How to: Using YouTube with your Karaoke Systems
Karaoke systems can be expensive. Although the initial investment is the most significant, you would still have to update the music library through online downloadable content or memory cards that you have to purchase. But, thanks to YouTube, you can now enjoy content for free through any device that can access it. When you combine it with the necessary equipment, you get an unlimited selection of both new and old music. Here’s what you need to get a working karaoke system with a free updating song list courtesy of YouTube.
Since you would be using YouTube to play songs for you to sing along with, you would obviously need a way to access the website. You can easily do this with your Smart TV. But, you can also do this with your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, or digital media players like Google Chromecast and Apple TV.
It’s won’t be a proper karaoke system if you don’t work at least two microphones into it. Wired microphones would do, but wireless ones are the best as these would enable karaoke singers to move around without any accidents from pesky wires.
For wireless microphones, you have the choice between ultra-high frequency microphones (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) microphones. Ultra-high frequency microphones are recommended as these have a more consistent connection, especially in environments with other frequency signals like those from phones and your home Wi-Fi router. Furthermore, there are UHF microphones available that are capable of connecting via Bluetooth, which makes it convenient for connecting to your existing home sound system.
Of course, you can rely on your home theater speakers for your karaoke. But, you could risk damaging these by using it with a microphone. It is advisable to use an active speaker, which is specifically designed for microphone use. Since you’re going to use the active speakers for karaoke, it is best to choose one with an echo effect for that authentic karaoke sound.
If your speakers do not have an input for a microphone, you will need a mixer to connect the entire system together and have them work properly. Mixers come in a variety of size and functionality but one that includes the required number of microphone input, tone settings, and echo effect would do. In addition to connecting your microphone to the speakers, it can also connect your digital player for audio output to your speakers.
How to: Set-Up YouTube on Your TV:
Using a Computer
To connect your laptop or desktop to your TV, you would need an HDMI cable. This cable would enable your computer to transfer both audio and video to your television. From there, you could choose to use its speakers or to output the audio to your existing home theater system or to your mixer for a much better sound.
Using a Smart TV to Connect to YouTube
With a Smart TV, this is as simple as opening the application for YouTube. However, with the issues regarding application updates from manufacturers, you might encounter problems with making this work. If you experience this, it might be best to simply use your laptop or a digital media player. Again, you can use your home theater speakers or mixer/active speakers for better audio output.
Using Google Chromecast
This is, perhaps, the best as it has YouTube TV Queuing AND seamless playing between videos. With these two features, you are replicating the experience that you would normally get from a karaoke system. And, when you use your home theater system, active speakers, or karaoke system for sound output, you can really elevate the experience for yourself.
Using Apple TV
If you’re going to use your Apple TV, the simplest way to set things up is through the mirror function. By doing this, you’re not only capable of projecting YouTube videos onto your TV but, also, other Karaoke apps you might be using. The only drawback with this is that, with YouTube, you would have to create a playlist to set up your queue of songs.
Searching for Songs
With YouTube having Google’s excellent search algorithm, finding a song is as simple as typing in the song’s title and the word “karaoke” on the search field. However, you might have a hard time finding ones with the best quality out of the lot. To help you out, here is a list of YouTube channels that upload some of the best karaoke videos:
One might notice that they don’t have the most number of songs in their channel. However, they make up for it with the high audio quality of all the songs in their channel.
Video hosting giant, VEVO, has joined in on the karaoke video content genre in YouTube. With their music license from Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music, you would surely find songs from your favorite pop artists. They also feature great animations as video background so that also adds to the overall experience—especially if you don’t want to be distracted by the random images that most karaoke videos tend to have.
Karafun has plenty of video content from the present popular music to the classic hits of the past. They also have curated playlist that will give you songs that are either focusing on a musical artist, genre, decade, or age-suitability.
Although they have a limited collection of songs, their videos are of high quality and have a decent range of songs from every genre. Aside from songs, they have tutorials to help you shine for your next karaoke party.
With this set-up, song software and music libraries would become a thing of the past for you. All that is missing is sound-proofing your living room so that you and your friends can take your karaoke party all the way until morning. Just make sure to test your karaoke system first before you invite your friends over. After all, even the best of karaoke systems can fail if it isn’t properly set-up for the task.