February 2, 2009

Song Smithing

Filed under: awesome,fail,interfaces,music,toys — mhoye @ 5:43 pm

Microsoft makes this thing called “Songsmith”, which lets you sing into your microphone and, based on some hideous internal logic, will produce backing tracks for your vocal stylings. So some people have done what any rational person would do with a tool like that available, and take the vocal tracks from existing and often well-loved songs and feed them into it just to see what would happen.

The results are… they’re more than criminal. They are mind-rending, a landscape of crumpled bodies and pockmarked walls littering the sandy courtyard of some spiritual Hague. Behold the Songsmith versions of:

…among many, many others.

To precisely nobody’s surprise, Oasis’ Synthetic Wonderwall, Britney Spear’s Toxic Flamenco and Michael Jackson’s Set-Electrofunks-To-Kill Beat It are substantial improvements over the originals. And amusingly (and tellingly) enough, A-Ha’s “Take On Me” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” are almost indistinguishable from the originals.

Which might be the real value of Songsmith. If you put a song through it and nothing happens, that’s valuable information.


  1. I turned over the vocals for Killer Queen to someone and this was the result.

    I am pleased and horrified in equal measures. I feel kind of sorry for the software, as it’s clearly not meant to handle harmonized vocal parts, and the Queen vocal had them in so… Sadface for it.

    Comment by Alex — February 2, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  2. I still can’t figure out who at Microsoft thought this project was a good idea. Nothing about the software or the car-crash-awful promotional video is even mildly interesting in a positive way.

    Comment by Ted Mielczarek — February 3, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  3. What’s wrong with me that makes me think that this one…

    …in some perverse way… actually works?

    Comment by Anonymous Prime — February 4, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

  4. It really is Motorhead’s Ace of Dentist’s office lounge “paging Dr Spades” that made my stomach absolutely hurt with laughter

    Comment by bella anti matter — February 9, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

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