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Apr 13, 2002

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, hats, cats, and other folk, guys, gals, and nonbinary pals, welcome one and all to Something Awful Karaoke.

I'm LividLiquid and I'll be your host this evening.

This here trans autistic weirdo has been hosting karaoke off-and-on since 2003 and can't believe SA doesn't already have a thread for this. Ran a whole business doing it for some time. Sadly, I have an autoimmune disorder (not that one), so the pandemic very much never ended for me and I need a way to keep my pipes warm so I don't lose entire octaves like I did last time I stopped singing for a long time so I've been making tracks in my garage and I thought, "y'know, it's been a while since I was laughed off the internet. Let's try bringing some joy to Something Awful and see what happens.

What are the rules?

1.) This is karaoke. Not Carnegie hall. It's not about being any good. It's about feeling like a rock star for about four minutes. So don't be a dick about people's skills or lack thereof or you're just going to look like the guy pointing out that pro wrestling isn't a legitimate athletic competition or that the magician is using slight-of-hand and isn't actually magic. We loving know. And it says a lot about you that you think that's news to us.

2.) You can submit your songs any way you like. Soundcloud, Youtube, SingSnap, carrier pigeon, or just yelling really loudly, and you can sing whatever you want, but please have the presence of mind not to be the person we have to scrutinize to figure out *why* you're singing Sprintime For Hitler, savvy? Edginess isn't as clever or brave as you think.

3.) No loving Don't Stop Believin'. Not now. Not ever. I'm just kidding. You can do it, but I ain't listenin' to it. Not after 19 years of hosting. You can't make me.

4.) While you can edit your tracks (I certainly do), try not to go full Producer on us. It's a karaoke thread. Not an audio production thread. But if you're a ProTools wizard who wants to participate, you're welcome here too. Everybody is at karaoke, save people who act like jerks.

5.) Have the gently caress some fun. And remember to cheer each other on. Whether at a bar, house party, or the internet, karaoke gets old pretty quick if alls we're doing is focusing on our own poo poo and ignoring everybody else. I've watched shy, locked-in, mousy people slowly evolve into boisterous, confident gods among men through the power of karaoke, but it only works if we're all boosting each other.

How do I create tracks?

Several ways! But for all of them you'll need a pair of headphones and a microphone, and while we certainly welcome pro audio gear like the Shure SM58 and Sony buckets I use, your device's microphone and some earbuds will do in a pinch. This is all just for fun.

First, there's the easier, but feature-lite services like SingSnap. SingSnap is a karaoke suite built just for things like this. I've only used it a few times myself, but it seems pretty ideal for our purposes. It has several competitors, which some Googling can lead you to. The Karaoke Channel looks alright, though I've never tried it.

Next, there's doing it yourself using Youtube. You can head there, search "[song title] karaoke," find a good'n, then pipe the sound into your headphones and record your vocals using any audio program capable of doing that. Windows has its own built-in voice recorder, as I'm sure does the Apple ecosystem. You can then use ytmp3 to rip your track and merge your vocals using a free audio editing program like Audacity, or a professional one. If you're the kind of person who'd do that, you don't need me to recommend you one.

If you know the lyrics really well, you could just open the backing track in an audio editor to begin with and record your vocals over the top.

Finally, if you're lucky enough to be able to go to live shows right now, you could have somebody record you at an actual karaoke show and post it here for us to enjoy. If you already have recordings, feel free to post those too.

As for my method; I record my vocals into OBS Studio so I can capture video too, then I use Adobe Premiere to merge them. It's a clunky workflow, but it works for me. I'd love to have a mixer for my PC so I could pipe my vocals into my headset when I'm recording, but I'm not exactly flush with cash these days, so I sing everything without a monitor.

Here are a few examples of what that workflow can produce, up to and including terrible Youtube thumbnails. Now you too can hate your own face like you've never hated it before!

U2 - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

Peggy Lee - Why Don't You Do Right

Rocky Horror Picture Show - Science Fiction Double Feature

Finally, if people actually respond to this idea, I might start streaming live shows for us, where you'd submit tracks directly to me and I'd stream them out live for us to hang out, enjoy, and chat with one-another live, but let's see if this gets any traction first. The world is a tire fire right now. Singing is fun. Let's have some fun. And if you have any questions for a 19-year veteran master of ceremonies, I'd be happy to share my stories, or if you have any questions about making tracks, I'd be happy to answer those too.

And always remember the first rule of karaoke: suck boldly. People respond way more to confidence and gusto than they do to actual talent, and you won't get good without practice, so if you suck, just go with it and get some practice and if anybody's a dick about it, rest easy knowing they are a deeply sad person. This is also great advice for giving head.



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