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Monday, March 22, 2010

LaDiDa iPhone App Lets Anyone With a Voice Make Music in Seconds

By Eliot Van Buskirk Email Author

AUSTIN, Texas — Outside of isolated cultural pockets — the Irish countryside, Appalachia and church among them — most people think of music as something other people make for them to enjoy. But as anyone who sings or plays an instrument knows, making music can be a deeply satisfying act, and it’s a shame that more people don’t get to do it.

The husband-and-wife team behind LaDiDa — Khush CTO Parag Chordia and CEO Prerna Gupta — have devised a “reverse karaoke” app that makes it simple for anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch to make songs with full instrumentation using only their voice.

You don’t even have to be able to sing in tune in order to use the $3 app, which was approved last fall. In the demo video above, Chordia, who is also an assistant professor of music at the Georgia Institute of Technology, sings absolutely terribly to show that, really, anyone can do it. (It’s quite difficult for a trained musician to sing that poorly, so he’s been practicing.)

The app is impressive. It creates harmonic and rhythmic elements after you’ve recorded yourself singing anything you please, whether it’s a pop song cover, “Happy Birthday” or something original. LaDiDa corrects your pitch and adds some reverb (just like the pros do), then aligns it with these elements and plays it back in a variety of styles that you can toggle through until you find the one that sounds best.

From there, the app lets you easily share your creation through Facebook or Twitter. As Gupta suggests, a great use of LaDiDa would be to sing “Happy Birthday” for someone and send it to them electronically, although that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

LaDiDa is available in the iTunes store for $3 (iTunes link).