There is always a moment in my daily life at itnig when a startup asks for a video. Sometimes it’s an ad, sometimes an event, sometimes it’s just a tutorial, but no matter what it is, it comes with the need of creating a sound that represents the company and can be played at the start of the video along with the appearance of their corporate logo.

This short sound must represent their essence, it has to have their DNA reflected somehow: a representation of their values, their culture or maybe even something related to their name or logo. It is mainly an artistic process that requires inspiration but in some cases the startup name and culture is geeky enough to allow some rational thinking into the music composition process. Last week I crafted the sound for our startup Factorial, inspired by the mathematical operation their name represents.

Assigning values to notes and choosing the first note

Putting a mathematical operation into sound requires a bit of imagination as well as a set of rules to get started. The first step was assigning values to notes. I decided to assign C4 the value 1. It is the middle key in a piano and also the middle C according to the International Pitch Notation so it seamed and appropriate value for that key.

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Piano keys, notes and assigned values

Now we had to decide which factorial operation to represent. That is, choosing an x to which we would perform x! and represent it. Being the startup name Factorial and given that it starts with an F, it made sense to perform the operation on F4, the first F we would find after C4.1_XXstZcEGfSkP4fOQiouJdA.png

Performing the n! operation

Now that we had chosen to start at F4 we just had to assign notes to the operands in the operation and put them in the score.

4! = 4*3*2*1 = F4 E4 D4 C4

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Now we had a simple downwards scale without much musical interest but how could we enrich the melody and still make it part of the factorial operation?

Making the middle operations sound too

As we manually start to calculate the factorial operation of a number and before we get the result, we obtain partial operands that are part of the process. How would the melody sound if we added those partcial numbers to the score?

The size of the partial operands makes the need to place them on a staff above obvius. Also because of the sequentiality of the operation we put the partial operands once we have been able to obtain the result, that is after the first note and while the second note is playing.

1_T4nZHkQywtBFrcCeySZaCw.png

The first partial operand is obtained after multiplying F4 and E4 wich is the same as 4*3 which equals 12 that represents a G5 if we check the keyboard note to number assignation.

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F4 * E4 * D4 = G5 * D4 = 12 * 2 = 24 = E7

If we keep calculating we obtain the note E7, which is the result of multiplying F4 * E4 * D4.

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Finally, we obtain the same E7 after multiplying the previous result by C4, which has the value 1.

Final result

If you are curious to listen to how this mathematical representation of the factorial operation sounds like, play the video below.

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N.

No more server side rendering?

javascript and seo

A couple of weeks ago google announced a long-awaited updated on googlebot. It now runs chrome engine version 74, the same we’re currently running in our Chromes. What’s more, it announced that from now on it will keep doing regular updates on it to ensure continued support for new web technologies.

It’s still missing support for some features, but different people reported their websites being crawled and rendered perfectly by google bot now. You can use ES6 syntax and many more things without the need to polyfill or apply babel!, at least not so heavily as if the website was from 2015.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns however, it’s known that google crawls websites with a javascript-enabled browser far less often than without it. It’s to be expected given than crawling a site with JS is fairly more expensive. So, if you have a client side website and you’re fine with google updating contents every other day, that’s fine, but if you need google to pick up updates multiple times per day you’ll still need to provide a SSR version.

Another thing to consider is the support for other search engines besides Google. Different experiments show that some of them are able to pick up javascript up to some extent, but surely not as well as google. If you care about other search engines, you’ll still have to use SSR too.

Still, this is a huge step forward from google. Websites have had a big increase in average size in the last years, and google also has to parse and take into account CSS to check for hidden content, so it’s to be expected that soon enough it will have enough capacity to crawl javascript sites as often as non-javascript ones. It’s just a matter of time.