The first steps for Smule

If you came across this fan page, you have probably just recently downloaded the Smule Online Karaoke App. Maybe you've already sung a few songs, but maybe you're still hesitating.

In the long time I have been singing on Smule myself, I have met a lot of newcomers there. I noticed that most of them encounter the same initial difficulties and hurdles as I experienced in the beginning. On this website I try to share as much experience as possible about Smule in the hope that it will hopefully be helpful and useful to beginners, as I needed it myself in my early days. I also try to keep the information up to date, as much changes in Smule over time. Should you come across conflicting experiences or help should not seem correct to you, please feel free to contact me at any time.

What you should know before you sing on Smule yourself

First of all, Smule is an app for singing online with other people from all over the world. The people you sing with are real people, but they have "pre-recorded" their vocal tracks. You can join their invitation and sing along with them as a second track.

If you have sung something, it is not immediately saved and uploaded to the server. Instead, you have the opportunity to hear what your recording sounds like immediately after singing. There is the possibility to adjust volume and effects. You can also jump to any part of your recording and listen to how you sounded. Here you can decide whether you want to save the recording, start all over again or cancel it - for example to find another song. So nothing can happen.

If you decide to save, the recording will be stored on your own profile as well as on the profile of the co-singer. The recording can basically be heard by anyone who knows the address of the song or the profile. However, in practice it is very unlikely - especially if you are new to Smule - that it will be heard by someone other than you and the singers who opened it. Every day there are countless recordings that are made on Smule and as a newcomer you don't really attract attention.

If it is not a group recording with more than one other participant, it is also possible to delete a recording at any time afterwards. The opener of an invitation also has the option of switching a recording from public to private.

Why do you have to sing with headphones on Smule?

Most people singing on Smule for the first time wonder why they are shown that they absolutely have to sing with headphones. After all, every cell phone has a built-in microphone. If you've tried to sing without headphones, you may even find that your own voice doesn't sound much worse than with headphones.

However, if you sing without headphones, everything that is played through loudspeakers (cell phone or earplugs) is picked up by your microphone input. This affects both the instruments of the song template and the singing of your fellow singer. If this is played over loudspeakers and recorded by the microphone input, it is recorded a second time - in inferior, tinny, reverberant quality. If you then listen to the original template of the fellow singer, you will find that he sounded very different than in your duet recording. If you sing without any headphones and the singing of your fellow singer has deteriorated compared to his original single recording, this was caused by your microphone input. Note that your own sound quality will not deteriorate, but that of the singers and the instrumental template. Many users are surprised that even though they sing without headphones, they still sound much better than their singers. It is your fellow singer and everything that has been recorded beforehand will sound worse if you record the previous soundtrack a second time.

Over the course of time I have also found that there are often other causes or reasons why this happens. iPhone smartphones, for example, reproduce the singing via the headset while singing. That means the singer hears himself through his headphones. On Android this also works for many devices, but unfortunately not for all. If you do not hear yourself singing, you can of course not control whether you are hitting the right notes at all and are more or less forced to sing without headphones.

So if you don't hear yourself using your own headset while singing on your Android phone (and only then!), please try the following: Use only one of the two earplugs in the ear that reproduces the instrumental recording. Keep your second ear clear so that you can hear your own voice and check whether you are singing correctly. Now no sound from the second loose earplug should get into the microphone of the headset. Shield the second loose earplug with your hand so that no sound can escape from it. To do this, you can take him in a fist, for example. Unfortunately, this is the only viable option for cellphones that do not play their own voice while singing to be able to sing on Smule without losing sound quality.

So please check the overall sound of the recording after singing. If your singers sound worse than before, something went wrong. Also takes into account that not every headset is compatible with every smartphone. Unfortunately there are different deviating connection standards (OMTP, CTIA etc.), which are usually not documented in more detail. If you use a headset that is incompatible with the headset connection on your smartphone, the channel assignment allows the headphone channel to be placed on the microphone input track. Even then there is a tinny sounding effect on the track of the fellow singer. If you are singing on Smule for the first time, then please sing with the original headset from the manufacturer. If you use different equipment, please always check whether this affects the overall sound quality and that of the singers.

With some Android devices, it can also happen that the microphone of the smartphone remains active when the headset is connected.

I keep getting invitations from other users to sing along with their songs

As soon as you have sung and saved your first duet, you will be taken to a page where you will be asked if you want to follow your duet partner. Centered in the middle, the "Follow" is shown in a striking blue. On the top right in the menu there is an inconspicuous gray "Continue" button with which you can skip to follow your co-singer. Despite the inconspicuous presentation - you don't necessarily have to follow someone. Do this only if you really liked the duet.

Following your co-singer, you will receive invitations by notification as soon as the singer has opened a new piece and sung the first part for this. Unfortunately, these notifications are formulated somewhat ambiguously, as if they were personal invitations. However, the invitations are randomly sent automatically by Smule's algorithm so that you receive a certain amount of invitations every day and not from all the singers you follow. Even if it reads like this, it is not an individual invitation. Accordingly, you don't have to follow the invitations. There are actually individual invitations too. But you can find this in your Smule mailbox at the top left under the speech bubble symbol. They will be sent to you like a private message. If you are bothered by the automatically generated notifications, you have the option to deactivate the notifications in the mobile phone settings.

Why are the pitches only shown as bars in some songs?

The instrumental versions come from different sources and are partially uploaded by users.

The official instrumental versions, which are marked with "Smule", always contain a balcony with visualization of the pitch and length. In the case of user-generated playbacks, the uploader must have taken the trouble to enter them. If you don't know a piece well enough to have every pitch and length in your head, try other versions of the same song.

Unfortunately, not every instrumental template is of the same quality. There are also instrumental templates in which the timing of the text may not always be correct.

If you are now familiar with the roughest hurdles ... Then go on to the basics!

What should I watch out for when singing karaoke online at Smule?

More questions?

If the article has not answered all questions, you can also contact me.

*On this page, I share my personal experience with my own personal experience. If articles such as technical equipment are presented, this is not sponsoring by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, I reserve the right to put affiliate advertising links to shopping sites. In the case of product sales on the linked website, the website operator receives a small commission - of course, without the article for the buyer is thereby more expensive. Affiliate advertising links are marked with an appropriate *.

Tascam iXZ Audio-Interface*

Smule Audio Interface

The Tascam iXZ is an audio interface to connect a professional vocal microphone to the iPhone or smartphone.

iRig Pre Universal Microphone Interface*

iRig Pre Universal Microphone Interface

Yamaha AG06 USB Audiointerface (6 channels)*

Yamaha AG06 USB Audiointerface (6 channels)

The Yamaha AG06 mixer can be connected to a smartphone via USB or to an iPhone or iPad via the Apple Camera Connection Kit.

Apple Camera Connection Kit (USB to Lightning)*

Apple Camera Connection Kit (USB to Lightning)

The Apple Camera Connection Kit Adapter Cable allows you to connect a USB mixing console that supports iOS to the iPhone or iPad via Lightning.

Rode NT 1A*

Rode NT 1A

The Rode NT 1A is currently the most widely used vocal microphone and can be used to sing on Smule with the Tascam iXZ on the iPhone or iPad.