My mummy wants to play this game!!!

Last Revised: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Double Date
Minna no Rhythm Tengoku / Rhythm Heaven Fever

Yeah I am quite busy these few days...I wont be doing much post for these few weeks.. why?
Cause exams are coming.!. I don't want to fail any of them and retake the exam again, super waste of time -_- & $$

Plastic Musical Instrument! Cheaper Alternative

Last Revised: Monday, October 22, 2012

Living in our current world, you'll find plastic practically everywhere!

Plastics are so easy to work with. They don't rust or rot. Easily the popular material of choice among manufacturers.

However the most prominent downside of using polymer is that they are not biodegradable ..

What if we can make good use of its infamous property?
We can recycle the waste plastic and make it into a music instrument.

Some people will argue that the quality of sound is different and compare it with a real hand made instrument.. However I would think of it as an alternative for people who cant afford these expansive hand crafted instrument.

The first time I learned about 3D printing technology, I thought to myself "will anyone print instruments out from a 3D printer?"

Yes indeed more and more people are printing musical instruments out from it.

Here is another one, plastic printed flute

As you can see all these videos are published one year ago, now if you search around the web you can find plastic trombone, saxophone, flute, clarinet .. .  all selling at a cheaper rate than a skillfully crafted one of course.
As mentioned above, these instruments cannot be compared to a hand crafted one. I will definitely give credit for the workmanship required in building the hand crafted instrument, I too am a flute maker.. But that doesn't mean a hand crafted instrument will always provide a better quality sound. With current technology precise custom designed instruments can be made to optimise resonance. 

I will end this post by providing some benefits of having plastic instruments. 

Advantages of plastic music instruments:

They are cheaper 
Easy to customised 
It is durable (it won't dent or crack when droped) 
They can be washed 
You can play them in the rain? 

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)  

My Singing Monsters is finally out on android!

Last Revised: Friday, October 19, 2012

I've been waiting for this game for a loooonnng time... two months ago it was out on App Store but not Google Play

Finally! I get to play it on my android tablet!!.. yeahh!

For those who do not know what I am talking about ..

I'll probably be playing it tonight..

Good night music lovers! enjoy the world of music & have fun!

Update:Limited Edition Monster For the celebration of Halloween.. Breed Punkleton Monster before Oct 31st.. Im trying the T-rox & Bowgart combination. Hope I can get it!

Yup, I manage to get the monster on the last day hah..

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

Difference between Keyboard, Digital piano & Piano. Tips on which to buy?

Last Revised: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Planning to get a keyboard instrument this Christmas for your child?
Looking for a piano for beginners and still cant decide on which one to buy?
Should you buy a piano, electronic keyboard or digital piano ?
No, I am not doing any product review here but I will be comparing the difference between these 3 babies and sharing with you what are the things to look out for.
Yes, you'll need to know the difference between each of them in order to make the right decision.
So.. let me help you out.

Few steps and questions to consider when getting a new instrument.
I will only be talking about keyboard related instruments here. But these steps can be use for other musical tools as well when you decide to invest in a musical instrument.

Below are the 6 useful tips:
  1. Are you getting the keyboard for yourself or someone else
    Is always good to have the person playing the instrument around when you make the purchase. Since he/she will be playing on it for a long time, is better to get an instrument they are comfortable with.

  2. You need to know what are the differences between acoustic piano, keyboard and digital piano How they function and how they work.This is very important! 
    I'll go through each of them carefully.

    • Acoustic Piano:There are two types of acoustic piano vertical/upright and grand. Vertical piano are normally for home use whereas grand are mainly for concert due to their size. A normal standard piano should have 88 keys 52 white 36 black. Striking a key on the piano causes the the hammering action. When the brass stings are hammered, sound are being produced. The amount of pressure in depressing the key will determine how loud the key will sound. Due to this hammering mechanism piano keys have this "weighted feeling". Moving on to the pedals of a piano. Modern piano have 3 foot pedals. The Right is a sustaining pedal, when pressed all the dampers are removed from the the strings allowing them to vibrate freely when struck. The function of middle pedal varies, common ones would be the activation of "silent piano" which is use for practice purposes, another one is sostenuto, how this pedal works is that it will only sustain those notes when this pedal is engaged without affect the others. Left pedal is a soft pedal, when depressed the sound produced by the piano will be of a softer as the hammer are being shifted nearer to the strings.
    • Keyboard: There are lots of keyboards out there and each of them have different permutations of weird functions & instruments. I won't be taking so much on the functions here as there are too much of it to be covered on. I will highlight some of the more important features.
      First for keyboard they usually have less than 88 keys, take note the lesser keys you have the lesser notes you can work around with. I personally prefer to have 88 keys. Next you must know that keyboard doesn't have weighted keys. For a piano player electronic keyboard is normally not a good choice for them, the keys are too "plasticky" and it is not really helpful for their piano practices. Do note that some keyboard do not have touch response function which means how hard or how soft your depression is the loudness is going to be the same. Also cheap keyboard normally does not have Midi port that allows you to connect your pc.

    • Digital Piano: When compared to an electronic keyboard, digital piano has far lesser functions and instruments. However they usually comes with Midi interface which means you can connect them to your computers or other electronic devices. The main feature of a digital piano is to provide a similar touch to that of a real piano. All the keys are weighted carefully to mimic how a piano should "feel". Best is that the volume output can be adjusted. You dont have to worry about disturbing your neighbours when you do your practices at odd hours. It's definitely smaller and much more portable compared to a piano but if you want portability keyboard is still the best to go for.

  3. What purpose are you buying for
    Now that you know their differences you can start to review your purpose. Lets say you will only be playing piano pieces, you only like the organic sound of a piano and you got a large space. Definitely you should get an acoustic piano. If not, I would strongly suggest you not to get an acoustic piano. Why? I will talk about it more in the maintenance section. If you like to compose or do recording get either a keyboard or a digital piano they are much more suitable for the job.

  4. The maintenance that these instruments require
    Keyboard and digital piano require little to no maintenance, you just need to dust it occasionally. For acoustic is really high maintenance, it requires proper tuning and regulation. And if you do not take care of your piano properly, especially when you are living in a humid country, you'll probably end up with sticky keys like me.

  5. Your budget
    Since building an acoustic piano requires lots of delicate work and manpower it is very expansive. We must also consider the maintenance cost. Whereas for digital piano and keyboard they have a wide price range. Basically the more willing you are to pay, the more functions you'll get and the quality of sampled sounds are better.

  6. Other alternatives
    Instead of buying a new instruments why not consider renting one. Renting is the best options if you really cant afford to buy one. Or you can contact any piano dealer and check with them if they have any second-hand piano for sale. 

Minimalism In music The Beauty of Simplicity

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Minimalism is a musical style in post-modern music. This term can be used in other forms of art as well eg. design.

Sometimes simple things can be really beautiful .. like this enso circle -->

What is minimal music, let me do a simple break down for you.

By making music simple and repeating them at a constant steady pulse, over and over, do a little modification or expansion  here and there. You'll create some kind of hypnotic effect.. which is why minimalism can also sometimes be labelled as trance music. Is like a circle going round and round.

When combining with pop/rock it slowly evolves into a new genre called techno.
Interesting right! Darwin's Theory of Evolution in music o.o
Bet you didnt know about this earlier ..

There are quite a few famous artist who does minimal music, I'll name a few of those songs that I like down here, Michael Nyman I recommend you  "The Heart Ask the Pleasure First"
                   Yann Tierseon - Comptine D'un Autre ete
                   Ludovico Einaudi - Fly (most of his songs are nice but only if you enjoy this kind of music)
                   John Cage - Dream

Want to know more about John Cage and his controversial piece 4'33" of silence?

Jack Neo Returns!!

Last Revised: Monday, October 15, 2012

Ohh Ho. Jack neo is back with his new movie. <<Ah Boys To Men/新兵正传>>

Looking at the trailer reminds me of those day I spent in Tekong -_-.. and my brother is serving his reservist now, hope that he is doing fine...

Well is good to see that he is still in the film industry ..... and since he said to "keep things realistic" in this film, I might be looking forward to it, we shall see..

My Opinion on John cage 433 Is this Music or JunK?

Ever heard of John Cage 4'33

Somehow I strongly feel like viewing this piece as a Buddhist teaching ,Form is Emptiness; Emptiness is Form.Yes this piece is nothing but "total silence" and you can play this piece using any instruments.  Well I wont be putting up any video for this piece. But you can search for it in the youtube there are a bunch of people out there playing this bizarre piece.. sitting quietly for Four minutes and thirty three seconds

Rest In Peace
I learned about this piece a year ago while I was taking up music appreciation course as one of my elective..  I feel so damn lucky to have this as part of my elective.. by the way I Got an A grade for my elective  >.<

For those who didnt know, this is listed as one of the top controversial music pieces.. some may find it meaningful, some may just thought of it as a waste of time and not even considering it as composition..

My Views on Music: Universal language Music For Life

Last Revised: Saturday, October 13, 2012

This is my philosophy of life & how I relate it to music.

Every one of us is unique and different, we have what we like and what we dislike. We all have different preferences..

I cant force you to do things you don't enjoy, likewise you can't force me to do things your way if I don't feel like it.
Mutual respect between humans are very important.. there is certain boundary and space we should never crossover..

Why do I say listening to music is the same as eating food..

The Taste Preferences: 
Food have different flavours, textures, colours, nutrients,cultures... etc.
Same goes for music they have different genre, cultures, styles, expressions...  etc.
Besides all these differences.. the venues we are in also plays a part.
For example, you wont be playing classical music in a nightclub right! everyone would be sleeping on the dance floor if you did that..

Universal Language:
Food as a form of universal language.. it has the ability to convey message , it brings people together.  It lets you understand the culture.
Music is too a form of universal language.. it touches human soul even without the lyrical element.. the style that express composer's feelings.

The Energy for Life:
Drawing of Mr Durian
Mr Durian
We all know why we need to consume food. That's right For energy!
Since music cant really give us the real energy we need for work but it can provide us with mental boost. I remembered a friend once told me, every morning he would listen to one particular song, which I can't recall the song title, all I can remember it is an upbeat song. He told me that it helps him in kick starting his day.

Since music is so much like food .. people will have preference over it.. We are free to choose what pleases us most.  So is always good to respect peoples choice in music. You can give your thoughts but not criticize about their taste or flame their idols.

Instead of disapproving and locking our minds up why not open up and discover them. Stop stereotyping,  hopefully you might find some beauty in them.. often there are so much to learn about we just over look them once we start rejecting.

Always remember what is pleasing to your ears might not be pleasing to others..It goes the same for food, I might like to eat durian, some might not. This is what music is about, an acquired taste for every individual.

Feel free to share with me what kinds of music you like?
Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

Tsuzumi goes "pong pong" in Patapon

Last Revised: Friday, October 12, 2012

I am in obsession with Japanese culture and their music.

Let's start of this post by telling you how I discover this interesting instrument. It took me a long time to realize what this odd shaped hourglass instrument is called...

How many of you knew about this PSP game, Patapon??? It's a fairly engaging rhythmic game.. whereby you need to march those little black eyeball imps to fight off monsters..with the help of the different drums..

So I was playing this game on my psp.. there is this particular mini game that caught my interest... I 'll show you a clip of the minigame that I was playing.. pata pata pata pon..

What makes Chiptune & 8 Bit music?

Last Revised: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 lovers! Today I will be talking about

Chiptune!.. any idea what is chiptune or 8 bit music?

Potato Chiptune Music
Potato Chiptune Music

Ah.. It has got nothing to do with these potatoes chip ;P
But if you are thinking about the electronic component (micro-chip) you are right!

Chiptune is one of the earliest form of video game music. It's first début was in the late 70's when the arcade video games thrive. I still remember the loud gritty sound coming out of my pc's speaker when I played those games back in the early 90's. Gosh my ear hurts o.o Yup they still exist in the early 90's. Below is one of my favourite childhood games with chiptune music..

Bubble Bobble theme by Tadashi Kimijima & Zuntata

..and guess what! WHAT? for your bonus information SNSD Ramen song has the same melody.

Anyway Chiptune is also known as 8-bit music.. or I should say Chiptune is a music genre which consists of 8-bit, 12-bit  and anything that sounds "chippy".. Which they are often made out of simple sound waves (sine, sawtooth, triangle & square) with limited channels of sound. Now some of you might not understand what do I mean by channels, to put it simply one channel = one instrument.

So if you have lesser channels to work with, the variant of creativity will be lesser. With these restrictions Game audio composer of the past have to develop simple yet catchy tunes.

How the different Soundwaves are formed: sine cosine mentaiko

Basically anything to do with waves works the same.. If you learned physics you might know what is Fourier Series!!!! -_-" difficult subject.. the fundamental concepts are relatively easy to understand. Below is a video showing how you can achieve a square wave by adding the different sine wave harmonics together. Note: there are complex waves that have additions of both sine and cosine..

Now Are you able to understand the concept of how to get a sawtooth, square or triangle waves? Just by adding the different harmonics of sine wave.

With all that being said, there is one part I have yet to touch on.
One particular channel in chiptune music that is very special
Since it does not have a regular wave pattern they are considered as noise! Noise in music You're kidding me? No I am not.. Perhaps this is part of the reason why my ear hurts Haha.(dont know what im taking about? go back to the top and read again)

Listen to chiptune carefully and you'll notice that noises are mainly used for "drums" and effects. This is done so to give more interesting colours to the music.. since what the technology can do in the past is limited, dont you agree with me?

With the invention of sound card in the late 80's the quality of sound gets better, 8 bit music had since gradually dies off.

Good thing is some of us still likes chiptune music. Nostalgia!!!!

Do you enjoy chiptune music? If you do you might want to check out the band Anamaguchi!

Why don't you start appreciating classical music?

Last Revised: Monday, October 8, 2012

My affection for classical music started since young. Largely due to my dad's influence and encouragement. That is also when I got interested in the secret world of sound and music.

Is common to hear people saying "listening to classical music is boring and it makes me sleepy".
It makes me wonder are you really listening?or you just "shut off " your ears because in your mind you already deemed classical music as boring (which they all sounded like this). (write in your comments about it)

How to enjoy classical music?
In my opinion the best way to appreciate a classical piece is to learn about it. You may not love classical music but certainly it can help you in understanding them more.

So what is classical music?  In our current era we consider classical music as slow moving, light, with the accompaniment of strings, piano woodwinds and bass.. (Warning: Stereotype Content Detected)

But how many knows that classical music consists of music from the different eras, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romanticism, 20th Century(Modern). And each eras their play style is different. Take note that Classical era is a sub-genre(period) of classical music.

Lets not go too in-depth with the genre for this post. I may do another post about the different eras next time. ;P

Portrait Beethoven
How can you not know him??
(Ludwing van Beethoven)
For those who don't like slow moving classical music there are classical music that are fast paced.
To start you off I will name a few of my favourite ones here:
Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
William Tell Overture(Finale) by Rossini
Moonlight sonata (3rd Movement) by Ludwing van Beethoven 

I am sure you must have heard one of these before right.

Read up on the different composers and their creation, believe me most pieces have interesting story.

Another method is to try attending a classical concert. Get a feel of it, even better if you can get your friend to tag along with you.
Search for free concert in your area. In Singapore you can visit Esplanade, they often have free performance. NAFA is another place you can check out.

Listening to classical live in a concert hall is very different from listening to a recording.
Remember to get a programme brochure, normally it contains brief descriptions of the performing pieces.

Why do I listen to classical music?
First I need to point out that music can affect people's mood. It has the ability to alter our psychological state of mind (believe it or not its up to you). That being said, whenever I feel stressful I often hook myself up with classical music. Sometimes it just makes me feels like im watching a "real life" Disney animation.

So what are you waiting for.. Start listening to classical and have fun with it...
If you are interested in Japanese anime or you would like to see other famous works being used in animation please click here

Comments are welcome and encouraged. :)

Onomatopoeia! the godmother of SOUND!!!

Last Revised: Thursday, October 4, 2012

What is On·o·mat·o·poe·ia? Damn this word is so hard to spell dont you agree but is a fun word to learn.. Why Godmother of SOund?

To put it simple, Onomatopoeia is basically words that mimics the actual sound.
For example "hiss", "boom", "blop"

Speaking of which it reminds me of this song that my brother loves.. Price Tag by Jessie J lets see if you can spot any Onomatopoeia.

Here is another question.
Which language uses Onomatopoeia words most frequently??
Well it will probably be Japanese..
If you look closely, Onomatopoeia in Japanese are sub divided into 3 categories.

Giseigo: Sounds that animate objects make
Giongo: Sounds made by inanimate objects
Gitaigo: They are words that describe feelings or expressions (Gitaigo are mimetic words and are often treated as Onomatopoeia)

If you can read hiranga & katakana and want to know more you can go over to  (There is a good list of  Japanese Onomatopoeia there)

Well thats all for now!! 

Sound effect Laser gun ~ Pewww~

Ever wonder how the sound effect of laser gun was made in star wars?..
I use to think that it was probably "created" through extensive tweaking by some sound engineers  ..
But it was NOT!

You must be thinking Har!?. You must be kidding me.. how can zapping sound of the laser be made by an ordinary object...

Benjamin Franklin's Glass Harmonica Bowls

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Benjamin Franklin ?? huh what has he got to do with sound n glass armonica

Aint he the electricity guy? Yup you are Right!

He is the guy who flew a kite in the storm. Well I will not go into detail about the little experiment he did, if you are interested you can click on this link Ben Franklin Kite flying Story. (PS:probably this is how he invented the lighting rod)

So what has this thunder guy got to do with music? Did he made the musical tesla? Of course not.
But he is the guy who invented The Glass Harmonica.


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