Want to know how people on the other side of the bathroom door react when you sing? Do you want to find out if your voice is gifted enough to let you fulfill your secret desire to publish your own music album? Sing in front of UltraStar and let it judge you.
UltraStar is a clone of the popular karaoke game series for Playstation – SingStar, released under GPL for Microsoft Windows. Like the original game, UltraStar require players to sing along with the music or a music video, like in a karaoke system, in order to score points. The game displays the lyrics as well as the correct notes in the form of horizontal bars. On top of the correct notes UltraStar displays the pitch recorded from the players. The game analyses the player’s pitch and compares it to the original track, and then scores the players based on how accurate their singing is. Ultrastar allows several people (up to 6) to play simultaneously by connecting several microphones, making it an ideal game for parties.
The game comes pre loaded with just one song from Nine Inch Nail, obviously due to copyright issues. But you cannot simply add any song from your music library to this program. Only songs that are specially packaged for use with UltraStar can be imported into the program. Don’t worry, there are thousands of such songs available on the Internet. UltraStar Songs is one destination. Then there are torrents, or simply search for “UltraStar songs” on Google.
The game also has a music creation utility using which you can create your own music packs, but this involves a fair amount of work. A better way is to just download them from the Internet.
The UltraStar project has forked into several similar game projects, many of which are better than the original game. UltraStar Deluxe is one such fork. While the original game works only in Windows, UltraStar Deluxe is available for all the three major platforms – Windows, Linux and Mac. UltraStar Deluxe is also significantly better than it’s parent.
- It has support for more video formats, such as DivX, XviD, FLV, Avi and WMV.
- Many visual improvements
- It has a Party mode with various game types. This includes support for plugins that allow further extension of such game types.
- Improved song management and selection with the ability to search for songs and use playlists
- More detailed statistics screen
Performous is another deviation from UltraStar. This one is entirely devoted to the Lunux platform though it can be installed on the Mac too. It has it’s own peer developer group leading to several new improvements and unique features. Performous has better pitch detection capabilities as it uses FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) that can detect multiple tones simultaneously, compared to Autocorrelation which is used by UltraStar. Another unique feature to Performous is that it draws the singing pitch as a line on the screen, allowing the player to easily spot their mistake and correct their pitch.
There is yet another fork to UltraStar, the UltraStar for Mac OS X.