Bored and Procrastinating

Things I do while I should be writing.

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Jonathan Coulton
Sync - Glee/Joco Version

The Baby Got Back Experiment


So the allegation is that Glee lifted JoCo’s inspired “Baby Got Back” cover, and it’s pretty hard to see it otherwise.  But since I dig teh Science, and I know audio, I’d decided I’d perform a little experiment to “prove” it. 


Here I take Johnathan Coulton’s Baby Got Back and the Glee Version, and then sync them up. I’ll cue you as to which one is playing and you’ll very quickly see the problem with this “cover” - When the volume is lowered or raised, you can only tell by additional instruments because everything else is pretty much the same. 


It wasn’t really in doubt, but yeah the arrangement is exactly his (down the the Johnny C. part.) Pay him some money, asshats.


NPR’s Story
Glee possibly does this a lot? 
Boing Boing
Slate’s Story
Yes they are selling “their” arrangement.

New story roundup.
Wired, with details on other artists who’ve been copied.
The Onion’s AV Club
Kotaku (With video of the performance, “JonnyC” has been cut out.)
Hollywood Reporter
Dallas News
IGN (With Poll)

(Edit on the 24th. Note the date of the above articles. They knew since the 18th that this was going to be a problem, but they did it anyway.)

The Original. 

The degree of change between the original and Jonathan Coulton’s original version is important here, because his version was a work of satire. He wasn’t trying to imitate or improve on Sir Mix-A-Lot, he was sending the song up by doing the Open Mic Acoustic Guitar guy version. So it’s not like they’re both similar covers, his cover is unique and very different from the original… and theirs is unique and very different from the original in the EXACT SAME WAY.

To reproduce:

To do this experiment yourself, use the clap/exhale sound at about 3 seconds to sync. Pause when the first one does it, then play the second one, pressing play on the first when the second hits that same sound. Then fiddle with the volumes. Should only take a try or two to sync them to reproduce my results.

Joco Version

Glee Version


EDIT: Also, the butterfly effect should break that sync pretty quickly = even a one beat shift from the original should be enough to do it. The fact that it doesn’t is pretty telling. 

EDIT: Updated to embed the video. You should be able to reproduce right on the page now, making checking it simple. 
EDIT:  Was displaying my name in artist box, which is confusing. Switched to Joco. 
EDIT: Added Sir-Mix-a-lot’s video for context, basic clean up.
EDIT: 1/25 Added another set of news stories.

Filed under audio experiment jonathan coulton glee joco baby got back covers please credit indie musicians and pay them for their work music indie geek

  1. the-axon-collateral reblogged this from willrosswriter and added:
    Glee, I already hated you, but now this? I have a particular set of skills…
  2. willrosswriter posted this