Why California's Musical Road Sounds Terrible

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  • Published on Oct 16, 2017
  • In Lancaster, California, there's a musical road. When you drive over it, it plays the William Tell Overture. Unfortunately, it's out of tune. Here's why.
    Thanks to David Simmons-Duffin, who figured this out about nine years ago: davidsd.org/2008/12/honda-needs-a-tune-up/ -- he seems to be the first to have figured out not just that it's wrong, but exactly what happened!
    I'm at tomscott.com
    on Twitter at twitter.com/tomscott
    on Facebook at facebook.com/tomscott
    and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Comments • 7 210

  • VeroMithril
    VeroMithril 2 hours ago

    Neil was right, the US is leaving science for superstition

  • Thomas Haas
    Thomas Haas 5 hours ago

    Did you ever hear the roads of Indiana? The whole way across the entire state is road music. Not intentional like this, but the noises change tune, frequency, pitch, etc.

  • El Gringo
    El Gringo 23 hours ago

    It sounds more like black eyed peas 😂

  • Hunter Allyn
    Hunter Allyn 2 days ago

    God. It actually pisses me off they didn't take the time to think about the width of the grooves, or how the instructions worked into that.

  • Radu C
    Radu C 3 days ago

    How does the length of the car and the number of axels affect the tune, even if they were to build it correctly? You'd get a small delay in the "encore", and if you had a bus or a articulated lorry you'd get a larger delay between "echoes", and a few more of them too.

  • ijayuh
    ijayuh 8 days ago

    lmao i live in lancaster. and i can agree. this road sucks ass

  • david perkins
    david perkins 10 days ago

    so the people building it dropped the ball because they weren't very clever and couldn't follow basic instructions in inches...wow, great upload and very interesting stuff.

  • Sam Sepiol
    Sam Sepiol 10 days ago

    u are that dude from Two Drums and a Cymbal Fall off a Cliff?

  • Reinette's Treasures
    Reinette's Treasures 11 days ago

    That was BRILLIANT!!! Way to time it! How many times did you have to do it before you nailed the timing?

  • Pankaek
    Pankaek 12 days ago

    I don't know I kinda like it, it sounds like a silent hill song

  • Beeby
    Beeby 12 days ago

    Imagine running from the police and hearing that

  • CrvshedIce
    CrvshedIce 12 days ago

    Sounds like Crazy Redd’s theme from animal crossing

  • Justin Rife
    Justin Rife 12 days ago

    Welcome to California.

  • wEt SpOnGe
    wEt SpOnGe 13 days ago +1

    That road is an indictment of the American education system

  • Aries The Ram
    Aries The Ram 14 days ago

    D R I V E F A S T E R

  • Nico
    Nico 14 days ago +2

    Apart from the fact that it doesnt work properly its a really creative and cool idea! They should give it a third try :)

  • Nikos Lazopoulos
    Nikos Lazopoulos 14 days ago

    Maybe you have to go faster dummy!!!

  • b00ger901
    b00ger901 14 days ago

    What a giant waste of money...

  • Varsity 1
    Varsity 1 15 days ago

    I was just in Lancaster a couple of days ago. I guess thank goodness we didn’t drive over that road

  • Kenny Sevier
    Kenny Sevier 15 days ago

    I'm going to sample that

  • Kenny Sevier
    Kenny Sevier 15 days ago

    I'm going to sample that

  • sadie may
    sadie may 15 days ago +1

    This dude reminds me of Jeremy Clarkson

  • Ashley Grief
    Ashley Grief 15 days ago

    0:15 play it at 0.25 speed even more demonic

  • Aaron Ghale
    Aaron Ghale 15 days ago

    I loved when you did silly stuff back then

  • Jpgitters Official
    Jpgitters Official 16 days ago +1

    Kid: Mommy I Wanna Listen To The Radio
    Mom: *Swerves To The Side Of The Road*
    Car: *SKIRT SKIRT* *Classical Music Starts Playing*

  • SukiYaki
    SukiYaki 16 days ago

    lmao ever heard of roads wearing down

  • mr leprechaun
    mr leprechaun 16 days ago

    Every try to drive at different speeds

  • Brandon
    Brandon 16 days ago

    That's like cutting something with a saw and not considering the thickness of the saw blade... Amateur mistake, I taught Americans were good engineers??

  • Lead Shoes
    Lead Shoes 17 days ago

    I sincerely appreciate the brevity of these videos. Too many people try and stretch videos out to get the longest time and the most ads, but it ruins the video. This is long enough to get the whole story without any time wasted

  • CGTV
    CGTV 17 days ago

    Follow the yellow line

  • JGFallways16K - Purple baconhair - silū býkan

    Sounds like a classical song made in 2019

  • Seany85 seany85
    Seany85 seany85 17 days ago

    It sounds like a Russian bad guy song of the movies

  • Blackmagic Wizard
    Blackmagic Wizard 17 days ago +1

    It sounds more like my high school band.

  • Red Forsberg
    Red Forsberg 17 days ago +2

    I swear, im making a road called megalovania...

  • Qui Vincet
    Qui Vincet 17 days ago

    Imagine hearing this at night while you're driving alone.

    • Jennifer Wells
      Jennifer Wells 17 days ago

      C'MON IT'S 2 DAYS APART M8 COMMENT STEALER

  • A Salad
    A Salad 18 days ago

    *They should put it in nightcore*

  • Sky 201
    Sky 201 18 days ago +1

    How to make everyone drives faster on highway : *play air raid siren when cars go on the road*

  • Jacob Battashi
    Jacob Battashi 18 days ago

    Facepalm

  • Pablo Escobar
    Pablo Escobar 18 days ago

    U sound like a hater. Make a that road right if it is so easy.

  • Symbolic Acts
    Symbolic Acts 18 days ago

    Taking the Bach streets

  • Jayzn
    Jayzn 19 days ago

    How I do my math homework.

  • Spherical Cheese
    Spherical Cheese 19 days ago

    Just tune the road

  • Shaw Cremeans
    Shaw Cremeans 20 days ago

    This video is just basically like a math class like bro stop nerdin I didn't come her for another math class

  • ivailo stoychev
    ivailo stoychev 20 days ago +5

    That's creepy on it's own, but imagine driving on that in the opposite direction

  • ivy
    ivy 20 days ago +1

    its in a minor key instead of a major key

  • tayen storm
    tayen storm 20 days ago +1

    no one:
    patrick star: is *_road_* an instrument?

    • tayen storm
      tayen storm 17 days ago

      Jennifer Wells i didn’t know anyone commented this?

    • Jennifer Wells
      Jennifer Wells 17 days ago

      Stole a comment I'm just criticizing people for this TVclip crime

  • Bjørn Bjørnsson
    Bjørn Bjørnsson 20 days ago

    I dunno I like it

  • MrMus TangMan
    MrMus TangMan 21 day ago

    speed up..... i'll show you how to do it.....

  • Nathan Heaver
    Nathan Heaver 22 days ago +1

    just play the radio hmm didnt think of that 1

  • Cascadia Yt
    Cascadia Yt 22 days ago +1

    Sounds like middle Eastern music

  • Finn Conroy
    Finn Conroy 22 days ago

    *Is the road an instrument?*

  • Tahoe Jones
    Tahoe Jones 23 days ago

    I thought long ago that this could
    be used for voice prompts.
    'stop ahead'
    'extreme curve'
    'check brakes'
    Safety stuff like that.
    Use big rollers like a music box.
    Each word, different roller...

  • Harry M
    Harry M 24 days ago +2

    plus, there's a delay between the noise from the front wheels and the noise from the rear wheels. that delay depends on the wheelbase and the speed, but it can't be good.

  • Francesca Lacey
    Francesca Lacey 24 days ago +1

    Why am I the only one that kinda likes it?

  • Ailaxvo64 _
    Ailaxvo64 _ 24 days ago +2

    Drive f a s t e r

  • Gordon Freeman
    Gordon Freeman 24 days ago

    Now I'm no expert, but I do have a knowledge of relatively basic maths, and I can tell you that this is a stupidly simple mistake to make. The fact that it was made once is ridiculous. The fact that they made the same mistake a second time is just absolutely ludicrous. What kind of morons are responsible for this?

  • Erwin Rommel
    Erwin Rommel 25 days ago

    0:15 if you put it at 2X speed then it sounds kinda like the song.

  • Project 777
    Project 777 25 days ago

    They sound better on Japan 🇯🇵

  • Potions274
    Potions274 25 days ago

    Sound creepy/[REDACTED]

  • TrainMaster15
    TrainMaster15 27 days ago

    Speed up vid by 2 and it sounds better

  • mister.nimoe
    mister.nimoe 28 days ago +3

    Tom Scott & Adam Neely collab when?




    Probably not.

  • Cam Miller
    Cam Miller 29 days ago +1

    Just go 110 and it’ll play correctly problem solved

  • Daniel C
    Daniel C Month ago

    The sound sounds similiar to the earthquake alert in Mexico

  • freespeechisdead isdead

    Riding down the road, all of a sudden.....(Oh my god)......What was that....(Oh my god)......there it is again....(Oh my god....look at her butt).....HUH....(Oh my God....Look at her butt....I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CAN'T DENY)......
    I have to stop smoking weed before I drive this road.

  • Coconut inc.
    Coconut inc. Month ago

    Bro it’s a road it’s not an orchestra

  • Enrique T
    Enrique T Month ago +6

    "so what went wrong ?"
    Calculated in metric then measured in standard

  • WonderMonkey78
    WonderMonkey78 Month ago +1

    I’ve never seen someone more satisfied calling out someone else’s mistake than this guy Tom Scott.

  • Yavuzi Boo ti
    Yavuzi Boo ti Month ago

    like a old radio

  • Bays BTW
    Bays BTW Month ago

    Its trying its best okay

  • Rabid Leroy Channel Salad

    Meanwhile in Japan...

  • TheOminousWindWalker

    Sounds like the King of the Hill theme

  • I love you 3000
    I love you 3000 Month ago

    We are groot.

  • Ethan Hawksley
    Ethan Hawksley Month ago

    Mario Kart

  • flyingchimp12
    flyingchimp12 Month ago

    When people ask why i think California sucks so much im going to show them this.

  • Drew Engman
    Drew Engman Month ago

    We drive this road often, and mock the minor key intervals that are not the right notes or intervals for the William Tell Overture, but sound more like a Star Wars leitmotif mixed with a bad marching band slaughtering a footbal game fight song.

  • Steve W
    Steve W Month ago +2

    If you drive twice as fast then it actually sounds similar to the song.

  • A-Vids Car Channel
    A-Vids Car Channel Month ago +1

    U drivin slow dude

  • Jan Jan
    Jan Jan Month ago

    The music is in the minor sound. Not an original major sound

  • sophia loren
    sophia loren Month ago

    that road looks so smooth im 👀

  • Mad Mantis
    Mad Mantis Month ago +1

    0:15 Play at 0.25x speed and... Trust me, you will freak ;)

  • Oceana Vasquez
    Oceana Vasquez Month ago

    there is one in New Mexico too. im sure there are more.

  • detecтιve• ғιѕнoe•

    Ah, the sound of my life falling apart. Wonderful!

  • Dillon Erffmeyer
    Dillon Erffmeyer Month ago +1

    They need to make a bish lasagna song so Indians can drive over it and listen to a masterpiece

  • Bill J
    Bill J Month ago

    This smug critic has probably never done a Hard Day's Work in his life.

  • Andrew Aaron Zheming Bao

    I didn’t know that and I drove over that with my friends and we freaked out. Now I know what caused it. XD it was terrifying then since we didn’t know that. We even started to speed up and became more terrifying. The problem was that the whole length of the road we were traveling on was that type of road.

  • Sampo Kemppainen
    Sampo Kemppainen Month ago

    Drive faster

  • Srak
    Srak Month ago

    I hear pump it .

  • Murray Jones
    Murray Jones Month ago

    Of course I decide to watch this on April fools Day

  • Five thousand subscribers without Videos

    James Charles just died



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  • AManWithAPlan4
    AManWithAPlan4 Month ago

    Yea I expected the road to sound exactly like the orchestra too. 🙄🙄

  • Alex Alvarez
    Alex Alvarez Month ago

    Idk if it’s just me but that street music bops

  • baseballhunter42
    baseballhunter42 Month ago

    The thing with aspalt roads, is they expand and contract, basic science. Of course it will be out of tune. Still very cool.

  • Spiarmf !
    Spiarmf ! Month ago

    It sounds like an old war movie soundtrack

  • Basic C
    Basic C Month ago

    sounds like some mainstream edm stuff

  • Chad Nickles
    Chad Nickles Month ago

    Musical road

  • colosamson
    colosamson Month ago

    You should tune the road

  • Jolley Piper
    Jolley Piper Month ago

    Sounds like California to me.

  • MrLedh
    MrLedh Month ago

    Note: hear the thing and u can immediately know what went wrong *assistant of whatever of the university of wherever* u don't really need to talk to anybody to know "what went wrong"

  • Jonathan Mack
    Jonathan Mack Month ago

    It’s a road give it a break

  • snappergrabber FAN
    snappergrabber FAN Month ago

    It should play darude sandstorm