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Monday, May 5, 2014


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” 

It has been brought to SLE’s attention that an SL Musician has been at verbal war via Facebook over a comment he made in regards to karaoke singers in Second Life. Freedom of expression is what allows us to speak our minds, particularly on social networks with today’s technology while receiving instant feedback. The only problem is in doing so, it opens the flood gates for others to voice their own opinions and ideas in agreement or against the comments being made.

 This particular incident has caused a verbal war of words between some musicians, Karaoke talents and fans alike who share the same entertainment circuit in the virtual world.
This type of social media friction is threatening what was once a thriving community of various talent who once supported each other in the name of music. Now it seems virtual rock-stardom has gotten to some heads and have shot up their ego way beyond  the atmosphere of rational virtual thinking. Could relationships between entertainers be resolved or will this feud continue and cause a collapse of support for SL music entertainment? Let’s not forget the fans as they are the ones who will ultimately decide.

 What happened to being humble and worrying about what you do while showing the utmost appreciation to fans? Those are the ones that recognize talent and come to performances. Some musicians need to realize by making openly insulting comments about other artists is also like alienating fans, ones that may enjoy their music as well as the other acts in Second life who are being looked down upon.

We here at The SL Enquirer like to observe the community and step in at times when we feel voices should be heard on various topics.
This comment has gotten our attention so we set out to question various SL talent and music fans on their perspective.

 This situation in question began on April 17th when a post on Facebook by Pol Arida  stirred up 174 comments. Pol stated Just finished a trip of 10 venues in SL today at 1-2pm slt ..... Fuck we have an infestation of Karaoke now. What happened?? Something has to be done. !!”.retrieved from . Time stamped  April 17, 2014.

Wolfie Moonshadow; an SL vocalist shared his thoughts.

 “SL is made up of great talent that has no boundaries.  We as a whole provide the heart of entertainment in this world and as such should respect each other.  The SL Community makes their own mind up about what they want to hear and where they enjoy their experience.  No-one has the right to judge what should be available for people to enjoy or not...that in my book is limiting the potential that a virtual world provides.  Sometimes there are differences of opinion that cannot be changed because hey...we are human and have our own preferences.  This does not mean that your preferences and personal feelings are correct and as such impose them as truth.  At the end of the day...Respect...for each other, should be something that is paramount, to working together, in providing enjoyment for our music community.”

SL /RL live musician; KevinMThomas Carpool said,

“This is a very tricky topic because it does create a tremendous amount of passion on both sides.  As an artist that does play an instrument and sing, I can share with some frustration when other vocalists have a bigger sound as they are using tracks however when it gets right down to the heart of the matter - the audience, the listener, will ultimatley choose what they want to hear and I think if there is a market for it, let them do it.  

It's an unpopular stand with many musicians but I am afraid to get into the, "what's right", "what's wrong" argument.” 

Music manager, Brandy Maltas (Kalli Birman) says,

“People seem to forget that voice is an instrument. Part of the great thing about Second Life is that people can come here and express themselves in ways they sometimes cannot in RL. If that means singing to backing tracks and that makes them happy, who are we to discourage them. If the musician in question has an issue with how many people are performing to tracks, they need to get up off their ass and bring in more instrument playing musicians but let the vocalists do their thing and be happy.”

Music manager Ayesha Lytton contributes,

“I judge any musical performance based on the quality of the live performer. If a person is an outstanding vocalist, and uses tracks, that shouldn't be held against them. Some musicians make their own tracks or loops to fill out their sound. For some genres of music, tracks are an unavoidable necessity due to the economics of Second Life. It's often not profitable or practical to assemble a band, let alone an orchestra. Many venues balk at paying a musician even $20 US for an hour of their time - which really translates to at least three hours as there is time required to prepare a set, rehearse, send out announcements etc. I'd love to see more bands in SL, but venues and fans must be willing to pay enough that it's worth their time. 

While I agree that there are quite a few bad track singers, I've heard bad acoustic performers too. It's important to distinguish professional musicians who have taken time to develop their skills, from untrained individuals who miss their high school choir days and sing in SL because they can't get real world gigs. 

The best way to separate the wheat from the chaff is to ask friends for recommendations, and go to venues with a reputation for booking good performers. If I attend an event at Key West or Ground Zero, I can be confident that whomever is playing there is worth a listen. They may not always be to my taste, but I know they meet a reasonable standard of quality. If I find a performer I like and get to know fellow fans, chances are we have similar ears and I can find out who else they think is good. It's no different from real life. You don't walk into a random bar and expect to hear music you like. You do research to find out which venues cater to your favorite genres, and check out performers' websites or social media before attending”.

  Second Life DJ, Weeblewolf Pinion states his opinion,

"There are a lot of live singers who use karaoke backing tracks. But, unless you have a backup band performing with you, isn’t it all recorded backing?  Second life is quite often about doing the stuff real life situations prevent. Who am I to judge another person’s entertainment, and possibly aspirations. I think that sums up my view on karaoke singers .. some of which are pretty damn good vocally, just may not have luxury of playing an instrument or hiring a backup band.  You can giggle in IM when I try to sing ... but don’t belittle the effort or courage"

SL Music fan Timbo Smythe shares,

"I don’t know much about the karaoke scene, I haven't been to one. but aren’t many musicians basically doing karaoke when they sing as the majority use taped music?"  The musician that made this comment should bill themselves as "Live Musicians" and not worry about those that do karaoke, after all, it’s the voice we care about"

Music fan and venue owner Clint Quandry said,

"The vocalists that do a full hour long show (if not longer) who use background tracks put a LOT of effort into preparing their shows.. but alas, as a sound tech and one who has a highly trained ear, I must say... many singers out on the grid do NOT have the proper equipment and/or do not know how to set it up correctly. Those who DO.. sound much better overall, than those who don't... and thus... get told they get accused of NOT in fact singing live.. but they are!.  With tips and venues suffering greatly, there is more competition than ever.. and many singers have dropped out. What we need is REAL shows, where venues charge ADMISSION to enter. THAT will weed out the true artists from the 'off pitch wanna-be's"

Esme Capelo of SL Live Radio shares,

"The difference between a live musician and a karaoke singer is that the live musician sings to music played live and a karaoke singer sings to a pre-recorded backing track.  So I am sure that a lot of live musicians in SL are performing karaoke. Either is equally as entertaining and the backing track neither improves nor takes away from the quality of the voice."

 Jenna Odisark an SL performer and music fans states,

"In my opinion there are very many fabulous, talented musicians that perform live in SL. Some of these performers use backtracks even, but they are backtracks that they have recorded themselves. In many cases they play all of the instruments in the background, and then play lead and sing live with those tracks. That takes a ton of talent.  Many more of these talented live performers sing and play live in front of a microphone. Just them and their guitar, keyboard, etc. The club owners are the ones who hire the talent for their venues. There are so many venues in SL now, and all are looking for talent. Most are not willing to pay for a quality live performer. There are quality singers who use backtracks... but also those who are obviously very amateur"

Music is an art like most things created by human beings, whether it is in the real world or in Second life. Music in all forms is art whether it is created using instruments or through voice and electronic aid. It is a sharing of sounds and melodies that either delight or offend. Everyone in Second Life has the right to attend concerts and teleport away if the music is not to their liking. It is not ok to belittle others because they do not fit someone’s personal standards. Talent can only be defined by those that see it as such. Music, just like media will never please everyone because there will always be someone with an opposing opinion or unkind word. Many will say things without thinking about others point of view. Some will let things be as they are and accept differences.
-Lanai Jarrico

Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts on Live Musicians and Karaoke talent in Second Life.


  1. I think the point you all are missing is the venue owners pay for the acts they hire ( whether its for tips or fee ) they pay for the teir for the land , so its like inviting you to their house and if you don't like the entertainment , you leave .... simple

  2. To say singers who use backing tracks are karaoke singers in second life is basically saying that everyone who sings with backing tracks must be a karaoke singer. Does Adele play her own music? What about Michael Jackson? I don't recall him playing an instrument either. I no longer sing in second life but I used to. I used backing tracks yes, for ease since I don't play my own instrument. I used to front a band, my band were in theory my backing track.
    There is a much better way to put down sl singers than accuse them all of being karaoke singers.
    I hate going to a live music event and the sound being terrible. To have a quality performance you need the right equipment which is why I don't sing in sl anymore.
    It is no different from real life. It is so easy to crank up a stream and call yourself a performer but to be a successful one you need to have the right qualities, just like real life.
    There is no decline of decent performer's in Second life, it just got more real. For every one decent performer there is ten poor ones.

  3. I don't usually comment to these things but I just don't understand this term karaoke singer for people who use backing tracks to perform with in second life. Karaoke is when you go to a club and you sign up to sing a song and the VJ plays it and you sing along and then the next person in line sings the next song. People who sing to backing tracks in second life, play their tracks and give it their all for an hour almost like a band would back up a singer who does not play their own instrument.

  4. I have never been afraid of these arguments, but it has also cost me dearly. since that no longer matters, it is what it is. . . . The war you speak of has been around for ages, there has always been and will always be that "group" of people that control things, and sad to say, it is not the fans, they rarely have a say in the matter, as they are not hiring, firing, paying, or booking artists. My argument was not about live vs karaoke, and in fact, I own a venue, and book a singer weekly, because the wife and I love to hear her sing, we dont even care if anyone else shows up, so we are not your typical venue. I was an outspoken voice more than a few times to try and rally artists, or venues, or all together in the efforts of sorting a better way. I was always met with the same style of tactics regarding artists not wanting to be told what to make, or do. Most of them have some form of arrogance, whether they choose to see it or not. Tracks, live etc, I am in both worlds of that fight, when I do solo shred shows, or blues shows, it is with tracks, and when I sing live I use acoustic, with a couple RARE singing with tracks performances under my belt.
    I have lost much of the desire I had since 2008 to play shows in SL because of those arguments that are out there, all the drama, will consume more artists, and leave a bitter taste in their mouths too. This problem has been growing more and more exponentially. The biggest part of the problem, is that we as avatars have grown so used to this being our world we create, our fantasy, our therapy, that rl rules no longer apply, so much so that definitions change, Eliz just said so herself, not understanding the defining a track singer as Karaoke, when thats clearly what it is, in a bar, in your home, whatever, I mean the tracks are CALLED karaoke, lol so some definitions one cannot change in rl, but sl it happens daily, "omg this singer is so awesome, they sound like adele" and so you bite, take the tp and hear an artist that you would never believe is female, let alone do they have the talent that was claimed. See, part of the argument is lost immediately, because singers do not want to be told that they are better or worse than another, and often its like talent falls on deaf ears, makes me wonder if people are really listening. This has been happening so long, and the casualties are so many, that I no longer think there is a way to improve things, well beyond the "turn back" area of the experience at this point. Many would argue several angles on this stuff, missing the real problems at hand by disguising the argument as an offense to track artists etc, when really, there just needs to be a simple, affective way of having tier systems, talent levels, or whatever, but then, the bottom line is still going to be that a venue will book who they want to book, and an artist will play where they wish to play, regardless of what others think, because as the old rule goes (which really seems to have been forgotten by MANY) - "its my sl, ill do what I want".
    My shows are at a staggering low frequency, and I don't even care anymore, all the bitterness, and sleight of hand, and back handed comments from artists and venues, the abuses to fans, venues, and each other, it has become a SUPER toxic environment. No decline of decent performers, that would vary on point of view I think Kizzy, I know several top shelf artists that have left and that list isn't getting shorter, nor is it sitting stagnant.

  5. The cream will always rise to the top in real life and second life. It doesnt matter if you are live or track singer. If you're good, the public will speak. Look at Mankind Tracer, Seth Regan in real life. He's been around since like 2005 and is the best of the best in my book. His staying power is an indication not only of his obvious business sense, but also because he's a damn great musician and performer. Every performer can succeed if they;'re good. There's no trick to it. The "war" we should be discussing is why SL musicians are so egomanical and rude towards each other. For example, being that Mankind is the biggest name admittedly in virtual worlds music, lots will talk crap about him but as I've seen, thats mostly from other musicians who come and go and sadly cannot hold a candle to him when it comes to raw talent. He's won award after award and has done so much for second life music. I personally think he should be respected for what he has done to pretty much create the entire second life music scene and those performing today would be better off as friends with him, to learn from him and to talk to him. I have. He's an awesome guy with a great heart. My point here is if someone wants to succeed, track singer or live, whatever, take a look at those who have succeeded and remain successes like Mankind Tracer. Theres a reason he's still remains the most popular and most well known. My two cents.

  6. A bit late to the party but hey....better late than never. Here's what I think...If you sound amazing....who cares if you are playing an instrument live or using a backing track? you SOUND AMAZING full stop. As per usual, a few dickheads ruin everything for everyone. I dare them to say I am untalented because I use backing tracks. I post my recordings up front each and every time so people can hear exactly what they are getting here they go, backing tracks and all, sunshine. There’s even an acapella piece recorded at a live performance. I can play guitar, piano and drums…. I could play live sure...but I would need several pairs of hands to do it all by myself. Or....I could perform all my sets completely acapella therefore negating ANY arguments. Probably wouldn't get any shows either. See how ridiculous this is sounding now? is unplugged the ONLY way to go in modern music? have these purists of sound actually had an RL music career? Ever been recorded as an artist and had engineers mixing your sound? Your argument, my friends, is invalid. Keep on strumming :)

  7. I'm late to the party too, but what i find absolutely riveting abt this that absolutely no one in any of their responses said "yes, pol, you are correct. There are an amazing number of karaoke performances at any given hour of the day." Instead of simply agreeing to a provable fact, every one seems to want to defensively go into some personal diatribe. Fascinating.

  8. Yes, there are many open mic sims where you can go and sing karaoke. How observant of you. Would you like your Captain Obvious award now or shoved where your opinion came from? You seem to have an issue with artists that use backing tracks. I have an issue with people like you who seem to think they are God and think everything should be done their way or no way at all. How about you shut up and let people enjoy what they want to enjoy.