervals with robotic precision, everyone was suddenly aware of the possibilities. The listening public became more cynical than ever about technology's ability to prop up subpar singers, while actual recording artists, especially rappers, were more interested in exploring the sonic novelty of what it could do to their voices. The days when Lil Wayne, Kanye West and damn near everyone else used AutoTune on half their songs are over, but it remains a standard tool of contemporary hip hop, useful anytime a track could use a little melody, or a little strange, robotic texture. Of course, half the time when someone talks about AutoTune, they're really misidentifying a vocoder or some other vocal effect.