Robot Sings The Blues

This week, there’s been some buzz surrounding Microsoft’s latest software, Songsmith.

Yes, Microsoft. Songsmith is touted as a everyone-can-make-music killer app. You just sing into a microphone and it makes up music to match. Just what everyone wants to do on a Friday evening.

The original demo video suggests that it makes up music based on what you sing. I thought it would pick up what note you were singing and play that chord. That would be interesting. Particularly if you fed it sounds that weren’t exactly singing.

Alas, it does no such thing. You tell it a style and tempo to use, and it just kind of plays semi-random chords that sound good in a cheap Casio keyboard demo mode sort of way.

So, this is a music tool screaming for abuse. Someone already thought of putting bad vocals through Songsmith and ended up with something hard to listen to.

Someone else started up Coversmith, a repository for Songsmith songs.


Kaossilator program S.75 is called “Voice Looper” and it sounds somewhat like a synthesized voice, particularly when combined with a complex gate arpeggiator. It actually sounds a lot like the vocoder bit at the beginning of the Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic.

Feeding this into Songsmith sounds somewhat like a robot singing in a foreign language. Somewhat.

Robot Sings The Blues (192 kbps MP3)

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