Merry Christmas! Since you've been so bad this year all you're getting is a creepy-crawly feeling in your belly. Earlier this week, Tumblr user formeldeharv posted a version of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" that had been fed through a MIDI converter and bounced back into MP3 format. "The result is this garbage," he acknowledged.
Another user, Red No. 3, pointed out that you can hear a whisper of Mariah's vocals in the piano arrangement, which is technically impossible if it was truly converted to MIDI. Listen for yourself. It's a real life Christmas ghost story! No like, actually, I'm freaked out.
How can we explain this? Well, Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic attributes it to sophisticated MIDI conversion technology that can transcribe not only the pitch of a given note, but the formant of Mariah's vowels. "I think it's not just because we're used to hearing Mariah Carey's voice sing these exact notes. Rather, I think it's because the MIDI converter perfectly transcribed the formant of each vowel to piano," Meyer wrote.
"That is: Every vowel sound produced by a human mouth doesn't just contain one main tone, but many tones above and below it. Different vowels don't sound the same in part because the shape of a speaker's mouth naturally accentuates different overtones and undertones."
You can choose to believe what you want. Either way, this little miracle is guaranteed to turn Christmas dinner into a bad trip for the whole family, so keep the link handy!