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How Glee Did It

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Published on Jan 28, 2013

A little audio essay showing how Fox stole Jonathan Coulton's recording.

For details, see: http://geeklikemetoo.blogspot.com/201... and http://geeklikemetoo.blogspot.com/201...

What I believe we've shown -- I say we, because other Jonathan Coulton fans have contributed their brains and ears -- is that Glee used Coulton's Karaoke track as a starting point, then center-cancelled it to get rid of the bass, and some of the percussion. Then they did some editing, to simplify the banjo parts a little bit, and to kill some of the more complicated bits of Coulton's backing vocals, and mixed their new bass, drums, and vocals with it.

They did not start with the full song in FLAC form or from the CD track, because if they had done that, they could have perfectly killed the duck quack. They didn't start with Jonathan Coulton's distribution of source tracks, because if they had, they wouldn't have had the "quack" in there (it isn't even present on any of those source tracks). They didn't start with the regular song in MP3 format, because if they had done that, the center kill would have left a hint of Coulton's lead vocal. They did not use Coulton's bass line, as Caleb Hines has shown. They used the Karaoke track, and it left a trace of the duck quack there.

They chopped it up and copied and pasted some segments to choose simpler parts of the banjo and get rid of some of the bits of Coulton's backing vocals (the "little/middle" bits). They tweaked the opening hand claps (as Jon Schell has shown). Most of Coulton's backing vocals, though, are _still there_. They added a new bass line and some of the percussion. They added some new backing vocals (with a sh*t ton of auto-tune) and added a new lead vocal, and some little fake "string squeak" noises.

So that's what they did, and in the text below I describe in more detail how they did it. If you don't believe me, try the experiment yourself — I've described exactly what I did in my blog entries. Thanks for reading!

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