Microsoft Research, the code jockeys behind video and imaging innovations like Unwrap Mosaic , AutoCollage 2008 , and the Microsoft Image Composite Editor , has expanded into audio creativity with its new Songsmith program.
Songsmith enables you to convert your solo music (vocal or instrumental) into an editable recording (Garritan developed the MIDI musical tracks Songsmith uses). Just sing or play into a microphone (Songsmith runs on Windows XP or Vista with 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz processor, and requires .NET Framework 3.0), and Songsmith adds the backing you select. Try samples here .
Want to make changes to your Songsmith creation? Choose a different backing track style, change tempo or keys, select different instruments, mood, or chords. When you're finished, you can save your creation as a WMA audio file and you can use it for a singalong music video too.
Songsmith was created by Microsoft Research's Sumit Basu, Dan Morris, and Ian Simon, who are also accomplished musicians. They designed Songsmith for non-musicians who want to create music. However, Songsmith also includes features that mimic how professional musicians create music.
Will Songsmith help create future American Idol winners, or merely lead to more lousy music videos on YouTube? Hit Comment and tell us your take.