Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Battle June 1st ~ Is it live or Memorex?

Welcome to the June 1st, Battle of the Bands. Today's battle is dedicated to our friend, 'Fae,' who is leaving BOTB.  I will miss you, but I understand... life happens and things change... but please come back any time you feel so inclined, (smile). God bless you, 'Fae.

The game plan stays the same: We feature two different recordings of the same song. Listen to both, and then vote for the song version you like the best.  Feel free to leave me a comment, along with your vote. Our battles take place twice a month ~ on the 1st and 15th. The results come six days later ~ on the 7th and 21st. That's when I return, add all of the votes, including mine, and announce the winner. Feel free to return and see if your choice won!

If you would like to listen, and vote in other battles, please see the participant list in the right hand margin. If you would like to join this bi-monthly blog-event, visit the blog host, Stephen T. McCarthy. Leave him a message, and your blog address. We would love to have you participate.

On with the show! Some of you may be 'freaked out' by today's battle, but wait! I couldn't resist bringing the insanity. 

Today I'm introducing 'Anime with Vocaloid music technology' translated into 'Live vocals with real instruments'. 

'Anime' typically refers to cartoon type productions from Japan. The 'Vocaloid' process uses synthesizing technology with specially created vocals of voice actors or singers. To create a song, the user must input the melody and lyrics. A piano roll type interface is used to input the melody, and the lyrics can be entered on each note. The software can change the stress of the pronunciations, add effects such as vibrato, or change the dynamics and tone of the voice. Each Vocaloid is sold as "a singer in a box" designed to act as a replacement for an actual singer. This 'vocaloid' method is very popular in creating "anime' or Eastern cartoons,whereas, most cartoons in the West use a live person to create the voices of characters. (Think: Mel Blanc.)

Today's song choice:  'Senbonzakura' is Japanese Romanji for "Thousands of Cherry Blossoms." It is a 'anime vocaloid' produced by the group, Crypton Future Media. This production has generated over 6 million views, on various videos. It's quite popular. The actual song is a tribute to the WW2 and the 'NOW' modern, antiwar country, Japan. The lyric references to "ICBM" and "Raygun," supposedly bring it into the more modern era.The song talks about 'the 'guillotine,' referring to a type of spy execution group in WW2 that watched their own Japanese people. One of the versions offers an English translation. Lastly, this is not an anti-American song. 

The main character of this song's anime is Hatsune Miku, (Japanese: 初音ミク?), sometimes referred to as Miku Hatsune, is a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application developed by Crypton Future Media. Hatsune Miku is a 16-year-old girl with long, turquoise pigtails. She uses Yamaha Corporation's Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3 singing synthesizing technologies. She also uses Crypton Future Media's Piapro Studio, a singing synthesizer VSTi Plugin. She was the second Vocaloid sold using the Vocaloid 2 engine, and the first Japanese Vocaloid to use the Japanese version of the Vocaloid 2 engine. Her voice is sampled from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita. Hatsune Miku has performed at her concerts onstage as an animated projection.[1] The name of the character comes from merging the Japanese words for first (初 hatsu), sound (音 ne) and future (ミク miku[n 1]), thus meaning "the first sound from the future",[2] referring to her position as the first of Crypton's "Character Vocal Series."

Here's a link to the original Anime Vocaloid by  Crypton Future Media's Piapro Studio. It is not a contender in this battle. Senbonzakura "One Thousand Cherry Trees"- Hatsune Miku It has an English translation - somewhat different than the version by the Wagakki Band.

Today's challenger's:

1 - Marasy (まらしぃ) is a producer and pianist who is well known in both Nico Nico Douga and YouTube for his piano covers of songs (his most popular reaching over 7,000,000 views), but he also has posted a few original VOCALOID works. This is a piano solo of the song.

2 -  Wagakki Band (和楽器バンド wagakki bando?) is a musical group from Japan. The shigin singer Yuko Suzuhana (elected Miss Nico Nama ニコ生 in 2011) and seven musicians fuse Vocaloid songs with wagakki (traditional Japanese musical instruments) and Western rock. They are currentlt touring the United States. Their debut concert in New York received rave reviews. This month they are in Texas.