Some say the human voice is the most expressive instrument. This might be true, but sometimes this instrument can sound really horrible. Fortunately, there are people like Beardyman who take vocal-based music creation to the next level – beyond singing. His videos are really inspiring.
Following the auto-tune success, it’s exciting to see more and more voice-centered apps coming out. Two of the latest additions to our App Gallery are improVox and VoiceJam – iOS apps that let you create music by using your voice (or any sound you make) as the main input.
ImproVox uses real-time pitch correction, harmonization and effects to transform your voice into a well-tuned and tweaked soundscape. The touch interface is used for tweaking the settings as you go. Just “sing” and tweak and you’ll get it.
This is how it can sound:
You can sound like Imogen Heap, if you remember her “Hide and Seek”, and I look forward to hear her using this app…
VoiceJam is a tool for recording voice loops. You can easily layer loops, create variations and record your performances by playing back different variations and, if you want, sing on top.
Check out this track and try not to smile:
Finally, for those of you who are more into old school voice jamming, you gotta check out the Blues Writer if you sing the blues, or the Freestyle apps if you think you can rap.
And let us know about your voice-based creations by posting a link to your creation in the comments.
We just rolled out an update to the site introducing a set of new features that we implemented solely based on your feedback of the past months. We’re really excited about this update and hope you’ll enjoy it too. Let’s get right onto it, shall we:
One of the top requests we’ve received was to support a better way to control which of your tracks or sets should be displayed when people visit your SoundCloud profile. That’s why today, we’re introducing Spotlight, a new tab for your public profile. Spotlight comes with all Premium accounts and lets you select up to five tracks or sets to showcase your best work on your profile. You’re now able to select Spotlight as the default tab so that when people visit your profile, they’ll be able to listen to your finest tracks first. Here’s how it works:
First, go to your public profile and look for the settings icon on the upper right of your profile tabs. Click and it will reveal the selection of tabs you want others to see first when they visit your profile. Click “Add Spotlight tab”:
In the selection window that opens now, you’ll find a list of your tracks and sets. Click to select which track and/or set you want to see included in your Spotlight tab. You can select up to five items – tracks or sets:
Click “Save Spotlight tab” and you’re all set. You now have a new tab on your profile called “Spotlight”:
You on the Web
One of the advanced profile settings is You on the web where you are able to add links to your other presences on the web. Today we’re adding a way to link yourself to your accounts on other popular services on the web.
Access your advanced profile settings where you can add your username or profile urls of other services you use. If you have already connected your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter accounts in your Extensions, they’ll be automatically listed and you can simply click “Add to profile” to show it on your profile:
Search own Tracks
And last but not least, we’re adding the ability to search for your own tracks within your account. In your Tracks tab you’ll now see a little field on the top of the page that lets you search your own tracks.
In other under-the-hood news, our architecture and ops teams have been busy working on making the stats more robust. We are well aware of the rain clouds you’ve been seeing lately and in the next few days/weeks, we’ll gradually roll out improvements to the stats architecture that will improve the general performance of the site, starting with Premium users.
We hope you like what you see, as always: let us know in the comments.
Choice is good, right? We just love that we can pick our favorite ice cream flavor or favorite color for a new shirt. When it comes to audio creation, it’s even better when your choice creates more choice for others.
Today, SoundCloud is opening up a bit more to allow you to find and share more sounds to use and reuse. With new search and discovery features for Creative Commons tracks, your creations can go much further. More options give you more freedom over your audio content on the web. It helps expose your work and find people to collaborate with that you perhaps wouldn’t normally find. We’re excited about this update and we hope you are too. We say “New features!” you say “Yay!”
Here’s what’s new:
1. Advanced Search
That’s right: finally! You’ve been waiting for this for a while and we’re happy to announce that advanced search options are now available. You’re now able to search for things like genre, tags, a specific label, track type and much more. Check the screenshot below for the different options and try it out for yourself in the search feature.
2. Browse by tag
Also new: clicking the tag on a player will lead you to a new Explore page that lets you discover other tracks by tags where you can also choose to see the latest tracks added or sorted by popularity. A tagcloud on the right of the page lets you jump straight into a different genre. (Pro tip: choose your genre tags wisely, young Jedis, this will provide the best search results for everyone).
3. Creative Commons integration
You’ve probably also noticed another addition in the advanced search options: search for tracks released under a Creative Commons license. Creative what?! Glad you’re asking! Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization that has released a set of free and voluntary copyright licenses. With Creative Commons licenses, creators have the freedom to choose how their work can be used, shared and re-used. There are six different licenses that provide users with different levels. Browsing audio released under CC just became a whole lot easier with a dedicated page we just deployed to the site. Check it out: http://soundcloud.com/creativecommons
Not only can you search for tracks released under CC licenses but we also gave the SoundCloud player a little face-lift. It now displays the type of CC license in the top right corner of the player:
Update: Creative Commons just updated their blog with some notes about the integration including an interview with our own Parker Higgins, who has been a driving force getting the integration done: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/23018
By the way: third-party application developers now too can access tags and creative commons content via the API so you get the same experience when using your favorite apps.
Get involved! We’d love to see you contribute!
Sounds of CCentury is a group on SoundCloud collecting the coolest CC-licensed and No Rights Reserved historic audio. We’ve started it out with a few public domain tracks, but if you run an archive, have access to other interesting public domain tracks, or just happened to have a field recorder handy when something amazing happened, please contribute to this collection. If you can’t contribute, there’s already some incredible stuff to listen to, and there will be more added in the next days and weeks. Check out the first contributions below and submit yours here: http://soundcloud.com/groups/sounds-of-ccentury
Creative Commons Mashup Contest: get your mashup machines rollin’ for a change to win a yearly SoundCloud Pro account (worth 250 Euro) in this little competition we just pushed using SoundCloud-Remix, the remix app we’ve posted about last week. Get the full details right here.
Keep an eye out in the next couple of days, as we’ll be featuring quite some exciting SoundCloud members working with audio licensed under Creative Commons. This will happen right here on the blog, starting tomorrow.