Double Dragon week!

June 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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This week I ended up arranging two pieces of music from “How To Train Your Dragon 2” (bet you thought I was talking about the NES game with the post title, hehe^^)… The first is a piano arrangement of my favorite theme from the movie: “Flying With Mother.”

And the second is a purely vocal arrangement of the ending credits song: “Where No One Goes.” (both composed by John Powell, the latter performed by Jónsi)

I greatly enjoyed this film as well as its music… I left the theater full of emotion. I think they did a great job with the story; the characters felt real and multi-dimensional… Their insecurities and shortcomings were so relatable. And I must say that I was overjoyed to have several flying dreams (that were undoubtedly sparked by the film) over the following nights^^

The 2nd video marks a bit of relief for me… As many of you know, I got very sick this season which turned into laryngitis and a long-lasting cough. Even after I recovered from being sick, my voice was still affected (my pitch was off, and my voice would hurt and feel strained even after singing just one song). I was so worried that my voice was permanently damaged from the cough, and that I’d never sing the same again. But just this week (months after first getting sick), I’d discovered that things were finally back to normal again… I can’t tell you how relieved and how thankful I was to be able to sing again.

So for those who were supportive and patient during this time, thank-you. Being able to sing again also means that I can finally get back to recording the vocal parts for the Rakuen soundtrack that have been postponed for so long! Rakuen had its first pre-beta test this month, and is moving along smoothly! I will make sure to keep you all updated… we’re hoping to release a trailer soon ^_^

The best it can be: Innovative and Ghetto

September 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Posted in Music Album | 73 Comments
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After doing some research and getting advice from Alec, I decided to try setting up a music store using bandcamp. I’m so happy that I finally have a functional store! So far I like it… the interface is really user-friendly, and it takes very little time to get everything up and running. The only thing I don’t like about it is that you don’t have the option to upload mp3s. Bandcamp’s deal is that you upload .wav or .aif files, and then bandcamp gives customers the option of downloading music in virtually any format (including FLAC).

While the flexibility is great, the problem is that I no longer have the original .wav files of some of my really old songs. Of course I could convert the mp3s to .wav… but given that most people will be downloading the mp3s, the .wav would get converted back to mp3 again anyway, and lose even more quality (and since these really old songs are already very low-fi, the extra step is pretty devastating… I’ve already tested it and I can tell the difference pretty easily).

I guess on the upside, I’m not going to have this issue in the future since I’ll always have the original .wav files… it just sucks because I wanted to give away all of my earliest songs as a bonus for buying the old “My Blue Dream” album (even going back to my very first embarassingly cheesy and lo-fi song “Find Me” which I can’t listen to without cringing, hehe). Thankfully I was able to find the .wav files of a handful of older songs… which brings me to the topic of this entry:

The is one of the very first songs I ever wrote. As a sound engineer, going back and listening to the recording is painful for me… but at the same time, the song has a special place in my heart because I remember all the hopes and dreams I had when I wrote it. I had so much fun experimenting with music software, recording and mixing vocal harmonies, making homeade samples, trying to emulate the sound techniques I heard in songs on the radio (lol @ younger-me thinking the telephone effect was hella cool), etc. To give you an idea how innovative I was about my ghettoness as a novice sound engineer:

  • I recorded these vocals with a computer mic that I got from a college career faire… I attached it to a water bottle using tape so that the microphone would be at my mouth-level, and I purposely sang very softly so that I wouldn’t clip.
  • All of the melodic instruments are actually from Cakewalk’s original 128-instrument MIDI soundbank 😛
  • To make the beats, I recorded all the samples in Soundforge and then uploaded them to Fruityloops in order to build the percussion (I never used loops, everything was always manual with me). However, I preferred sequencing using digital sheet music (Cakewalk) so I mixed the beats and melodic parts together using AcidPro. Yup, I used 4 separate free programs in order to do what could have been done using one piece of full-featured producer software like Pro-Tools… but I didn’t have the money for that, so I did what I could with what I had.

This song is about making the best of every interaction, whether it’s with a person, a place, a situation, etc. It’s based off of a Japanese tea ceremony term 一期一会 (Ichi-go Ichi-e) which literally means “one time, one meeting.” The deeper meaning, is that this could be both the first and the last time you ever have this chance to interact with someone or experience something, so you should make it the very best it can be. I think it’s how I felt about life at the time, and I strive to view life like that now (even though I often fall short of this).

Anyways… I hope you enjoy listening to one of my old songs, and if you get a chance, please check out my new store! A lot of people were asking where they could purchase the older album, so I made sure to make that one available. I’m also putting the Melolune soundtrack there (it’s a work-in-progress, but I thought it would be nice to check out the music as it gets made), as well as the Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack as soon as the legal stuff gets squared away.

And if you’re having one of those bum days, just remember…

一期一会 (Ichi-go Ichi-e)
Today is the first and last chance you’ll ever have today.

Random free song download: Starshine

May 16, 2010 at 2:59 am | Posted in Music Album | 9 Comments
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A few people were asking me to post this song, so I thought I’d throw it on the blog in case any of you guys want a free Shigi-mp3. I actually made this song for my friend Hima; he needed an ending credits song for his indie game, U.S.G. ~ A New Beginning. It’s a space themed shoot ’em up game with some lovely character art. The best part is that he managed to build the entire game in rpg maker.

Anyways… here is the song. It’s an up-tempo video game song with vocals. Feel free to download it, but please make sure to credit me/link back to this website if it’s reposted anywhere ^_^


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