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So, you want to sing like thiiiiiiiis?

THE nation that brought the world karaoke has found a way to

protect audiences ears from the damage inflicted by tone deaf

crooners — a machine that adjusts tunes to the singer’s ability.

Taito Corp. said its new karaoke machine, to be introduced in

Japan this summer, will automatically adjust the pitch and tune of

songs to those of the singer, the company spokesman Makoto Tanaka

said Wednesday.

While the machine can’t make karaoke serenaders sing better, it

can minimise the glaring inconsistencies in tone, pitch and speed

with the backing melody.

”If a singer wants to sing slowly, even if it’s only certain

parts, the machine would recognise it and would wait for the singer

to move on to the next passage,” Tanaka said.

”So if you want to sing like thiiiiiiiis, this machine would

wait for you to finish that part before moving on,” he said.

The singer can also register his or her voice with the machine,

which then automatically adjusts the key of the selected song to

the key of the singer, he said.

The machine was a product of a joint research with US chipmaker

Analog Devices and Barry Vercoe, professor of music, media art and

science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The machine’s sound is compact disc-quality ”as if you are

listening to a live band,” Tanaka said.

The machine will also come with a system to give point grades to

singers similar to a score on an arcade computer game.

”The grading karaoke machine currently available only compares

singer’s performance against standardised tunes of the selected

songs. But this new machine would recognise the singer’s use of

vibrato, tremolos and other techniques for grading singers,” Tanaka

said.

This should give better grades to good singers and give

”improved singing pleasure” even for not-so-good ones, he said.

Taito has no immediate plan to introduce the machine abroad,

Tanaka said, adding the price has not yet been set. – Sapa-AFP

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