ObscureAudioFilter: Did you have a Blade Runner startup sound for your PowerBook Duo too?
August 11, 2008 10:33 PM   Subscribe

ObscureAudioFilter: Help me find an old audio snippet from Blade Runner from early Powerbook days

In the early 90's, I had the original Powerbook (lead-acid battery!) and the Powerbook Duo.

At one point, I found and downloaded an audio file that I used for my boot-up sound. I loved loved loved it. Even now, every time my MacBook boots up I hear it in my head.

It's from the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis.
- starts with shimmery drummy crescendo
- a saxophone plays C# C# E E (minor third interval up) luminously
- a piano/synth plays a trill of two F#'s an octave apart, fading out slowly

I guess I could get the soundtrack or movie, load it up into an audio editor (would need to search AskMeFi about a good one for beginners), locate the snippet, then figure out how to turn it into a ringtone (another AskMeFi search). Or maybe someone will recognize it by the description and send me a link to it all made up as a ringtone! A girl can dream.
posted by metaseeker to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have a few guesses but they are likely all wrong. The full tracks of the Blade Runner soundtrack on Last.fm might help jog implanted memories.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:17 PM on August 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

Well I'm intrigued and I know the soundtrack pretty well but with Blade Runner there are more than one version. Could you describe the bit more please? About how long was the sample? Was it upbeat or slow tempo? Just the sax and piano or were there pads? On first read I thought you meant drums, then sax, then piano/synth (how much does it sound like a piano?) but maybe you meant concurrently? Do you know what part of the movie it is? If we can determine what you're looking for and it's on what I have (the Esper Edition), I'll cut it out and convert it for you.
posted by headless at 12:18 AM on August 12, 2008

After listening to the tracks, I've narrowed it down to Blade Runner Blues. However, this specific snippet isn't on the track in the version on last.fm. It starts like the beginning of the track, but the saxophone did not oblige.

It was layered: first strings (not drums or cymbals like I first thought), then the sax, then the piano starts in slightly overlapping with the fading breath of the sax.
It was about 5 seconds or so.
The piano part sounded like a light-actioned piano with the damper pedal down.

The sax does a very lugubrious, adagio, C#-C#-E-E, possibly then C#-E-F#.
Then the piano-like F#'s like so: _-_ _ _-_ _ _-_ _ (to denote the lower and upper ones)
The fadeout at the end was possibly applied by the snippeteer
posted by ebellicosa at 12:57 AM on August 12, 2008

To narrow it down a bit, this was about 1995-6, which rules out the later releases.
posted by ebellicosa at 1:12 AM on August 12, 2008

One thing to remember about the Blade Runner soundtrack was that there was some kind of screw up with the copyright, so that a version of the soundtrack done by "the New American Orchestra" was the only one available for a long time. Look for both the Vangelis and New American Orchestra versions to get some idea of what is going on.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:58 AM on August 12, 2008

If you end up finding the track but need to create the ringtone yourself, you can simply open up the mp3 in Audacity (or directly record the snippet from the DVD using the same program), trim it down to the length you want, and upload it for transfer to your phone as an mp3 ringtone.

Most phones have a file size limit, so if you need to make the file smaller you can use iTunes to reconvert the mp3 into a new file with a lower bitrate.
posted by puritycontrol at 12:44 PM on August 12, 2008

I never knew I wanted this. Hope someone comes up with an easier answer than 'make it yourself'.
posted by The Monkey at 8:28 PM on August 12, 2008

I have the Vangelis and Esper versions of the soundtrack and iLife ’08. I'd be more than happy to make a 30 second mp3 or iPhone ringtone of any section you'd like.
posted by vkxmai at 8:15 AM on August 13, 2008

If anyone is still watching this thread: Blade Runner the Final Director's Cut is being shown on 35mm tonight in Cleveland at the Cinematheque, located at the Cleveland Institute of Art at 21:30. Info here.
posted by vkxmai at 6:51 AM on August 16, 2008

« Older Oregon coast adventure   |   Help me diagnose and treat Google Reader on... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.