November 30, 2010 5:00 PM

I thought I'd cross-post this here, since it's hard to hear 50's television / Ren and Stimpy style "light music" without feeling at least a little bit better about your day. PLUS, it's the latest in my series of songs I've written for my dog, and there's a happy story to go along with it.

I wrote this after my dog, Nugget, recovered from being terribly sick. Let's just say he ate a scrap of fabric and it ...didn't come out. After a couple of days he was in bad shape, dehydrated and in constant pain. Without emergency surgery, things didn't look good.

Well, as luck would have it, on the very morning that we were due to discuss said surgery, the problem resolved itself.
On his walk, in front of a bunch of little kids. "Oh look a puppy, he is cute, what's his EWWWWWWWWWWW."

This is the music that was playing in my head as we joyfully skipped the whole way home. I transcribed it out of my head, for you to hear. It may or may not be the best music ever written to celebrate a dog crapping.

posted by jake (24 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

Awesome! I saw the opening credits for an imaginary cartoon in my head.
posted by danb at 6:20 PM on November 30, 2010

posted by man vs sun at 7:39 PM on November 30, 2010

Oh man. danb, I must have told you before, but your blog is one of my all-time favorites -- as a fellow VGM + theory nerd it's a freaking phenomenal read.

Also, someone asked me about the title: I was researching "hot dogs around the world" on Wikipedia, where I learned that "Salsa de Golf" is, more or less, Argentina's take on Thousand Island dressing. No relation to the subject matter. I just like the phrase "golf sauce".
posted by jake at 8:21 PM on November 30, 2010

posted by unSane at 8:53 PM on November 30, 2010

(I'm a huge fan of the Ren & Stimpy incidental music)
posted by unSane at 9:04 PM on November 30, 2010

This is great. Could you tell us what you use to create this? The samples sounded really good, I thought.
posted by umbú at 9:14 PM on November 30, 2010

Wait... how did you end up researching "hot dogs around the world"? :D
posted by germdisco at 10:21 PM on November 30, 2010

gd: Most people fantasize about travel destinations by looking at pictures of beaches or old towns.. not me!

umbú: East-West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Platinum, Project Sam Symphobia, Chris Hein Horns vols 1 and 2, SampleModeling TheTrumpet. Chris Hein in particular is the most convincing pop brass I've ever heard, it blows my mind how expressive it is with keyboard playing. I used it in a recent Batman game (everything you hear in this track is 100% fake, except the guitar and bass!)
posted by jake at 12:50 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wow, the horns in that batman tune are amazing. The twangy guitar is also very convincing.

I've always shied away from using horns just because the simples are usually so terrible -- but those are awesome. How much did you play from the keyboard and how much was hand-editing?
posted by unSane at 4:27 AM on December 1, 2010

Ha, that's awesome.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:29 AM on December 1, 2010

Oh, it's you again. I think I've told you before, but for some reason I can never associate your screen name to your songs, and so every time you post something I listen to it thinking it's a new member and I go "whoa, that's amazing", then I click on your username and realize it's you. Or in other words, I'm a big fan even if I never can remember your name.

This is really fantastic, the samples here, as everyone is saying, sound really good and that batman track you posted two comments above made my jaw drop. Home recording really has gone a long way. I can't believe that can be almost entirely on a computer with samples. A better world is possible, apparently.

Congrats for golf sauce and thanks for posting the other one to. And just so you have confirmation from someone on the field, the "salsa golf" is indeed the Thousand Island dressing.
posted by micayetoca at 6:24 AM on December 1, 2010

And yeah, I gotta say, that brass is great. Wow.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:42 AM on December 1, 2010

Oh, you're the Dracula Man X2 Alpha Turbo guy! Mica's right, I had totally forgotten your name!
posted by unSane at 7:29 AM on December 1, 2010

unSane: Almost all played (I don't click in notes, but for complicated keyswitched licks -- say, changing from a bend to a trill to a fall in rapid succession -- I layer on a few notes at a time, in several recording passes).

Sampled horns have come a freaking long way in the past 10 years. Sustained tones are easy enough, but what's really important is (to paraphrase a wiser soul) the space between the notes. Modern libraries include things like sampled interval transitions -- in other words, they detect when you're playing legato, moving from a C to a G, and they'll play a sample of the recorded instrumentalist changing fingering / embouchure / fretting from a C to a G, which involves micro-squonks and harmonic slides and clicks that are intentionally left out of "clean" sampled notes.

Fret squeaks on a guitar are an obvious example (and one of the first things to be implemented in ROM synthesizers), but brass instruments don't just snap to a new pitch instantly either, there are little subtle noises and alterations in the sound's character depending on which direction you're moving, how far, how fast, and how cleanly. This is part of why the newer libraries sound so damn realistic.

Of course, don't expect this out of the box, they're musical instruments with learning curves, it's all still going to sound mechanical and lifeless until you really learn how to play them. But the fact that you can really PLAY them is awesome.
posted by jake at 2:34 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

danb, I must have told you before, but your blog is one of my all-time favorites -- as a fellow VGM + theory nerd it's a freaking phenomenal read.

You have, but thank you again! That's very flattering to hear from a serious games music guy like you. :-)
posted by danb at 3:11 PM on December 1, 2010

I love this. You're right, makes me feel better about my day. It has the bonus side effect of creating in me a strong desire to go shopping for modern kitchen appliances... for a more modern home.
posted by palacewalls at 8:40 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ha! Oh, man. This is so great, jake.
posted by cortex at 10:16 AM on December 2, 2010

It sounds like the background music to one of those great '50s school films. There can be no higher praise for anything ever.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 12:47 PM on December 2, 2010

This is great. It reminds me of the Sherman Brothers -- like a soundtrack to a Disneyland ride.

Also, your dog has some sartorial splendor, there.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:20 AM on December 3, 2010

Freakin genius.
posted by special-k at 4:02 PM on December 9, 2010

Scary good. I thought you hired an orchestra. A word about the digital effects? Really sounds like studio acoustics, at least on my car stereo.
posted by AppleSeed at 3:23 PM on December 12, 2010

posted by SteelyDuran at 8:21 PM on December 15, 2010

posted by Cantdosleepy at 4:32 PM on December 16, 2010

AppleSeed, I wish I could afford to hire an orchestra!
But the reason the acoustics sound real is because each sample (note) in the orchestra library I use is recorded from multiple simultaneous microphone positions (close, full stage, and the back of the hall). You can mix in as much or as little of each signal as you want, to control how wet or dry the sound is. So, you can dial in a tight crisp string quartet (or.. in my case, er, disco strings) without much reverb, or a fully soaking wet mix, which is useful to put in the rear surround speakers for that "you are there" feeling.

When I use digital verbs I prefer convolution (Altiverb). They have a machine that puts out a static waveform that is a known quantity.. then they measure all the sounds that come back to the machine. From there, through the magic of Fourier Transforms and voodoo magic, they can make ANY sound you feed into the reverb sound like it's in the same space.

It's a pretty freaking amazing time to be a musician. I highly recommend it to everyone!
posted by jake at 3:53 AM on January 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

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