My friend and her family opened a vegan Chinese restaurant after being an underground, backyard/living-room restaurant for several years and getting busted by the City of Worcester. It’s called Duck Yao and it rules.
This has to be one of the first attempts at BYOB karaoke in the history of karaoke. The night starts early: 7:30 PM or so, running to midnight. And it happens every Thursday. I’m fascinated by the idea of BYOB scorpion bowls / mai tais / piña coladas.
I’ve been running the set using my full karaokecrime setup (4 wireless mics > MOTU 828 > Ableton) so I can do on-the-fly effects (spontaneous autotune last week on Annie and Mariah’s “Cher – Believe”) and live recording of individual mics.
If you’re ever in Massachusetts on a Thursday you should come and check it out.
Sometimes you’ll get a big karaoke collection with a pre-made songbook. This is definitely the easiest way to get started.
But once you start downloading more songs, you’ll need a way to make your own books. Here are two quick guides to making songbooks.
On Windows, your book will be somewhat ugly and wasteful of paper without further fiddling. But this is definitely the best way to start.
The quick and dirty way to make a karaoke song book on Windows or Linux
The easiest way to make a karaoke song book on a Mac
Mp3g is a funny combination of music file and anigif. If you want to play karaoke on your iPod / iPhone, or if you want to use DJ/VJ software to run your karaoke set (more on that later) the first step is to convert your collection to normal video files.
Here’s how–for Mac, Windows, and Linux;
Continue reading ‘How to covert karaoke files to video (Mac, Windows, Linux)’
Here’s how to start your karaoke library, how to download specific songs you want, and how to stay up-to-date with new music as it comes out.
1. Start with Bittorrent. With Bittorrent you can download a ton of karaoke tracks at once.
2. Use mIRC and Autoget to download individual tracks from #karaoke+mp3s
Using mIRC and Autoget, you can download almost any English karaoke song in existence. Lots of French ones, some Spanish (Sound Choice Latin / tzlp) and some Portuguese (Kantatu). This way you can hone in on particular songs or genres you want.
It also works pretty well for getting new releases, although there’s no good way to search for new additions to the network.
3. Go back to Bittorrent. New releases will show up on the torrent sites from time to time. Keep your eyes peeled.
Update: I just found a karaoke mp3 blog here: Free Karaoke Music and added its feed to the sidebar.
Karafun is one of the most popular karaoke players for Windows. Here’s why it sucks:
- It’s slow and bulky
- Importing a large library crashes my karaoke laptop
- Having more than a certain number of songs in the playlist crashes it too.
- The download store uses a proprietary format (.kfn)
- Songs cost 3 euro ($4.50 once this funny currency crisis blows over).
The only fun thing about it is that it plays funny video effects behind the karaoke lyrics. But with winamp you can run your favorite visualizations from 1998 around the lyrics, so whatevs.
CD+G’s are karaoke CDs (see wikipedia entry). Moral of the story: don’t fuck with them.
You’ll just want everything on a laptop anyway, and many CD-ROM drives (like the ones found in most Mac laptops) won’t even read CD+G’s.
You still see lots of karaoke DJ’s using CDs out of habit. But requiring singers to write down disk and track numbers on pieces of paper is such a drag.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that even if you inherit a large collection of discs, you’re better off selling them to some schmuck (or microwaving them one by one) and hitting the torrent sites and/or setting up mIRC. It might seem like a waste, but you’ll burn more time in the long run dealing with CD+G’s.
Unless you know somebody who has one, getting a big karaoke library will take time. But in a pinch, you could run a perfectly good karaoke night with no library, downloading songs on the fly.
The easiest way would be using a Mac with kJams and its built in store (powered by Tricerasoft). Songs are $1-$2. Just hit up each singer per song (in some places, like Brazil, most karaoke is pay-for-play).
On Windows, the options aren’t as rosy. You could use the Tricarasoft player and its built-in store. Or you could use the Tricerasoft or Buykaraokedownloads web stores with Winamp or PyKaraoke.
There’s a free option too: download using mIRC. Set up is tricky, but I made a step by step guide: Free karaoke music (using mIRC). Downloads won’t be as fast, but they’ll be fast enough. The selection will be just as good if not better–there are a few people with huge libraries sharing consistently.
The only hitch is that the wifi router at the venue will need to have UPnP turned on, or you’ll need to use your own 3g card. Make sure to test first.
I’ve got three posts on the subject. But the winners are kJams (Mac), Winamp + CDG plugin (Windows), and PyKaraoke (Linux).
If you use both Mac and Windows, t’s a tough call between kJams and Winamp. If you’re going to be actively updating your library and your song books, kJams is it.
If you want to set things up once, never think about it again, and spend your karaoke night hitting on people, use Winamp.
Now, without further ado, the verdicts:
The best karaoke software for Mac OS X: kJams
The best karaoke software for Windows: Winamp
The best karaoke software for Linux: PyKaraoke
This is an easy post. If you want to run a karaoke night off a Mac, kJams is the best way to do it.
You’ll need to register for $40 to create playlists of more than 3 songs. In a pinch, you could always keep the playlist on slips of paper, I suppose. But the developer is a great guy so it’s money well spent.
Continue reading ‘Best Karaoke software for Mac’
Coming soon… oh god, it’s so good.