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songsmith makes comedy gold


Today I’m in a musical mood. I sold my well loved Korg Trinity this morning (I’m now using a Yamaha MO6). Searching for some musical inspiration I thought I’d give SongSmith a try, as it’s available on a six-hour unlimited trial. Songsmith is the first “record and go” instant-on music solution for amateurs using Windows. Songsmith can generate instant computer-generated backing tracks to your own vocal-lead. All you need to is pick one of the many relatively cheesy styles and a tempo then you hit record and sing your best amateur vocals into the microphone along to a metronome beat. The computer does the rest, applying the drums, bass, guitars and variations. All well and good, but imagine what would happen if you used a professional vocal track from a popular song instead of your own vocal?

The result: Comedy tribute covers!

Reggae Roxanne


Van “Big Band” Halen


Billy Idol “White Bluegrass Wedding”

And so on 🙂

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Scott Kane 2nd February 2009, 1:41 pm

    Curious, Mike…. Why’d you sell the Trinity?

    WRT Songsmith, it’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure it’s healthy. Serioulsy, I am a bit surprised MS took this direction, given the comparison one could make to Apple’s offering with GarageBand. I know MS have Sony Acid Pro on their stack as far as ISV support goes (and it’s one of my favourite programs) but I would have thought they’d have gone more in that direction than SongSmith.

    Then again – I might be showing a musician’s predjudice. 😉

    Amusing video clips BTW – if not a tad scary.

  • mike 2nd February 2009, 2:35 pm

    Hi Scott,

    The Trinity had to go – I don’t have any room for it. It’s a beautiful instrument, but it’s replacement, the Yamaha MO6 (with the Motif engine) was designed after the Trinity’s and make a worthy competitor to them.

    In particular, the MO6 has double the polyphony, plus greater than one thousand arpeggiators, although it loses the rich strings and pads, as well as aftertouch (although the software supports it, the hardware of this particular keyboard doesn’t..) and loses a ribbon controller and a lovely touchscreen.

    In any case, I’ve still got music to publish. At some point 😛

    Regarding Songsmith – it has potential. My wife, for example, can sing and although she has a guitar, a violin and access to several other instruments, she cannot play them. But she can create backing tracks for her vocals which can then be exported via MIDI to form a framework for “real” music. I think it’s a great little software product, and a lot of fun. As long as one understands what it’s all about and keep your expectations low (it’s good enough to write a Eurovision song, however!).



  • Scott Kane 3rd February 2009, 12:24 am

    Still running Korgs, a Moog Mini and an ARP. My poly synths were also obtained from Noah’s Ark I believe.

    I can see how Songsmith would be useful for your wife singing, where playing isn’t an option. Have you looked at Band In A Box? Same idea, a little more sophisticated.

    LOL at the Eurovision comment.

  • mike 3rd February 2009, 12:29 am

    Moog Mini is so much fun 🙂

    Songsmith is pretty useful. It can make some interesting chord progressions too, although it is incredibly limited. You specify whether you want one chord per bar, two or half (one chord per two bars). The chords can be changed via a “suggestion” context menu. It’s actually, in my opinion, a very good example of usable software, and it’s written using WPF (which is something I’m trying to learn at the moment!).

    I haven’t looked at Band In A Box, but on your recommendation I will do so 🙂

  • Scott Kane 3rd February 2009, 1:37 pm

    “Moog Mini is so much fun.”

    Yeah! Mine is an early 70’s job, so it’s not entirely “hard wired”. 😉

    However – the old mono synths from the era (all of mind are prone to it) drift according to temperature. You get “this sound” today and “that sound” tomorrow.

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