January 25, 2009 17:57:36
Posted By Peter Bentley
Nearly a year ago I was quoted in New Scientist, commenting on some Microsoft research which auto-creates average-sounding backing music to somebody singing. At the time I said "I suspect musicians will argue that this is another step towards homogenised elevator music for all... But I see a big market for this, whether it's liked by musicians or not." Click here to read that original article. Frankly I was being polite, although my prediction seems to have come true for reasons I didn't guess.
Since then, this research has been turned into a product called SongSmith which is getting quite a cult following, but for all the wrong reasons... Microsoft in their wisdom created perhaps the worst on-line advert ever. The Jury is still out on whether it's a deliberately ironic video or whether it's just terrible. Probably the latter. But it's sorta worth watching just for the cringe- factor. Is Microsoft really completely incapable of turning even potentially good research into a fun and cool product..? Seems so...
You can watch that awful video here.
And some people have been ruining existing songs to hilarious effect using the software.
I'll stick with my Mac, I think. (And ironically it appears that a Mac was even used in the video for this PC software, although it was covered in stickers to disguise it.)