Audio Products Apps

Want to Sound Better on Smule Sing?

Every day millions of people are singing on the smule app and the app itself has turned out to be a pocket recording studio with new features being added regularly enticing more singers to join the world of Karaoke Singing.

One can find #smulers every here and there and they are looking for more options and searching on the internet to improve their #karoke singing.

Here are the tips from professional sound engineers which are quite easy ones that every smule singers and others who are using the similar kind of karaoke apps will find it useful.

These tips being discussed below are general ones and not associated with any particular mobile phones or any headphone brands.

1. First and foremost is to improve your singing before updating the setup.

2. Use headsets with microphones having stereo wiring inside the cord.

3. Switch the fan off while recording.

4. Use headphones of the same brand as of mobile phones. eg: if you are using iPhone then use headphones that come with iPhones.

5. Go with effects like Super Studio, Studio FX or Polish effects while singing in a room.

6. Sit or Stand, keep your legs in a comfortable position.

7. Warm up your voice with some easy songs not too high or too low before the actual song.

8. Don’t force your voice into high or deep to get a sore throat. Stop before that happen.

9. For hands-free singing use a cellphone table mount.

10. Try singing without headphones – if the non-headphone version is clearer, better buy new headphones

11. You could pre-record your song on voice recorder apps and publish it on SMULE later.

12. Avoid recording distorted sound by keeping you microphones a little farther will improve the quality of sound keep a distance like head-worn microphones used during live music performance. Hold it at a distance of 4 inches for natural & relaxed sound and for loud singing keep it 12 inches away.

13. Become a VIP member in smule there are many filters available for changing your voice.

14. Avoid recording a muffled sound when singing directly on to phone, hold the device in a way that does not cover the mic and be aware of the exact location of your mic on your phone.

15. If your phone is placed on a table and you are singing, make sure the surface of the table isn’t reflective. That’s because the smooth or hard surface will reflect your sound, causing unwanted audio issues such as heavy reverb and possibly distortion.

16. Sing at a natural, relaxed volume, which will help you sound your best and help you sing for longer periods of time.

17. Keep an eye on the notation bar or the pitch bar on the smule app screen while singing. It will help to adjust your pitch in accordance with the actual song. Many smulers who are sound engineers have pointed out that the pitch bar in the smule app has helped them in improving their song.

The official blog of Smule is getting updated with tips and information on how to improve your singing.

You can update yourself with information related to Smule singing in their Tuesday tips section named Smule inspire like branding yourself on social media as a smuler, singing powerfully without straining your voice, basic warm-up exercises, on setting up the camera for video and expanding vocal range etc

Hope you have found the above-mentioned tips useful for you.

Happy Smuling & Happy Sound Engineering.

Audio Products Apps

Technology is growing at a faster pace than we think and innovative products which can make the common man’s life easier is being launched at affordable price tags.

But we can’t ignore the fact that the sound engineers are not aware of these recent launches especially with regard to audio products and the issue came to limelight when we posted a poll question in our social media channels to recommend a Smart Speaker.

In that poll question 3 options were provided 1.Google Home 2.Apple Homepod 3.Amazon Echo.

To be frank the response to that poll question was modest as most of them were unaware of the new products.

That persuaded us to write about Smart Speakers and the latest innovations from Google.

Couple of days back Google, the internet giant, has forayed into more diverse sections of the hardware market by unveiling a bunch of products, otherwise called the second generation google hardware which is added with features that everyone wish to have in their gadgets.

There are many products which fall under Made by Google brand and the gadgets on which our eyeball got stuck is with Google Pixel Buds, Google Home Max, New Google Home Mini.

As an institute into Sound Engineering training we cant leave these products unnoticed.

Lets talk about the features of above mentioned Google proudcts which will be interesting for the Sound Engineers.

Google Home Max

Google Home should not only be practical, but also sound good.

It is the Stereo version of Google Home

Home Max is Google’s new smart speaker optimized for the best possible sound.

For this, the sound is adapted to the spatial conditions.

Google wants to compete directly with manufacturers such as Sonos.

Presented on Wednesday evening, it is a networked loudspeaker with a focus on sound reproduction.

Inside are two woofers, tweeters and sensitive microphones.

Recognize voice commands to the Google Assistant even with loud music.

The new model is significantly larger so that more volume is available for the sound. In addition, stereo speakers are installed.

By artificial intelligence, the Google Home Max should automatically determine the best tone adjustment for the speaker.

Google calls this feature SmartSound, recognizes the location and environment of the device, and adjusts the sound accordingly.

By means of SmartSound, the sound image should be adapted automatically to the conditions of each room.

With the help of special algorithms, the loudspeaker is intended to recognize whether the room has a particularly high amount of reverb and adapts the sound accordingly.

In addition, SmartSound should take into account the conditions under which the loudspeaker is used.

If it is quite quiet in the early morning, the loudspeaker should be quieter than when a hood hood is running in the background.

In such a case, the volume is automatically increased.

Google Home Max can be kept in portrait or landscape position.

The Max loudspeaker can optionally be set up in portrait or horizontal format. The loudspeaker has a 3.5 mm jack socket, in order to integrate other input devices. Otherwise, Bluetooth and Google Cast will be offered to play content on the speaker.

Sonos makes the same thing with his speakers and Apple promises such a sound improvement for his first smart speaker Homepod, which is to be released in the USA at the end of the year.

Google Home Max will be available in December for around 400 US dollars in the USA.

Launch in other countries will be followed after the month of December, so Indians will have to wait for another 3 to 4 months to experience the product.

Google Home Mini
It is the miniature product of Google Home which was launched earlier and it is Cheap.

In the technology world it is considered that Google Home Mini is the internet giants answer to Amazon Echo.

Google wants to bring his language assistant but also in smaller and, above all, more favorable form into the houses.

The Google Home Mini is available from the end of October.

With a price of around 49 USD, the device is the size of a donut a battle attack at Amazon’s Echo Dot.

The device is controlled by the touch screen on the upper side.

One downside of the Gadget is, in order to reach the favorable price, Google has especially saved on the loudspeaker itself.

According to Google, this offers an all-round sound, but the construction alone shows that one can not expect too much from the sound quality.

Who wants to connect an external loudspeaker, is disappointed – at least partially.

The Mini has inherited a disadvantage of the Google Home: The small speaker can not be connected to other speakers either by jack, Bluetooth or WLAN.

Only a link via Chromecast or Chromecast-Audio is possible.

The functionality should not differ very much from the big brother, but assumes that due to the smaller size, the sound should be thinner again.

Unlike Home Max, one can pre-order the device in Google Store.

Google Pixel Buds
The pixel buds sound more exciting

The concept is reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods: Bluetooth headsets, which automatically connect to the mobile phone of their user, sound good and are suitable for voice calls and speech control via the microphone.

Google Pixel Buds can be paired with the Google Assistant.

Only on Google the two halves of the headset are connected with a cable.

But then Google apparently showed something that other headsets cannot is the simultaneous translation.

The highlight: Thanks to Google Assistant, the Google Pixel Buds are also suitable as a real-time interpreter and for navigation.

In conjunction with Google Translate, pixel-ear bud and pixel / Android smartphone with Google Assistant even become a simultaneous translator: they press the right ear bud again and say “Help me speak Italian”.

Now you speak the desired text in your mother tongue and the pixel smartphone outputs the Italian translation via its speakers. If your Italian speaking partner answers, the ear buds deliver the translation into your ears. This translation function should work with 40 languages.

They control all the audio functions of the Google Pixel Buds via the touchpad on the right ear bud: forward and backward, volume control, pause or play.

Pairing with the pixel or Android smartphone is done automatically as soon as you open the transport case and the Android smartphone (with Android 7 and Google Assistant) is nearby. The smartphone automatically detects the pixel buds and asks if it should connect to it.

Google Assistant makes Pixel Buds smart

As soon as you press the touch-pad on the right ear bud, you can use the Google Assistant and ask him or her to play music or give you directions or to start a call.
The smartphone remains in the bag.

The Google Assistant also informs about the ear buds about upcoming appointments or incoming calls and also reads incoming text messages.

There other 3 products which were launched by google on the same day but as those product were not related completely to audio, we hasn’t discussed it for the time being.

Hope every got an idea of recent launch by Google.

Audio Products Apps

To create a music collection on hard disk, a high effort is necessary. This makes it all the more important to have an absolutely reliable backup strategy, which should include several instances.

The central element for mass storage is the hard disk. This also applies to music data which would be seriously endangered without security measures.

From a statistical point of view, the lifetime of a hard drive is limited to five years.

The reason: a hard disk drive (HDD) is an electro-mechanical component with fast rotating metal disks and moving magnetic heads. This causes a natural aging, and after a few years of operation it can lead to a partial or total failure with data loss.

To counteract this, hard drive manufacturers have developed special NAS drives (Network Attached Storage), such as the IronWolf series from Seagate and Red from Western Digital. Such disks run very low in vibration, also the IronWolf HDDs spin up to 4 TByte slower than desktop disks. Of course, this does not matter for listening to music, only data backup and transfer take longer.

NAS HDDs are implemented in a 3.5-inch format, and are specifically designed for continuous operation. This is exactly what 2.5-inch HDDs do not have, even with the same memory capacity they are not quieter moreover new NAS drives comes with come with half the energy consumption.

The TS-251 + NAS server from QNAP fulfills professional requirements and offers extensive features as well as high security for the music data.

Two backups required
Even if a music server – like the X50 from Cocktail Audio – already works with an internal backup concept, the valuable music data must be kept on extra backups.

Professional Sound Engineers and Musicians recommends two independent copies, which are also stored in different locations. Can be achieved with two external HDDs or via the combination of a NAS server for the first instance with a USB disk for the second.

The USB drive is not connected in normal operation and is kept in a safe place. Thus even a complete loss of data would be able to cope with external influences such as fire or water damage.

In addition, the separation from the electricity network provides protection against attacks from the Internet. The data does not have to be saved permanently, but at least when some albums have been added to the music database. For backup with two USB hard drives, they are updated to the current state.

For example, the CocktailAudio X50 has a backup function which only adds new data, but retains the old ones.

NAS servers like the TS-251 + from QNAP enable data backups in the cloud. For this, known cloud services can be used, whereby the backup can be done manually or automatically.

Unlike a USB-HDD, a NAS server is always connected to the home network – even in a non-harsh state. Therefore, switching on and off can take place not only on the device itself or automatically according to a time schedule, but also via Wake On LAN (WOL). A web interface and smartphone apps are available for this standard command and configuration.

Current NAS servers are computers with high computing power, a special Linux operating system and very diverse and useful network functions including the (automated) backup of other important data like private photos and videos. The QNAP TS-251 + requires a single push button on the device for a USB backup.

Caution with RAID
In addition, data storage by RAID (redundant array of independent disks), which means the arrangement of independent disks.

NAS servers are built with at least two HDDs and provide redundancy in RAID-1 mode because both disks contain the same data. RAID 1 could theoretically intercept the data loss of a disk and create a new system with a replacement disk.

However, RAID does not replace the second backup because, for example, inactive drive sectors remain undetected and the RAID system notifies the relevant disk as defective.

Although NAS servers with SMART hard disk monitoring are sending an e-mail to the user during drive problems, individual defective sectors are not taken into account.

Do you any other effective methods for digital music collection or back up?  Do share it with us, it will be help for the students of sound engineering as well as professionals.