Sooner or later at a party everyone starts to sing along, whether or not they know the lyrics. This is how karaoke was born, with special machines playing instruments while lyrics are displayed to make you feel like the lead singer. You can create karaoke files yourself in a few easy steps with applications like Serenade.

In terms of visuals, the application sports a rather poor design, with elements that don't really seem to blend together and layouts that look brought back from the last decade. What's more, unless you pay a visit to the help manual at first, you're going to have a hard time figuring out just how to combine audio files with text.

Don't expect to get good quality in the resulting file because the application only works with MIDi files for the audio layer, which isn't amongst the preferred formats for music creation. With half the practicality cut off by file support, editing makes sure the other half doesn't remain untouched.

If you happen to have a plain TXT file containing the lyrics, your effort is reduced considerably, otherwise you need to manually write them down in a dedicated field. Even after importing files, you're still a long from the finish line.

The only way in which the application associates words with sound is through manual specification. Every word needs to be split into syllables with a hyphen. To attach to sound, you need to hit the “Play” button and press Ctrl on your keyboard for each tone, with the process progressively highlighting syllables.

It might seem easy enough, but besides being time-consuming, synchronization is incredibly difficult to get just right, since you need a good musical ear and song knowledge, with each mistake forcing you to start over. Luckily, there's an option to play at half speed, but it can get even more in your way.

There aren't a lot of other options. There's no slider to set pitch or tempo, but you can use a transpose tool. Additionally, you can extract lyrics from an existing KAR file, which is also what you get when exporting.

Taking everything into consideration, we can say that Serenade lacks the integrity and set of features you expect to see in an application that's supposed to let you create a fun party element. File support cuts out the most out of practicality, leaving the editor itself to chomp on the bits that remain. Overall, the process not only takes a lot of time to understand, but also to combine, let alone synchronize.