Karaoke Machine

Written by Herman Chau, Christoper Reyes, Margaret Sands, Jacqui Fashimpaur, and Steven Silverman

Answer: PACE

In Act II, some puzzles are entangled with one in the opposite dimension. The two puzzles each have their own theme, core mechanic, answer, and solution, but each requires some information or action from the other in order to solve. This puzzle is entangled with Souvenir Photos.

In this puzzle, we’re given five sound files and five sets of music notes. Listening to the sound files, we can tell that they’re the karaoke versions of songs, but the audio for each has been altered somehow. After a few careful listens, we can identify the songs and mark down what audio transformation has been applied:

SongPerformed byTransformation
My Favorite ThingsJulie Andrews in The Sound of MusicPlayed backwards
RoyalsLordeLow Pass Filtering
We Didn’t Start the FireBilly JoelLinear pitch increase
What a Wonderful WorldLouis ArmstrongOnly playing the right channel
White Woman’s InstagramBo BurnhamRemoved every even beat

This puzzle is entangled with Souvenir Photos. In that puzzle, we matched each song to one of the images. If we take a closer look (and maybe zoom out), we can see that they’re low-resolution versions of popular album covers, and sorted in Souvenir Photos by release year.

If we aren’t familiar with this topic, searching “famous album covers” will show most of these in top images and articles. Picking up on the shared genre and searching “popular rock albums” will also help unearth some of these, like Appetite for Destruction.

The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground and Nico1967
Abbey Road by The Beatles1969
The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd1973
Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses1987
American Idiot by Green Day2004

We now have our transformed songs and our album titles, but we haven’t made use of the music notes yet. Their enumerations are strange, and none of our information lines up with them in their current state. However, if we consider the transformations applied to our audio files and translate them over to how they would apply to text, we can do those same transformations on our album titles. The transformed titles, when sorted alphabetically, match the enumerations seen in the music notes. We can identify which transformation applies to which album by checking against the enumerations, or by using the same matching as Souvenir Photos.

SongAudio TransformationText TransformationAlbum TitleTransformed Title
We Didn’t Start the FireLinear pitch increaseStart normal, then Caesar-shift subsequent letters, increasing by 1 each timeAmerican IdiotANGUMHGU QMSZF
My Favorite ThingsPlayed backwardsReverse the stringAbbey RoadDAOR YEBBA
What a Wonderful WorldOnly playing the right channelDelete the first half of the stringThe Dark Side of the MoonE OF THE MOON
RoyalsLow Pass FilteringOnly keep letters with descenders, or “low notes”Appetite for DestructionPP
White Woman’s InstagramRemoved every even beatRemove every even non-space characterThe Velvet Underground & NicoTE EVT NEGON & IO

Taking the letters corresponding to the numbered blue notes in order, we get the cluephrase TEMPO OR STEP. Another word for tempo or step is our final answer, PACE.

Author's Notes

Herman: Part of the inspiration for this puzzle was the meme Megalovania But Beats 2 and 4 Swapped. Unfortunately, we weren't able to fit in Megalovania when we decided on using list songs.