7 Tracks Remixed by Microsoft SongsmithFebruary 25, 2009
Microsoft’s Songsmith has become a cult phenomenon, but probably not how the software giant wanted it to be.
If you’ve never heard of it, Songsmith is a program that can give an automatic musical accompaniment to any vocal track you give the computer. The basic aim is give the karaoke singer the chance to live out their dreams and become an all-round musician. It launched in America with an astonishing promotional video (see below).
But as a Microsoft spokesman said recently, Songsmith is being “used in ways we haven’t quite imagined.” People have been taking the vocals from hit songs and then adding Songsmith backing tracks to them. The results are funny, bizarre and sometimes disturbing.
Below, here is our Top 20 tracks remixed by Songsmith. This post comes with a health warning. Listening to them all as I have just done might make you go a bit doolally. Please use the comments section to send in some of your favourites too.
1. Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train
If the train in question was filled with old bearded men with banjos. Yes, that crazy
2. The Police: Roxanne
I still maintain that a better move for Sting would have been playing the steel pans rather than the ruddy lute. This video proves that. Sort of.
3. Queen: We Will Rock You
In the vein of the Sex and the City theme music.
4. Notorious B.I.G: Dead Strong
Biggie Smalls does hip-harpsicord.
5. Van Halen: Runnin’ with the Devil
Club Jazz again. Watching Eddie Van Halen going thrusting about to this is particularly enjoyable
6. Survivor: Eye of the Tiger
Yeah, gimme some synth, yeah.
7. Weezer: Buddy Holly
Let us play an inherently catchy tune. But wait, we should scalpel out all the joy and those catchy bits. We’ll do that for a few minutes, and then contemplate suicide.
Update: Watch this promotional video for Songsmith, which is beyond parody. Also note that the the computer in the ad is a Mac. Oh dear, oh dear.