Sunday, August 21, 2011

T-ara's Very "Mini" Mini-Album (rant-ish)

This is an example of the music industry ripping people off.

First off, I love the K-Pop group "T-ara" and their music (and will do a 5 Star post on them in the future). However, their newest "mini-album", which sells for $12 on YESASIA, is a complete rip-off:

It contains seven tracks which is okay for that price. However, only two songs are new. They're pretty good but not "$12 for two songs" good.

The other five tracks are "remixes" of all five songs from Temptastic. And by "remixes", I mean they are 90% the same as the original song but with a few seconds of new beats sprinkled around.

That's like buying a "bucket of gummies" at Disneyland but the bucket is 90% filled with confetti (true story).

I guess this mini-album would be worth it if you don't already have Temptastic, which btw sells for $18 on YESASIA. lol.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Keep On by KanaraKante, RhymeZone

KanaraKante has released a song for episode 2.1 of "Adrenaline":

(YouTube embed is not working right now. I'll check this again later.)

This is the third vocalized song I have written. I was really looking forward it as I feel pop\hip-hop music is more up my aisle. It is also the first song I wrote using RhymeZone.

Before, I would have the entire alphabet, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWZ, written above the lyrics I'd be working on. Then I'd run through the alphabet and think of as many rhymes as I could: at, bat, cat, and so on. And then I would choose whatever of those words worked well.

But while working on this song, I found this site where all you have to do is type the word, and it will list tons of rhymes for you. Why the heck was I wasting time thinking of my own rhymes!? lol.

Check out the site at The website is very fast and has minimal ads (unlike most lyric websites, lol). A very cool feature is the "Find near rhymes" search; while it does a good job, there are still many "near rhymes" it misses.

We went through five versions of the song, purely adjusting only the volume levels and dynamic range compression. The first cut had a very tight but unnatural sounding level of DRC:

The final version had a toned down but better sounding level of DRC:

Yes, I do plan to explain what dynamic range compression is (for those that don't know) but will save it for a future blog post. In the meanwhile, check out this insanely detailed Wikipedia article.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

5 Interesting Things About the Japanese Language

Learning how to speak Japanese, I have found many interesting things about the language & culture and narrowed it down to five:
  • There are 129 Japanese words for "honor".
  • The two languages of Japan are "ichi nihongo" which is spoken by 99% of the population and "ni nihongo" which is only spoken by the emperor.
  • You're supposed to bow after every sentence.
  • On Sundays, everyone in Japan has to speak English.
  • In terms of speaking etiquette, there's three: casual form, polite form, and samurai form.
Okay, I was bored and made those up. I hope I didn't offend anyone. lol.

(a picture from my 3D portfolio)

Now on to the real post...

5 Interesting Things About the Japanese Language
  • The verb goes at the end of the sentence. However, certain non-verbs are put at the end after the verb like "yo" (for sure), "ne" (right\yeah?), "kara" (because), and "kedo" (though).
  • There are no question marks. In writing, they may use question marks for style or emphasis but grammatically & traditionally, question marks don't exist. Instead, simply adding か (ka) at the end of a sentence changes its meaning into a question.
  • Every syllable ends in a vowel sound. Examples are "a-ri-ga-to" and "sa-yo-na-ra". The exception is "n" (like in "Japan") and de-voiced vowels (like the "u" in "masu", "desu", and "kokusai").
  • There are three ways to write every word. They are ひらがな (hiragana) which looks more rounded, カタカナ (katakana) which looks straighter, and 漢字 (kanji) which looks Chinese (that's b\c it is Chinese). All three are used regularly and intermixed with each other.
  • Many Japanese words are borrowed from English. A few words include "konpyuta" (computer), "koohii" (coffee), "miruku" (milk), "gorufu" (golf), and my favorite, "kurejitto kaado" (credit card). And no, I'm not being racist. Look these up yourself!