Does this low-cost party toy have applications for serious singers?
Item: Behringer MIX800, Karaoke Interface
Price: US $65, UK £45
At A Glance: The Behringer MIX800 is a compact karaoke processor that lets you sing along with any track you connect to it via its RCA inputs. It has a voice-canceller function that is designed to remove the lead vocals on an existing track, allowing you to sing your own interpretation over the backing. Also included are vocal effects and EQ to enhance your vocal performance. The unit has two individual mic inputs so you can sing duets.
High Notes: The two microphone inputs have separate level controls, which is great for duets, however, they also share EQ and effect settings which is slightly limiting. The stereo line inputs can be used to connect most CD/MP3 players to the device and the outputs are designed to be connected to a speaker system. For such a low cost unit, the onboard vocal effects are surprisingly good and the device is fairly quiet in operation.
Off Pitch: The voice canceller it only works on tracks where the vocals are panned in the centre of the recording. It can also create some additional artefacts to the backing track (such as certain frequencies from the snare dums or guitar parts being partly removed) that can make them sound flat and lifeless. Also, to keep size down, Behringer have used a jack style mic input instead of an XLR input.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: For such a low cost device the Behringer MIX800 works pretty well providing you understand its limitations. The voice-cancelling function will not work on all tracks and you are still likely to hear a bit of the original vocal line in the mix. If you want to perform live to backing tracks, you may be able to get reasonable results with the device, however you will probably get better results buying dedicated backing tracks that are designed for this purpose. Overall this device it is easier to recommend for home use and parties than for professional applications, however for rehearsing songs at home or having fun with your friends at a party the MIX800 generally works well.
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.behringer.com