Bokaro P ni Naritai, vol. 24

(Images used for review purposes only.)

I want to be a Vocaloid Producer, vol. 24, 1,500 yen, plus tax.
New magazine features:

Rana is wilting from the summer heat, and Robo-Panda puts her into a panic by saying that the magazine series ends in October and she still hasn’t taken her September tests. The classroom unit has Rana searching out new synthesizer plug-ins for SSW, then discovering that when you have too many strange plug-ins, SSW crashes on start up, and you have to delete everything in the VST plug-ins folder to get it to recover. (Rana also learns about donating money to freeware creators via paypal.) This is followed by a discussion of jazz as a genre again, and an interview with goth cosplayer jazz composer OSTER Project. The MMD section has step-by-step instructions on making the Anko Happy Birthday video. The issue wraps up with a description of virtual pop idol Anko Omori (see cover above), and introduces the Anko microphone accessory for MMD.

The featured freeware synths are:
DSK Saxophones
DSK Overture
Alan ViSTa’s Vibromaster
Alan ViSTa’s Marimbaphonic
Oberheim Two Voice

Note that development has halted on Oberheim Two Voice, which is a German emulator of a hardware polyphonic analog synth that was developed by American Tom Oberheim in the mid-1970’s (he recently released an updated hardware version of the Two Voice).

New DVD Features:
No pop-up artist song this time. Instead, we get 17 .wav files of Anko talking, plus the support files for making the Happy Birthday video, and the finished version of the video.


The tutorial goes through the steps of setting up 4-part vocals for a jazz piece (called Fireworks). Once you have the base track for the melody, the next step is to put in the harmony tracks, which is largely a copy-paste job followed by tweaking all of the note locations. There’s a lot of work for the student to follow along with, but most of this is recap from earlier volumes. The demo song itself is big band jazz, and the 4-part chorus is just a small part of it.

This video is a continuation of the lesson from issue #23, going further into setting up the arrangement for the horn section (trumpet, trombone, sax) for a big band. The first 4 minutes is spent just discussing the various horn voices in the MIDI definition. The next few minutes are used to show how the different horns work together in the sax, trumpet and trombone sections, each with their own note approaches. This is more of a lecture than a tutorial, so there’s very little in the way of new instructions for the student to follow. The only interesting bit is the mention of pitch bend to get a trombone slide effect. The demo song is the same as for Vocaloid – Fireworks.

(Screen cap from the Happy Birthday demo video showing the use of expression in the movements.)

The first part of the video discusses realism in animation for big reactions. We have two Rana models, both reacting in shock at something. The first model simply goes from a standing pose to the shocked pose, while the second one has the signature Looney Tunes/Tex Avery-style overreaction, which can also be seen in Disney and Pixar films. The publishers act like this is something Cort discovered or perfected, and it’s not. It is something that he’s used in his videos, though, and therefore he has motion files saved for how to do this. (Overshoot, bounce and stretch.) Most of these techniques are taught in animation schools. The video ends with the Happy Birthday sequence for Anko-chan, and a brief mention of the two motion files supplied on the DVD (shock and the happy pose). (Not sure if the publishers know that “Happy Birthday” is copyrighted, or if anyone paid royalties to use it…) This is just a lecture, and there’s nothing specifically to copy.

(Rana on the tropical island stage, in mid-shock pose.)

Additional comments:
No real comments this time. I would like to have more time to play with the various synthesizers, but that’s not realistic right now. Sigh.

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