If you'd love to compose a song but don't know how to write music, Microsoft's Songsmith music-creation software could be just the ticket.
- A breeze to use
- A bit limited for creating professional-quality tunes
Microsoft Songsmith is designed for those who love composing songs but don't have the knack of playing musical instruments. It's a bit limited for creating professional-quality tunes but, as far as we understand, this app wasn't meant for experts. Songsmith is far more suitable for amateur singers or for family entertainment. It has all the needed tools to quickly create music for your song, easily and without serious musical skills (although a bit of singing skill helps). For something that's still being developed by Microsoft Research, and is a completely new concept, it worked flawlessly and without much difficulty.
Price$ 29.95 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Note: pricing for this product is in US$.
If you'd love to compose a song but don't know how to write music, Microsoft's Songsmith music-creation software could be just the ticket. Songsmith helps you create original music for a song that you've composed by adding instrumental accompaniment. This new concept seems to have captured everybody's imagination, so we put Microsoft Songsmith to the test.
The interface and features set
One of the many things we liked about Microsoft Songsmith was how easy it is to use. It's designed in such a way that even people with limited tech know-how can start playing around without much of a struggle.
The first time you fire up Microsoft Songsmith, the song starter window guides you through your first step of song creation. Here you'll be given the choice of selecting a song style from among the 30 provided (rock, hip-hop, pop, dance and so on). You can buy more styles online by clicking on the Get More Styles button.
Next step is to set the tempo. The interface has an intuitive feel to it with large buttons and tabs and most of the tools for editing your song are placed in one convenient place — the main working area.
Creating the music
With the emphasis on ease of use, it wasn't hard to start creating our own songs. It was as easy as clicking on the Record button, then belting out a number to the drum backing track. At the end of the recording, the song is played back with suitable musical instruments accompaniment.
There's no doubt that the software was a breeze to use, but after playing around with it we found that the result depends upon the quality of the singing too; Songsmith didn't throw up impressive results if the singing was out of tune or not sung to a strong rhythm. If the song isn't sung properly, it may not do a good job of providing the music.
Editing the song after recording consists of changing the style and the chords per bar, and adjusting the Happy/Jazzy bar to fine-tune the mood of the song. Remember that the tempo cannot be modified once the song is recorded. If you're comfortable with adjusting the instruments being played, clicking on the Mixer button will give you more options to tweak around with your song. Here you can select the individual instrument track (drum, bass, piano, guitar and strings) that you want in the song, the style mood can even be set here (Light or Lively). As with the styles, you can buy more instruments online.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft dials back Windows 10 upgrades to 2X a year
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Use Feedback Hub to complain to Microsoft about Windows 10
- Netflix's Fast.com download tester takes its war against slow ISPs directly to the user
- New Windows 10 Mobile preview adds handy web features, but kills Wi-Fi Sense
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCChange Manager - SAP FinanceNSW
- CCLMS Administrator and e- Learning Development Project OfficerSA
- CCDelivery Manager - Integration SpaceVIC
- CCPEGA Developer / ConfigurerACT
- CCNV1 Consultant | Groundbreaking Defence decision support applicationACT
- CCSolutions Architect - SAP HANAQLD
- CCContract Computer Operator (UNIX/Windows-based) 1610524/CCO/vmtAsia
- FTProject Manager - Web ContentVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst, Service Performance, RetailNSW
- CCDigital Business Analyst (iOS & Android / Web Projects)NSW
- CCTechnical Solutions Specialist - Software Developer (Client facing)NSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Contributions TaxNSW
- FTInfrastructure Specialist VMwareNSW
- CCService Provider Manager - DesktopVIC
- CCNetwork Consultant - Bandwidth Assessment | 3 month contract into Defence | NV1+ACT
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- CCMultiple Oracle Fusion SOA/BPEL Developer OpportunitiesVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (.NET C#/MS ASP .NET) 160526/AP/263Asia
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCData Feeds Developer | Financial Services | C# & SQLNSW
- CCSenior Oracle Functional ConsultantSA
- CCPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- FTPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- CCDigital Project ManagerVIC