Smule – the tech company behind the apps I Am T-Pain, Glee Karaoke and AutoRap – has just released their newest music-oriented mobile application for the iPhone. Sing Karaoke lets users record vocals over their favorite songs and find fellow singers from around the world.
"Music and performance are social," Smule executive Prerna Gupta tells Rolling Stone. "For Sing, we built the social integration from the ground up. You can share your vocals to an open call and the app creates a joint performance."
Smule's previous apps use proprietary sound enhancement technology to match melodies, AutoTune vocals and smooth out less-than-perfect singing and rapping. "Our goal is to use artificial intelligence to make it less intimidating for people who don't consider themselves professionals to enjoy making music," Gupta says.
For the launch of Sing, Smule invited Lady Antebellum to participate by placing an open call for their new single, "Wanted You More." The Grammy winners commented on their favorite performances of the song and lead singer Hillary Scott participated in a duet with a Smule singer.
The Sing catalogue also includes songs from artists like Adele, Bruno Mars and Carrie Underwood, and Smule is constantly expanding its list of licensed tracks. The company is also looking to team up with featured artists to personally place open calls of their songs and even participate in duet or group performances with app users. This year, Smule plans to solidify a partnership of this kind with Rolling Stone's Women Who Rock finalists Karmin.