Singing by its nature is a bit abstract. Those who think it’s a bit too abstract will appreciate Sing and See, a computer program that was designed to give singers and their teachers real-time, visual feedback on vocal pitch, vocal frequency and vocal intensity. It’s one thing for your music teacher to say that you are singing off-key but it’s another to be able to see it yourself on the computer screen! Note that Sing and See is NOT a singing course, but when used properly can be an effective tool in your vocal training.
Sing and See was actually designed as part of a study at the University of Sydney, Australia that examined the use of visual feedback in singing lessons. At the time there was no software that did what the researchers wanted so they had to develop their own software and Sing and See was born. Those involved in the creating of Sing and See were Dr. William Thorpe, Dr. Jean Callaghan, Pat Wilson, Dr. Jan van Doorn and Jonathon Crane (no relation to the character from the Batman comics...).
Soon after purchasing Sing and See, you’ll receive your download link and your product key code via email. The software is not a large file, and can even be downloaded by people with slower internet connections. Installation is quick and you can begin using the program within minutes of placing your order. Oh, and just in case, make sure you have a working microphone that you can plug into your computer before purchasing Sing and See. Yeah, I know… obvious, but important.
Professional vs. Student Edition:
In a nutshell, the professional version has only 2 features that the student version does not. Those are the spectrogram and the noise removal filter. We tested out the latter and found it to work pretty well in removing the interference from our furnace that was creating some background noise. The spectrogram looks pretty cool, but outside of voice teachers, not many people will make efficient use of it.
When combined with the teacher’s manual (and the exercises and tutorials contained therein), this software definitely has a place in the vocal instructor’s classroom.
The main window of the Sing and See student edition has several panels that display different pieces of information. On top we have a virtual piano keyboard that lights up individual notes as you sing them. You can also play this keyboard using your mouse or keyboard to test your vocal accuracy. On the left side you can see where on the musical staff you are singing and on the far right you can see your vocal intensity (basically how loud you are singing). In the center of the screen you can see the pitch view which follows your vocal pitch on a mini-keyboard/hertz mapping grid.
The controls are extremely simple and self-explanatory, but I’ll go ahead and describe them anyway. You can record yourself, play and stop playback of those recordings, save the recordings you like and open previously saved recordings. By default the recording are on a rolling 15-second timer. You can increase that length up to 8 minutes if you so desire.
While more advanced home-study students can benefit from owning this software, let’s be clear that teacher’s are the target market. The truth is that you need guidance and personalized training exercises from a teacher and/or the teacher manual (sold separately and included in the teacher’s pack) that can make full use of this software’s power. Having said that, Sing and See definitely has some pragmatic uses right out of the box. You can practice voice control in several ways such as singing intervals cleanly without “scooping” or sliding with your pitches. Another idea is if you are working through a home-study vibrato course such as Brett Manning’s Mastering Vibrato, you can use Sing and See’s pitch mapping to track your progress in keeping your vibrato consistent.
If you have a voice teacher and you would like to use software like this, it might be a good idea to send her a link to this review and see if it would be something that she might want to integrate into your voice lesson structure. Students would the benefit from having the same software installed on their home systems that they can use in their personal practice time. Conversely, if you are a teacher and want to see if this is something that you want to add to your curriculum, you can contact CantOvation to see if you can get a hold of a trial version. Their trial software has full functionality, but will only run for 2 weeks before needing to be activated.
We experienced no problems during installation or during use on our test machine running Windows 7. However, Should you experience any issues in the software, there's an excellent help file available from within the program that covers every feature of the software, troubleshooting tips, as well as detailed contact information should you need further assistance. Other companies should take a cue from the thoroughness with which the help program was made.
Email Support: We sent a couple customer service emails with questions about software usage and were pleasantly surprised to receive a response within 3-4 hours that properly addressed the issues we brought up. They definitely get an A+ for customer support.
Recently a version of the Sing and See was developed for the Mac. This requires an Intel-based Mac with OS X or better. At the time of this writing however, there seems to only be the professional Mac version of the software available for purchase..
Ordering is straightforward as there are only 3 different packages to choose from. They are…
The first two packages are download-only. If you want Sing and See on a packaged CD you can pay an extra $10 and you’ll get it in the mail. The teacher’s pack includes shipping fees.
Currently, PayPal is SingAndSee.com’s only payment option. You can still use credit cards however, but it has to be through PayPal’s system. Keep in mind that should you have any problems with your order, your entire purchase price is covered by Sing and See’s 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Buyer’s Tip #1: If you want the Teacher’s Manual but don’t want to pony up the extra $50 for the Professional version in the Teacher’s Pack (differences outlined above), you can buy the manual separately on Lulu.com and get the student version of Sing and See separately. Also, check around and see if there Lulu.com has any coupon codes on the internet. At the time of this writing you could get up to 20% off your order with a promo code that I discovered.
Buyer’s Tip #2: Instead of paying the extra $10 to have the software on a CD, we recommend you copy the setup files and emailed product keys onto a burnable CD. Not only will this save you the ten bucks, but will still ensure that you won’t lose the software due to hard disk failure or some other accident.
Sing and See can make a great asset in a voice instructor’s toolbox. It can readily see areas their students need to work on in regards to pitch and interval execution, and it keeps the students engaged throughout the learning process. When combined with the teacher’s manual (and the exercises and tutorials contained therein), this software definitely has a place in the vocal instructor’s classroom. Its benefits for home-study usage however may be slightly more limited.Official Sing and See™ Website
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Publisher: CantOvation Ltd.
Price: From $49.00
Suitable For: Beginners-AdvancedWebsite Compare
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