December 26th, 2014 | by VoiceCouncil
app review: Sing Sharp (Membership Version)
What it Does:
The Bottom Line:
Everything is easy to find, even your notes! What you see is what you sing - pretty straight forward.
The scoring system for karaoke songs is not very meaningful, since it only detects pitch and no other aspects of your musical performance.
Even with a paid membership, there are still frequent ad screens, and all the modern karaoke songs you might want to sing must be purchased separately.
Many say this app has helped them learn to sing better; many are disappointed about paying for all the karaoke songs separately.
Even as an experienced singer (which means I am not the target audience for this app), I enjoy being able to see the little dot that is my pitch bouncing along through the music – I can see when I am too low or too high and when I turn on the vibrato! All these apps are a bit counter intuitive because you are staring at an image, thus taking your focus away from listening, which is the only way to sing in tune. Having said that, I actually like the visual design of this app and the way the target pitches appear.
It is fun to sing karaoke with this app, but the scoring system doesn’t exactly encourage you to be more musical. After a few tries, I scored 100% on Amazing Grace Karaoke but I had to throw out all the embellishments and stylistic things I usually do with that song and sing it very plainly. I had to watch the pitch bars and make sure I held every note as long as the bar on the screen. I sang every note at practically the same volume so as to be sure the app heard every note. I sounded like a robot! In other words, this app doesn’t help you to be expressive or creative. It only helps you with pitch accuracy, which is only one of many important skills that make you a good singer. The app actually gives no instruction on how to produce a good vocal sound. It does however give you something to sing with and real-time pitch detection that can help you sing more in tune.
The Sing Sharp ear-training program gives you a set of thoughtful exercises from the absolute beginner level and getting incrementally harder. They help you develop your ear and get familiar with the notes on the piano. The program may be frustrating for someone who already has some skill because it doesn’t let you skip ahead. When matching pitches in the training program, you have to sing slow enough to allow the app to ‘hear’ you or you will get a bad score (remember, most pitch detection apps have small delay (latency) between when you sing and when it registers your pitch).