I’m a singer. That means that I sing. It doesn’t mean that I’m a particularly good at it, and I’d rather put my iPhone in the washing machine than get up on stage in front of a panel of celebrity judges and video cameras.
But suppose I got really serious about fixing my average ‘vocal stylings’? Perhaps I really wanted to win the X Factor or something like that. Which apps might be able to help the suddenly-ambitious-version-of-me get famous, and how?
Let’s take a look at a few of them…
Use: ‘Reverse karaoke’ – the app takes your vocal recording and adds backing music to it, with the intent of making your vocals sound better; like they’ve had professional studio time.
Why: LaDiDa takes an unusual approach to recording music. Put your vocals in first and the application will fill out your recording with a backing track and some ‘studio touches’, such as autotune and reverb. There are also other recording effects, such as flange, delay, reverb and chorus.
Wired.com said that the app “turns bad singing into good songs”; though we’re sure that if you are have plans to be a famous singer, you’ve got vocal ability…right?
LaDiDa looks like a lot of fun, but we’d be a little wary of losing the je ne sais quoi of your singing voice in all the technology and postproduction. However, it could be another handy tool in the vocal virtuoso’s toolkit…
2. Voice Tutor
Use: Basically like having your own vocal tutor, minus the hourly fees and setting/missing of appointments…
Why: The idea behind this one is pretty simple. Personalised lessons, built around the program’s analysis of your vocal technique. It’s pretty much exactly what a singing teacher would do for you; identifying your weaknesses and then drilling you on how to improve them. Plus if you want to be a famous singer, being really good at singing can’t hurt your chances.
Kelly Rowland (of Destiny’s Child) is a fan; and we quote her in saying that, “everybody should be using it”. This must carry some weight, right? Another cool thing to consider is that with a real vocal tutor you are paying by the hour, indefinitely, but with this app, it’s a one off payment. Definite value for money!
3. Singer’s Friend
Use: A wide range of specific vocal drills, for warming up and improving your singing ability.
Why: The app (which has a free ‘lite’ version with less features) promises to, “develop your voice – anytime, anywhere”. It’s a bit like Voice Tutor, but seems to go into more detail on the drills and offer less in the way of coaching. This app focuses on technical skill development, offering 15 different musical scales, for all the vocal ranges from bass to soprano. The app works by playing the scale pattern from the lowest to highest note, and you can vary the speed of the drill to focus either on your vocal articulation or agility.
It also offers periodic tips and additional resources to aid the specific exercise that you are working on. We like the look of Singer’s Friend, though it appears to be aimed at the singer who has at least some experience in vocal practice already. Probably not suited to raw beginners, but good all the same.
Use: Loop based audio workstation specifically for singers, with in-app effects upgrades.
Why: If you are a singer, you are probably more interested in getting down to business and actually recording your vocals than fiddling with the levels on a complicated sequencer. This is hopefully where Voicejam comes in. It’s loop based, and is built around you doing everything on the track with your voice.
This means that you vocalise the bass lines, percussion and, to quote the app, “record the sounds of random objects in your life”. These you layer and loop into fully-fledged tracks to share with the rest of the world; as the app allows you to upload directly to Soundcloud.
There are a few caveats: firstly that to actually make real use of what this app has to offer, you will have to cough up for quite a lot of the expansions. They appear to be pretty high quality, so we guess you do get what you pay for. Some of the available expansions include HardTune Vocal FX and reverb.
Use: A karaoke app on steroids, with built in social networking and competition opportunities.
Why: StarMaker makes the bold assertion that it’s, “giving you back the power to sing”. How exactly? In a cunning and rather ambitious move, it has set up it’s own social network, which it combines with a wide selection of pop music karaoke tracks and competitions. You publish your recordings to your StarMaker profile, or put them up anonymously and get some community feedback.
There are a number of freely available karaoke tracks to sing to, and if you like, you can purchase extras. The app has some strong music industry connections; with periodic competitions and prizes up for grabs, including backstage opportunities. There are no opportunities to write your music, but such opportunities for exposure are ones that fame hungry iPhone owners will probably be interested in.