How many music fans would give anything to be able to sing along with their favorite music pop icon? Sure, singing in the car or shower to your favorite tunes can be fun, but what if you could sync up your microphone video game controllers, computer, and Pandora to create a virtual Karaoke machine in your own living room? You can even add awesome effects like reverb or echo to your vocal track for some serious fun.
Just follow these easy steps:
Setting up the Microphone Controller
Hook up your USB video game microphone controller to your computer. For this example, I am using a Mac (of course), but you can also try this with a PC. In the computer’s audio preferences, select the “USB Logitech” microphone option for your audio input. You can use any USB microphone, whether it is from your Playstation, Xbox, or your computer’s regular microphone.
Audio Editing Music Program
Next, open up any audio editing music program. For Macs, I recommend using Garageband, since it is easy and simple to use, whether you are a professional musician or just a professional music fan. If you are using a PC, a free program like Audacity will work just fine. Double check the music program’s audio preferences to make sure that you have the USB Logitech microphone option selected.
In Garageband, set up a New Track with the “Real Instrument” Option. Doubleclicking on the track will open up options like adding reverb, echo, or other music effects to your vocal music track. You want to select “monitor on with feedback control”. Why? You want to avoid any feedback loops with your microphone. (Essentially, feedback occurs when your microphone picks up the sounds of your voice as you are singing and begins to amplify the sound over and over again, causing a feedback loop.) You can also avoid feedback loops by using headphones, keeping the microphone a distance away from the computer, or keeping the volume lower. The Feedback control options will mute the sound if a feedback loop occurs.
In the real instrument track Garageband options, you can set up Reverb and Echo, or go with various presets like “Diva” or “Ambient vocals”. Other sound programs will differ in what vocal effects can be used in real time.
Internet Radio Station
Open up your internet browser and Pandora (or any internet music radio station). If you have not used Pandora before, you should definitely check it out. You can create custom music stations based on your favorite musicians and types of music. For example, I have several different stations ranging from Gospel Music and traditional Classical Indian Music to Heavy Rock and Teen Pop. Hit “Play” and now you can enjoy listening to your favorite bands and musicians while jamming out on the microphone, complete with professional vocal effects.
You can also experiment with hooking up other music game controllers like guitars and drum sets to Garageband using the free program USB Overdrive, which essentially allows you to assign specific key strokes to use with Garageband’s Musical Keyboard.
Order some pizza, invite your friends over, enjoy being a pop music star and rock on with Pandora!