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How Do Karaoke Machines Work?


When first-generation karaoke machines hit the market in the 1970s, wannabe singers and music fans around the world had reason to celebrate. The Japanese invention provided full-orchestral music accompaniment for avid, amateur singers and convenient on-screen lyrics. Karaoke remains one of the most popular song and music entertainment systems, and how the machines work is fascinating.


Karaoke is an entertainment system that permits just about anybody to perform in full synchronization with a pre-recorded music video or music. It also displays on-screen lyrics in English or several other world languages. Karaoke machines can be hooked to a TV set or computer.


The term "karaoke"--which translates as "empty orchestra"--is made up of the Japanese word "kara" (empty) and "oke," part of the Japanese word "okesutora" (orchestra). After their invention, karaoke machines spread throughout Asia, followed by the United States and all other countries in the Western world.

Karaoke Components

Basic, modern day karaoke systems consist of a music player (with either DVD, CD or computer compatibility); speakers; a wired or cordless microphone; multiple microphone inputs, and background music /voice pitch-altering capability. Apart from downloaded music, state-of-the-art karaoke machines are wired to operate on either laser disk, DVD, VCD or CD-G formats. Depending on one's budget, all karaoke components can be bought either separately or as an all-in-one, single karaoke system package.

System Function

Karaoke machines have an audio input and output, and an in-built system to alter the tone and pitch of the music played. This in allows the system to adjust to the vocal range of a singer, allowing her to perform in a key she's comfortable with. The karaoke machine basically suppresses the pre-recorded voice track of the original singer while allowing the video and background music soundtrack to continue playing. Therefore, when a singer performs, she can sing in sync with the background music--aided by on-screen lyrics.


A karaoke machine is an exciting, interactive music medium that offers a range of benefits. It creates a vibrant and music-filled ambiance, and helps amateur singers perfect singing skills. A big benefit of a karaoke machine is its highly portable nature. Moreover, a karaoke machine is versatile in that it can be easily moved and set up in different rooms around the home. So a large number of guests can participate in the singing and fun.

With their high entertainment value, karaoke machines are crowd-pullers in bars, pubs and restaurants and ideal for parties, get-togethers and sing-along music sessions at home with family and friends.

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