I’ve been having a great time with SingSnap’s latest cool feature… infinite duets!

If you’ve read Pop Rock Nation since I started writing here in January, you may know that I am a karaoke enthusiast. These days, I do a lot of my karaoke online at SingSnap.com. Though it’s not quite the same as singing live for an appreciative crowd in a bar, online karaoke has its own advantages over live performances. Online karaoke gives you a lot of freedoms you don’t have in a bar. In fact, I was reminded of this on my recent trip to San Antonio, Texas, when my husband Bill and I happened to be in a bar that was hosting a karaoke show.

It was about 10:00pm when the show started. A couple of women started playing music and invited an older gentleman to come up and sing. He got up, did a decent job, got some half-hearted applause, and then sat down. Then another older man got up and sang and wasn’t as good. He sat down and then the two karaoke jocks did a duet of George Benson’s 1981 hit song, “Turn Your Love Around”. The KJs were decent singers and harmonized with each other nicely. But then they said to the bar patrons, “We promise the show will get better. It’s not going to be like this all night.” I was pretty turned off by that comment. Karaoke isn’t necessarily about singers sounding good, though it’s great when someone who can sing does. Bill and I left quickly because I got the sense that these two karaoke jocks weren’t very nice.

When we got back from Texas, I found out that SingSnap.com had added a new feature to their online karaoke service– “infinite duets”. In the past, you could record a song and then harmonize once to it, or offer it as an “open duet” so other singers could join you. I have done a few duets on SingSnap and have enjoyed the experience, bonding with perfect strangers from anywhere in the world. The infinite duet feature takes that capability a step further. It allows you to record as many harmony tracks as you want. Since you can also change the key of a song if you want (or need) to, online karaoke almost gives you a basic sense of what it feels like to be a music producer.

This week, I’ve had a good time experimenting with infinite duets. I’d sing the melody. Then I’d record a harmony line. Then I’d record another one and perhaps another until I had all the harmonies I wanted. The end results have been very interesting. I have a few examples posted which I will share here.

Here’s my harmonized version of “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”. I changed the key so it’s higher, then recorded three parts so the final product is in three part harmony.

I got a little carried away with “Love Me Tender”, which I gave five parts to. That one was my first effort and I got a little carried away with it, but I was just experimenting.

I posted these two recordings on my personal music blog and a reader asked me to sing “The Rose”, a song made popular by Bette Midler in 1980. I was never a big fan of that song. I probably got sick of it because it was on the radio too much when I was growing up. Also, while I love Bette Midler as an actress, I was never the biggest fan of her singing, even as I recognize her immense talent for music. But after recording “The Rose” yesterday, I have a new appreciation for it. I only harmonized parts of the song and was doing so during a rainstorm, so I was a bit challenged. It’s hard to get the recordings just right because of Internet speeds and such. Still, I think this turned out pretty decently.

One thing to remember with these infinite duets is that if the recording already has backing singers, you can’t erase them. It’s best to pick songs that don’t have backing singers or they’re subtle. I also think the infinite duets work best when you use short, simple songs. The longer and more complicated the song, the harder it is to get it right.

Just for kicks, here’s a duet I did of “Leather and Lace” with some guy on SingSnap. I was very impressed with him because he actually sounds a bit like Don Henley.

Anyway, I think this new infinite duets feature is a lot of fun and allows singers a great chance to be creative and make the songs their own. I’m going to play with it as much as possible until it’s time to pack everything up and start the road trip to Texas.

Have a great weekend everyone!