This is a very easy to use Windows program that lets you build karaoke VCDs that you can play on your VCD compatible CD or DVD player. KarVCD is a collection of tools that include all that you need to convert your MIDI or KAR files to WAVE, build AVI files from those and encode AVI files to MPEG. It includes also an MP3 converter that allows you to obtain compact sound files that you can mail to your friends, post on Usenet or put on a Web page. Welcome to the KarVCD home page.

KarVCD is a release of Future Algorithms.

 

Text Box: Buy KarVCD
Download trial version

 

KarVCD includes the following tools:

¨      MIDI Converter – To convert MIDI or KAR files to WAVE using its embedded SoundFont based softsynth.

¨      Player – To play MIDI, KAR and WAVE files. It shows the lyrics in a KAR file, in synchronisation with the music.

¨      Recorder – To records sounds to a WAVE file. This can be used to record yourself singing while playing back another file. If this is a KAR file, it will show the lyrics in a window. This tool can also be used to convert a MIDI or KAR file to WAVE using an external synthesizer.

¨      Audio Mixer – To mix two or more WAVE files together to a single WAVE file while applying sound effects.

¨      AVI Maker – To combine audio and video information into an AVI file.

¨      MP3 Converter – To convert WAVE files to MP3 and vice-versa.

¨      MPEG Converter – To convert AVI files to MPEG.

If you want a simpler tool that does just the conversion from MIDI/KAR to WAVE, you can try our other product MidiSyn.

For a more professional approach in converting MIDI/KAR files to WAVE, you should try MidiKare. MidiKare has the same Sound Font based softsynth that MidiSyn has but it also allows you to use any standard MIDI synthesizer, soft or hardware based, internal or external. Besides, it includes a series of tools that can be very useful in this kind of work: A file player, a recorder, an audio mixer and an MP3 converter.

Karaoke is a form of entertainment in which a live person sings a song with a pre-recorded accompaniment. The word "karaoke" is Japanese for "empty orchestra". This great form of entertainment originated in Japan and is spread throughout the world. A typical place to see karaoke is a bar, restaurant, or a club where people come to have fun by singing pop songs. KarVCD will help you create your own Karaoke CDs so you can have as much fun in your own home.

To create a karaoke VCD you need to get the MPEG file with the movie that contains the sound and the associated lyrics. The MPEG file is usually obtained by encoding an AVI file. To get the AVI file you use the AVI Maker tool included in KarVCD. This program can extract the lyrics contained in a KAR file and combine them with a WAVE file into an AVI file. To convert the AVI file to MPEG you use the MPEG encoder tool also included in KarVCD.

Once you get the MPEG file, you can then use the software that came bundled with your CD-Writer to create the VCD. It is not enough to create a data CD with the MPEG file, your CD-burning software must be able to create the special format required by the VCD standard; not all CD-burning programs can do that.

For a step-by-step view of the operations involved in building a karaoke VCD using the KarVCD tools, take a look at the KarVCD tutorial.

To convert your MIDI or KAR files to WAVE you can use any Windows standard synthesizer, internal or external, or use the SoundFont based softsynth embedded in KarVCD. If you don’t know what is a SoundFont, you might want to take a look at the SoundFont tutorial.

If you want to have an idea of the sound quality that you can obtain by using the embedded softsynth please listen to: travels.mp3 (2.64 Mb). If this site is down, try this alternative site.

If you are interested in a more detailed technical explanation of how the embedded softsynth works please refer to the KarVCD technical page.

With KarVCD you can add your voice to the resulting WAVE file. If you are using KAR files, which contain embedded lyrics in addition to the instruments sounds, KarVCD will show you the lyrics playing synchronously with the music, highlighting each word at the appropriate moment while you record yourself singing.

You can also record yourself playing an instrument and add that to the final WAVE file. You can do that while the MIDI or KAR file is playing. If the instrument that you want to play is already in the MIDI or KAR file, you can mute it while the file is playing so that it does not appear in the WAVE file after the conversion.

You can apply several sound effects to the WAVE files that you record with your voice or the playing of one or more instruments. The sound effects available include Reverberation, Chorus, Compression, Echo, Phaser and Flanger. For an overview of the sound effects available in KarVCD you might want to take a look at the Sound Effects tutorial.

You can mix the WAVE files resulting from the MIDI or KAR conversion with the WAVE files resulting from your own recordings with the audio mixer included in KarVCD. This allows you to align the several files to mix and to add sound effects to the final mix.

If you want to have a better idea of how KarVCD works, take a look at the Main Help page.

If you want to know more about sound file formats, the types of conversions between audio files or manipulation of CD-Audio formats please refer to the Audio File Processing page.

 


How to buy KarVCD

KarVCD is shareware. The registration fee of US$ 75.00 (including p&p) will get you an installation CD with everything you need to use KarVCD (including the default SoundFont), plus a set of alternative SoundFonts for you to experiment with, together with some examples and a bunch of MIDI and KAR files. To take a look at pictures of the KarVCD CD click here.

To order KarVCD, please go to the KarVCD order page. Upon registration, you will receive by mail the KarVCD installation CD.

If you already know the program and you just want to know what is new in this version you can take a look at the KarVCD history.

 


Download trial version

There is a trial version of KarVCD that is identical to the registered version except that it will only generate one minute of sound/video.

To get the trial version of KarVCD including the executable, auxiliary files and documentation, go to:

The KarVCD download page

At the download page you will also find instructions for installing and uninstalling the program on your system.

CAUTION The trial version does not include a SoundFont. The reason for this is to save bandwidth and download time (these files are usually very big), especially when you already have some of them. If this is not the case, to be able to use the softsynth embedded in KarVCD, you need to get at least one SoundFont compatible with the MIDI or KAR files that you want to convert.

First of all you should look in your hard disk for SoundFont files. Go to the Windows Explorer, right-click over a folder name and choose Find. Then:

o        In the Named field type: *.sf2

o        In the Look in field select: Local hard drives

o        Hit the Find Now button

If this process can successfully locate some files, use the biggest one. If not, you have to download one from the Internet. If you are comfortable with the use of SoundFonts, you can go to one of these sites:

o        HammerSound

o        The Sound Site

o        SoundFont Central

If, on the contrary, you are not sure what to get, go to one of these sites:

o        Site 1

o        Site 2

And download the GMCSFont. Then activate KarVCD, go to Options and set that as the default Sound Bank.

If you already know the program and you just want to know what is new in this version you can take a look at the KarVCD history.

 


Compatibility Issues

To create a karaoke VCD, your CD-burning software must be able to handle the VCD format; it is not enough to create a data CD with an MPEG file. Not all CD-burning programs can handle the VCD format.

Some VCD implementations, especially in stand-alone CD and DVD players are relatively new and because of that they had not enough time to sort out some compatibility issues. For simplicity reasons, the encoder provided with KarVCD is based on a rigid interpretation of the VCD standard trying to spare the user the need to understand the enormous amount of parameters associated with the standard. It may happen that some VCD player does not work correctly with some files encoded with it. If that is the case you have other free alternatives, for instance:

¨      AVI2VCD – Available at http://www.mnsi.net/~jschlic1.

¨      TMPGEnc – Available at http://www.tmpgenc.net/.

The last one is particularly recommended, as it is very fast and lets you manually change many parameters.

Also, some CD-burning programs, for instance WinOnCD, include their own MPEG encoder.

Some of the KarVCD functionality is dependent on your sound card capabilities: Some sound cards let you record the sound that they produce when playing a MIDI/KAR file. This feature can be used as an alternative to the KarVCD MIDI converter, as another way of converting MIDI/KAR files to WAVE, using your sound card synthesizer. In this way you can also use any other Windows defined synthesizer, internal or external, soft- or hardware based.

The ability to playback a WAVE file while recording another depends on your sound card hardware. This is referred to as “full-duplex” in the list of features. The majority of modern sound cards have this capability.

 


Feedback

Comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome and should be sent to fadevelop@clix.pt

 

 


This page last modified 2003-07-29 - Copyright © 2000-2003 ACE