Installing and Using Computer Karaoke

I've written a seven-step "overview" for people who are comfortable with downloading, installing, configuring and using new software.  If any of those steps presents problems, I've added more instructions below.


  1. Download VanBasco's computer karaoke player from
  2. Install the program on your MS-Windows based computer.
  3. Download the music you want from (where XXXXXX is the first word of the name of the show).
  4. Open VanBasco, close superfluous (extra, unneeded) windows, and replace the default playlist with the show tunes you downloaded.
  5. Select and play a tune from your playlist.
  6. Optionally, adjust various settings on your player to improve its performance on your computer.
  7. Optionally, turn on or off various voices so you hear as much (or little) of the music as you wish.

Download VanBasco

  1. Click here --
  2. You will see a download page that asks you your email address (which you are free to ignore) and a "download" button.
  3. Press the download button.
  4. You will see a second download page and the VanBasco setup program will begin to download.

Install VanBasco

  1. You should have an icon that looks like this: on your desktop.  Double-click it.
  2. The "welcome" screen asks you what language you want to use.  I presume you will leave the default selection, English.  Click "Next".
  3. Read the setup message (or not) and click "Next" again to get to the license agreement.
  4. The license agreement says that the program is free for non-commercial use, but that you may not distribute the software to third parties (which is why I can't give the program to you and you must download your own copy).  Read the license (it is short) and click "I agree".
  5. The installation dialog box asks where you want to install the program.  The default will work fine for most people.  For now, let's leave the "I want a shortcut on my desktop" box checked.  If you like toolbar icons (I don't) leave that box checked, too.
  6. The file association window offers to associate various file types with VanBasco.  UNCHECK THEM ALL.  If you don't, you could have the karaoke player popping up at strange times.  (Oh, you can leave the KAR box checked if you want.) Click "Next".
  7. The summary dialog tells you what you've done.  Click "Finish".

Download Music

  1. Click here --
  2. There is an edit box near the top of your browser showing the text "".  Put your mouse pointer in the edit box anywhere after the final "/" and click.  (You will probably have to click twice so that the text is NOT highlighted.)  Type in the first word of the name of the musical.  Use lower case.  For example, if you're looking for "Hello, Dolly", you would type "hello". (Without the quotation marks, of course.)  Hit the "Enter" key.

  3. I'm not spelling this out any more thoroughly because I don't want the Internet indexing services to find these pages.  I have no moral problem with distributing these files for rehearsal purposes to people who have copies of the score.  I do not, however, know the legal ramifications of doing so.  I would rather not try to explain this to a lawyer for the publisher.  If you can't figure out the first word in the name of the show we're doing, you have larger problems with which I cannot help you.

  4. You should see a page with a list of musical numbers from our show.  Right click on one of them and save it to your computer.  Hit the "Enter" key.

  5. You don't have to get all the music now.  Let's just try it with one number for now.  If you came here for Titanic music, download "01a- In Every Age".  You can get the rest later.

    You could configure your system to play the music directly from my website.  I wish you wouldn't, though.  If everyone downloads the music once, that's one thing.  If everyone downloads all the music every day for six or seven weeks of rehearsal, I am likely to get hit with a bill for excessive use of the server.  Please don't punish me for making this available.

Open VanBasco

  1. The first time you open the karaoke player, you get a bunch of things that you don't need.  First, let's empty the playlist.  The playlist is in the upper right hand corner of your screen.  Press the "empty" button.  It asks you if you're sure.  You are.
  2. In the upper right hand corner of the playlist dialog box is a standard navigation control.  You need to navigate to wherever you stored the music you downloaded from my site.  When you get there, you will see a list of songs.
  3. You need to add one or more of the numbers to your playlist.  Either:

Select and Play a Tune

  1. Double-click one of songs in your playlist.
  2. You should hear the piano begin.  A viola comes in playing the melody (because I like the way the viola sounds on my computer).
  3. Look down at the "karaoke" window ... the one with words in it.  The words should turn from white to red when the notes are played.  (If the timing isn't right, see the next section on adjustments.)

Optional Adjustments

If the music and the lyrics are out of sync, you need to adjust the lyric delay.  (The guys who wrote this program didn't know what kind of video and sound cards you were going to have on your computer.)
  1. Look at the VanBasco Karaoke Player window.  It is probably in the upper left hand corner of your screen.  It has musical note symbol in the top left hand corner.  Click it.
  2. A menu appears.  Select "Setup".
  3. A dialog box appears.  There are three tabs.  Select "Misc".
  4. Near the bottom on the right is a "Lyric Delay" control.  The default value (if my memory serves) is -200 milleseconds.  On my system, -85 is a better value.  Experiment until you find a value that works for you.
  5. Click OK to close this dialog box.
The music is moving too quickly (not likely on this song), you can slow it down.
  1. Look at the VanBasco Karaoke Player window.  It is probably in the upper left hand corner of your screen.  In the bottom row of buttons is one marked "Control".  Press it.
  2. A "Control" window appears.  There is a slider for "tempo" that is currently set at 100%.  If you move it downward, the music will slow down.
  3. (There is a "key" slider, too.  If you move that one, the music is transposed up or down, depending upon the direction and distance you move the slider.)

Listening to Individual Parts

  1. Look at the VanBasco Karaoke Player window.  It is probably in the upper left hand corner of your screen.  In the bottom row of buttons is one marked "Output".  Press it once or twice until you see a window titled "Midi Output".
  2. If you are listening to "In Every Age", you will see that the viola line (what Andrews sings) is at the top.  There are two buttons to the left of the word "viola".  Click the red (the left-most) button.  You have now turned off the viola.  All you hear is piano.  Turn off the red button and turn on the blue one.  Now you should hear (almost) nothing but the viola.
  3. In chorus numbers, I typically assign Violin=Soprano, Viola=Alto, Cello=Tenor and Bass=Bass.  If there are two violin lines, I have separated the soprano into first soprano and second soprano.  (Sometimes, however, I don't divide them.  If it's a problem, let me know and I can make adjustments.)
  4. If you are learning music, you might want to select the blue buttons next to your part and the piano parts.  That way you only hear your part and the piano.  When you learn your part, you might want to turn your part off and sing with/against the rest of the music.
If there are questions or problems, look for me at rehearsal.