As It Happens

This baby can't even speak yet — but his cover of AC/DC may leave you speechless too

Matt MacMillan went to great lengths to turn his baby's sounds into a cover of the AC/DC classic Thunderstruck and now his one-year-old son is an online sensation.

Baby Ryan has become a YouTube sensation for his gurgle-heavy cover of AC/DC's Thunderstruck

Baby Ryan has become a viral sensation for his gurgle-heavy cover of AC/DC's Thunderstruck. (Matt MacMillan/YouTube)


Most parents would only hear gurgles, giggles, cries and sighs. But when Matt MacMillan listened to the noises his newborn son Ryan was making, he heard Thunderstruck by the rock band AC/DC.

After recording a year's worth of Ryan's vocal acrobatics, the New Jersey father of two re-arranged them into a pretty convincing cover of the classic AC/DC tune.

MacMillan posted a video of the song to YouTube last week and now one-year-old Ryan is quickly becoming an online sensation. As of Friday, it had more than 860,000 views. 

"Basically every sound that he made, I would whip out my phone, start recording, so then I would have all the sounds to compose into a song," MacMillan told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"I cut down basically each clip of where he was either making a noise like sneezing, or burping, or hitting something, or making a musical tone."

After editing down the noises, MacMillian had 83 distinct tones. He sorted them by pitch. Then, using a keyboard for reference, he learned he had 21 individual notes. 

Initially, MacMillan thought he might try to recreate We Will Rock You by Queen. But when he reviewed the sounds, Thunderstruck seemed like the best option.

"The fact that the sounds he made were so short really lent itself to Thunderstruck because [of] that short staccato intro that Thunderstruck has," MacMillan said.

"I used a sneeze as the cymbals. He was hitting the sofa. I used that as a bass drum because it's got a nice kick to it. Then there was one where he was banging on the floor, and I used that for the snare drum."

Matt MacMillan recorded clips of his son making various baby noises and rearranged the sounds to create a cover of the AC/DC song Thunderstruck. (Submitted by Matt MacMillan)

Before he started recording his son, MacMillan says he would record his daughter who used to sing to herself.

"That's kind of where I got the idea," MacMillan said. "So then, about a year ago when my son Ryan was born, I, from the get go, had the idea to make a song out of it."

MacMillan estimates it took him about 80 hours to make the song. He worked on the project for about three months.

"[My wife] was trying to wrap her mind around it," MacMillan said. "There were multiple times where she would come upstairs thinking one of the kids was crying, but it's actually just the baby sounds coming from the computer."

As for Ryan's next number, MacMillan says he already has a few ideas cooking — including another popular song by Queen.

"The hard part was basically determining all the notes, and now that I have those notes there are a couple more songs that I have in mind," MacMillan said.

"I'm currently in the process of seeing if I have the notes to put together at least part of Bohemian Rhapsody."

Written by John McGill. Interview produced by Allie Jaynes.



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