Pachabel's Canon in C(hicken)

Rubber chicken, that is. Wonderfully wacky.

That is mesmerizing.

I had to play that song in my high school orchestra days, and grew to hate it. Any clever takedown of it is welcome.

It’s ridiculous and sublime at the same time.

Have you ever seen this? It’s a comedy piece in which the guy rants about it.

Saw that pop up in my Facebook feed last week. I love the part around 1:40 or so in, when the fast melody comes in, but what I love most is the look of reverence on the performers face, treating the rubber chicken as a first-chair violinist at the Vienna Philharmonic would treat their Stradivarius.

Yeah, but it’s worth seeing again. And he’s wrong about the violas; it was pizzicato, rest-plink-plink-plink for the whole damn song.

Surreal. That guy is good at playing the rubber chicken. It takes a lot of skill to figure out how to regularly get that kind of noisemaker to get the pitches you want.

Is he actually creating those pitches, or is it just autotuned (or something similar)?

Autotune was my assumption. You can’t tune a rubber chicken like that. But you can tuna fish.

Yeah, I’m sure it was autotuned after the fact. Doesn’t make it any less fun, though.

See, I’m not so sure. I thought that it might be the case at first, but he’s got a whole slew of these chicken videos on his Youtube page scattered among more serious pieces, and he does appear to be an accomplished musician with perfect pitch, so I don’t necessarily think this would be impossible to do with a lot of practice. And the pitches are “rough” enough that they sound to me like they could be legitimately produced (though auto-tune has all sorts of settings, so it’s not like you have to “glue” it to an exact pitch.)

On the other hand, I can’t find any “live” performance with the chicken (all their live stuff seems to be two violinists and a pianist), so that would be a point in the “processed in post”'s favor.

Not “real” (fun, but not real).

What mechanism would he be using to intentionally change pitch? the size of the bladder and velocity of the air? None of that is happening. Also, note that there are different pitches being sounded precisely on the “draw” (when the chicken is breathing in). Those moments ought to all sound the same.

He’s got a plastic bagpipe without any real way to adjust pitch. He’s not playing a diatonic piece of music with precise pitch and harmony over multiple octaves.

Seriously, the guy has a look of concentration on his face that you often see in a violinist.

Maybe a long delay on sliding up the pitch? Other than that, I’m not sure what Auto-Tune settings would work. It could just be fixed in post, or even just mimed while he recorded many different pitches (and attacks) and strung them together.

That’s actually more what I would lean towards–maybe a big sample library of chicken squawks stitched together.

Yeah, like look at this video of him playing a cover of “Havana” on a “$1 guitar.” That one is definitely faked if you understand how any string instrument works (watch his fretting and what notes come out).

So, yeah, I’m guessing not auto-tune, but a stitch of samples. Incidentally, here’s the chicken cover of “Havana”. Miming is pretty darn good, I do have to say.

When the melody starts, it seems like none of the images is squeezing the chicken at the right rate. Am I imagining things?

It’s still a funny video.

It looks to me like the music was recorded first using an instrument that sounds vaguely squeeze toyish then the video was “squeeze synced” to the audio.

That’s probably the most likely scenario in the end; that is, I think it’s more likely played using a series of samples rather than an actual squeeze toy instrument (although I suppose you could have a bunch of reasonably pitched squeeze toy instruments) and then the video is recorded with the “player” doing his best to sync the squeezes to the recorded music.