Posted on: Aug , 2021

Like many of you, I’ve been doing a little binge-watching Netflix this summer.

I stumbled on the Netflix show called “This is Pop,” which is all about pop music. It’s a docuseries that is fascinating. Imagine my surprise when I found an episode on music with ties to our industry.

Well, one episode explains the origins and use of Auto-Tune. Turns out that the person who invented Auto-Tune was a seismic geologist named Dr. Andy Hildebrand. He used the same process of measuring sound waves to correct voice anomalies. Even better, he is a hoot and genius smart!


NOTE: You need a Netflix subscription to watch the episode: here’s a link to the show.


BUT….I found two amazing articles that explain how he started in the oil industry, left and founded (then sold) Landmark Graphics to create 3D seismic maps, and then retired to delve into his childhood love of music. Well, magic happened and he used that early oil training to create a pitch correction software with Auto-Tune.


Here are a few quotes included in the article by Priceonomics.


According to Dr. Hildebrand:

“I was working in an area of geophysics (with Exxon) where you emit sounds on the surface of the Earth (or in the ocean), listen to reverberations that come up, and, from that information, try to figure out what the shape of the subsurface is. It’s kind of like listening to a lightning bolt and trying to figure out what the shape of the clouds are. It’s a complex problem.”


Years later he connected the dots….

“Seismic data processing involves the manipulation of acoustic data in relation to a linear time varying, unknown system (the Earth model) for the purpose of determining and clarifying the influences involved to enhance geologic interpretation. Coincident (similar) technologies include correlation (statics determination), linear predictive coding (deconvolution), synthesis (forward modeling), formant analysis (spectral enhancement), and processing integrity to minimize artifacts. All of these technologies are shared amongst music and geophysical applications.”


In applying it to music…

“When you’re processing pitch, you add wave cycles to go sharp, and subtract them when you go flat. With autocorrelation, you have a clearly identifiable event that tells you what the period of repetition for repeated peak values is. It’s never fooled by the changing waveform. It’s very elegant.”


I invite you to learn more if you are as intrigued as I am:

AND….from Pop Music to My Cajun Twang.

Join Me at NADOA’s Conference | Sept 8-10 | Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Like many of you, I’m thrilled that we have conferences coming back next month for our industry. Yes, the Delta variant for COVID has many of us on alert, but with good health practices and vaccines, we can get back to some in-person events.


For NADOA, I’m sharing below my three speaking sessions and do hope you’ll attend one and say hello.

Earth, Wind & Fire: Environmental Laws for Land Professionals
September 10th | 11:35 AM – 1:00 PM | Grand Ballroom 

The Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, the Great London Fog, the Cuyahuga River Fire – what do these disasters have to do with the oil and gas industry?

          Answer:  They were all man-made disasters that are the impetus
for today’s U.S. environmental laws.

Our industry often gets a bad rap when it comes to the environment, and I think unfairly so. That’s why it’s smart for land professionals to understand U.S. environmental law. In this fascinating, humorous and informative look at the origin, history and impact of environmental laws, you’ll learn how the laws affect our industry and the critical role we all play to protect our earth and make our industry stronger and better.

Top 12 Lease Provisions for DO Analysts
September 9th | 8:50-10:05 AM | Grand Ballroom AB 
September 10th | 1:10-2:25 PM | Grand Ballroom AB 


Savings Clause. Habendem Clause. Mother Hubbard Clause.
These are just a few of the provisions found in an oil and gas lease. In this presentation, I will walk you through each of the standard provisions in a Producers 88 lease. I’ll also provide a Sample Lease Guide for your reference. This is A MUST for every DO Analyst.

* * * View the agenda & register today! * * *