Estelle gave birth to our son Arthur on 7th of August 2014. It was a rainy day in Nanterre, but for us such a happy one!… We decided to put up a short musical clip to announce the good news to the world.

We’ve had a lot of fun doing it. For those interested, here is the “making of”.


The song is Crocodile Gena’s birthday song from the soviet anime series Cheburashka. Estelle changed the lyrics slightly to fit our purpose, and sang them to the original tune.

I sampled her voice and mine singing poms, pams, poums and pims on various notes. Then I assembled these recordings in an sfz soundfont. I used the latter in linuxsampler to play the bassline and chords. There is an interesting opcode couple in the sfz specification, namely lorand/hirand, which inserts some randomness in the performance. So for example the bassline (my voice) plays primarily on the syllable pom, but occasionally some pims, poms, pams, etc. will also pop in (and this changes with each rendition). The same applies for the chords (Estelle’s voice), but here the exact syllables are virtually indistinguishable in the triad superposition and the effect is more a kind of glimmering of the chord’s timbre.

At the end, Arthur’s voice makes a brief apparition (he had only been using it for five days!).

All tracks were recorded and mixed in Ardour 3.


We made two slides in Libreoffice Draw.

The first one is fairly simple: just an introduction with our names and the credit to the original song.

The second slide is a bit more complex. The animated images are from the excellent kolobok gifs. We set them all up on the page, and added the announcement text and Arthur’s picture (edited in Gimp for the cloudy effect and exported as a .png file with transparency). Then the trick: I deleted all items one by one in the reverse order. This means that they will sequentially appear at their right places when pressing CTRL+Z.

To make up the initial video, I screencasted the Draw window while playing the audio in mplayer and pressing CTRL+Z to reveal the graphic elements at the right time. The screencast is captured with Maarten Baert’s excellent Simple Screen Recorder.

Then we created the subtitles using Aegisub (and taking advantage of the possibility offered by the .ass format to display the subs anywhere on the image — here in its middle).

All that remained was to burn the subtitles in the video while compressing it to mp4. For that I used Avidemux.

In conclusion

Libreoffice Draw and the kolobok gifs provided a simple way to create a kind of animated postcard.

The sfz format is also an easy way to build up a soundfont from scratch and enhance its musicality with some live randomness.

And the necessary goof, in case you haven’t noticed it: we forgot to disable the spellchecker in Draw…