Friday, January 23, 2009

Songsmith ROCKS!

First a disclaimer of sorts...

It appears as though copyright issues are resulting in the links to these going down almost as fast as they go up, so I expect that these will all be broken in short order... or perhaps Microsoft and the various music publishers will give up the fight...

Have you heard of Songsmith?

Well it's simultaneously clever software... and appallingly cheesy.

And speaking of cheesy... the commerical is pretty awful (and yes, that IS a Mac in the commerical... oh dear.) but it kind of shows what the software does better than I am willing to at the moment. Actually... this demo is a little less egregious thanks to it's humility.

To be fair... the program seems to be capable of much more than I imagined, as some of the results below will attest.

I have to wonder what truly valuable applications to this there are? Obviously the commerical is full of shit. No ad-exec is ever really tasked with the job of coming up with the music to the jingle for a product - that gets left to (gasp) hired musicians, which clearly 'Dad' isn't. And it's not instantaneous enough (despite the implication of the commercial) that we could all live in our own crappy Broadway musical if our lap top was always handy. In either above case... shudder at the thought.

But here's the real magic...

People have started taking isolated vocal tracks from famous songs and applying Songsmith to them. The crazy variety from terrible to awkwardly charming is entertaining.

I find it amusing how in some cases it sounds like the singer is the innapropriate part. And in some cases it damned near improves upon the original! (As sad as that is.)

I have to think that some users of the software are going out of their way to push the parameters into areas where it deliberately makes the result sound like a failure, 'cause others are remarkably successful.

In any case the juxtaposition of styles - when massaged appropriately can come up with entertainingly appealing results. A well applied change of mood can work surprisingly well.

And then there are the inevitable (and this has only taken days, judging by the posting dates of the Youtube videos) meta-extensions of the application. From adding backing tracks to speeches, to the inevitable remix of the original (it's crap incidentally, as the vocal track has not been isolated)... and of course even Songsmith is not immune to the Rickroll.

As stated at the top I expect the links to be broken quickly, in which case just go to YouTube and search for Songsmith - someone will have added new stuff... indeed there seems to be new songs every day right now.

I have to thank Paul for drawing my attention to this.

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