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How do I play KAR karaoke files?


Singing is quite natural to humans. It's a way to express emotions, and to feel them. By some researchers this emotional act is considered as not only a desirable, but also as an important and necessary thing for every human being. "Singing therapy" exists for thousands of years in form of traditional and folk songs.

Well, who cares. Singing brings joy, so should we look for reasons?

There are numerous formats of karaoke. Now we will consider KAR, a format that includes music in MIDI format plus lyrics. A KAR player is able to play music and highlight text according to melody (actually, according to timestamps in the file). The files are very small and easy to share, however, they have a drawback common for all MIDI files: they tend to sound differently on different sound cards. Cheaper cards usually sound a bit too artificial. A way to deal with that is to use SoundFonts, which can be easily done with KaraWin Pro player.

For now, let's take a look at the process of playing.

Step 1: Download and install KaraWin Pro.

Download KaraWin Pro to a known location. Launch setup program and follow the instructions on screen.

Step 2: Launch the program.

Launch the karaoke player. If you use it for the first time, the following window will appear:

Choose your language and device

Select your native (or preferred) language (1) and a device for MIDI output (2) (here you can use default), then click "OK" (3).

Step 3: Browse to your KAR files and start to play them.

Main window of the program may look complex for a novice.

Browse to your KAR files and double click the one you want to play

However, don't panic. Everything is pretty simple.

Two panes in the lower part simulate usual Windows Explorer. On the left pane you select a folder of your computer, its content (only playable files) is shown on the right pane. If you double-click a KAR file, lyrics window will appear, and the file will be played (see the next screen shot).

On the main window, you can control playback (play, pause, stop buttons, see "Playback control" on the screen shot above). If music doesn't match your voice (too high or too low to sing), the program allows to transpose melody without changing tempo.

Now to lyrics window.

Lyrics window

You can adjust fonts and size, colors, etc. Singing is syllable-based (exactly as normal speech). The program highlights the syllable that should be sung right in the moment with red (by default). But it also does much more. It gives you a picture of syllables in schematic form that is intuitive clear and easy to follow. Unlike other karaoke programs, KaraWin Pro keeps you well-informed about future events in the song. You see where pauses begin or end, what syllables are longer or shorter etc. Nice feature.

The program has a plenty of other features as well, it can play MP3, CDG, AVI karaoke, everything is extremely configurable, it is possible to mute or change any instrument in a song, to produce professional sound with help of SoundFonts, to use Jukebox etc. But a good thing about this piece of software is, if you don't want to care about those features, you don't need to. Just play KAR karaoke files: it is easy and doesn't require special skills.

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