“Did they just invent Karaoke?” asked one particular cheeky scamp in our private Slack channel. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that, but the new rekordbox lyric feature that comes as a paid extra in the new rekordbox 5.1 release is a little more interesting than that.
New rekordbox lyric Plus Pack brings world’s first
lyric visualisation in sync with DJs’ tracks1
Lyric visualisation function co-developed with COTODAMA
is available with rekordbox ver 5.1
We’re releasing rekordbox ver 5.1, a new version of our music management software. The update enables a brand-new optional Plus Pack, rekordbox lyric, for displaying animated lyric visualisations when using the rekordbox dj Plus Pack.
rekordbox lyric offers a brand-new form of creative expression. Its lyric visualisation feature, co-developed with COTODAMA, enables you to display visualisations of track lyrics on the fly via monitors or projectors when using the rekordbox dj Plus Pack. Animations are created automatically by the software and you can customise them to create your preferred look.
How to use rekordbox lyric
Subscribe to one of the following plans available from 18th January 2018:
1. Lyric Plan (€7.90 including VAT per month) If you already own a rekordbox dj licence, you can subscribe to this plan to use rekordbox lyric.
2. Premium Plan (€15.90 including VAT per month)
In addition to rekordbox lyric, you’ll get unlimited access to all the features and functions of rekordbox dj, rekordbox dvs, rekordbox video and RMX Effects.
KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX LYRIC
Lyric visualisation in sync with tracks
Customisable visualised lyrics
Compatible with rekordbox video
* Disclaimer: specifications and price are subject to change. * rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation. * rekordbox lyric displays lyric information based on the licence of Lyric Find. * The names of companies, productnamesand technology names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
The basic idea
With the paid for option, rekordbox lyric looks for a lyrics file for your playing track online from a server (Pioneer DJ’s own I assume). The visuals are automatically selected depending on the track’s characteristics, but you can define them yourself. And as the track plays, the lyrics appear in time with the music, and can be mixed with video content too. It’s incredibly simple and potentially very powerful.
Well… kind of but not really. While the underlying principle is the same, the intention and practice is entirely different. The thing with Karaoke is that you stand and sing. It’s about you being the focus of attention and making an absolute arse of yourself. But with rekordbox lyric, the intention is that you continue to dance to the DJ’s music with everyone else (hopefully anyway), but have the added bold visual element, and be able to sing along to the track too.
I have questions. What happens when there isn’t a lyrics track? Is the screen blank or does some cool pounding visual appear regardless of lyrics? Given that it’s a new service, there will be gaps in lyrics tracks, as well as a few quirks when the lyrics don’t match your own edit. I’m also intrigued as to what happens when you use loops and hot queues, and if you can get creative with the visuals when in a loop. For example — if a track was looping the word “DANCE”, could you make the text change in a build way ready for the drop?
For me it’s a quick and simple way for DJs to add an immediate visual dimension to their performance. Obviously you’ll need to have access to screens and be able to hook up to whatever drives them from your computer.
rekordbox lyric is available as a subscription plan only. If you own a rekordbox 5.1 licence already (which is a free upgrade from 5), you’ll need to fork out $6.90 or €7.90 a month. Don’t know about sterling as even though I’m logged in and listed as UK, it still shows me dollars. But you can get an idea from the quoted US and euro prices. And it’s only available in certain countries. Find out here if you can get it in your area.