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Microsoft's Songsmith a YouTube hit machine

By Andrew Heining / January 29, 2009



Prepare yourself for an aural onslaught.

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The quirky Songsmith music application from Microsoft is odd enough as it is: a program that takes a song sung into a computer microphone and automatically adds its own background music to it. The application's introductory video is a little ... how to say ... out there.

But what's happening now has to be seen (and, if you're brave, heard) to be believed. It's probably best to just watch the videos, but a few intrepid YouTubers are stripping the vocal tracks out of well known songs and feeding them into Songsmith. They're then using the program's sliders to create remixes that would make Danger Mouse cringe. The resulting music is bad, but in a purposeful, ironic way. Adding another jarring layer, they then sync these musical amalgamations with the original song's music video.

Here's a reggae take on The Police's "Roxane":

And here's a version of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" that sounds eerily similar to Bob Seger's "Against the Wind":

The hits just keep on coming. Here's a feel-good take on the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic":

But by far the most unlistenable output yet from this warped system is a version of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" that'll leave listeners begging for the back button.

Have to try it yourself? A free trial version of the $29 program is available here. Just ... wear some headphones.

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