There are many great pieces of karaoke software out there, but without any doubt, Sony’s SingStar is the most popular one amongst the general public.
If you can get past the innitial embarassment, there’s really nothing greater than screaming your lungs out after a party, be it with friends or family.
One of the main reasons are the nonchalant air the game manages to put down, and how it remains extremely user-friendly and easy to operate for everyone.
However, Singstar costs a reasonable deal of money. The system, the game and the branded microphones, all taking a notable bite out of your precious reserves. Especially in these times of recession, one would like to have fun without need to take out his wallet.
The Ultrastar Deluxe project brings this Singstar experience to desktops andlet you play Singstar like game on PC, without taking even the smallest nibble of your money. The user interface resembles its PlayStation counterpart in more ways than one, and any console migrants should feel home at once.
The basic concept remains as well. The game judges the pitch and rythm of your voice, and matches it with presets. Sing too fast, too slow, or go off-key, and you’re loosing points.
It’s a simple, and extremely visual interface, which makes the fun also accessible for the non-Pavarotti’s amongst us. No, you probably can’t sing, everyone thinks they’re great in the shower!
Ultrastar Deluxe can be played solo, climbing the score-mountain to put your flag as high as possible, or with others. The game allows you to sing with up to twelve people!
In Sing, you select and sing a specific song. If you choose to play with friends, you sing together for the highest total score. You can play with up to 6 people.
The Party mode is always played together with other peeps. Most of the time you’re singing against each other, in a battle for the highest score. Because Party mode supports the creation of 2 or 3 teams, you can play with even more people; up to 8 or 12!
This mode is played in at least 2, maximum 7 rounds, and songs are automatically picked for you. If you really don’t like a song, you can use a Joker to skip it, but try not to put them to waste.
All songs in the game are released under Creative Commons (CC), which means they can be distributed freely, with a few restrictions.
The game comes with 40 of these CC songs, which is more than enough to begin with.
You can check out a partial list of the game’s songs on the Ultrastar dedicated.
Adding Your Own Songs
However, there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to add your own songs to the game’s arsenal. Perhaps you’re tired of the included songs, are missing your favourite ones, or just like another style of music.
Adding your own songs to the game is pretty easy. There are two possible ways.
The easiest, of course, is to check if someone else has done the work already. Available on the net are txt-files, filled with all the necessary information. Good sources are the Ultrastar forum and UltrastarStuff.com.
The only two things you’ll need to account for is that both mp3 and txt-file are in the same directory in Program Files\UltraStar Deluxe\Songs, and that the mp3 title matches the one mentioned in the txt file. So simply open it up in your editor, and edit the first lines accordingly.
As you can see, you can also specify a background video, or picture.
However, if you’re aching for a less commercial or popular song, you might have to make it yourself. UltraStar is equipped with an editor that does just that. You can find a tutorial on it here.
This might prove too difficult for some less technical people, but it theoretically allows you to add any existing song. Note that in both cases, the mp3 is provided by you.
Get It Now!
This free software is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Get it now!
So, what do you think? Not-for-you, or will you be annoying the neighbours for the rest of the day coming months? Give us your comments or opinions below.