"The Hills" Beatbox Cover

Made by Claire Chen

Translating a beatbox cover by KRNFX into a series of rings and circles

Created: October 17th, 2016



When I started brainstorming for this project, I thought about doing something related to the rhythm of a song. Then, I decided to do a beatbox cover that I recently fell in love with, which is The Hills by The Weeknd covered by KRNFX. After listening to the song for a few times to unwind it, I have found that the biggest thing I am attracted to is its several layers of looping rhythms. Therefore, I intended to use rings and circles to represent the loops and interconnect the rings and circles to represent how the loops are unified in the song. 

The Weeknd - The Hills (Beatbox Cover) by KRNFX
KRNFX - https://youtu.be/j7yxSCcyoOo


I have created a series of rings and circles interconnected with each other. I have decided to make the texture and color to be relatively simple so I made it all black. The focus is on the shape. When looked at from different angles, the rings all look thinner than the pictures while the circles are dank masses. This contrast signifies the difference in the sounds in the beatbox cover. The dark circles are like the "bass drum" in the beatbox. The rings also have different thickness to signify the different kinds of sounds. They are, however, arranged and connect in random orders to simulate the seemingly capricious arrangement of the different layers of rhythm. 



After I decided on making rings and circles, I first thought about making a big loop with small loops attached to it. But after I got the sheet of black paper, I found out that the colored paper is too soft to stand on its own while holding some other pieces. Then, I changed the idea and decided to distribute the rings and circles more evenly over the volume of space, also making it more 3-dimensional. After making the two main rings, I found that the shape I intend to make happens to look similar to a drum set, so I drew on this inspiration. A drum set has many drums arranged in a semicircle. Similarly, I arranged the rings in a circular form, but I connected the last ring back to the first to emphasize the looping effect. Also, I made it stand on the table so that it looks more 3D and the relations between the rings and circles are seen more clearly. 



I feel like I have captured the content of the audio accurately. As heard in the video, different layers of looping sounds of beatbox are gradually added, like me adding the rings one by one. The layers are also unified, like how my rings are all interconnected. When you look at the project, it would immediately remind you of loops, which, for me, is the essence of beatbox. However, because I have intended to capture the beatbox sounds in the original song, I have overlooked other parts, which is the rhythm. Therefore, my project is recognizable as the original sound as a beatbox cover, but it might be hard to say that it is The Hills by The Weeknd. So I would have made it more clearly which song the beatbox cover is of, but that probably requires more efforts and more time. 

In general, I think this project has taught me how to decode and analyze a song, find out its most prominent feature and represent it in a physical form. It is about extracting and abstracting a song's essence and my response to the song. At the same time, the execution of the project has taught me to examine the viability of certain ideas with different materials. During the process, I also had to constantly readjust the composition and my idea.

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62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

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New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more


Translating a beatbox cover by KRNFX into a series of rings and circles