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
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
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