Phil Ford
There's a product called Microsoft Songsmith. You sing something, and songsmith recognizes the pitches and generates a musical accompaniment for them. It's pretty accurate but makes some odd choices sometimes. You can specify what kind of accompaniment you want — techno, jazz, latin, etc. Anyway, some genius put David Lee Roth's vocal (minus backing vocals and instrumentals) from Van Halen's "Running With The Devil" together with a new track of sub-Holiday-Inn lounge piano jazz. This is, no exaggeration, the funniest thing I have ever seen on my computer. I'm laughing even as I'm typing these words and thinking about it.

There are more mash-ups but none of them are this funny. Anyway, have a good weekend. 

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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  1. glen says:

    I’m not too psyched about the new software, but the video was funny. It reminds me of a youtube user who used to make “(insert famous name here) shreds” videos, his were much better and presumably were done the “old fashioned” way. His profile was removed a while back but some of the videos are still around…this is my fav:

  2. glen says:

    second thought, the Santana one is my favorite.

  3. azz100c says:

    Hey — thought I’d drop in and say hi, I made most of the Songsmith mixes linked in that Pitchfork article, and curiously enough, it’s all part of a public statement on technological determinism. Go figure that I’m not some kid playing around on his computer but actually a grad student who studies musicology.
    Anyway, nice blog. Enjoy my more recent Songsmith-ings.

  4. I’m more interested by the phrase structure created by Songsmith. It’s not always regular. Paging William Rothstein…

  5. Andy H-D says:

    The only thing I can think while watching this is “That’s it. This is the end of music.”

  6. azz100c says:

    Songsmith appears to find the median note for a given measure and then attribute percentages to five (or so) chords it feels that median note can be modal for. The percentage essentially determines the probability of that chord being chosen.
    Thus, for a given song, maybe 75% of the time (depending on what the “happy” and “jazzy” sliders are sitting on) you might have a I-V-I-V progression, until the fourth time through the sequence, when you get I-IV or, more likely, ii.

  7. squashed says:

    super hilarious…
    I am actually afraid some intergalactic being see this and thinks either we are a dead end civilization beyond help or need immediate intervention before doing something extremely self destructive… Homer Simpson style.

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