The Emulator Speaks

Before the Emulator decided to go almost immediately on vacation, we had a brief honeymoon period during which I got to try out a few of the samples that the previous owner had left on the internal hard drive and record a couple of my own samples.

Much like every programmer has to write a “Hello World” example in each new computer language they try, the inaugural sample to record on any new sampler is a nice sung vowel sound, preferably the choral “ahhhhh” for about one second. Except it doesn’t sound like a choir when I sing it into the microphone. But that’s the power of the sampler! Moments later, a dozen madrigals patterned identically after me spring out of the machine. Except it doesn’t actually sound that magnificent. It actually sounds pretty cheesy.

But there’s something about that cheap warbly vocal sound that entrances me. I think it’s the contrast between something that seems to sound so human and yet doesn’t quite make the grade. I guess there’s a term for that sort of thing.

Anyway, here’s a little clip. I was just fiddling around with the new sample and kind of liked this chord progression. Maybe I’ll try to come back and figure out a full song for it.

1. wavy - Emulator Vocals     


Also, it seems like this sort of crude vocal sound has been creeping back into vogue in recent years. Witness 2009’s little Sleepyhead nugget or pretty much anything by St Vincent. Interesting trend. Maybe it was a 2009 thing and I’m just now catching up.