A brand new old trick: the Song Generator

Shake for lyrics

Songer

I just came across a little gizmo called Songer that is available as an iPhone application. The idea is that songwriters get  random tempo, key and lyrical theme generator for a little inspiration! Tap the dice to randomly generate a tempo, key and lyrical theme for your next song.

At the end of the day, whatever gets those songwriting juices going is fine by me. If I was in a philosophical mood, I’d write a piece about it being a bit disappointing that people prefer to shake a phone on their own rather than sit down and write something memorable with another songwriter, or ring up a colleague and bounce ideas around.

Luckily I’m in a good mood. Besides, the result couldn’t be much different from some Duran Duran lyrics I’ve read.

More song generators

Since writing this, a whole new bunch of song generators have appeared. These ones focus on helping people on the music composition side, rather than help generate lyrics.

How do you choose a song generator?

Song generators range from the extremely gimmicky to the genuinely useful. However, they are not intended to replace professional songwriting and production software.

So they should be treated as a quick way of sketching out ideas on the fly, such as when you are travelling or have some downtime away from your studio equipment. To be really useful, it would be very handy to be able to export the material you create for use in your usual music production software. That way, you don’t have to duplicate your work.

As I’m on the word side of songwriting, I can’t really help you there. But if you know of any song generator apps that allow you to do that, drop a note below. If you want to add a review, that would be very useful for other songwriters.

To wrap up, 2 gimmicky generators.

Swedish radio had a wonderful toy called “Let Them Sing it For You“, which took micro-snippets of songs and played them over words you chose. They withdrew the software a few years back (most likely for copyright issues).

Some bright sparks have also created a Lana Del Ray song title generator. It’s fun, but pretty useless.

One comment to “A brand new old trick: the Song Generator”
One comment to “A brand new old trick: the Song Generator”
  1. I’ve since discovered a whole sub-genre of software and websites!

    There’s this one, that requires you sign up first:

    http://www.songlyricsgenerator.com/

    The Surrealist offers a very simple Christmas song generator:

    http://thesurrealist.co.uk/christmas.php?

    “Let them sing it for you” takes words you type in and gets famous recordings to sing them – word by word. The effect is bizarre and funny.

    http://www.sr.se/P1/src/sing/index.htm

    The silliest of these must be the UK’s Song Lyrics Generator, which also grabs images to make a sleeve for your song lyrics.

    http://www.song-lyrics-generator.org.uk/

    If you come across others, let me know. I could do with the laugh.

    Michael

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