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Karaoke 101


What is karaoke?
Do Karaoke music discs use original artist recordings?
Do the Karaoke recordings have "background singers"?
Why can't I find the song that I am looking for?
What is CDG?
What is CDGM?
What is VCD?
What are DVD Karaoke Discs?
Will CDGs play on my standard CD player, DVD player or computer?
Will Karaoke DVDs play on my standard DVD player or computer DVD-ROM drive?
What is multiplex?
How can I remove the vocals from a multiplex disc?
What does "vocal demo" mean?
What does "vocal changer" mean?
 
How do I know what key the song is recorded in?
Can I change the key of the song?
Do I need a Karaoke player?
How do I know if my television is capable of being hooked up to a Karaoke player?

Will I be able to play any type of Karaoke music on any of the players that you offer at A Tech Global?

What is a portable Karaoke System?
What is a component player?
Can I record myself singing?
What if more than one person wants to sing at a time?
Can I use the players outside of the US?
How do I decide what type of Karaoke player and media I should be buying?
What are starter packs?


Q: What is karaoke?
A: Karaoke is singing to pre-existing songs. You are replacing the original lead singer. The background music and supporting singers are usually left intact.

Q: Do Karaoke music discs use original artist recordings?
A: Karaoke music discs (CDGs, CDGMs, VCDs and DVDs) are recreations recorded by independent manufacturers. The manufacturer will hire independent artists and bands to recreate songs done in the likeness of the original artist, with the goal of sounding as similar to the original artist as possible. Manufacturers' interpretation of like songs will sound different throughout different manufacturers.

Important Note: The lead singer’s voice is usually removed.

Q: Do the Karaoke recordings have "background singers"?
A: Yes, most discs and songs have background singers, mainly for the chorus. And these background singers are not removable.

Q: Why can't I find the song that I am looking for?
A: Atechglobal.com has a large music database, but unfortunately, not all songs are available for Karaoke. When you search for your favorite songs, singers, or groups, try omitting the word "The" and "A" from the song title or group name. For favorite singers, try searching by just the last name.

Q: What is CDG?
A: CDG (or CD+G) stands for Compact Disc Plus Graphics. A CDG Karaoke disc contains an additional track, which displays the song lyrics on a TV when played on a Karaoke player. The words to the song are typically displayed on a blue background and are highlighted in a contrasting color to signal when the words should be sung. The CDG format is the Karaoke standard for most of the world's Karaoke. CDGs usually have about 15 songs per each disc.
CDG Karaoke disks require a special Karaoke player called a Karaoke CDG Player. A Karaoke CDG player is similar to a regular CD player, except that it has an additional chip for reading the graphics track of a CDG. In addition, a CDG Karaoke Player also has a place to plug in a microphone, a key controller to adjust for the singer's key, and an echo control to enhance the singer's voice.

Q: What is CDGM?
A: CDGM stands for Compact Disc plus Graphics Multiplex. In addition to being exactly like CDGs, CDGMs include vocal demos for each song so that you can choose to listen to the song with or without the lead vocals. CDGMs usually have about 8 songs per each disc. The lead vocals are removed by a balance control on your player or by a special multiplex button on your player. See "What is multiplex" for more information.

Q: What is VCD?
A: VCD stands for Video Compact Disc. VCD Karaoke discs provide not only the lyrics in time with the music, but also a video background display that complements the song. VCDs usually have about 11 songs per each disc.

To play Video CD disks you need either a CDG Karaoke player with Video CD capabilities or a DVD player since all DVD players can play Video CD format. Many CDG Karaoke players have a combination Video CD and CDG function and operate the same way as a regular CDG Karaoke player.

Q: What are DVD Karaoke Discs?
A: DVD stands for Digital Versatile Discs. DVD Karaoke disks are generally replications of the Video CD Karaoke disks. The video background on a DVD Karaoke Disk is much higher quality than a Video CD disk, however, currently there is no additional music, improved sound quality, or special DVD features. DVD Karaoke disks tend to be higher priced and there is less selection of songs.

A normal DVD player will play both the DVD and Video CD Karaoke disks. However, a Karaoke DVD Player has additional features such as microphone inputs, key changer, and echo control.

Q: Will CDGs play on my standard CD player, DVD player or computer?
A: A CDG Karaoke disc will play (only the sound, not the graphics) in any standard CD or DVD player. A CDG karaoke disc will sometimes work on a computer with a CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive, however it depends on the karaoke disc manufacturer. Recently, some manufacturers have began implementing a method that protects the CDG from being read by a computer. If a CDG has this type of protection, it will still play on standard CD players and DVD players.

Please Note: Keep in mind that only a CDG karaoke player can read the graphics track, so the song lyrics will not be displayed on a standard CD player, DVD player or computer.

Q: Will Karaoke DVDs play on my standard DVD player or computer DVD-ROM drive?
A: Yes, however, a Karaoke DVD Player has additional features such as microphone inputs, key changer, and echo control.

Q: What is multiplex?
A: All Karaoke discs are made in either a multiplex or non-multiplex format. Multiplex discs also do not feature the original artist.

Multiplex discs, have vocal demos for each song so that you can choose to listen to the song with or without the vocals. Non-multiplex discs provide only one version of the song, without the vocals.

Q: How can I remove the vocals from a multiplex disc?
A: The vocal demos can be removed by locating the "vocal remove" or "multiplex function" on your Karaoke player. By turning this button on or off you can add or remove the demo singer.

Q: What does "vocal demo" mean?
A: This is a multiplex disc with a demo singer.

Q: What does "vocal changer" mean?
A: This is a function on your Karaoke player that allows you to listen to a multiplex disk with or without a vocal demo.

Q: How do I know what key the song is recorded in?
A: Generally, the song is recorded in the same key that the artist recorded it in. Unfortunately, most Karaoke disc manufacturers do not provide key of the song.

Q: Can I change the key of the song?
A: Yes, with a "digital key changer". Although many Karaoke players offer a key changer feature, only a digital key changer effectively changes the key. Non-digital key changers change both the key and the speed the sound. Therefore are not ideal for key changing.

Q: Do I need a Karaoke player?
A: Yes, if you want to see the song lyrics. All Karaoke discs are made with a special track that contains the song lyrics on the disc. When a Karaoke disc is played on a Karaoke player, which is connect to any regular TV, the song lyrics are displayed on the TV. The words to the song are typically displayed on a blue background and are highlighted in a contrasting color to signal when the words should be sung. No matter what type of Karaoke music you purchase, you will need a Karaoke player to be able to see the lyrics to the songs. Also, only Karaoke Players offer you a microphone connection, a vocal changer and a key changer.

Q: How do I know if my television is capable of being hooked up to a Karaoke player?
A: Any standard TV will work. You do need an RCA connection, which most modern TVs already have. If your TV does not have a yellow RCA connector, you can easily purchase an RF modulator from any Radio Shack for about $20.

Q: Will I be able to play any type of Karaoke music on any of the players that you offer at A Tech Global?
A: No. Some players play only CDG discs. Some players play both CDG and VCD disks. There are other players that play DVD disks. Finally, there are players that play all types of Karaoke music. Before you select a Karaoke player, you need to determine what your needs are and then select the player that best fits your needs.

Q: What is a portable Karaoke System?
A: A portable Karaoke System is an all-in-one Karaoke player that usually includes:

a CD player that has a graphic reading capability
microphone connection(s)
built in speaker(s)
a tape cassette player which allows you to record your own voice singing along to the music
a video connector that connects your player to your home TV
a key changer that allows you to find the most comfortable key for you to sing in
an echo controller that improves the sound should someone sing off key
an external speaker jack that allows you to listen to the music through a more amplified component system

Q: What is a component player?
A: Component Karaoke players are similar to portable Karaoke players in size and function but include several additional features that are important to professional Karaoke Jockeys:

two or more microphone inputs with separate microphone volume controls.
a digital key changer
a digital echo control.
a video out jack for connection to a home TV or to a professional monitor
multi-disc carousel or drawer systems
programmable features that make it easy to cue specific discs and tracks.
In addition the component player does not have its own speaker or amp so it must be connected to separate sound system. Finally the component player does not have its own audiocassette tape recorder so any tapes must be made using a separate tape recorder.

Q: Can I record myself singing?
A: Yes! You will need a microphone to record yourself singing. Hook up the microphone, put an audio cassette in the tape loader, push record and start singing. What could be easier and more fun?

Q: What if more than one person wants to sing at a time?
A: If your player has 2 microphone inputs, you can buy another microphone for the second microphone input and sing duets! You can also record both of you singing together.

Q: Can I use the players outside of the US?
A: Most players come in 120 volt and NTSC TV format so they work well in the United States, but require adapters for other countries. Some players (mostly component) come with 120/220 voltage switches and NTSC/PAL switch formats so they can be used in virtually any country. If they don't include these switches, they will also require adapters for other countries.

Q: How do I decide what type of Karaoke player and media I should be buying?
A: Most of your choices will be based upon the level of enthusiasm you have for karaoke. Higher levels of enthusiasm warrant higher quality equipment and media. If you have an existing player, reading the manual will let you know the type of media it will play. Usually, your karaoke player will play CDG and CDGM karaoke format. Descriptions are below. CDGs have no lead vocals, are more expensive and usually associated with the serious or veteran enthusiast. CDGMs have the lead vocals intact, are less expensive and usually associated with the beginners.

Q: What are starter packs?
A: Normally, you would purchase karaoke media as a single disc. For the serious and professional KJs, this would be cost prohibitive. Manufacturers assemble their own multiple disc packs to save you money. As with other products, the more you buy, the cheaper each one gets. Usually, manufacturers try to respond to the market demands by assembling both the broad category packs and also specific category packs. In short, if you only intended to sing country or gospel, you would seek out packs specifically for those categories.




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