”This Time It’s Political, Baby!”
This video is my reinterpretation of the Catus Cutie’s performance of ”the Star Spangled Banner”. Basically I wanted to make a political stand on current global events caused and enforced by the USA through rearranging their national anthem in a way I saw more fit. I think it actually sounds more beautiful this way.
This was done using some advanced Melodyne techniques in order to make the changes as unnoticeable as possible (read on further down for an explanation of what Melodyne is). This is almost musical surgery and a trained ear will still hear digital artifacts from the editing, but hopefully some of you won’t realize that they are not singing the song like this at all. Compare with the original to the right to experience the difference.
The idea to play around with the Star Spangled Banner sprung while I was doing basic composition assignment for school (we were to put together a simple minuet). I made a quick sketch – so please pardon the sound – where I changed the major scale into an oriental for an ironic twist fit for Americas newest state ”Iraq”. Originally I was going to do the same but with vocals, but since oriental music does not use chords and the girls were singing harmonies I had to tweak the idea. Have a quick listen if you want a feel of how it could have turned out:
Star Strangled Tanner
What is Melodyne?
I actually just started using the new version of Melodyne called ”Melodyne Editor” and this video was a way to learn how to operate the software. Melodyne is a pitch correction software similar to Auto-Tune yet much more versatile. These pieces of software are mainly aimed at correcting vocals that are a bit off in pitch, but can also be used for correcting melodies in any kind of instrument. Overuse of this tool creates a synthetic sound that was made famous through Cher’s song ”Believe” and can be heard on any kind of moronic hip-hop or R&B tune on modern radio. However and unfortunately, pitch correction is subtly used on almost every song released today which makes most of the modern pop stars just as fake as Milli Vanilli back in the day.
In the new Melodyne Editor it is now possible to pitch correct polyphonic material (more than one note played at the same time). This enables you to ”dive into” the music and change certain notes in a chord without affecting the others. They call it Dynamic Note Access (DNA). Watch this video to get the idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFCjv4_jqAY. As most audio professionals will tell you, something like this should be more or less impossible which makes it so utterly mind blowing. For instance, someone could record a childrens choir and not have the recording totally ruined if one of the kids is out of tune. Just fix it afterwards like this guy did!
Melodyne is foremost an editing software but it’s so powerful and versatile that I would not be surprised if people start using it as a composing tool like I have instead.