Microsoft Songsmith

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Microsoft Research Songsmith
Original author(s)Microsoft Research
Developer(s)Microsoft Research
Stable release
1.03 / September 2012
Written inC# and C++
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
Platform.NET Framework
Size100MB download
Available inEnglish
TypeMusic Software

Microsoft Research Songsmith is a musical accompaniment application for Microsoft Windows, launched in early 2009. Songsmith immediately generates a musical accompaniment after a voice is recorded. The user can adjust tempo, genre (such as pop, R&B, hip-hop, rock, jazz, or reggae), and overall mood (e.g. to make it happy, sad, jazzy, etc.).[1]

The software was developed by a team at Microsoft Research, led by researchers Dan Morris and Sumit Basu.[2][3][4] The product began as a research project called MySong, conducted at Microsoft Research in collaboration with a University of Washington student, Ian Simon, in the summer of 2007. Songsmith is the second commercial project from Microsoft's Microsoft Research, after AutoCollage.[5]

Morris and Basu starred in an infomercial[6] that became a viral video.[7][8][9][10][11][12] The video was featured on the Australian ABC TV program The Gruen Transfer as a competitor for the Worst Ad Ever.[13]

The release of the software spawned an internet meme where the vocal tracks of popular songs are fed into the program.[14]


  1. ^ Microsoft Research Songsmith
  2. ^ Josh Lowensohn (2009-01-08). "Microsoft releases Songsmith: Karaoke in reverse". Cnet.
  3. ^ Erica Sadun (2009-01-18). "A Look at Microsoft Songsmith". Ars Technica.
  4. ^ Todd Bishop (2009-01-08). "Demo: Microsoft's new Songsmith gives singers an algorithmic band". Puget Sound Business Journal.
  5. ^ Long Zheng (2009-01-08). "Microsoft Research announces Songsmith, make-your-own-song-from-vocals software".
  6. ^ Joseph Tartakoff (2009-01-13). "Video: Microsoft sings about its Songsmith software". Seattle Post Intelligencer.
  7. ^ "Microsoft Songsmith Commercial is Excruciatingly Hilarious". Escapist Magazine. 2009-01-14.
  8. ^ "Nothing can prepare you for the Microsoft Songsmith commercial". Videogum. 2009-01-12. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17.
  9. ^ Aarti Nagraj (2009-01-15). "The beauty of bad ads". Kipp Report.
  10. ^ Andrew Winistorfer (2009-01-12). "Songsmith painful in too many ways to count". Prefix Magazine.
  11. ^ Todd Bishop (2009-01-14). "Microsoft Songsmith video: Charming or painful? Or both?". Puget Sound Business Journal.
  12. ^ Yardena Arar (2009-01-08). "At CES, Microsoft Introduces the Unexpected: Songwriting Software". PC World.
  13. ^ Microsoft Songsmith ABC TV - The Gruen Transfer - Worst Ads on TV
  14. ^ "7 Ad Campaigns That Prove Microsoft Was Never Good at This". 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2012-05-22. Once it was out in the wild, it was ripped to shreds by merciless YouTube video-makers showing exactly how badly the software worked with well-known songs, like Queen's 'We Will Rock You'.

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