Monthly Archives: March 2011

wow.  I was hella tired…i was sitting at home waiting for the damn SSBM SSBM (super spring break meetup super smash bros melee) meetup footage to transfer onto my external HD so i could take it with me to stanford, and it was taking AGES (13.4GB T_T T_T).  worked on PatientBarrage a lot though which is one of the last things i wanted to get around to during break, so no time wasted.

anyways, but now that i’m back here at stanford and slightly settled down it’s like i got my second wind; it’s 2:00AM and I feel energetic, happy, even excited.  I also feel slightly hungry…maybe this isn’t actually a coincidence, as hunger can actually keep me awake very well. xP

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That I find myself with less time nowadays must be a sign that I’m getting older…

…more accurately it just means I have more things to do.  Back when i was a little kid i didn’t have to worry about extracurricular activities, or having a social life (at ALL), or keeping up with the internets (the internets didn’t even exist!), so I could just sit down at the SNES for hours at a time.  I was able to actually go and play multiple different SNES games in the same play session.  That sort of thing almost never happens now!

…almost.  And I say almost because it really -does- still happen sometimes.  I finished Recettear in one day, after all–and I finished VVVVVV in two sittings.  And I play Tetris for >1hour long sessions on a regular basis.  So I still do get myself lost in video games every so often.  And that’s a good, good, good thing–not a bad thing.  I can’t even explain why it’s a good thing, except that it would be really, really sad if I lost the ability to do that.  It would be like losing an important part of my heritage.

Winter Quarter in Review (2010-2011)

Link to the last one:
http://ddrkirbyisq.xanga.com/738295189/fall-quarter-in-review-2010/ 

Was so caught up in things that I almost forgot to do this one!

Well, well…where do I start?  I feel like the latter part of the quarter (and spring break) has been a real rush so I’m a bit bewildered about how to tackle it all…why don’t we start with a brief recap and summary?  Last quarter’s theme was me basically being thrown into the magical company of Kimball staff and finding a golden sort of home and comfort from the love and care that came with it…and also about the real beginnings of Sayuri.  This quarter took that and shifted it a little as my social circle has changed a little bit.  I also became more busy, somehow, and Sayuri has become more of a routine thing.

Classes were, as I said last time, about the same.  I had 2 CS classes this time–CS221 and CS243.  There was a surprising lack of coding in CS243–the coding assignments were really easy and the only issues me and david had were really stupid things that didn’t really deal with the actual programming parts.  CS221 had a bit more coding, but it didn’t take much time at all because it was in python and because they already set up all of the infrastructure for you so you didn’t have to do anything except for the real core of the algorithms (nice!).  So CS221 was a throwback to the days of CS106X and CS107 when they would kind of hold your hand through the assignments, and that made them actually quite a bit more fun.  CS221 also had this final project where me and Kotaro decided to make a Touhou fangame and make an AI for it…that actually went well, though I’m not exactly sure how much they liked it, hehe.  I’ll be releasing a more official, more complete-looking version 1.00 of that sometime in the future, hopefully (i think i’ll work on it tomorrow?).

Then there was sound recording, which was…well, i paid even less attention than last time (if that’s even possible), and it didn’t matter because there was only one written assignment (easy; you could just look up the answers online or in the book), one studio assignment (just “do some mixing and mastering on this song and explain what you did”, easy), and then the final project…which actually was the only “real” thing I did in the entire class.  I did a vocal trance song featuring BenZhen, which actually turned out quite well (gotta finalize it at some point), so that was actually something cool.  I might do a bootleg of On A Good Day for next quarter’s Music192C which…in continuing the trend, is even less than 192B, since this time there’s not even a lecture component.  CCRMA people are so weiiiiirdddd……..

Okay, then there was social dance–yes, I ended up going through with retaking social 1 as a follow.  Unfortunately it meant that I didn’t take social 3 like a bunch of other people that I knew (I should have just taken them both…stupid stupid stupid me…), but oh well, it’s okay–me learning to follow was important too, in a different way.  It was a really slow class, more so at some points than others, but it wasn’t =too= bad.  Lily was also in the class, so that was fun…and we became quite a bit closer because of that, so i’m glad for that.  Too bad she’s abroad next quarter *tear*.  Anyways, unfortunately the leads in the class were…not very good.  I never knew…I feel sorry now for all the other girls x_X.  Well, it was fun playing follow anyways.  Next quarter i’m taking social dance 2 again, as…”both”.  hehe.

And of course, Japanese, which got noticably harder.  I still felt really advanced compared to average, but i no longer felt like i knew everything like the back of my hand, so now it feels like i should always be reviewing more.  I still went to office hours like 3 times a week though, so that was still very fun.

Winter quarter is traditionally my best quarter, and this year might have….been no exception to that.  Fall quarter was really great, and I perhaps had a lot more “meaningful” experiences, but this quarter was just more smooth sailing overall.  I had a lot less freakouts and crises…well, more specifically, less times that I got into “trouble”.  I think that was a combination of things, really…I got a little bit stronger, but not much…but also I got a little bit busier, which meant that I spent more time just alone with me taking care of my own stuff–essentially “lazy time”.

And I also shifted my social circle a bit, making Okada a sort of second home.  I know enough people there now that it’s definitely a surrogate family of sorts (behind kimball staff)–Yii Wen, Andrea, Tiffany, Tiphanie, Russ, David, Arie, Natalie, Kotaro, Isabelle, etc etc.  And it’s actually somewhat hard because I’m trying to balance it all out–trying to maintain my ties to kimball staff while also spending time with my “new” (though it’s not really that new at all) okada home, all while still keeping in touch with high school friends.  If anyone can pull it off, it’s me, but even so it’s still slightly challenging.  It almost feels guilty at times because Kimball was my “first” real family, but to be honest, sometimes it’s more comfortable for me to hang out at Okada.  It’s not that I don’t love my Kimballites, but somehow I feel like I get more “attention” at Okada–that I’m less “invisible”.  So I don’t really know what to make of that.

And as I’ve mentioned in passing, I did become a lot busier towards the latter half of the quarter.  Some combination of Wushu collegiates practices, hanging out at okada more often, lots of stuff being due near/during dead week, and such.  I think it also has to do with the fact that I went to class slightly more often this quarter (I actually made it to cs243 a fair amount of the time), and also because i had japanese class everyday and social dance 3 times a week, meaning that combined with the 4-days-a-week wushu/taiji practices and other things going on, it wasn’t like i could just sleep all afternoon every day and catch up on sleep that way.  I’m hoping to somehow turn the busyness (not business) down a notch next quarter so that I have more time for stuff.  I think it should be possible–wish me luck.

And yeah, next quarter should be…well, alright.  I think i’m going to continue hanging out at okada, but i also want to reconnect with kimball a little…(and of course, keep in touch with everyone from home, gah).  Unfortunately this is the last quarter that I’ll be seeing some people, which is very sad…and i’m sure i’ll have multiple…er, how do i say it…”gradual freakouts” as that time comes closer.  I’m sure it’ll also feel weird as people start to get into “this is my last quarter of school!” mode, whereas I’ll just go along like it’s like any other spring quarter!

I’m very very much looking forward to social 2 though, and looking forward to japanese as well!  192C should be…well, very uneventful, and the two CS classes should be standard fare–i’m taking one with David and one with Jesse though, so that’s a plus.  And though it’s caused by unfortunate circumstances, i’m also glad that Yang will actually still be around next quarter.

Well, let’s all do our best next quarter too~

OHC128

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC128

A meteor will hit the earth in 1 hour. Will you panic? Will you make peace? Will you do that last, one thing you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t?

Entry started and ended by me: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_Lonely_Meteor(OHC128).mp3

Entry started and ended by Acuity: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/Acuity_-_Meteor_Squad(OHC128).mp3

Well, this week was special because Acuity came over to my place, so we had the opportunity to do OHC…together!  Neither of us uses any hardware and we both use FL Studio (in fact Acuity learned most everything that he knows at the moment from me), so what we ended up deciding to do was to each start our own separate songs, then swap project files 20 minutes in, then after 20 minutes of working on the other person’s song, swap again so that we could finish our original songs (now with added stuff from the other person!).

The day before we actually did a sort of test run in what I will call the “PingPongCollab”, which you can see here and here.  For this one we only swapped once (not twice), but it was still basically the same principle.

Anyhow, onto the actual entries.  I’ll start with mine, “Lonely Meteor”…the one I like better =P.

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I generally like to always find a way to tweak the theme to my strengths, so when the whole meteor and end of the world theme came up, I thought that by doing something about the meteor itself I could do something spacey, meaning electronic/electronic atmospheric.  Which is definitely one of my strengths!  So I went with that idea.  And to expedite that, the very first thing I did was to load up the Ugo Motion synth and find a good spacey modulating pad texture, which is what you hear the very beginning.  That’s joined in by a “soundscape” patch from Alchemy, along with some weird sound effects in the background.  Note that those effects have very heavy reverb…those were actually pretty last-minute additions that I did in the last few minutes of compo time, but I’m glad I did–they really help to cement the “lonely meteor” theme in your head before we get into….

The more groovy section, where I have a pretty neat drum loop, combined with a bass from Triangle II, and more importantly, a TS404 NES-style motif that echoes a lot.  Also note that the drums actually consist of the basic skeleton beat, plus a drumloop on top that’s actually going through a lowpass filter–hence that slightly lo-fi sound in the back there.  I add a vibrato lead and set dblue to automatically glitch it, just for fun to make things more interesting, and then…Acuity takes over at this point!  He basically just copied the main groove section, but this time instead of A A Ab A, he uses F E A A, so he changed the chord progression up.

At this point I’m back in control again and I add an eighth-note pulsing supersaw that’s a really massive patch from Sylenth1 that I like to use (starting to see a LOT of reuse of sounds by now in my entries, which i’m fine with because I think it means I’ve developed a somewhat unique style).  There’s another arp, this time a rounded square wave that’s passed through a detuning flanger–I haven’t used this type of sound in -ages-!  Then we have a soft vibrato pad providing a “lonely” feel along with the same motion pad from the beginning.

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Acuity’s entry started off with a pluck thing…which I edited so that it was on the right, and added an echo the second time around that you hear on the left.  Just to make things slightly more interesting.  He has this bass thing come in and then some drums.

At this point I take over and add a reverse cymbal to transition, and have some standard string pads.  Then I add in a square+triangle synth that’s quickly become a real staple in my songs (people in the IRC chat even called it the “kirbysquare”), along with a square wave arp…so things are sounding a lot more chiptune-like now.

…But then I just take a turn in the other direction and come in with a massive supersaw lead that filters in, and then I add a kick drum and bass and all of a sudden we’re in UNTS UNTS UNTS mode.  Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything more with this because it was time to swap back, but if I had more time I definitely could have done a lot more with the trance section.  After I handed it back to Acuity he basically just layered the square/triangle lead on top and then brought us back to the pluck sound from the beginning.

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So, fun compo round this week…though I don’t expect any votes since there were some pretty amazing orchestral entries this time around.  Who knows, though–I always manage to get surprised by voting in one way or another.  Haha…it doesn’t really matter.

I had a marching band dream last night…first one in a while.  I was late to the rehearsal right before a competition of some sort.  It had been a while since I had done the show (understandably; i haven’t done it in 4 =years=!).  It was kind of weird though, because for some reason I was thinking about conducting the opener as Luck Be a Lady (from my sophomore year) but the ballad was C’est La Vie from Senior year.  I also remember being kind of freaked out because I couldn’t remember the my drill for the ballad…but that makes sense because in reality there I didn’t have ANY drill for the ballad since I just stood next to the pit.  xD

Wasn’t that bad.  I’ve had worse band dreams.  I haven’t actually had -that- bad of band dreams, but this one just involved some minor worrying, stressing, and freakout (emphasis on “minor”).  Interestingly enough, since I was late to the rehearsal or something, I had to resort to reversing time.  That’s right, I reversed time.  (see my previous post about magical powers in dreams)

OHC127

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC127

Looming, deadly, violent and beautiful. A waterfall is a beautiful wonder to look at. It can crush under its powerful flow or be a stage for the most dangerous of stunts. Todays theme is “Majestic Waterfall.” Please see the attached pictures.

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_WWWWWW(OHC127).mp3

Wow, what a fun entry.  I haven’t made an awesome entry like this in…well, either a really long time, or forever!

I’ve been listening to PPPPPP, the VVVVVV soundtrack, a LOT lately.  It’s super, super, super awesome and you should all go buy it now because it’s awesome chiptunes of awesomeness that are awesome.

Anyways, onto my actual entry.  I wanted to use a descending motif to represent “waterfall” so I start out with a TS404 NES arpeggio going down in what i believe (?) is a M7 pattern.  I should also note that before compo started I had a TS404, 3xOsc, and tb_triforce setup for chip, so that they could be cloned for all my chippy instruments.  Yay!

I also had the idea to start off with a highpass filter–I was inspired by VVVVVV’s “pause” track, which is filtered all the way through (it’s a short loop).

Anyways, after the highpass intro, we get drums which are really simple–just an 808 kick and snare, and some hats and filler–along with a bass and a countermelody in the back which is some triangle wave or something.  I add in some square pads which are actually gated (yay gating!).

In the next section I use a TS404 nes lead which is arped really fast–again, I’ve been using this a lot recently.  After a brief transition we get into “groove mode” where I layer on a bitcrushed/samplereduced drumloop on top of the basic drums and the bass gets a little funkier.

In comes the “sexy lead”, made of a square and triangle wave octaved, along with automated vibrato that’s really, really slick imho =).  Also notice the really quick descending arpeggio pattern at the beginning of each 4 bars–that’s another throw to the “waterfall” theme.

After that, we get a short break where there’s just one low square pad along with a portamento sine sound.  Then we go back into the chorus–I really am growing quite fond of this “repeat the chorus later on” technique that I’ve used in one or two other songs now.  Not only does it make for a longer song without too much effort, but it just works out nicely in terms of structure anyways.  This time around we get another lead sound which is another TS404 nes lead, but this time with some vibrato.  There’s also some triangle pads way in the back here that weren’t there the first time.

Yeah, so this was actually one of my shorter entries in a while, but I think it’s just as good if not better than the longer ones.  I pretty much just packed more awesome into a shorter timeframe, so that’s neat.  Actually, more like I didn’t kill lots of time by having really long 8-bar phrases and slow slow intro buildups where at first it’s just pads and then it’s pads and drums and THEN we get a chorus, hahaha.  I didn’t actually end up replicating the VVVVVV style that closely, but it doesn’t matter as I still made awesome chiptuney music.  Yay!