Ah, the cowbell skit / Behind the Music: Blue Oyster Cult parody from Saturday Night Live. (see also text transcript) Like other viral Internet phenomena (see also: All Your Base Are Belong to Us), it’s funny and it spread. If you’ve had your head in a hole since the year 2000 (that’s where I keep my head), now’s the chance to catch up: watch the video, and witness Wired’s 5 year history of the cowbell skit’s spread through the Web. “More cowbell” is a phrase now? I can’t keep up with these kids today.


CDM humbly offers its own cowbell links:


Cowbell Project, a searchable cowbell song database


Digitally Modeled Cowbell: Hardware with the power of onboard DSP. Covered this parody in February, but the site is back up, and now you can buy a t-shirt. Perfect for showing up at the CDM party, should I, uh, ever hold one.


Of course, we know the real place this phrase is now ubiquitous is in software presets, as in Digital Performer 4.6.


Updated: Missed this entirely; everyone has cowbell on the brain. See Music Thing on reader tracks inspired by cowbell.


Linked from the comments of that story: this has got to be the best ‘cowbell remix’ track I’ve heard, from none other than Derek Sajbel aka Absurdity.biz, maker of a fine documentary on circuit bending. Gotta have more Sajbel.


What’s your favorite software cowbell: Is it Native Instruments’ Kowbel instrument? Logic Pro’s CWB 24L-X? Cakewalk’s infamous Magnacowbell Professional Producer Edition SE III? Hit comments or contact me and let me know.

  • derek

    This story actually needs more cowbell.

  • admin

    I don't disagree.

    Was just loading Ultrabeat in Logic Pro, and while the cowbell presets are okay . . . I still got the fever.

    Any fave cowbell samples?

    (Got a real cowbell here that cuts pretty nicely.)

    Wait, this did start out as a joke, right? Why am I suddenly unable to cure the fever . . .

  • Cowbellhell

    I'm starting a blog regarding, you got it, cowbells. The fever has just got so bad that someone out there needs to cool it down with a hell of a lot of cowbell. I was hoping someone out there could give me a link to a free cowbell sample to use on the blog. I only want cowbell now. No vocals. No guitar. No synth. Just cowbell. That is all any of us really need. Please help out with a link to an MP3 of only the cowbell sample. Thanks.

  • fingerfunk

    I need to tell you that I was searching for cowbell samples, came across this article, skimmed it, then said to myself "dude, I didn't know Logic had a dedicated cowbell virtual instrument!" … proceeded to fire up logic and look for it … came back here to look up what it was called … then I checked my Komplete installation to see if there was actually something called Kowbel … Finally, I read a bit more closely and detected some sarcasm in "Cakewalk’s infamous Magnacowbell Professional Producer Edition SE III" …

    I'm telling you, though, if there were a modeled cowbell, and you could choose from different modeled cowbells, assign different midi note numbers to different points on the cowbell, choose different sticks / striking instruments — I don't think I'd be the only one to use something like that. Even if it were just based on multisampled cowbells, it'd be an interesting (perhaps gimmicky) setup.