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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Karaoke machine's key to good singing
Japanese karaoke singer
Tuneless singing could be a thing of the past
A Japanese company has developed a karaoke machine which helps to make the singer sound better.

This new machine would recognise the singer's use of vibrato, tremolos and other techniques

Taito Corporation spokesman Makoto Tanaka
Taito Corporation said the new machine, which will go on sale in Japan this summer, will automatically adjust the pitch of the song to the singer.

The company spokesman, Makoto Tanaka, told the AFP news agency that the machine will also wait for the singer if they are struggling to keep up.

A professor of music, media art and science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Barry Vercoe, and US chipmaker Analog Devices collaborated on the project.

The machine works by allowing the singer to register the pitch of their voice and then adjusts the key of the song to the key of the singer.

Reward system

The product also awards points for performance.

"The grading karaoke machine currently available only compares singer's performance against standardised tunes of the selected songs. But this new machine would recognise the singer's use of vibrato, tremolos and other techniques for grading singers," Mr Tanaka explained.

He said Taito had no immediate plans to introduce the machine abroad.

The impact of a poor karaoke singer on the general public is minimised in Japan, because the entertainment is enjoyed in intimate rooms called "karaoke boxes" which hold up to 15 people rather than in front of big pub audiences, as in the West.

See also:

03 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Karaoke in North Korean aid shipment
20 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Karaoke monk booted out
06 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Islamic state bans karaoke
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