X-Factor and other shows that promise instant fame have a lot to answer for – the warbling and caterwauling from the teenage girls who live across the street when audition time comes round, for one.

If you want to find your [one true] voice, a device that gives you constructive feedback rather than uncritical praise is the best accompaniment to practice, practice, practice. The TC-Helicon Voice Live Touch helps wannabe singers to improve their singing technique, but also provides feedback on problem areas that need work. 

The device subtly improves recordings to even out changes of pitch. It does the same for guitar riffs and solos. The best samples can be looped and overlaid, making it easier and faster to create tracks that are worth listening to. The device has a stereo microphone pickup, an input for a guitar amp and can be connected to an iPod, MP3 player, iPad or laptop. It costs around £415 inc VAT.