Bokaro P ni Naritai, vol. 22

(Images used for review purposes only.)

I want to be a Vocaloid Producer, vol. 22, 1,500 yen, plus tax.
New magazine features:

In the 4-panel comic, Rana is tired of composing for piano all the time, and wants a sound that’s a bit more energetic, so Robo-panda suggests the use of the brass section. This concept is expanded on in the main classroom unit, with a discussion of what “brass section means”, descriptions of the parts of a trumpet and a trombone, and why a reed saxophone is not part of the brass section. There’s a link to the Yamaha main page to illustrate all the other instruments they make, and a mention of the next live stage – Rana’s room at night.

The music genre is Jazz Rock, which features the use of the brass section, and the musician interview is with Nem, a Jazz-rock composer. The MMD section continues with Cort’s approach to storyboarding a music video, and several outside websites are identified as being useful, including VPVP, Bowl Roll, Nico Video, Seiga Nico Video, Nico Model Festival, the Jikasei fonts site and Chiphead (for more fonts). The final page discusses monitor speakers (the Yamaha MSP5 Studio (33,000 yen) and the MSP3 (18,000 yen)), and Sea-no’s home studio setup.

New DVD Features:
The Pick-up Song is “Hana Some” (Flower Color), using the Hatsune Miku voice package. It’s a very well-written pop piece with a lot going on musically without sounding like it was copy-pasted cookie cutter fashion. Nothing earth-shattering, and no dance video (just the audio track), but pleasant enough to listen to.

And there’s the Rana Room at Night MMD model file. No other accessories this time.

(Description of Jazz Rock, and the interview with Nem.)

This is a continuation on the “how to write a melody” thread, this time talking about “jazz sound” and explaining the idea of the approach note. I do have to admit that the demo song, with Rana’s vocal track, has a bouncy, jazzy feel not too unlike the Squirrel Nut Zippers. There’s no exercises for the student to copy, just mentions of where the different kinds of approach notes appear within the demo song, followed by a full playback of the song itself. Since I’m still not at the point where I understand melodies, I’m not getting a lot out of this lesson.

The SSW tutorial discusses brass arrangements, the use of trumpets and trombones, and the application of octave unison. Because the trumpet track uses a MIDI voice file, it’s actually easy to copy-paste, then drag groups of notes to a lower octave on the piano roll to double up as the trombone voice. This is followed by open and closed voicing, and pitch bend.

(MMD page, with Rana studying the VPVP model file readme.txt file where it says “don’t take credit for other people’s models, or use them in videos you intend to sell commercially.)

Once you’ve storyboarded the video you want to make, the next step is to identify all the props and MMD model accessories you need. For the demo, Cort wants to have Rana in her room at night, then in the classroom, looking at the night sky and reading a book. The night sky banner and the book prop haven’t been supplied on the DVDs, so they need to be obtained from a download site. The recommended starting point is VPVP wiki, then Nico Nico, followed by BowlRoll. These are all Japanese-only sites, so you do need to know how to read kanji. For fonts, Chiphead. For photos and illustrations, there’s Nico Nico Commons. Naturally, there’s the entire issue of copyrighted material, and what rights are bestowed for common usage, so check first before stealing someone’s stuff. What’s funny is the American concept of “copyright theft” translates into Japanese as “having bad etiquette”.

(Relaxed Rana in the Rana Room Night stage.)

Additional comments:
There’s a card slipped into the magazine this time, explaining that the publisher apparently screwed up the activation serial numbers, having given a longer usage period to two of the three packages, and now the new serial numbers in this issue are intended to get all three packages (Vocaloid, MMD, the Rana model) back into sync again.

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