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Music Science

Carl Sagan Sings 183

gijoel writes "Someone with too much time on their hands and access to Auto-Tune has taken clips from Carl Sagan's Cosmos series to make this fantastic song. Watch for the Stephen Hawking cameo."
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Carl Sagan Sings

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  • by Winckle ( 870180 ) <> on Sunday September 27, 2009 @08:56PM (#29561159) Homepage

    What episode of Cosmos is the section where Sagan begins "I'm not very good at singing" ?

    • by TrevorB ( 57780 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:06PM (#29561219) Homepage

      Episode 11: The Persistence of Memory

      Around the 10:24 mark.

    • by rmdyer ( 267137 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @10:37PM (#29561739)

      Does anyone have any idea of how to get a hold of the very original Cosmos television series that aired on P.B.S. back in the early 80's ?

      The Cosmos series was bought, remastered, and remade in the late 90's by Ted Turner, and that is the series that I own (the DVD set), however it is not what I watched as a child. I liked the original better. The original had much better ambient music, and in the transitions between scenes, worked much better I thought (more powerfully evoking). The remastered version may be more up to date scientifically, but the music has been replaced with mostly classical that doesn't fit the emotion, and is hacked up quite a bit.

      I know the story is that Carl had a large disagreement with the way the original series was produced by KCET out of Los Angeles. Later the series was remade with the help of his wife, but some of the original music could not be relicensed (or was not even licensed correctly the first time) when the series was sold to Turner.

      I have most of the episodes of the original 80's version on cassette, that I have now digitized. But the sound isn't that great since it was recorded by simply placing a microphone in front of the TV. There are other tape "abnormalities" as well, like the side A to side B change over.

      I know there must be some remaining VHS or Beta tapes around of the original series somewhere, since they were sold as sets to schools and universities back in the 80's. I'd love to have a copy of those! Digital of course.

    • According to YouTube, it's from "The Persistence of Memory". See here [].

  • Question: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Should this not be posted under idle?

  • Autotune the News (Score:5, Informative)

    by NevermindPhreak ( 568683 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @08:59PM (#29561177)

    Autotune the News has been doing this kind of thing for a while now. []

    • True, but this is actually the best use of Autotune I've heard yet, amatuer and professional alike.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Xtravar ( 725372 )

        That you've noticed. If your pitch correction is noticeable, you're doing it wrong. Unless you think the effect is cool - in which case you're a retard.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by ksandom ( 718283 )

          Unless you think the effect is cool - in which case you're a retard.

          This is where art and profession differentiate. And why they need each other.

          Opinion != fact

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by plastbox ( 1577037 )

            Opinion != fact

            Sadly, a vast majority of people, when faced with this argument, will reply (as Sheldon Cooper's mother did when discussing creationism) "..and that is your opinion!". Sad state of affairs indeed!

        • by Ardeaem ( 625311 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:09AM (#29563571)

          That you've noticed. If your pitch correction is noticeable, you're doing it wrong. Unless you think the effect is cool - in which case you're a retard.

          I could say the same about synthesizers: "If your synthesizer is noticeably different from a real instrument, you're doing it wrong. Unless you think synthesizer effects are cool - in which case you're a retard." Artists have always looked for new ways to create sounds. The repurposing of autotune is no different from the creation of synthesizers, or any other new instrument. Why is someone "retarded" for thinking that the use of autotune as a new musical tool is cool?

          I mean, it annoys me too, but your point of view is really condescending. Let musicians play. Autotune is just a set of algorithms; there's no reason why it can't be used in a way that the original programmers didn't anticipate. And anyway, Stevie Wonder and Peter Frampton both used vocoders for a similar effect. Are they "retarded"?

          • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

            It used to be that vocalists wrote their own songs (Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, etc); now it is not.

            OK, fine. I can accept that. I understand having good vocalists being famous just for singing (Britney Spears, etc).

            But if you're some commoner who can't write music AND can't hit a note, then what exactly are you? Not a musician in any sense of the word, and not a person with talent. You're just a BRAND at that point - a brand that the RIAA has picked to sell a product.

            I have every right to be condesc

            • by Ardeaem ( 625311 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @02:21PM (#29569251)
              Ah, the classic "I'll change what I said; maybe people won't notice that I said something different TWO POSTS ABOVE" technique. No, you didn't say that the (non)musicians were retarded. You said that anyone who thinks the effect is cool is retarded. This covers ANYONE who likes the effect, not just stupid RIAA brands. I am a musician. I am just as offended by modern pop music, if not more, than you are. But don't be silly and make blanket statements about ANYONE who likes the effect. I'll ask again: Do you think Stevie Wonder and Peter Frampton are retards? Or musicians?
              • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

                Ah, the classic "I'll start a pedantic flame war because I like to feel important" technique.

                Any decent person would have taken my comment with the grain of salt that it's meant to be taken, and any legitimate musician would not waste so much time defending the "auto-tune fad".

                Regardless, I said that people who are "doing it wrong" are retarded. That would be the "artist", not the listeners. The listeners are retarded in a uniquely different way not originally discussed! :)

                • by Ardeaem ( 625311 )
                  If you think this is a flame war, you've obviously never been in a flame war :)

                  Regardless, I said that people who are "doing it wrong" are retarded.

                  OK, I'll take it for granted that's what you meant. You said that in the context of a post where a person made Carl Sagan "sing". Clearly he was going for effect, because he made Carl Sagan harmonize with himself. Your RIAA crap was just out of nowhere. You think, maybe, that the guy who made the Carl Sagan video is hoping to be the next T-Pain?

                  I am not defending the auto-tune fad. What I'm doing is defending people who experi

                  • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

                    Let's try this again.

                    1. Making Carl Sagan sing (along with Auto-Tune the news, etc) borders on parody, at the very least humor.

                    2. A lot of people out there have never heard of pitch correction outside of this context, where it is obvious that some processing has been done to the vocal track.

                    The intention of my post (snarky comment aside) was to point out to those less informed that there's pitch correction in nearly all of the music we hear these days.

                    Unfortunately, I had not anticipated the misinterpretati

      • While Autotuning is a form of a vocoder, I must point out that this was not, in fact, an autotuner, but just plainly a vocoder with the particular notes carried by a synth.

        The difference being that autotuners attempt to use the same sound as the voice for a carrier, in order to keep it sounding like the singer. In this vocoder, the singer is only the modulator, and a synth is used as the carrier.
        • "Auto-Tune" is a trademarked program from Antares Audio Technologies. And yes, it can do the effects from that video.
          • On the contrary, during the video, some of the vocoded effects utilized a chord from the synth, not just a single note. This is not a feature of Antares Autotuner.
    • Re:Autotune the News (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:51PM (#29561477)

      His tune-up of MLK's I have a dream speech [] is pretty awesome. It's good enough to actually consider a mainstream artist doing a proper cover in the mode of the Obama "Yes we can" video.

    • Yo, I'm happy for Autotune #1 and all, but I'ma let you finish... the Autotune the News #8 [] was the best news mix of all time.

      Especially the lip-sync video editing was just too good. It had me singing along to Michael Vick ... that's gotta count for something :)

    • gotta say that the Sagan song was better though.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Censored from youtube due to copyright violations.

  • fuck autotune (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by ZosX ( 517789 ) []

    even the new skinny puppy album has autotune all over it. :( that shit was old from day one.

    • Re:fuck autotune (Score:4, Insightful)

      by d474 ( 695126 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:09PM (#29561251)

      fuck autotune...that shit was old from day one.

      Yeah, but Carl Sagan is dead, so there aren't many other ways to make it seem like he's singing. If anything, this is the most appropriate use of autotune technology I've seen to date: Making the dead come back to life in a new way.

      I'm sure Carl would approve :)

    • They seem to be objecting to artificial voices and a lack of originality...

      I wonder where that music in the background came from? Synthesizer? Or sampled from someone else?

      If you don't like how autotune sounds, fine. But that video was pretty hypocritical.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but nearly every mainstream (especially pop, country, hip-hop/r&b, etc.) album that includes vocal parts in it these days has been "enhanced" through the use of auto-tune. Heck, auto-tune is even used in live concerts nowadays. Don't confuse the general usage of auto-tune, which is merely a tool for pitch correction, with the specific practice of feeding extreme parameters into auto-tune software to produce synthetic- or electronic-sounding vocal effects (some like to call th

    • that shit was old from day one.

      Mod parent insightful.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think about the time in which Sagan lived, and the hope and threat of a more glorious dawn awaiting. Someone once compared the light of a nuclear detonation to the light of a thousand suns. While the current nuclear stockpile wouldn't reach the light of 400 billion suns, I think it would be close enough for all intended purposes. The current poll on /. seems to be leaning heavily towards the expectation that we will have destroyed ourselves in 100 years; Hawking has repeatedly stated that if we are to
    • Since the US finally has a president who is talking about getting rid of all nuclear arms, even our own, I think there may just be a galaxy rise in our future :-)

  • Amazing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Loomismeister ( 1589505 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:33PM (#29561395)
    I could listen to those two all day. That song just overflows with profoundness.
  • by areusche ( 1297613 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:40PM (#29561431)
    (Jostles for microphone) I'm sorry Carl, but Beyoncé had the best music video of all time!
    • by sorak ( 246725 )

      (Jostles for microphone) I'm sorry Carl, but Beyoncé had the best music video of all time!

      Heh. I just sent this link to someone with the title "Something to think about the next time you hear a song by Kanye West or Akon"...

      Apparently, those little transformers voice boxes they use now are a good substitute for talent.

  • Loud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WeblionX ( 675030 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:51PM (#29561481) Homepage Journal

    It's nice, but the music track is too loud compared to the voice.

    • Go check out the high quality version [] from the guy's web-site. It's much easier to hear what he's saying (singing).

      I'm not a Carl Sagan fan, but there's something I noticed about this song: when was the last time you heard a "serious" composition dedicated to something in science? It seems that most songs are about love, or how life sucks, or something equally mundane. In the 60s and early 70s you heard a lot of protest songs or other political ones and before that you did hear some from people like
      • I'm not a Carl Sagan fan, but there's something I noticed about this song: when was the last time you heard a "serious" composition dedicated to something in science? []?

        There's probably a Weird Al song that qualifies, but I can't think of one. ("White & Nerdy" could be considered to be about *scientists*.)

  • by LSD-OBS ( 183415 ) on Sunday September 27, 2009 @09:53PM (#29561485)

    Is there a version edited for rednecks?

  • I genuinely enjoyed this! A very clever and imaginative work of art, I'd say. Lyrics, music, and visuals... two thumbs-up, for sure!

  • That series [] was a real classic. It amazing that a science show from the 80s is still so remembered today. Carl Sagan died over twelve years ago. So let the song, be tribute to him.


    Astronomy Feed [] @ Feed Distiller []

  • by Dasher42 ( 514179 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @01:33AM (#29562567)

    I was given the book Comet which he co-authored with Ann Druyan, and while you might think the subject matter smaller, the vision it showed for how we could travel to space and spread life between the stars was amazing. It showed there's more to do out there than invent a spaceship to go from world to world at - how we do not know - speeds far greater than light's. We can be the ancestors of life made to be out there. Panspermia might not be a fact now, but we can make it so. I think that's a beautiful goal to pursue.

  • Very nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lavene ( 1025400 ) on Monday September 28, 2009 @03:34AM (#29562989)
    Lot's of negative comments here. I can only assume that they're posted by the younger generation.
    To me though, that had the privilege to watch the original "Cosmos" series in my early teens, this video brings back found memories of a man that inspired me and planted the seed of curiosity in me.

    I like this video. Not for the music or technical achievement, but for it's spirit.
  • Namely, Eric Idle stepping out of a refrigerator wearing a pink suit.
  • This is absolutely fantastic.

  • I can't watch it yet (at work), but I hope (and expect) it has his "whoooop..... GAAAAAAAW" whale impression.

  • And some more "Billions and Billions"...

  • "Someone with too much time on their hands..." quoth the Internet denizen with time enough for a Slashdot submission and a snarky comment.

    It's the people who *don't* do anything you should be complaining about.

  • I wrote a tune early on this year featuring the dulcet tones of Carl Sagan.. This made me mp3 it up and post it online ...

    please enjoy .... []

    Nick ...

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.