Awhile back I read about Google’s AI called Magenta that they’re trying to teach how to write music. I am, obviously, not excited about the robots coming for my job already. But curious nonetheless.
Then they released Magenta’s first track and it was a steaming pile of nothingness. So the hitmakers of the world are safe for another year.
BUT.. I got started thinking about what Magenta’s first release should have been. And this is it. Binary Love.
Check out the song on the player below. (And feel free to use those “Buy” and “Share” links…) Then check out the contest details below.
Contest Time Is Over! Look below to see who won!
I was thinking a lot about Prince while writing and recording this song. Trying to find that “Diamonds and Pearls” or “If I Was Your Girlfriend” kind of feel. And I always liked when he used his alter ego “Camille” voice. It was a pitched up version of his regular voice to make it feminine and androgynous. (Check out ‘Housequake’ and ‘U Got The Look’ for examples.)
I decided my protagonist needed to be more deep and masculine than my regular voice to help sell the ridiculous jokes.
To get it working I ran the tracks at 1.3x speed without pitch compensation and sang the vocal higher than the regular speed track. Then I brought it back down to regular speed and my voice came down with it for something more baritone-y than my own.
And the winner is Christine Koribanics!
Christine suggested the name “Earl Boberle” which makes me think of a 70’s soul singer who was probably a real hotshot in his day but has since been forgotten by the general public. And now I get to bring him back into the public eye.
There are more Earl Boberle stories to be told methinks. 🙂
We’ll pick our favorite name and it will become Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction canon. Plus the winner get to choose a prize from this list!:
- An autographed T-shirt, CD, or DVD
- A really unique vinyl record of “Binary Love” plus another track of your choosing
- I’ll write a totally made up and bizarrely over the top blog post about how you and I met
- A pair of show tickets for next time I perform in your area
- An appearance in my next music video. (Even if you’re far away.)
- I’ll write a comedy bit that you and I can do together on stage next time I perform near you
- I’ll write and record a custom song either about you or from an idea you have
- A day on the town with Phil that will invariably involve eating at some of my favorite spots and a little recording in the studio
Submit your entry below by May 16, 2018. We’ll announce the winner on May 18, 2018. If you win I’ll contact you to find out which prize you’d like. (See below the form for details.)
- This is not a random drawing. The winning name will be decided by me (with some input from my girlfriend).
- While I plan on doing more songs with this altered voice there is no guarantee that I will in the future.
- Submissions end on May 16, 2018 at midnight PST. The winner will be announced on May 18, 2018.
- Prize details:
- For autographed items, you may choose any one of my CD, DVD, or T-shirt releases to be autographed and sent to you.
- For the vinyl record, you will receive a really cool 7 inch 33 1/3 speed record featuring “Binary Love” and one other track (of mine, not someone else) up to 6 minutes in length. Or you can choose both tracks if you’d like.
- Show tickets or the comedy bit to be done on stage will depend on when I’m coming to your area to do a show. If you’re somewhere I don’t think I’ll be able to get to, we’ll discuss a different prize for you.
- For the music video appearance, even if you’re far away we’ll figure out how to work you in with some Skype video or something. We’ll get creative with it. 🙂
- For the custom song, I can either write something about you or from a lyrical concept you’ve come up with. Depending on my touring schedule it could take up to two months to receive your final recording.
- For the day on the town with Phil, you’ll be responsible for all travel and lodging costs. But I’ll definitely treat you to a burrito.
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