I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you’ve never seen a karaoke machine that plays vinyl records. Neither have I and I don’t actually think they exist. Every karaoke machine I’ve seen plays digital files. It just makes more sense. They take up no space and they are easy to get. You can download them from anywhere, usually for less than a dollar.
The reason for this post is that I recently read an article listing the best karaoke songs on Musicaroo.com. The author Camila had great taste in music and it made me realize that all my own favorite karaoke tracks are etched into the grooves of my vinyl collection.
If, like me, you already have a large vinyl (or CD or cassette tape) collection, you don’t really want to buy the same files again. You can transfer them to a digital format easily enough with most vinyl record players, but that takes time and effort. It would be a lot cooler if you could just use those vinyl records in a karaoke machine the way they are.
But I don’t think that’s possible and I don’t think it ever will be. It makes no sense for manufacturers to make a vinyl karaoke machine, because there would be very little demand. No commercial establishments would ever buy it and it would only be home users who would want one. And even then it would only be a very small portion of karaoke enthusiasts. Just people whose favorite music is on vinyl and who want to sing all of their favorite karaoke songs using that same vinyl. So basically, just vinyl collectors.
All that said, there are definitely workarounds. If you’ve got a good receiver and speakers, you can easily rig your own little karaoke system. You can even use karaoke machines and just change the input. Any good one will allow you to input any kind of music you want, so could easily hook up your record player to many of them.
Either of these ways allow you to hook up your turntable to either your receiver or your karaoke machine and to plug your mic into the same. Then you can sing along. Naturally, you will want to get rid of the lyrics when singing karaoke and you might also want those lyrics written on the screen. That might be a little more difficult to do.
That said, there are websites where you can download the lyrics and play them on a screen during the music. You just have to time them to start at the right moment. Also, any good audio mixer will allow you to remove the vocal track or at the very least to turn it down. A karaoke machine has that function automatically.
For this reason, I would suggest getting a karaoke machine no matter what. Even if you already have a mixer, it will most likely not have all of the functions that you will want for good karaoke session. Get yourself a decent machine. They are not expensive. Then you can hook up your record player to this machine, assuming it has the required input for that. Make sure when you buy it that it has a phono input.
Once you’ve hooked your records up to your karaoke machine, you simply need to figure out how to get the lyrics in there. It will come with instructions that should tell you how to accomplish that. And that’s really all you need. All of a sudden you’ve got a great little home karaoke system that can play your vinyl records. You will be the hit of any party that is held in your house. Your friends will love you and will have a great time singing all those classic songs on your new karaoke system.