As a karaoke host, one of my many responsibilities it locating fresh, relevant music as well as finding the classics that people want to sing to. I have invested a lot of money is karaoke music for my company. It is the single biggest expense up front and on a monthly basis for my business.
When I first started, I needed to quickly obtain a large amount of music to accommodate the singers. I starting searching on eBay and Craigslist and was fortunate to find some phenomenal deals on large karaoke CD+G collections between the two.
As I expanded to running multiple systems, I considered trying to duplicate everything across all systems but realized very quickly that would not be practical. There are many karaoke tracks that were only produced by one karaoke company and only on discs. Some of those discs are rare and expensive if you you do happen to find them.
About two years ago, I started buying downloads from Karaoke Version and KaraokeDownloads.ca. Even though the individual tracks and more expensive, it was still less expensive than buy a $10-$15 disc with that ONE track I needed. Not to mention, I wasn’t dealing with discs period any longer which just makes sense in this digital age.
Today, I still buy discs when I find great deals, but stick to buying downloads for newer karaoke tracks.
Here are some links to some places to find karaoke tracks (note – there are quite a few more, but I am only suggesting the ones I have used with any regularity)
This is a karaoke music search engine. It is one of the few remaining databases on the web these days. It links out to the two following sites to buy downloads –
Out of France. They produce backing tracks (no graphics) as well as full MP3+G, WMV, and MP4 versions of many popular karaoke tracks. They have a “frequent buyer” program and you can even suggest tracks to be made that then get voted on by the community. This is my go to brand.
Out of Canada. This site aggregates and distributes Sunfly, ZOOM, SBI, Abraxa and a small number of other brands. They don’t actually make tracks themselves, just distribute on behalf of the mentioned companies. Very comprehensive selection.
All three of these are out of the UK. You can sometimes find tracks on these manufacturer sites that don’t show up on KaraokeDownloads.ca – However, with the recent implementation of the “No Fly” list (will be posting on this topic soon), a small number of well known artists are no longer available for download and can now only be purchased on CD+G.
Final note – Due to the screwy copyright laws in the US, the non-US companies are “supposed” to deny access to computers with IP addresses that indicate they are physically located in the United State. In my experience, they aren’t blocking very consistently if at all. I can access, purchase and download from ALL of the above sites. KaraokeDownloads.ca is out of Canada which does not have the geo-blocking restriction so you should be able to get to that site even if you can’t get to the individual manufacturer sites.
Where do you get your karaoke music?
….were you gone?
It has been about 8 months since I had any activity on the blog. There have been a few people stumble on the blog and left comments in that time, all of which I read when they were posted, I just didn’t have the motivation to respond.
In the past 8 months, my own karaoke journey has been quite eventful…
I lost a gig over a pay dispute. I walked away from a gig because I felt the owner didn’t understand what it took to build a karaoke show. I have been discouraged over the low pay and poor quality shows venues are looking for and seem to be happy with. I took some big risks which have paid off. I took some big risks that have not. I have spent a lot of time contemplating the future of karaoke and where my place is in the industry. I have managing a very active full time day job while trying to grow my own karaoke operations on the side. To say I have been busy would be a tremendous understatement. Throughout all of this, what has kept me going are the singers, my enjoyment of seeing people have a good time singing, and….my wife.
I want to get back to blogging about karaoke. More importantly, I want to focus on the positive aspects of karaoke. I have wasted too much time in the last 2 years engaging with people on a negative level. By this I mean that I have allowed myself to be drawn into discussions that go nowhere by people that I don’t feel could possibly enjoy karaoke, much less being a host. I feel I have become very judgmental of some of the folks I have engaged with to the point that I just can’t imagine they could be remotely successful as a host given the interactions I have with them online and in person. But the fact is, many of them are quite successful. We simply disagree at a fundamental level about certain aspects of the industry. We always will. Neither side will change the other’s view. So it is truly pointless to argue the points. Even this paragraph started off trying to be positive and ended up giving too much time to the blah.
I want to promote the positive aspects of karaoke. The fun, the camaraderie, the enjoyment of music and singing. The showmanship, the entertainment, the nervous anticipation of getting in front of a crowd for the first time (or the 50th!). All of that is fun and enjoyable. It is a good time and that is what I feel karaoke is and should be all about.
I will have to blog about the negative from time to time though. There just won’t be any avoiding it in my opinion. Piracy, theft, backstabbing, undercutting, crappy hosts, crappy shows (that latter three a direct result of the previous three)….they are a reality we have to address in our industry. But I think the positive outweighs the negative and so there will be much more focus on the good.
So in closing…..
There is a reason why I named my karaoke business “Feel Good Productions”. Karaoke is something we should all feel good about. So let’s feel good about karaoke and have a positive discussion about it!