BellTower Entertainment
"Karaoke FAQ's"

General FAQ's
Disc/Format FAQ's
Legality FAQ's

General FAQ's
Q: What is Karaoke?
A:Karaoke (car-ah-o-key) loosely translated means "empty orchestra". It is essentially a song that is played with the lead vocals removed so the karaoke singer may perform it instead of the original artist.
Q: How did this all get started?
A:Most people insist it was a restaurant owner in Japan. The story goes that one night his band didn't show up for a gig so the owner put on a tape that had no vocals on it and the patrons started singing along with it to entertain themselves. However, there is another camp that believes it started right here in America with the show 'Sing along with Mitch'.
Q: How do I get to sing?
A:Look for a songbook. There should be several laying about at any Karaoke show. Find the song you wish to sing and fill out a 'request slip'. These will either be in the book or laying about. Hand your request slip to the KJ (Karaoke host) and they will add it to the 'rotation' (the line of singers). When it is your turn the KJ will call your name. When you get on stage, the song will start to play and the words will appear on the TV placed near the stage. Fill your boots.
Q: My favourite song is too high for me. Is there any way to make it lower?
A:Yes! You can ask to have the 'key' changed up or down. You would normally put '-2' or '+2' on the song slip to indicate you want 2 half step key changes. (some machines use quarter steps instead of half steps, ask the KJ).You can find just the right key with a little experimentation.
Q: I'm afraid people will make fun of me because I don't sing very well.
A:That's the beauty of Karaoke. No one expects you to sing well. Karaoke is for everyone and the majority of Karaoke singers will support you no matter how well you sing. Even less experienced singers contribute to the entertainment and you'll get applause just for trying. The important thing is to participate!

WARNING! Karaoke is highly addictive! Once you've tried it, you'll want more!.

Disc/Format FAQ's
Q: What is a Karaoke CDG disc?
A:The CDG Format is also known as Compact Disc + Graphics, and offers the largest selection of instrumental music titles and is by far the most widely used karaoke format today. Simply put it is a cd with an extra graphic track which will display the song lyrics across a TV screen when played in a karaoke machine that reads CDG's. The words to the song (lyrics) appear on the TV screen against a colored background usually Red, Blue or Black. The words are highlighted or colored prompting the person to sing. Though a karaoke CDG will play in any cd player it requires a karaoke player that reads CD+G or compact disc with graphics to display the song lyrics on your television.
Q: What is the difference between a Karaoke CDG and a regular music CD?
A:A karaoke disc contains the instrumental version of a song. IT IS NOT THE ORIGINAL MUSIC BY THE ORIGINAL ARTIST. It is a professional recreation by studio musicians to sound as close to the original as possible. (it is not performed by the original artist except in very special circumstances).

The song is recorded without a lead vocal allowing the person purchasing the disc to be the lead singer. Most all companies provide background or back-up vocals where appropriate. In most cases, the songs are recorded in the original songs key.

Some companies include printed lyrics and demonstration vocals while others provide only the instrumental versions of the song.
Q: What is a Multiplex CDG?
A:A Multiplex or Vocal Demonstration Discs refers to a disc that contains a lead demonstration or guide vocal, performed by a studio singer. It allows you to sing along or practice with the singer while learning the songs melody.

Most every multiplex disc today contains 2 versions of the song on the same disc. One version with a vocal demonstration to help you learn the song while the other track is an instrumental only version with back-up vocals.

Some of these discs also come with printed lyric booklets. Note the Back-up Vocals cannot be removed from this disc.
Q: What other formats are available?
A:VCD and DVD Formats are also available. These function the same way as a CDG except they contain a moving (picture) video in the background instead of just a colored background. These are similar to an MTV video, however again "ARE NOT THE ORIGINAL VIDEO, MUSIC OR ARTIST."

They contain generic video footage that sometimes depicts the storyline of the song or just acts a visual stimulation and may have nothing to do with the song.

A VCD (Video Compact Disc) will only play in VCD players or DVD players that capable of playing a VCD or Video CD. A VCD usually contains 10 -12 songs

A DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) has better video and sound quality than a VCD and contains more than double the storage capacity usually containing as many as 28 songs.

A Karaoke player that only plays CDGs will not play a VCD. A DVD player will play both VCD and DVD formats and may play CDG's as well, however a VCD player will not play the DVD format. The owners manual usually states the formats a machine will play.

NOTE: Some karaoke players such as the RSQ DVD505 players play all of the above formats: CDG, VCD and DVD. It will also play MP3 music and your favorite Hollywood feature films.

Legality FAQ's
Q: Is it legal in Canada to copy a Karaoke recording?
A:No. The copying of Karaoke CDG discs for any reason is considered piracy.
Q: Is a Venue libal if they hire a Karaoke company which uses copied dics?
A:Yes! Venues that hire Karaoke Companies that use copied discs are considered an accessory whether they are aware of the copied discs or not.
Q: What are the consequences of Karaoke Piracy?
A:In Canada, Karaoke piracy carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or very heavy fines and confiscation of equipment for the Karaoke Company and the venue.

For more information on Karaoke Piracy and how to spot counterfeit discs visit: K.A.P.A. & C.A.K.E.

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