Archive for March, 2010

Miley Cyrus in The Last Song

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The somewhat anticipated arrival of Miley Cyrus's film debut, outside of the Hannah Montana franchise comfort zone, is around the corner. The Last Song debuting this weekend promises a lot with Nicolas Sparks behind the screenplay, but will Miley's acting stand out?

 

 

The Last Song is a coming of age film about a rebellious teen and her younger brother who are sent to live with their estranged father for the summer. Miley Cyrus plays the rebellious teen, which probably isn't that hard for her considering the entire film was created as a chance for Cyrus to turn away from her teeny bopper roots and get into the real world of acting (not to mention speculation as to what Cyrus does in her free time).

 

 

It's the first film that Nicolas Sparks has worked on which wasn't a novel first, an interesting tidbit of information for fans of the The Notebook and A Walk to Remember. Sparks was approached to write the movie after Cyrus expressed interest in playing a role similar to those of Sparks' immensely popular novels and films, and decided to work on both the screenplay and a book at the same time.

 

 

Other firsts in the film, besides Cyrus NOT playing Hannah Montana, include the location being entirely filmed in Georgia's quirky and lovable beach town Tybee Island, a battle fought and won against North Carolina where The Last Song was originally supposed to be set. Also, the role of Cyrus's mother was accepted by Kelly Preston, her first foray into acting since the death of her son.

 

 

Much like A Walk to Remember was filled with music by the lead Mandy Moore, The Last Song features a song by Cyrus, When I look at you, which has already debuted, though it's yet to reach the same popularity as her 2009 hit The Climb. But will The Last Song also do for Cyrus what A walk to remember did for Moore, by not just producing a couple of hit theme songs, but also allowing Cyrus to breakthrough the barrier onto the more grown up silver screen?

 

 

Either way, it's nice to see a major film feature such a beautiful and unique place like Tybee Island and Savannah, Georgia. Plus the song When I look at you is both really beautiful and oddly addictive to listen to, without being overplayed on the radio - yet.

 

 

Only the weekend will tell how Miley Cyrus fairs outside the role of Hannah Montana. Until then, you can sing When I look at you here on Red Karaoke.

Karaoke Challenge: Smile

Friday, March 26th, 2010

This week's challenge is a sweet and simple one that should be nice for everyone to join in, the musical standard, Smile.

 

When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by, if you smile through the fear and sorrow… that's the message of the song, a heart warming tune originally composed by Charlie Chaplin as the theme song for his 1936 film Modern Times. Our hats go off to Mr. Chaplin for writing in less than three verses truths that every person should remember.

 

 

Smile, what's the use of crying? Nat King Cole sang to us in 1954, reminding everyone with his beautiful voice to light up our faces with gladness. Smile became a popular song by many artists like Cole's daughter Natalie, Eric Clapton and Elvis Costello. Even Michael Jackson considered the song his favorite, releasing his own single of Smile in 1995.

 

Now it's your turn to remind everyone to keep on trying, by joining in the challenge and singing Smile. Post your rendition in the forum and you could be featured in next week's newsletter and Red karaoke's facebook page.

Windows 7 Tutorial: Adjusting your recording devices

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

With the release of Windows 7 this year, we've had plenty of users asking how to adjust their recording settings and fix minor issues when recording. As usual, this all has to do with the mic levels and the recording playback and at last we have a Windows 7 tutorial on how to do just that!

 

Follow these step by step instructions for Windows 7, you should be able to easily adjust your setting and improve your recordings.

 

 

Step 1: Open Recording Devices

Right click on the Volume/Speaker icon in your task bar and select "Recording Devices"

Doing this will open up a new window with your computer's recording devices.

 

 

Step 2: Show all devices

You want to make sure you can see all of your recording devices.

Do this by right clicking in the open space of the  Recording devices window.

 

The options for "Show disabled devices" and "Show disconnected devices" will appear.

Select both. If they are selected, a check will appear beside them as shown above.

 

 

Step 3:  Enable recording playback

As you see in the window below, there are three devices shown.

Be sure the "Recording playback", the third device in my window is enabled.

Do this by right clicking on the "Recording playback" and selecting enable.

If it is already enabled the choice for disable will appear. Do not disable the item.

Remember the device may have a different name, but you will recognize it by the icon that looks like a computer chip.

Also, be sure not to set the device as your default, or else your voice will not be heard.

 

 

Step 4: Enable and set the correct mic as default.

You want to make sure the correct mic is enabled and set as your default.

If your mic has a green check on it, then it is already set as your default.

If not, right click on the device you want to be your default mic.

On the menu that appears, shown in the below left image, you will see the options for enable/disable and Set as default mic.

Be sure the device is enabled and then select it as your default.

Your default mic will have a green check on it, as shown below.

 

 

Step 5: Adjust your mic properties

To adjust the volume and sound of your mic and other devices you must go to properties.

You can right click on the device you would like to adjust and select properties from the drop down menu.

Or you can click once on the device to select it, then click properties in the bottom right corner of the recording devices menu.

The properties menu will open in a separate window.

 

 

Step 6: Adjust levels

In the properties window of your mic (or other device), select levels.

You can adjust the different levels of your mic to change the volume of your voice in the recording.

Adjusting the levels of your recording playback and other devices will change the volume of your voice and music as well.

Every person has different preferences for their recordings, so adjust to your liking.

 

 

Now you know the easiest way to adjust the settings of your mic for Windows 7. Adjusting these settings to your own preferences should allow you to make recordings at the volume and with the sound you want. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or comments in the forum.

 

Have a great day!

Gold Tracks: High Quality Mp3s for the Store

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, Red Karaoke began producing new, high quality Mp3 tracks for the store. These new productions include real instrumentals, backup vocals, etc. You can be sure the quality of these backing tracks is the highest.

 

 

The first series of productions are mostly current, popular songs, the hits we see on the Billboard charts and hear on the radio. We've already produced the latest hits from Shakira, Train, Lady Antebellum and Owl City.

 

 

Of course, we are also have been producing songs from popular Spanish artists like Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Bose and El canto del loco if you are interested in singing in Spanish. 

 

 

On top of that, we are revising the songs we already have in the store, including the most popular classics and karaokes on Red Karaoke. You will find that groups like ABBA, The Beatles or Elvis already have a great selection of quality backing tracks.

 

 

Here are some of the songs that we have produced and that are already available in the Red Karaoke Store:

 

Owl city, Fireflies

Lady Antebellum, Need you now

Train, Hey soul sister

Shakira, Gitana (Gypsy)

Daniel Diges, Algo pequeñito

Alejandro Sanz, Desde cuando

Miguel Bosé, Estuvo a punto de

Estopa y Rosario, Run run

El Canto del Loco, Quiero aprender de tí

 

Here you can see the New Releases from the Red Karaoke Store.

 

And soon we will have the latest from artists like Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and many more. We hope you like it!

Artist Debut: Owl City

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Last year the music industry was shown just how much power the internet has over it when a practical nobody whose songs gained massive "viral popularity" through MySpace helped catapult him to the top of the charts with his project Owl City. Now, Red Karaoke finally has his hit song available to sing so you too can join the internet fanclub.

 

For those of you who don't know, Owl City is not a band, it is a project. To be more specific, Owl City is a musical endeavor by one guy, Adam Young, that involves creating light, catchy electro pop tunes completely from synthesized sounds.

 

 

Young started his personal project Owl City a few years ago. By day Young was a coca cola warehouse worker and by night he was an insomniac, synthpop composer slowly growing a huge following by uploading his creations onto a MySpace page. After two successful albums that both broke the top 20 on the electronic charts, Of June and Maybe I'm dreaming, Young finally gained the notice of the label Universal Republic.

 

Following his signing with the label, Ocean Eyes was released in 2009, debuting at #27. While Young released several singles including Hello Seattle, Hot Air Balloon and Strawberry Avalanche, the song we all came to know due to its massive and at times incessant air play was Fireflies, which topped all the charts and became the most downloaded song on iTunes in 2009.

 

 

Young, who lists influences like Imogen heap, Relient K (whom he worked with on several of his songs, including Fireflies), and Board of Canada has been compared, both favorably and not so much, to Postal Service, a side project of the group Death Cab for Cutie that released a super successful album in 2003 but then were never heard from again.

 

While some claim that Owl City is just a rip off, others recognize Adam Young for taking the next step and for his individual sound and approach with the project Owl City and several others he has in the works.

 

Now Red Karaoke has finally added Fireflies by Owl City to it's catalogue, so you to can join the internet popularity of this song by promoting your very own rendition.

Karaoke Challenge: Sweetest Thing

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

 I decided this week's challenge would be a song by one of my favorite bands of Irish origins, U2, in honor of St. Paddy's day. This week I want to hear the users of Red Karaoke give their best vocals to my favorite U2 song with one of the best stories, Sweetest Thing.

 

Many people know U2's Sweetest Thing from either its 1998 inclusion on one of their greatest hits albums or from movies like Mr. Deeds and Scrooged, the latter of which featured a really amazing version of Sweetest Thing by The New Voice of Freedom, a famous choir that also covered U2's Still haven't found what I'm looking for.

 

 

The original Swetest Thing, however, was released back in 1987 as the b-side single of Where the streets have no name and has, appropriately considering the song's title, one of rock's sweetest stories behind it.

 

Apparently, back when Bono was working oh so hard on the Joshua Tree album, he was so busy he even missed his wife Ali's birthday because of overtime in the studio. Definitely a major no no. Well, what greater apology from a rock superstar then a single dedicated to you?

 

That's right. Bono wrote Sweetest Thing as an apology to Ali, and also donated all the profits from the single to his wife's favorite charity. The lucky woman was even featured in the beginning of the single's music video. Forget flowers, rock stars know how to apologize in style.

 

So, have fun singing this super sweet single dedicated to Bono's wide, Sweetest thing by U2. Post your rendition in the forum and you could be featured in next week's newsletter and have your rendition posted on Red Karaoke's official facebook page.

Sing for St. Patricks Day

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

 Happy St. Patrick's Day! Can you think of a more fun and carefree holiday than today? Most people don't even know it's origin and use the day as an excuse to dress up in a crazy color, have parades and go a little bit nuts, just for the sake of it.

 

Here on Red Karaoke we are no different! Dress up in the best of your green, get in the spirit of things, and enjoy singing karaokes from this great list of Irish tunes or songs by your favorite Irish artists! Don't forget to post your rendition in the forums and join in the fun!

 

Enya - May it Be

The Cranberries - Linger

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

Thin Lizzy - Boys are back in town

The Corrs - Breathless

Sinead O'Conner

Guilbert Sullivan - Alone again

Westlife - Uptown Girl

 

My personal favorite has to be Breathless by that awesome girl group The Corrs, but there are plenty more karaokes to choose from besides this list! Find your favorite Irish tune, or sing one here, and make sure to share your rendition in the forum.

 

Happy St. Paddy's!

Artist Feature: The Cranberries

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

 This week will be full of specially themed blogs for the very exciting tradition of St. Patrick's Day this upcoming Wednesday. What better way to start off our jolly Irish filled week than with a look at one of the most popular bands from the Emerald Isle, The Cranberries.

 

The Cranberries got their start when two brothers from Limerick, Noel and Mike Hogan, formed The Cranberry Saw Us in 1989 along with drummer Fergal Lawler. After searching for a female singer, they hired Dolores O'Riordan who auditioned by writing lyrics and melodies for demos and coming up with a rough around the edges version of their future most recognizable song, Linger.

 

 

After selling 300 demos, the band changed their name to The Cranberries and put together a serious demo, including reworked early versions of Linger and Dreams, which they then gave to every UK record label they could find. I guess their sound was pretty promising, even in the early staged, because they were the subject of a UK label bidding war to produce their first album, leading to their signing with Island Records.

 

In 1992, despite nearly breaking up after the horrible reception of their appropriately titled single Uncertain, The Cranberries recorded their first album, Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?. 1993 saw the successful release of their singles Dreams and Linger, which, along with their first tour, caught the attention of MTV and led to a hardcore rotation in the US of The Cranberries' music videos, featuring the popular lead singer.

 

 

No need to argue, their second album, along with the singles Zombie and Ode to my family, outsold their predecessors and were followed by yet another very succesful tour and the singles I can't be with you and Ridiculous thoughts.

 

Early on success for The Cranberries seemed to be followed by a relative slump in popularity when their third album, To the faithful departed, and its lead singles Salvation and Free to decide just couldn't achieve the same success as the first two. That and a tour cancelation in 1997 hyped up already existing rumors that O'Riordan, who had married the band's manager, was leaving the group for an attempt at a solo career.

 

 

While Bury the hatchet, like To the faithful departed, didn't gain as much popularity in comparison to the first two Cranberries albums, the tour following it's realease was their largest and most succesful ever and ended in their home country, Ireland.

 

After a fifth album, Wake up and smell the coffee, and another tour, the band announced that even with a sixth album in the works, The Cranberries announced their seperation in search of solo careers leaving only two new songs introduced in their last tour as teasers for what could've been.

 

 

Last year The Cranberries reunited to the joy of many fans for a super successful North American tour and are finishing with Latin America and Europe this year, after which they plan to regroup in the studio to finally produce that sixth album that never made it to light.

 

If you missed hearing The Cranberries in concert or are waiting for the release of one more album, enjoy singing all the hits of The Cranberries in all their indie-pop, Irish glory here on Red Karaoke.

Karaoke Challenge: American Pie

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

 March is a fun month full of plenty of things to celebrate; St. Patrick's Day, International Women's Day, etc. But the one day that is often neglected falls on this Sunday, March 14th. What day is that? you may ask. Well, it's pie day. That's right, everywhere around the world on March 14th geeks and pie enthusiasts alike find a reason to celebrate that magical number, 3.14…

 

So in honor of Pie Day coming up this Sunday, this week's challenge is the classic American Pie.

 

Originally written in the 70's by Don McLean, the folk hit has absolutely nothing to do with Pie and actually is a recounting of the infamous "day the music died," a fated event when a plane crash killed popular and loved musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper along with their pilot.

 

 

American Pie is considered the signature song of Don Mclean, and is certainly his biggest hit, full of curious references. In fact, fans have spent the many years since its popular release trying to interpret the genius lyrics, without much help from McLean himself who once answered the question, "What does the song mean," with the clever quip, "It means I'll never have to work again."

 

But those fans who don't spend all their time trying to figure out the deeper meaning of American Pie, instead try singing it. Everyone from Tori Amos to Garth Brooks has covered the seventies single, though only one person did it with acclaim from McLean, who called that cover "mystical and sensual."

 

 

Madonna's pop dance version of American Pie may have been an extremely cut down version, featuring less than half of the original verses, but that didn't stop it from becoming a huge club hit for Madonna, or from McLean calling it a "gift from a goddess."

 

See if you can stand up to Madonna's cover or the original and join this week's challenge by singing American Pie. Post your rendition in the forum and you could be featured in the newsletter and (starting this week!) Red Karaoke's facebook page!

Top 5 Girlpower Karaokes

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

March is the official Women's History Month, and this past Monday marked International Women's Day. So, what better way to celebrate how great it is to be a woman than by singing songs by some of the most amazing women in the music industry? Check out our list of Red Karaoke's Top 5 Girlpower Karaokes.

 

 

Christina Aguilera - Fighter

 

Of all the blonde pop singers that came out of the whole Britney Spears generation, I always had a feeling Christina Aguilera was a little bit different from the rest, almost as if in spite of her first generic industry generated album, she had something real to say. Well, once Stripped, her second album dropped and the single Fighter came out, I finally knew what it was.

 

Aguilera was a woman, proud of it, and no matter what some lousy man did she wasn't going to let that get to her. Instead the thanked the jerk kindly and kept on trucking. Fighter is definitely the kind of breakup song more girls should be listening to, instead of pining away when they could do better.

 

 

Shania Twain - Man, I feel like a woman!

 

It's good to be a woman, despite all the stuff we put up with, and if there is one chick who knows that it's Shania Twain. Twain's in your face, pop country crossover, Man, I feel like a woman! is one of the best songs to get a girl feeling just the right mix of sexy, fun and maybe even a little bit naughty. I bet men even listen to this song and kind of wish they could belt out the lyrics with all of their favorite gal pals.

 

 

No Doubt - I'm just a girl

 

Pop rock's favorite leading lady, Gwen Stefani had it nailed down when she wrote Just a girl for No Doubt. This song is one of those awesome anthems about those exasperating female stereotypes that get us all down. But once you start singing, you feel all that frustration melt away and suddenly your not angry anymore, you just feel darn good to have told somebody -even if it is just your computer microphone- off.

 

 

Madonna - Express yourself

 

Madonna is practically the queen of girlpower and has been tearing walls and destroying social norms for females everywhere since she withered around on stage wearing a ripped up bridal gown. Express yourself embodies everything a woman should remember, with lyrics urging women to never take second best and to be true to themselves and what they deserve.

 

 

Aretha Franklin - Respect

 

And last, but certainly not least, the anthem among anthems for women, Aretha Franklin's incredibly powerful Respect. Every woman should have the lyrics to this song printed inside their brains. I can think of more than one time I wanted to start singing these lyrics at the top of my lungs when I had been wronged by someone. Nobody demands the respect they deserve as a woman better than Franklin herself, but we can all try ;)

 

Show your pride and inner girl power by singing one of these awesome karaokes, or, if you have your own personal "I am woman, hear me roar" anthem, sing it and post it in the forum for everyone to hear!

 

Happy Women's History Month!