Have you heard of Microsoft Songsmith yet?
If you haven’t — well, it’s Microsoft’s newest venture into the artificial intelligence entertainment business. Here’s the premise: connect a microphone to your Windows based PC and start singing. The program will analyze the melody and come up with some musical accompaniment tailor-made for your voice! You can learn more at the Microsoft Research website here. You can even download a working demo for free!
Microsoft sees this as a tool to help people become musicians. To challenge people to become musicians in their own right. But an entire community on YouTube has had some different plans.
You see, you can feed the vocals from other songs into the program, and it will output those vocals with a whole new tune. You can set the genre of music however you want, so it makes for some really interesting combinations.
For example — how about The Police playing “Roxanne” with a Carribean, steel-drum feel to it?
What happens when you take Billy Idol and add a bluegrass twang?
… or Weezer with a slow, ballad-laden piano?
… or possibly the most ridiculous version of Johnny Cash singing “Hurt” you’ve ever heard?
Some of them just sound… ghastly:
Is anyone else fascinated by this? Or am I just easily amused?