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WeeklyBeats.com / Music / NWSPR's music / Topsy the Elephant

Topsy the Elephant

By NWSPR on October 21, 2018 11:54 pm

Topsy the Elephant was created using virtual instruments, analog synthesizers, vocoder, and bass guitar. I have been focusing on virtual synths for the last month so it was nice to mix up all my sound sources in an eclectic track that has a long outro that is disconcertingly a half step up in pitch and switches to a chromatic scale for the bass (I think that's the term).

The real Topsy became infamous after killing an abusive drunk that had put out a cigar in the elephant's trunk. That was in Coney Island, Brooklyn 116 years ago and a few miles from where I live today. Topsy became an even bigger draw until the yobs grew tired of the killer elephant. So the owners electrocuted Topsy to death, in 1902, as part of the grand opening of the Luna Park attraction, still in operation at Coney Island over a hundred years later.

Not so sure things have changed much in the last hundred years.  I take my kids to Luna Park.  They don't kill elephants anymore that I've seen. Progress.

On that cheery note, happy week 42.  You all rock... 10 more weeks!

This submission is licensed by author under CC Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works (BY-NC-ND)

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October 22, 2018 12:45 am

A much more positive way to remember Topsy's sad demise. And a reawakeningl of my contempt for Edison, who engineered the stunt as a means of "demonstrating" the dangers of alternating current.

October 22, 2018 1:26 pm

Great compo, I like the bluesy bass progression in the second part, great choice of instruments as always! sad about Topsy but happy about your new track smile

October 23, 2018 9:26 am

Shocking.

Great song though. Pitch shifts are rather powerful.

The chromatic scale is the one with all 12 notes in it.

October 23, 2018 8:25 pm

wth we need to EXTRACT REVENGE for Topsy!

very cool "in the box" version of yourself.  This is like Virtual Reality NWSPR, based on the real human NWSPR, but the R stands for robots, so maybe the real you is just a fake human version of the real robot version.

October 23, 2018 8:56 pm

Very nice mix of instruments and sounds.  Plus a highly catchy vibe.  An excellent tribute to Topsy.

October 24, 2018 10:58 am

What an interesting bit of history! I like the chord progs in both the verse and the chorus parts, and I like them even more contrasted with each other.

October 27, 2018 8:07 am

Great piece of music! I love that loud bass sound in the end... very catchy! Wasn´t Topsy killed as a part of Edison´s mud slinging campaing against Tesla? Anyway, a cool track.

October 27, 2018 8:09 am
Ashen Simian wrote:

Great piece of music! I love that loud bass sound in the end... very catchy! Wasn´t Topsy killed as a part of Edison´s mud slinging campaing against Tesla? Anyway, a cool track.


Ah, just read Jim´s comment at the top... that Edison guy sounds like he could have had a future in modern politics...unfortunately!

October 27, 2018 9:10 pm

A great ode to Topsy. I really like all of this but I'm really feeling the long outro, that shift and the bass line, good ideas. A fitting marching feeling for Topsy to go out on, had he been allowed to go out with some dignity. Lovely sounds and style, those synths sound great. Nice vocoderizations. Clever tags on this one too smile

October 29, 2018 12:11 am
Jim Wood wrote:

A much more positive way to remember Topsy's sad demise. And a reawakeningl of my contempt for Edison, who engineered the stunt as a means of "demonstrating" the dangers of alternating current.


Yes, Edison killed a lot of dogs and some other elephants and is partially responsible for screwing Tesla out of history and some sort of financial security. But, he did not kill Topsy.  He had sold the Edison company and Topsy was killed 10 years prior and the hardware still had his name but he was no longer involved.  His dog killing days were past.

Gab Manette wrote:

Great compo, I like the bluesy bass progression in the second part, great choice of instruments as always! sad about Topsy but happy about your new track smile


Thanks! Behind all the synths and vocoders, it really is a blues progression with a pop song treatment. My comfort zone!


Devieus wrote:

Shocking.

Great song though. Pitch shifts are rather powerful.

The chromatic scale is the one with all 12 notes in it.


Thanks! I could only budget for the first four in my attempted chromatic bass line and they were C#,D,D#,E.

orangedrink wrote:

wth we need to EXTRACT REVENGE for Topsy!

very cool "in the box" version of yourself.  This is like Virtual Reality NWSPR, based on the real human NWSPR, but the R stands for robots, so maybe the real you is just a fake human version of the real robot version.


what. What? Pshew... mind blown! Thanks for listening and cracking the robot / human / robot meta data.

CosmicCairns wrote:

Very nice mix of instruments and sounds.  Plus a highly catchy vibe.  An excellent tribute to Topsy.


Thanks for listening! Topsy probably deserved a better mix, but I'm on a tight schedule smile

Avarine wrote:

What an interesting bit of history! I like the chord progs in both the verse and the chorus parts, and I like them even more contrasted with each other.


Thanks! After all the layers were applied I think chorus came out with a fairly nice, although standard pop hook so I was pleased smile

Ashen Simian wrote:

Great piece of music! I love that loud bass sound in the end... very catchy! Wasn´t Topsy killed as a part of Edison´s mud slinging campaing against Tesla? Anyway, a cool track.


Topsy was killed by greedy, ignorant attraction promoter who no longer wanted to pay for the Elephan't up keep and could not give him away so they made a spectacle out of killing him at the grand opening of a new amusement park that still stands at Coney Island today. The elephant had previously killed an abusive man and that was the excuse. But the real reason was ticket sales to see Topsy had declined.

As Devo says, it's a beautiful world we live in smile

miraclemiles wrote:

A great ode to Topsy. I really like all of this but I'm really feeling the long outro, that shift and the bass line, good ideas. A fitting marching feeling for Topsy to go out on, had he been allowed to go out with some dignity. Lovely sounds and style, those synths sound great. Nice vocoderizations. Clever tags on this one too smile


Yeah, I liked the outro and although it was a last minute goof brought on by boredom of the song, it did kind of have an elephant walk kind of feel.  Thanks!

October 29, 2018 2:32 pm

nice track and great tribute to Topsy. I love all of your vocoder work big_smile and that outro!

October 31, 2018 12:39 am

digging the vocoder work too!

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