Fun with Songsmith

January 25, 2009

SongsmithFound on Slashdot: Microsoft has come out with a new music program called Songsmith. All you do is set the tempo, and sing, and it comes up with a chord progression in the accompaniment style of your choice!

After watching the engaging infomercial, I had to download it and give it a try. The results are curious, but it really does try to match your pitch, whatever it is. And so I give you my new composition, Feel the Beat! (Apologies to Strongbad.)

Songsmith is being relentlessly mocked, but I have to admit, it’s kind of fun. The demo lasts only six hours, though — an awfully short time-bomb. I wonder how much it costs? No, no, I’m not going there.

And thanks to Internet culture, a new category of music is born. Check out this new version of Tom Sawyer by Rush. Oh, oh, and White Wedding by Billy Idol!

Update: I misunderstood the duration of the free demo, because I’m used to having things expire after a certain calendar date. But for Songsmith, you get six hours of actual use, which is plenty of time to decide whether you want to spend the $30 to buy it.

I actually woke up in the middle of the night realizing this mistake. And that got me thinking that my composition was unfair, because I was just making a lot of noise. And since it is really a sort of reverse karaoke machine, putting in a known tune is pretty unfair because you will always compare it to the real song.

So I tried singing some simple tunes, with everything in regular phrases. My intention was to quickly come up with a demo that showed off a real use case, with a second version showing how the chords change if you tweak the “Jazzy” setting.

I really tried. I sang inane things for half an hour. I gave up.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

6 responses to Fun with Songsmith

  1. This abomination of Creep makes me want to put a bullet through the brain of every panda, whether it will screw to save its own species or not. OMG, see what they’ve done to Sgt Pepper!!!

  2. Chris, I expected more comments on this one. Glad you took the time to enjoy it!

  3. I think my favorite is “Roxanne” by the Police. It’s so gosh darn peppy!

  4. Redone in calypso! Awesome, Joe. I tell you, this is a new art form.

  5. I think I’ve wasted about an hour already just listening to different songs on youtube… thanks Jon

  6. Roy, thanks for the link and the Clash video!