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Remaking the Nokia Tune

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#1 | Posted: 24 Sep 2011 00:08 | Edited by: Paul 
As you may notice, on our homepage, the miniBB compiling tool is provided with the keyboard picture identifying a synth. Compiler is really a toy, and miniBB sometimes is a game for me. The same I would tell about music, which takes a special place in my life. Programming miniBB means almost the same process as composing music.

As many of you may be heard, the Nokia has launched their contest to remake a classic Nokia Tune. The winner will be awarded with the prize of the $10,000, and there will be five extra prizes of $1,000.

I bet no one of you wouldn't deny to take $10 K on board just because of making a new ringtone, the same about me. Specially because I'm using Nokia phone on my own and considering this company's phones the best on this planet. While developing miniBB's mobile version, we have tested it on the Nokia phone as well, and designed many elements to be nice-shown on Nokia's screen. Yes, I know, iPhone could be better by design; but Nokia just works for years. The same as all products I prefer and I try to create.

When I first read about this contest, in the same day I've heard the new "remade" composition in my head, and in the next day tried to arrange it in the best possible way I can. Yet another two weeks went to the polishing the sound of this version; and during this process I've composed the audio "joke", which I liked even more than the first track; unfortunately, I think, it would cross with too many copyright questions and would never be a winner. But it's fun.

The primary version, "Barrel Organ Cave", is not just about an arrangement of the classic tune, like the most current submissions. While working it out, I've tried to imagine how it would sound played few times per day, and in general, played in a mobile phone; and how it would to remind a call, a Nokia tune, being heard from the pocket, and following hi-end sound at once. It's rare to find all of this at once in the currently submitted entries.

I've tested it on the few mobile devices, and I could consider it brings what I like: it's not a boring ringtone. A ringtone, which is possible to decipher for a long time, a modern polyphonic sound, which fills in the space, a little avant-garde yet melodically driven. Most probably these 20 seconds absorb everything I would like to hear personally in a "fresh Nokia tune", and they really will turn your mobile into a little barrel organ, while somebody is calling you :)

But finally, it more depends on judges, what they mean under "finding a fresh version" and "a truly new and unique version". The tune should be fresh, expressive, original, creative yet distinctively a Nokia Tune - mmm, could we consider those submitted entries as "fresh"? What could be called "truly new and unique" in our era? I doubt I know it. But I hoped to achieve it in my sound.

Actually, I'm participating just for pleasure, to see what could happen what could not :) I think, winning the Nokia tune contest would be enough of honor to make all the currently paid add-ons for miniBB free, for all times, for everybody. Oh well. Dreams are dangerous :)

Please take 30 seconds of the contest time and listen and rate my works at AudioDraft page.

The contest is taking fun, sort out by the currently winning entries and you will see people are trying to out-beat Nokia judges, and the judges set the ratings, so you may also sort out by the ratings.

Less than 10 days are left before the contest closed, so hurry up to complete the most legendary click in your life. Now after almost 3 weeks of the same sound rotating in my ears, I would like to continue the work on the newest miniBB release, being calm and silent :)

Feel free to spread your opinions on my ringtones for Nokia in this thread.

Stay tuned!
Thank you all in advance!

Author tom322
Active Member
#2 | Posted: 24 Sep 2011 22:42 
Barrel Organ liked ; )

Author Guest
#3 | Posted: 26 Sep 2011 17:19 
If Ive got the idea correctly, the current top 5-stars-ratings define the certain circle of very various arrangements to this tune. That means, as more access to the studio devices you have, as more quality you could gain with your recording, as its better. Paul, you still have 5 days to hire an orchestra, or a folk ensemble, or somebody playing with balalaika and mix them all up together to create something purely international in the miniBB style. This thing you worked out is nice, I understand your concept, but be honest to yourself: it's far way weaker arrangement and sound than the currently present tunes (the melody is nice though, but "your way" of seeing the things, again, is truly rarely met in the crowd).

Author tom322
Active Member
#4 | Posted: 26 Sep 2011 17:28 
Hire orchestra and folk assemble = $10,000 ; )

I think the point is to give a nice and memorable melody.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#5 | Posted: 27 Sep 2011 22:00 | Edited by: Paul 
Thank you for the useful tips. Actually I didn't know the Ratings are set by the contest holder. It now explains why some tracks have them, and some have not, and why it's not possible to rate them for regular users. My tracks were rated by 1 star, and this is the rating which is about all that shit made on the PC.

Oh yes, sorting out by the rating gives the full vision of the contest's idea. I also checked in Google and it appears that's not the first contest of such kind created by Nokia (f.e., on Youtube there is a collection of the best tunes submitted in 2009).

But I was really fooled it should be a ringtone - actually because I first read the news in Russian on where they clearly claim, that the participants are invited to create their own versions of the ringtone. They also obviously mess up the terms of "version" and "remix". I'm lost in translation :) The Nokia contest's page really doesn't ask for remixed ringtone. They ask for "an interesting version of the Nokia Tune", it really means just the arrangement, or the advanced version just of one tune. The new melody could be added, but it's not mandatory.

The currently top-rated versions clearly show it: Nokia collects the best recordings describing the different sides of music and arrangements in this world, but all relate to the same tune. Perfect showcase, great portfolio. They are really just about it.

Well, I would say then that's not the task for a single amateur person, but anyway, like a Post-Scriptum to this contest, here comes the final piece of fun from me: Palata #6 inhabitants play Nokia.

If Nokia collects the worlds in Tune, this tune should describe the world they never were in :-) Far more crazy than The Great Marvelous I think ;)

Keep on, and don't believe in News! Believe only The Source :)

Author tom322
Active Member
#6 | Posted: 27 Sep 2011 23:16 
Believe only The Source :)

It would be interesting to see the source code of the Palata piece ; )

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#7 | Posted: 28 Sep 2011 20:46 
No problem - you may see it below :)

Palata No6 - The Source Code

Author Guest
#8 | Posted: 29 Sep 2011 13:21 
Here is also some guidance/info on our rating policy. Based on all the submission we've got so far the rationale behind the scores is following: Five stars: Submission is based on the Nokia Tune melody. Has original idea and arrangement which shows the tune in new and fresh light. Professional production quality with very little or no need for any tweaking or refining. (Of course the producers are welcome to perfect and finetune their submissions all the way to the final hours of the competition). Length is max 30 seconds. Four stars: Submission is based on the Nokia Tune melody. Original idea and fresh arrangement. Is professional quality but has some hidden potential or some finetuning in production to be made. Is below 30 seconds in length. Three stars: Is based on the Nokia Tune melody. Good sound quality but production could be better refined and/or the idea/arrangement could be more original. Is less than 30 secs in length. Two stars: Is based on Nokia Tune but the original melody is not heard properly and/or is not up to professional production standards and/or the idea/arrangement isn't fresh or exciting. Most "joke" kind of versions fall into this category:) One star: Is not based on Nokia Tune and/or is a copy of someone else's work and/or is very poor sound/playing quality and/or is creatively of very low quality.

These are official notes from Nokia regarding their ratings, found on their comments page (studio).

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#9 | Posted: 29 Sep 2011 17:32 | Edited by: Paul 
Hah! Thanks again for this tip. I know now, if I would read everything thoroughly, I wouldn't participate in it. A simple individual has no chances in such "contests", which are obviously fights between monsters. And the price for it is not really worth then. I must continue developing miniBB like it was earlier :) less money, more pleasure.

Surprisingly or occassionally, just today I've heard in radio news, that Nokia is going to discharge about 3500 workers in Romania, USA and Germany. But in their press release, this sounds like taking "additional actions to align its workforce and operations". They were purely Latvian news which released "the true" behind of the PR.

Well, some crazy things are happening around Nokia's information center :) They build the great phones, but for me they appear so weak in information.

Regarding the "rating policy"... they have something wrong there as well. I believe this is just up to the subject of personal tastes of judges and their education level, not about objectivity. For the 5 stars, they claim that "Length is max 30 seconds", and all other ratings below 5 consider the timing condition as the mandatory. 4 stars - "Is below 30 seconds in length", 3 stars - "Is less than 30 secs in length", and 1/2 stars do not define the length value at all. It looks confusing.

All of my tunes got just 1 star rating, but I'm surprised, why. At least "Barrel Organ Cave" comes in studio quality with its unique sound. It's not someone else's work and it's purely based on the Nokia tune. Here's the proof:

Barrel Organ Cave - Nokia Tune deciphered

As you may see, the new melody completely inherits only Nokia tune tones, which are marked in brighter color. The same tones build the new melody, they are only combined in a different sequence and volumes. The melody could be played on piano as well. With one exception, there are just 2 tones, which are not met in the original melody, but which are just combined with the "existing" tones. That's how the new music is build from the old music. This is an absolute remake of the Nokia tune. I guess, such "remixing" approach wasn't appreciated in this contest at all.

Luckily I have more advanced ears than the judges and can hear it all. Probably, after experiencing all that, I will be happy with my skills more than a Nokia tune winner :)

May be this contest is "purchased" from the very beginning? Who knows...

Thanks to all who paid attention to this little battle.

Author tom322
Active Member
#10 | Posted: 29 Sep 2011 22:13 
No problem - you may see it below :)

Now I see the tune correlates with the new colors theme. Everything has its purpose on miniBB ;).

Author Maybe
#11 | Posted: 30 Sep 2011 12:49 
This contest reminds Eurovision :)

With the only one difference: on Eurovision, various countries perform various native songs to spend great money for this contest.
On Noka tune contest, various countries perform the same short tune, making Nokia bosses having great fun for pennies.

Paul, you are doing great work for minorities so far. It's your place. Don't turn on to Eurovision concepts :)

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#12 | Posted: 4 Oct 2011 11:53 | Edited by: Paul 
The contest is over now, and judges decide on winners... so far I have studied user comments, and it seems so many people are not satisfied with contest leaders for now. This comment appears the most truly one:

It turns out to be that having the means for a HQ production gives much more chances for a good ratings. I suppose it should be mentioned in future competition rules, that people who don't have the adequate software and equipment for a top quality production should simply not participate.

So far, by most rated ratings, it really appears so... haha, you are correct, it's a Global Eurovision contest of one tune :)

BTW the note from the same author, Kristina...

I have submitted the same entry twice, because the first time I submitted I mistook the entry title. I got different ratings for these two entries LOL Different ratings for two identical entries :)

That explains everything.

It would be really great to see, how "The Great Marvelous" takes $1K at least. People love having fun with giants.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#13 | Posted: 11 Oct 2011 12:21 
Ok, it seems the contest winner is a Dubstep version of the Nokia tune. Note the author has ID=7777 :)

Hell knows how could it sound on the mobile phone :) I'd personally never use it for my phone. It's too explosive, too noisy. Matter of taste.

Regarding other winners, it's clear now that there would be no chances for amateur musicians. If you have no professional equipment, no a-Capella ensemble or orchestra or at least a good studio to record a lounge or blues version of Nokia tune, you have no chances, the same it was with me :)

Now the Internet society will boom Nokia, because the "Great Marvelous tone" who's collected about 40K of Likes - the bigger amount of Likes in this contest, much bigger than the winning tunes! - and who's just about a hangover man after the astonishing party in the morning - is not even in the $1K winners list.

Obviously, Nokia PR management is not about good sense of humor.

Author tom322
Active Member
#14 | Posted: 11 Oct 2011 17:11 
I'd personally never use it for my phone. It's too explosive, too noisy. Matter of taste.

I would turn it off (or throw my cell) after 5 sec ; ). The Great Marvelous is not only more subtle, but funny too. It looks soon all music will be computer generated - they won't need a human voice any more :|.

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