Beats for your Feet: BeatBuddy Puts a Drum Machine in a Guitar Pedal

Drum machines — those are those big, luggable rectangular things used by electronic music producers, right? What if one could fit in a guitar pedal? And what if you could use your feet to trigger patterns and fills, leaving your hands free to play guitar (or another instrument)? That’s the idea behind BeatBuddy. Now, the basic notion is that it’s friendly for things like practice – and it should be helpful motivation. But clearly live performance, songwriting, and even dance music could benefit, too. And now it’s a fully-funded project. If the content in the video isn’t appealing, the makers …

READ MORE →

Fight the Microsoft Songsmith Cheese with Samples, Styles

Okay, so you’ve seen the painful demo video for Microsoft Research’s Songsmith software – it was intended to me tongue-in-cheek, I think, but the self-parody didn’t quite work. But the idea of auto-accompaniment software that interprets your recorded singing remains impressive. And I’ve gotten some tips that it is possible to make Songsmith sound good. Naturally, the biggest variable will be the quality of your own singing. But to make the software side of the equation more interesting, it is possible to extend the tool. Garritan, maker of the samples in the tool, has two add-ons. There’s an orchestral pack …

READ MORE →

Microsoft Research’s Songsmith Will Sell for $30, Match Accompaniment to Your Singing

In a surprise announcement (well, surprising me, at least), the experimental MySong shown by Microsoft Research earlier this year will be available for sale. US$29.95 will buy you a downloadable auto-accompaniment tool. Windows-only, but it sounds as though a Mac release is in store (seriously). It’s a bit like Band-in-a-Box for singers: sing in a line, and the software will generate accompaniment to your singing with styles of your own choosing. There are thirty styles included, and apparently Microsoft focused on the content end in bringing this product to market: there’s a 1 GB space requirement and partnerships announced with …

READ MORE →