Schrodinger and Chekhov

Schrodinger and Chekhov


So I wrote this song, I’m uncertain if the words or music came first, but I do know the title was second.

I think I broke a lot of the songwriting rules in this electronica with vocals and lyrics tongue in cheek sciency story song, but I think for the topic it works pretty well. I consider this to be within my top 5 songs with super echoed vocals throughout.
Premature Celebration
Like a Liar’s Heart
Mrs. Stimson Says No
and there must be others, but maybe I only think I have done this a lot.

Schrodinger and Chekhov by Steve Bancroft

Schrodinger had a cheshire cat
And Chekhov had a gun
They put them in a box together
In front of everyone

They locked the box for all to see
And everyone verified
That the box they locked in the laboratory
Had the cat and gun inside

And the experiment was underway
And they left them on the table
And returned to check the very next day
As soon as they were able

Schrodinger suggested that the cat while in the box
Was both dead and alive simultaneously
As if inside exists a paradox
And opening it determines what the state of the cat will be

But Chekhov, on the other hand
Claimed he knew the cat was dead
Why else would there be a gun in the box
Instead of a harmless loaf of bread (that’s what he said)

Well in all fairness it was not the most
Satisfying test of science
Even if on a quantum level
It all made perfect sense

Had it happened to be a red herring
In the box instead of a gun
Well I believe you would agree, dear sirs
I believe that the cat would have won

And that’s where we left it forever
Where some things can be both right and wrong
Where there’s no final proof or ultimate truth
And we happily all argue on (yeah we happily all argue on)

But Schrodinger had a cheshire cat
And Chekhov had a gun
They put them in a box together
In front of everyone


Ahhh this is a cool thing… lovely lyrics twisting and turning and a cunning shape to it all, I enjoyed listening.
I found a sense of intellectual relentlessness, if that makes any kind of sense? The delay became almost overwhelming as the song progressed, making me at times, abandon lyrical sense to the very present tense of the images as they unfolded. hmmm, yes, for me, I would probably prefer to ease the delay from time to time within the song but with such a unique piece, it is composers rights for sure… Great verbal twists with cats in box and paradox rhythms spinning and spanning… making perfect and imperfect sensesensesense…


Yes, lyrics great, delay badadadadadadadadadad (click) So I paused and just read the lyrics. Music was eh . . . . ok I guess.


Good driving beat. Your vocal delivery is good, but I don’t get that processing bud. I agree with the others. Personally, I would like to hear this with a different vocal style. That is just me and I have no business suggesting that. You always help others here, I wish I had some ideas for you but I don’t. good luck


I waited over a month to share because the delay is so hard to aurally accept, Emma. This happens to be a Boz effect that was pretty extreme and certainly not intended to be used so universally as I did, but to me it seemed to compliment the crazy arpeggiated synths and the nursery rhyme like lyrics. I was feeling Lewis Carroll inspired, maybe?

Thanks, my friends, for listening and honest opinion. And since this song is about the uncertainty principle, I have an urge to create a second version, the Jekyll to bookend the Hyde. Ideally it will be styled like a troubadour or Gilbert and Sullivan number. Unfortunately, I can imagine this I’m certain a lot better than I can actually arrange and perform it, but I might try anyway.

As an afterthought I googled quantum physics music and stumbled on some cool factoids, such as Tears for Fears Schrodinger’s Cat.

I could not understand the lyrics, which I confirmed when I looked them up, and am relieved I took a different tack.

No matter, there is something still magical about quantum stuff, still rather spooky, and yet it may be what makes harmonics and music possible at all. MIT is trying to describe quantum music theoretically, where the notes as they are played may or may not be the notes played. Or another study on vibrato, how a note oscillates between two notes, in a way making it uncertain to the listener which is the note being heard. I am no scientist or expert musician, but I do believe there are aspects to all music that are describable on quantum levels that we normally just take for face value.

I think I will try a no delay mix, though. Should be easy.


Well played and performed. Cool and interesting lyrics but about 4 mins too long with that effect lol. That’s just my personal opinion of it though, considering that is the sound you were obviously after I think you nailed your vision of it. It was just too much for my ears after a short while. I think it would be cool if the effect weaved in and out to accent certain parts instead of the constant barrage. Sooo not my cup of tea exactly but I would still say well done for writing and production!


The vocal delay, to my taste, would be much more effective if used much less. It “works” but not for the whole song. I can listen to the song and genuinely enjoy it, but I don’t feel it calling me back to listen again. Just too much. Take that FWIW.

That said, I really enjoyed the rest of what you have going on in the song. Spooky, ethereal, nice movement. Unfortunately, the vocals are so dominant it’s hard to hear enough of what I want to listen to in the background. Gets in the way.

I agree with Pirrie08, well-played and performed. Thanks for posting!


Yeah, I’m eager to hear that. Thanks for your flexibility. It’s so hard for me when there’s a part of my arrangement that I don’t want to let go of. Looking forward to it.


Now you’re talking my language! :grin: That’s kind of what I was going for here, but may not have explained it well:

For the song, yeah the over-active delay was hard to listen to. If you take the delay off and post it again, then there may be suggestions as to when and how much to add some back in, if any.


Hey Stan, and everybody actually, here’s two versions-
no echo

strategic echo

I’m liking strategic echo the most! But the straight version actually sounded better to me than I thought it would. Perhaps the original was the official rave mix.


Yes, the delay is okay at times. It’s just easy to overdo it. At then end of a series of lyric lines or on the chorus hook. I’d still probably cut back on your strategic echo parts, just do it once per section instead of repeatedly, or something like that. Or make the delays/echos repeat only once.


Okay, so here is a new mix with a tad less echo.


It’s still a lot of echoes, but I got the sense you varied the automation and modulation a bit. The variation helps. I don’t remember if it’s feedback or depth (knobs), but when the echoes get quieter with each repeat, that can be a good thing. They’re there, but more subtle. In other words, 1st repeat = same volume as initial sound or 80/90%, 2nd repeat = 60%, 3rd repeat = 40%, 4th repeat = 20%. That lets you use lots of delay but gets it out of the way of the minds’ focus too. It’s also how the psycho-acoustics work in nature, the echoes trail off in intensity over time.


Much better, but honestly, I’d cut back more. As it is, I’m always listening for it (the echo), and tiring of it. I wanna not be listening for it, and welcoming it. Less is more. Too much is distracting.

Hey, on another note: would you be open to sharing what you did plugin-wise and send-wise on your vocal bus? Man, it’s so front and center. I ask cuz Cristina and Wicked gave me a bash on my song that my vocals are too muffled and need something to bring them out more. I really like what you did here.


I used 4 plugins-
ReaFIR- Reaper noise reduction. For my mic and home it is imperative. I actually use two mics in mono mixed straight up and render to one stereo track. I have no basis for doing this except I have for years, and at times have recorded panned hard left and right.
And three Boz Digital plugins:
Imperial Delay set as follows for that triple stereo delay-


Manic Compressor-

I actually use named default presets primarily, and I am having a hard time finding which ones I used when I open the project and click on the fx. Maybe @bozmillar can explain. I can’t explain what T-Bone actually does, but I am using it here. I am trying different combos on different songs, sometimes I use Boz Digital ProVocative, a thickener I suppose, and there are a variety of presets on each plugin to try. I am thinking the Boz plugins are doing subtle things beyond my knowledge to the vocals that help it sit in the song better, and I depend on my ears to decide which effect combo is best in the song. Hence, all the echo!

In fact, I did make a change in the last version-

I split a duplicate track of the original vocals so I wouldn’t inadvertently mess it up and then duplicated that track on two more tracks. I then deleted the sections on track 3 which I didn’t want to echo. What I did new was add track 2 where I deleted the echo parts, so now I have the same volume on the entire song. It also makes the main vocal louder and the echoes relatively quieter. I was initially concerned the vocals would be too loud because of this, but I think it added just a hint more presence.

As you can see, I chopped a lot of echo out the song. In my mind it is a hook of sorts, so I do want the listener to be anticipating it and given it every so often.

In my opinion, echoes can repeat key words and phrases, make intelligibility less possible or more, make melody better or worse, which is why my 100% echo original is flawed. By selective use I think I have a fair balance now that inclines toward the heavy delay side.


Thanks for sharing. I have none of those plugins.

Maybe that’s why it caught my attention. There’s a distinct sound about the main vox that I really like. Really liking this mix. Nice song, too.