Among the many famous Filipino inventors, Roberto del Rosario's invention of the karaoke machine is probably the most famous.During the 1960's singers and musicians from the Philippines began migrating to Japan.
To reduce the expenses of having a band, these singers and musicians improvised musical devices that would accompany their singing.
These devices were known as 'minus-one music' which were multiplex music cassette recordings with no vocal tracks. It was music without lyrics.
Roberto del Rosario was a musician and music teacher who played eight instruments.
He developed an advanced sing-along-system known as OMB (one-man-band) which was the combination of a music player, voice taping mechanism, tuner and mixer.
This sing-along-system (SAS) allowed his students to sing with the recorded music using a microphone and an amplified speaker.
The sing-along-system was very popular in the Philippines and Japan. The Japanese coined the system "karaoke" from "kara" meaning empty and "ōkesutora" meaning orchestra.
Karaoke is pronounced "kæriːˈoʊki" in Japanese and means: singing along to music with the vocals removed.
In English "karaoke" is often incorrectly written as "kareoke" or "karoke" because of the pronunciation.
Roberto del Rosario was awarded a Gold Medal for Best Inventor in 1985 by the United Nations World Intellectual Property Association.
Among Filipino inventors, Roberto was was the first Filipino to be elected to the executive board of the International Federation of the Inventors Association.
The karaoke machines today use the latest technology in mixing lyrics, audio and video that allows singers to choose a pitch for any song so they can sing in a key that is appropriate for their vocal range.
In other words, they sound great or at least better anyway.