Monthly Archives: April 2011

To the Follows

Now having played both lead and follow part a lot, I can say that the follows have the easier time dancing.  It’s also much easier to improve–you just dance with a bunch of good leads and you learn things as you go along.

But!  Being a follow is not without its downsides.  And so we should all take a moment to thank the follows for putting up with a bunch of things, including:

-Leads who have bad breath and/or smell bad.  This doesn’t happen quite that often, but it’s still much more often than it should be.  Ugh.

-Leads asking you to dance and you feel obliged to say yes to be polite even though you don’t want to.

-Leads who make it difficult to waltz.  For some reason I have never really danced with follows who make it difficult to do a basic turning waltz step.  It happened a few times in social 1, probably, but in social 2 I’ve never had that happen.  But here I am as a follow and we’ve got quite a few leads in social 2 who force me to jump through hoops in order to just keep the basic turning step going.

-Leads being too forceful or having a frame that’s way too close (for example, cross-step waltz).

-Leads who either get offbeat and stay offbeat, or worse yet, just have no sense of timing at all.

-Leads who don’t protect you from collisions (though this isn’t bad at all because you can save yourself from most if not all of them).

-Leads who just bounce all over the place so that dancing feels like you’re constantly going over speed bumps.

Yeah, partnering as a follow kind of sucks.  I don’t think I’ve ever danced with a girl lead that wasn’t okay though.  Hmm…I guess the only ones who suck are men.

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OHC133

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC133

You have suddenly been gifted the ultimate power. Will you use this power for good or evil? Is the power from a physical or intangible source? This weeks theme is “The Ultimate Power.”

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_DDRBot9000(OHC133).mp3

sci’s two entries that I sampled from:
http://compo.thasauce.net/files/sci_-_Return_of_the_Undetermined(OHC112).mp3
http://compo.thasauce.net/files/sci_-_ADD_Sea_of_Thoughts(OHC132).mp3

Wow, this one was fun.  The night before compo I was like “huh I wonder what I should do this week” and I ended up deciding that I always want to glitch up sounds but I’ve never REALLY torn apart stuff and mangled it to heck.  I think I still have a ways to go in that art (look at what sci and InvisibleObserver do), but this marked the first time that I’ve actually sampled from songs heavily.

Anyways, I spent a long while before compo ripping the heck out of two of my favorite entries from sci (one of my favorite OHCers!), learning how to use FL’s Edison audio editor in the process.  The end result was something pretty random and fun, but surprise–there’s also a kickass unts section in the middle which somehow just came out of my mind and was epic epic awesome.

I’d recommend you listen to the two sources first, as you can only appreciate all the rearranging and slicing that goes on in my song if you’re familiar with them.  Even before the compo started I was like “sci, you might probably like my entry.”  And I already had all the stuff sliced up.  So when the theme came on, it was cue for me to just…well, start messing around with them.  The “ultimate power” would be…sci’s samples.

Okay, but I didn’t want to spoil it right away, so I start with some dark spooky textures, and then I actually have some NES sounds, to give the image that some hero is walking around and then gets some magical item.  The fadein pad sound here is ripped from sci’s song, AS is the little “fanfare ditty” (though side note: that fanfare appears only in sci’s fixed version, not the OHC version).

The next drum loop is sliced from return of the undetermined, and then we get this fun riff that should be familiar to probably everyone, using an instrument which is…sampled from ADD sea of thoughts.  The “dingdingding” bell sound is also from return of the undetermined…so the only thing that’s not sampled here is the bass xD.

Then we get some random “PPENIS” from ADD sea of thoughts as well as “kirby” from “ddrkirby”.  After a silly arpeggiated synth, I slice up one of the main choruses of add sea of thoughts, and then we get a pad that I ripped from there.  The “beep” lead as well as the organ chords are also sampled.

THEN, we get to a section which has nothing sampled at all–it’s just pure kickassery.  I bring the 4-on-the-floor beat along with a trademark “kirbysquare” synth, and then add in a massive phat sidechained bass, which on the second repetition grows even more massive as I add in FIFTHS and a high NES lead on top of it.  So it’s epic.

Then at 2:38 we get a drop and we get this lovely, lovely awesome bass pattern that I love.  After another glitch I add in that oh-so-familiar-by-now NES lead on top, and then after that there’s an arp in the background playing around too.  This part is just ROCKIN, if I do say so myself–probably the best UNTS I’ve made in awhile. m/

After that we get a random “screw the vagina” from ADD Sea of Thoughts, and then a really fun part where I rearrange the “calc.exe” section of Return of the Undetermined, also adding a 4-on-the-floor beat in the back, plus another NES lead.  Fun!!!  After some glitching we end with the exact sampled end of Return of The Undetermined.

Yeah, so this entry was stupidly fun AND kicked ass.  A rare combination, but it does happen once in a while!

Forever

This is the closest I’ve ever been to someone.  Ever.  And perhaps, for the very first time, when she says that we’ll probably close to each other for the rest of our lives, I believe it.  Somehow, even if she flies off into another distant world, there is still some angelic thread that connects us.

…or at the very least, my persistence and unwillingness to let go.  We can both count on that. =)

Glowsticking performance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PYK4AOfeNU

Too bad the first few seconds got cut off–I kind of wanted to see that, since I had a really good sense of euphoria at the time (it helped that the music was really loud at the onset).  There was probably a couple of seconds where I was going with my eyes closed.

Anyways, performing glowsticking is an interesting thing.  I most often glowstick alone by myself, but I think the ideal way to glowstick is at a dance venue, where other people are watching you but also dancing.  The problem with having an actual audience watching you is that there’s this slight pressure to do things to please the audience, and moreover, the drops break the flow =that= much more.  When I’m doing a solo vid and I have a drop (or a few) sometimes I just leave it in the final edit nowadays because I find that it doesn’t break flow that much–I just keep going, sometimes with a clever floor trace (muahaha).  But having drops in a performance situation feels a lot different, because you know the audience is thinking “aww…”.

Another thing that I reaffirmed today (not that I didn’t already know it): with glowsticking, just like social dance, and just like music production, it’s much easier to be creative, flow naturally, and come up with good ideas when you go SLOW.  When you’re at high tempos you fall back on what you already know because there’s not enough time to think critically about things, so you just have to stick with things that are already in muscle memory, without being conscious about it much at all.  So it’s not like sticking at high tempos is bad per se, but it’s necessarily just an exhibition of things that you already know, since it’s hard to think about it.  For improvement, you’ve gotta slow things down a lot.

It’s easy to see how that applies to social dance.  With music production it’s…well, actually not the same, but in the end the result is kind of similar, at least for me.  I just find that when I set out to make songs that are 140BPM or faster it’s somehow just harder.  If you do melodic stuff, then more beats are crammed into the same time, so it’s like there’s more work.  Whereas for something at like 100BPM, my patterns can be a lot more relaxed and it still all works.

freehanding confidence = shot

bleeeeeh.  i did some freehand practice tonight to prepare for performing tomorrow.  I’ll be fine and people will like it just fine but I’m not really happy at where I am right now.  The creativity wasn’t flowing; I was getting stuck in stale moves and transitions.  Next time I freehand I need to just focus on not even dancing at all but going really slow and flowing into new things.  I guess next time I’ll listen to some downtempo music to help me think harder.

edit:
actually, you know, watching my latest vid, my freehand isn’t -that- bad.  I still need to really get better, but I think today was just worse than usual.  I’ll just call it a fluke.

I wonder…if I stopped blogging and writing altogether, would I talk more?  I’m not willing to try because I would -never- want to give up blogging and writing, but it’s an interesting thought.

Huyen over at http://heyhuyen.posterous.com/ is in CS377T – Behavior Design: Using Technology to Create Calming Habits and talking about using technology to calm people and destress them.  I just had the idea of applying a similar viewpoint to my own self-expression issues.  Not necessarily using technology, but the idea of habits, and creating motivators, etc.

So now I can play death 500 comfortably until I misdrop, I can play shirase 500 on edge, and I can even do shirase 600 with top focus.  Shirase 700 is where I can’t handle it anymore.