How To Turn Google Translate Into Google Beatbox

Posted: December 1, 2010 in Uncategorized
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For reasons inexplicable, a “Today I Learned” thread on Reddit has turned into a treatise on how to make Google Translate beatbox for you, among other things. It must have taken some intense experimentation for Redditor Harrichr to get here but he somehow stumbled upon the following combination of steps.

1) Go to Google Translate
2) Set the translator to translate German to German
3) Copy + paste the following into the translate box: pv zk pv pv zk pv zk kz zk pv pv pv zk pv zk zk pzk pzk pvzkpkzvpvzk kkkkkk bsch
4) Click “listen”
5) Be amazed 🙂

Since the original post both the thread and meme have expanded into slight tweaks and variations, including Technocopter, Helicopter and Dubstep. YCombinator user iamdave actually posted a guide to making your own beats:

zk = suspended cymbal
bschk = snare
pv = brush
bk = bass
tk = flam1
vk = roll tap
kt = flam2
kttp = flam tap
krp = hi hat tap
pv = short roll
th = better hi hat
thp, ds = instant rimshot.

While I’m not 100% sure how exactly this is working, it seems like a peculiarity of the German translation setup in Google Translate is allowing for playing consonants in a way that sounds like drums. Or, more specifically, a delightful way that sounds like drums.

This is what happens when geeks have too much free time. You learn how to get a machine to imitate a human imitating a machine imitating a human playing a drumkit. 🙂  
Apparently, someone has also started a blog googlebeatbox.tumblr.com where people can post their creations. Gotta love the interwebs!
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