Subaru –more specifically, their in-house tuning firm, STI – has produced a music video. Available on their humorously-named YouTube channel, STI On-Tube, the video features just over one minute of music made from the distinctive sounds produced by Subaru's turbocharged flat-four engine.
The song is made up of a variety of Subaru samples, from startup, idle, and revving sounds, to a series of more percussive tones produced by the movement of the gear lever, the actuation of the parking brake, and the sound of the stop/start button.
The sounds were sampled individually, then triggered rhythmically to produce a song, with limited accompaniment by more traditional instruments. While the song isn't exactly what we'd call "catchy," it's still somewhat impressive from a technical standpoint.
Interestingly, this brief STI jingle reminds us of a much older song, "Close (to the Edit)" by the avant-garde synth-pop group Art of Noise, released in 1984. Some may argue that Art of Noise invented the concept of sampling in pop music. "Close (to the Edit)," their second single, features a prominent sample of Mk1 Volkswagen Golf starting.
Even more unusual, to us at least, was the use of an automatic shifter and a parking brake button (as opposed to a lever). For STI, whose reputation is built heavily upon their rally racing success, it seems an odd choice to show technology that many car enthusiasts and Subaru adherents would turn their nose up at.
We see it as a missed opportunity. The sound of a traditional parking brake lever being pulled would be evocative of the guiro, a traditional percussion instrument used in Latin American music. Perhaps the "thunk" of a door closing would make a good bass drum sound, and a tyre squeak could be used for some sort of flavour as well.
While we're still impressed and amused by STI's video, we feel a creative itch to try our hand at producing one ourselves.