Carry a Tune Singing Coach Software
TAMPA, FL - Carry-a-Tune Technologies has launched a unique new family of software products that uses specialized computer-aided pitch tracking to teach people how to sing in tune and on tempo.
Called Singing Coach(TM) and Singing Coach Unlimited(TM), these products combine patent-pending technology with entertaining, animated on-screen vocal coaching to teach people at all levels to sing, whether or not they can read music. These first-of-their-kind products take the fun of karaoke and add real-time visual feedback of the singer's pitch and rhythm to enable adults and children alike to improve their singing.
The products are being launched nationwide, in time for the Christmas holiday shopping season, in Fry's Electronics, with 28 stores in California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon and Nevada. They are also available at the company's web site ( www.carryatune.com ), via toll-free number 888-378-5050 and in educational and specialty catalogs, and will be marketed through direct marketing, direct sales to musical instrument dealers and music educator and music dealer trade shows.
"In our first year of test marketing, people from across the country and of all different backgrounds have used Singing Coach and Singing Coach Unlimited to learn to sing better and to enjoy singing," said company founder and President Carlo Franzblau, who developed the software. "Users range from music teachers to school districts to families to professional singers to celebrities," he added, citing users including a semi-finalist on Star Search and American Idol and the Federal Way school district, Federal Way, Wash.
Mr. Franzblau is also a principal in the family-owned and run Thompson Group, a leading catalog publisher and direct marketing company also based in Tampa. This allows the new software business to leverage Thompson Group's substantial physical facilities and vast marketing and distribution resources.
Mr. Franzblau was led to create the Singing Coach family of products because of his long history of being unable to sing on key. As a 13-year-old, he 'earned' the starring role of Conrad Birdie in his summer camp's production of 'Bye Bye Birdie' with one condition - he would not be singing any of the heartthrob's songs. Every time Carlo started to sing, he was either mobbed by hysterical groupies on stage or in one case, he was 'punched' to prevent his singing.
The fact that he couldn't determine whether he was singing on key or on pitch stayed with Mr. Franzblau throughout his Harvard college, Harvard Business School and his business life. Finally, in early 2000, he had the time and resources to focus on his musical 'handicap' and found a software developer with the expertise to assist him in developing Carry-a-Tune Technologies' pitch tracking software.
Singing Coach and Singing Coach Unlimited are both powered by Carry-a-Tune(TM) technology. The software tracks their pitch as people sing and displays it as a pitch-tracking line on the screen, superimposed above either a 'sheet music' or 'graphic' view of the song. This system allows the singer to actually see what they are singing on a real-time basis.
The Singing Coach learn-to-sing system has as its fundamental goal making it easy for anyone - even the so-called hopelessly 'tone deaf' - to learn to control their pitch and rhythm and thereby learn to sing in tune. Simple to install and easy for singers ages 8 to 108 to use, Singing Coach works on PCs running Windows XP, ME and 2000.
Users get a high-fidelity headset with built-in microphone plus a selection of practice songs and free song downloads from the Carry-a-Tune Technologies online song library of 200-plus selections ranging from hits to standards. Singing Coach Unlimited also includes a 'compose mode,' in which users can enter any song from sheet music by simply pointing and clicking, or compose their own original songs. Singing Coach Unlimited also includes an 'import MIDI' feature that allows users to import standard MIDI files with embedded lyrics. There are over 10,000 songs available for purchase from three currently selected sites available in Carry-a-Tune Technologies's online music store. The 'compose mode,' coupled with the 'import MIDI' feature, truly makes the product 'unlimited.' The suggested retail price for Singing Coach is $49.95; Singing Coach Unlimited's suggested price is $99.95.
How It Works
Carry-a-Tune Technologies' musical software products offer numerous features that act like 'training wheels' for the person who can't carry a tune. The primary support device is a visual, real-time depiction of the singer's actual pitch compared to the 'target' or pitch he or she should be singing. Many other features make the process of learning to sing easy, fun and perhaps most importantly, free of public embarrassment.
In either 'graphic view' (no need to read music) or 'sheet music view,' the program shows users their actual pitch on screen while displaying the target for each note as they sing. Singing Coach lets users see and hear how to adjust their voice to stay in tune. When users finish singing a song, the software calculates a score (from 1 to 100) and displays it on screen. Both Singing Coach's basic and unlimited versions allow users to compete with one another for fun using a singing scoreboard. The scoring also provides a completely objective method to assess singing.
Both products give users real-time feedback and assistance. The programs feature a 20-lesson tutorial, after which singers are able to sing the basics (i.e., Hot Cross Buns, America the Beautiful) on pitch and in tune and can move on to more difficult songs.
Carry-a-Tune Technologies has targeted initial markets including: schools/education, household consumers, musical instrument dealers, senior citizens and religious institutions.
"Singing Coach ties into this country's cocooning trend in the past few years and provides a great family activity that cuts across every economic stratum," said Kenneth Spiegel, vice president and general manager. "In the past, families sat around the piano and sang together. With Singing Coach, families of the 2000's can sit around the computer and sing together."
About Carry-A-Tune Technologies
Carry-a-Tune Technologies ( www.carryatune.com ), Tampa, Fla., is the developer and marketer of a unique new family of software products that use specialized computer-aided pitch tracking to teach people how to sing in tune and on tempo. The company's initial two consumer products are Singing Coach(TM) and Singing Coach Unlimited(TM). These products combine patent-pending technology with entertaining, animated on-screen vocal coaching to teach people at all levels to sing better, whether or not they can read music. These first-of-their-kind products take the fun of karaoke and add real-time visual feedback of the singer's pitch and rhythm to enable adults and children alike to sing better and enjoy singing.
Singing Coach, Singing Coach Unlimited, Carry-a-Tune software and Carry-a-Tune technology are trademarks of Carry-a-Tune Technologies. All other trade names are the property of their respective owners.