The Invention Of Karaoke Machines: Where, When & How?
Karaoke is a timeless activity for a night out, whether you sing along to slow jams or rock out with friends. It's a universally adored activity to take the stage and sing your heart out.
Whether you prefer a night out with cocktails at a karaoke bar, or you love to chillax on the sofa at home singing along with the help of karaoke machines, you cannot deny the fact that everyone loves to belt out a classic karaoke song every now and again!
Fun Fact: Philippines holds the title for the most in-home karaoke boxes with reportedly one in almost every home. Come on UK we have a lot of work to do!
But where did it all start? Who do we have to thank for the first karaoke machine? Who is the God of karaoke we should all bow down to?
We're here to take you back in time with the history of karaoke and how it's changed the way we enjoy a good sing-along. Let's go!
Where did it all start?
The word "karaoke" actually means "empty orchestra" in Japanese, despite the fact that it has become a widely used word. It is made up of the first half of the term "karappo," which means "empty," and the first part of the Japanese word for orchestra, "ōkesutora."
In karaoke, where you perform the singing, a backing track without vocals is normal; however, certain varieties of karaoke do use vocals on the track to aid karaoke singers who, to put it politely, may benefit from a bit of the old autotune.
Although karaoke is now a worldwide sensation, it actually began in Kobe, Japan, in the early 1970s. Bars would rent the equipment, and late into the night, their customers would sing (or at least try).
Sing-along television programmes like NBC's Sing Along with Mitch served as the forerunner to karaoke. For viewers to sing along to their favourite songs, this programme and others like it featured television hosts, a chorus, and lyrics at the bottom of the TV screen.
Who invented Karaoke?
Regarding the creation of the first karaoke machine, there is some debate. Like other technologies, karaoke machines were modified and enhanced throughout time by a variety of people, who also came up with features like track queuing and other functions.
The karaoke machine and inventing karaoke itself, however, was created independently by three persons at various points in history, (and we love them all equally.)
Because he loved singing while he went about his business, Shigeichi Negishi, the owner of an electronics manufacturer, commissioned the creation of the karaoke machine in 1967.
Negishi asked his chief engineer to attach a microphone amp and a mixing circuit to one of the 8-tape decks the factory created so Negishi could hear himself singing along to his favourite tunes.
The karaoke machine called "Sparko Box," as it was known, was an attempt by Negishi and a distributor to rent the device to bars, but they struggled to outbid the nagashi, or local guitarists. Finally, due to distribution concerns, they decided against patenting and increasing production.
Never fear! Daisuke Inoue is here to continue the karaoke craze!
In 1971, Kobe musician Daisuke Inoue also created the karaoke machine. For events he couldn't attend, he would record instrumentals in keys that were easier for his clients to sing and distribute them as backing tracks.
He ordered a coin-operated machine to provide customers with a few minutes of singing time after realising the huge potential of this idea. They finally took off, starting the karaoke phenomenon that we are all familiar with.
Roberto del Roasrio
And finally, the Karaoke Sing-Along System was created in 1975 by Roberto del Rosario. As the sole owner of the karaoke machine patent, the Filipino inventor is recognised for having contributed to the current level of karaoke's popularity in the Philippines.
How has karaoke changed?
Has karaoke really changed that much? Well, it's still of course the most fun and uplifting pastime ever, but yes karaoke has evolved with the crazy, modern world. There's even a karaoke world championship, held in a different country every year (our invite must have gotten lost in the post...)
The idea of open-air karaoke was taken and made more intimate by karaoke boxes, which can be found in karaoke bars or purchased to be used at home! Groups can host karaoke social events in private areas as opposed to singing in front of a packed bar of random people.
More people can take part in karaoke because karaoke boxes provide privacy. Customers can sing at any time of day with their close friends and family using karaoke machines in a karaoke club or in home karaoke machines.
Karaoke boxes can be found at restaurants, hotels, bars, and even shopping centres because anyone can sing in private karaoke rooms. Because they are soundproof, you won't disturb other visitors and will only hear your own party. (Your boss' rendition of 'Baby' by Justin Bieber might send you running for the hills though…)
Additionally, because customers can reserve a customised karaoke box for a special, private experience, karaoke boxes can be more customised than karaoke equipment at bars, including making your very own playlists for a themed karaoke night!
Karaoke boxes at home
The best and simplest way to set up karaoke at home is to use a karaoke box or machine which is one of the most common methods. Some karaoke machines typically include microphones, built-in speakers, and amplifiers because they are made expressly for karaoke use. This is the best choice to avoid having to set up audio and video equipment altogether.
Karaoke parties are becoming increasingly popular, just because of how easy they are to host and the sheer joy they bring people!
Fun Fact: reportedly the top five karaoke songs of all time include Summer Nights - Grease, Let it Go - Idina Menzel, Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond, Billie Jean - Michael Jackson and Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen.
Looking for a karaoke machine to have your own karaoke nights at home?
We hope this guide to the glorious invention of karaoke has got you off your seat and ready for a boogie! Even better, you can get your very own Lucky Voice Karaoke Machine to sing your favourite karaoke tracks in the comfort of your own home.
The kit includes everything you need for an epic karaoke party, including a mixer, bluetooth microphone and access to thousands of songs!
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How karaoke was invented FAQs
Who invented the very first karaoke machine?
Japanese inventor and artist Daisuke Inoue created the Juke-8, the first karaoke machine ever, in 1971. But Roberto del Rosario, a Filipino inventor, is the one who has the machine's patent.
Why did karaoke originate?
It is supposed to have started at a Japanese snack bar where a booked performer was unable to show up. The owner of the bar played pre-recorded music and encouraged patrons to sing along. Some claim that it began in the 1970s with a Japanese musician by the name of Daisuke Inoue, who sold people the rights to his recordings of songs so they could sing along.
Is karaoke fun if you can't sing?
Everyone can have fun with karaoke, regardless of their singing ability. So the next time you're in a karaoke bar, don't be scared to take part even if you can't sing a note! Or have a go at home with your own karaoke machine!