Some background audio magic is coming to new Apple devices and Apple Music accounts to let you sing your favourite tracks without the burden of the band actually singing them.
Even though you can find a speaker made for karaoke here and there, sometimes it doesn’t quite cut what you want. Sometimes, you just want to belt out a classic (or something new) without needing a brand new device solely just for karaoke. And we get it.
Apparently, Apple does too, getting ready an upgrade for owners of its very recent devices, and providing Apple Music subscribers on those devices with access to a karaoke mode of sorts.
It’s a feature Apple is rolling out later in the month called “Apple Sing”, and likely just in time: with Christmas parties spinning up and New Years parties almost certainly a definite return this year, singing with friends and families in front of a phone or TV is likely to be a thing.
With that in mind, Apple Sing will synchronise lyrics working in real-time with tracks, while also providing some control to lower the volume of vocals in a song.
The addition of adjustable vocals isn’t a real separation between vocals and backing track, but rather a bit of an effect, lowering the sound of what would normally be at the front of what you listen to, and making the background slightly more prominent.
While Apple hasn’t quite detailed what’s going on, processing the audio happens entirely on the device, and that suggests Apple Music on those devices is likely running songs through filtration or channel extraction as you listen, something you can do in desktop-class audio editing apps.
You’ll be able to control the vocals coming back in, and also show lyrics from duets on both sides of a TV screen, handy for two people to sing simultaneously.
There will also be 50 dedicated playlists for singing with launching on Apple Music, but it’s worth pointing out that you will need a recent Apple device to use Apple Sing — because it needs to be processed on-device, and Apple has specific devices it’ll be launching it with — plus an Apple Music account. Just about any Apple Music account will work, except the inexpensive Apple Music Voice plan.