The KarVCD Tutorial
KarVCD is collection of tools that include all that you need to create karaoke VCDs. You cal also convert your MIDI or KAR files to WAVE and use the resulting file to burn an Audio CD that you can listen to in your Hi-Fi or car stereo or convert it to MP3 with one of the tools included in KarVCD, in order to obtain a compact file that you can mail to your friends, post on Usenet or put on a Web page.
If you want to know how to use the tools in KarVCD to create an audio CD, take a look at the MidiKare tutorial. This page shows how to use the extra tools in KarVCD needed to create a karaoke VCD.
Let us suppose that you want to make a karaoke VCD with the song Africa, for which you have the KAR file. Here are the steps you have to follow:
The first step is to convert your KAR file to WAVE. You have two ways to accomplish that. One of them is using the embedded softsynth:
Set the Midi/Kar file to AFRICA.KAR, the WAVE file to AFRICA.WAV, select the conversion options and hit Convert.
This way of converting your KAR file to WAVE has several advantages like the ability to control the Tempo, to perform MIDI transposition and the normalization of the output file. You can get potentially better sound quality with this approach if you use the appropriate SoundFont and also have the ability to control the volume of each individual instrument using the MIDI mixer. The ability to transpose the output is particularly important to adjust the music to your own vocal range.
The drawback with this approach is that it is very demanding on the system computational resources and could take much time. On the other hand, if you have a fast machine, it could actually be faster than real time.
If your sound card has the ability to record a WAVE file while it is playing a MIDI or KAR file, you can use the Recorder to convert your KAR file to WAVE:
For that set the playback file as AFRICA.KAR, the output file to AFRICA.WAV, set the Show lyrics to None and hit Start. After the KAR file finishes playing, the AFRICA.WAV will contain the result of the conversion. For this to work you may need to set up the Windows Sound Mixer (that’s the small loudspeaker icon on your system tray) so that your sound card sees at its input what its synthesizer is playing.
If you use this latter approach to convert your KAR file to MIDI, be aware that, of all the settings in the Midi Mixer, only the Mute flag will work.
The output of this step is the file AFRICA.WAV.
The next step in the process is to obtain an AVI file that combines the sound contained in AFRICA.WAV with the lyrics contained in AFRICA.KAR. You do that with the AVI Maker tool:
Set the KAR file as AFRICA.KAR, the WAVE file to AFRICA.WAV, the output file to AFRICA.AVI, set the Video standard to whatever is appropriate for your region (e. g. NTSC for the United States and PAL for Europe) and hit Start.
As soon as this process finishes, the PLAY button will be enabled and you can then preview the AVI file created using whatever player is defined for AVI files.
The AVI file just created is a standard file in the Windows environment; eventually all video processing programs that run in this operating system understand the format. Therefore, you can use the AVI file for purposes other than creating a karaoke VCD. Be aware though that in order to obtain the best quality possible during the next step, the file is not compressed and therefore very big.
The output of this step is the file AFRICA.AVI.
To create a karaoke VCD you need to convert the AVI file obtained in the previous step to MPEG. You do that with the MPEG encoder tool:
Set the AVI file as AFRICA.AVI, the MPEG file to AFRICA.MPG and hit Convert.
As soon as this process finishes, the PLAY button will be enabled and you can then preview the MPEG file created using whatever player is defined at system level for MPEG files.
This process is very CPU intensive; it will take much time, especially if you have a slow machine. In that case it can take more than one hour to encode a 5-minute song. On the other hand, the process runs unattended, so you can leave it running while you do other things on the computer.
The output of this step is the file AFRICA.MPG.
As we are now in possession of the MPEG file, we are ready to burn the karaoke VCD. For that you go to your CD-burning software, set it up to create a VCD disc and add the AFRICA.MPG file to the list of files. You might as well add other MPEG files to create a multi-track VCD.
Be aware that 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.
Comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
This page last modified 2003-07-30 - Copyright © 2000-2003 ACE