Where that Crazy Cartoon Music Comes From


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/25/where-that-crazy-cartoon-music.html


I would be SO ANNOYING with one of these!


I’d like to see a VST plugin recreation.


Oh wow, man…that’s the 20th century’s version of techno.


And the piano rolls are the .mp3s!

Years back I lived in a town near an old organ factory, and I knew a clergyman in his 60s who had raided the factory as they were going out of business and brought home boxes of organ parts. He constructed a modest pipe organ in his living room, and played it for me once.

If I had a million dollars I would use my time machine to buy him a Fotoplayer.


It’s exhausting just watching it.


This is really cool. Had no idea such a contraption existed. Want.


oh, to be sure!

I don’t know how well his explanation worked for the general audience, but that bit at the beginning about the two piano-roll readers was obvious to this former DJ. the heart of it is a dj deck plus a keyboard and soundeffects. cue one piano-roll while the other plays, then bring the cued roll into play and start again. In fact he even said something like “one plays while you rewind the other,” which is the mechanical basis of looping a beat, pioneered by Grandmaster Flash who used double copies of the same record this way and basically created modern music before samplers computerized the concept.

Anyway, I digress but you’re absolutely spot on with the techno analogy, and perhaps more than you knew?


Guys. Raymond Scott.

He also did early electronic music.


Watch the video with subtitles on. Apparently the klaxon says “whore”.


A device that allows one to become a one-man Spike Jones.


There are six guys in that quintet.


Interesting gizmo. I’ve never seen one of those before. There were a handful of places where I grew up that did silent movies and cartoons with pipe organ accompaniment. They had the horns and bells and whistles, but they were toggled onto the keyboards or pedals in a similar manner to the standard organ stops.


Interesting take. But what it reminded me of was the method of showing multi-reel movies, using multiple projectors. As a reel is nearing the end, the projectionist would watch the upper right corner of the screen for a small circle to flash for just a frame or two. On the second flash, in one motion, the projectionist would stop one projector, and start a second projector loaded with the next reel. While that reel was being shown, he would load the third reel on the first projector, and so on. If it was done correctly, the changeover was undetectable by the audience.

This method of projection was used until the 1970s or 80s, when platter systems started to proliferate. This also marked the end of the professional projectionist, as the platter system was essentially self-running, once the film reels had been properly spliced and threaded through the system. The downside was that, because of the complex path the film traveled, a break in the film could take a good deal of time to fix.


The best.


My doctor is working on an animation of a “hydraulic” metabolism model. I hope he has the good sense to include a “Powerhouse” soundtrack.


I love fairground organs. Amazing bits of kit.


If you’re referring to the Carl Stalling score, I highly approve.


It’s “Raymond Scott with a quintet.”


Pardon me but it was actually DJ Kool Herc who pioneered that technique.