As I think I’ve mentioned at one point or another, at Christmas I acquired two things that were meant to bring me closer to my goal of musicianship or what have you. For software, I got a copy of Native Instrument’s fantastic Traktor DJ Studio 2.5, possibly the best DJ software you can have for MP3-based DJ spinning. For hardware, I grabbed a M-Audio Oxygen 8 USB MIDI Controller, a small 25 key keyboard that can be used to control anything that takes a MIDI input.
For about a month I was left wondering what I was going to be able to do with this combination. In terms of strict music-making, the software isn’t desirable – you have to use existing songs, you can’t throw down drum loops on the fly or anything. In terms of DJ mixing, the hardware was the sticking point – it’s hard to come up with a suitable DJ-usable setup using a two-octave keyboard. And at the time, GarageBand wasn’t out (not that it has enabled me to do much).
What’s a young man with a fairly full iPod to do? The answer should’ve been obvious sooner than it came to me – and that answer is mashups. But what is a mashup? I quote Salon:
The wacky juxtaposition spawned its own kind of revolution, inspiring legions of the club remixes now called “mash-ups” — with one classic example being “Smells Like Booty,” in which Destiny’s Child wails over Nirvana’s classic dirge and drone. Also referred to as “bastard pop,” mash-ups involves blending samples from two songs — generally, one song’s vocals atop another’s instrumental or rhythm track. The sum of the parts often surpasses the originals. The more disparate the genre-blending is, the better; the best mash-ups blend punk with funk or Top 40 with heavy metal, boosting the tension between slick and raw. Part of the fun is identifying the source of two familiar sounds now made strange — and then giggling over how perfect Whitney sounds singing with Kraftwerk.
To be honest, my mashup drive was started completely by accident. While just attempting to throw together a mix of funky disco-esqe tracks, I had carelessly thrown two Beatmania IIDX tracks next to each other (The Biggest Roaster and Funky Bingo Paradise) due to similar tempos. I tried to get a crossover between the two tracks working and I recall accidently starting them both at nearly the same time and it just clicked instantly. And so, my first mashup, The Bingo Roaster, was created.
I started digging through Bemani tracks to find another juxtaposition that would work. Due to my anal-retentiveness about my iTunes library, I already had BPMs for all the IIDX songs (since they’re given in game), and could sort easily. Quickly I found matching songs and threw them together until I found the now semi-legendary combination of hard techno (QQQ) and hyper eurobeat (Night Of Fire). This led to Night Of QQQ, which remains my best work.
Since then, I’ve slapped together three more, including the incredible Let Them Dunk. I plan on doing some non-Bemani ones, but for now I’ve been having fun making goofy inside jokes as such.
If you’re interested in listening to them, I’ve put up a little archive; let me know what you think if you haven’t heard them previously. Or even if you have. Either way.
I’ve been meaning to scan this picture for almost two years. It’s from my next to last concert – the last one I ran security for – and the only show I met and specifically got autographs from the band. Keep in mind I’m not some giant closet No Doubt fan, but I did think it was a notable moment in what was four rollercoaster years of concert production.
There’s been some debate in the Bemani community about where the best place to order IIDX 7th Style from is, with under three months left till the game ships and all. The two primary options are Himeya and Play-Asia. Let’s compare in light of events this week:
For EMS shipping, last I checked:
When Do You Get Charged?
Himeya: On order.
Play-Asia: On ship.
Play-Asia offers a few bundles if you’re buying 7th Style with certain other games (6th Style, or DDRMAX2). Himeya does not.
People who preordered Pop’n 9, as I’m writing this, have received it from Play-Asia, but not from Himeya (or NCSX).
There was concern about Play-Asia being able to get Konamistyle-only items. Play-Asia has stock of the Pop’n 9 Limited Edition, which is Konamistyle-only. Concern over.
So why exactly would anyone order it from Himeya? Come on, folks, this is simple.
I have had the most insane idea I’ve ever had cross my brain this afternoon. But before I can pull this off, I need some help.
I know I have a good cross section of Bemani sim users reading my blog; I also have a good chunk of Mac users. As such, I need recommendations for a PSX->USB adaptor that can take two controllers at once and doesn’t have any huge outstanding issues with Mac compatiblity.
Something that comes with configuration software would be even better.
I’ve been a little short on the writings lately, so let me catch everyone up with a huge post.
Where I’ve Been – people may have noticed I wasn’t online much this weekend. As it happened, we had an implicit need to come back to the coldhole known as Ithaca – I had a bank account to close, and we were about due to come back for a quick visit. We’re staying until Monday morning, bussing back to the city, and I should be home around 2 PM.
What We Did For Valentine’s Day – went to the Cornell/Yale Men’s Hockey game. This will sound silly unless you’ve been to a Cornell hockey game – which everyone should do at least once in their lives, even if you don’t go to Cornell.
VJ Army – people keep bugging me about it, so here’s the public decree – don’t email me. Don’t IM me. Just wait patiently until I reopen registration, which should be this week. Every email with someone assuring me they’re not an asshat just makes me push it off farther because I’m annoyed.
Random Recommendations – wrapped up my first run on Metroid Zero Mission very quickly (3:13, 60%), working on my second run now. No spoilers, but I thought the Metal Gear Metroid section was RETARDED. No judgement on FF:CC yet because I haven’t played it enough, nor have I touched the multiplayer. Gackt’s Crescent is good despite his attempt to rap on the first track.
Orkut Funnies – as people have been noticing, my social butterfly-ism has been quite noticable at Orkut. I’ve had at least one person come up to me and start fake-bowing and going “ORKUT MASTER, ORKUT MASTER” after finding my profile, which is odd and amusing. But today we hit a special bit of amusement – I was unaware that Orkut had added Valentine’s cards, which are a neat little use for the software. Katie was also unaware until one of the people from her Japanes Horror community sent her one. Orkut offers you 10 pre-selected social networking-ish messages. This guy picked “I searched for love, and I found you.” This will certainly be getting interesting.
My Special Wish – I realize that between Katie and I to travel, we need to bring a minimum of seven power cords – two cell phone, two iPod, one iBook, one razor, and one (shared) GBASP. I’d really love to see electronics makers standardize on ONE damn power cord shape. This is a complete pipe dream, but a man has to keep his hopes high.
The Gaming Week Ahead – more work on Pokemon Sapphire (Colloseum is out soon!), more runs through Metroid Zero, some multiplayer FF:CC, SMBA4 now that I have the e-reader cards, and probably some IIDX 4th Style for the course of the week.
I think I’m done for the night. Back home tomorrow.
Ordered lunch at Burger King. Looked at the receipt. Circles are by me.
After wondering what the hell the first circled part meant, I realized that I GOT SERVED.
It’s the little things in life, I tell you.
Hey kids, I made another playlist. This one has a special Valentine’s Day theme – BUT IT MAY NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK! Give it a whirl. Click through for a tracklist.
Tuesday was, surprisingly enough, the eighteen month mark of the marriage of Katie and I. I think this officially puts us out of the “newlywed” stage, so there will be no opportunities for questions about the strangest place we’ve made whoopee to be answered in the hopes of winning a specially selected prize. I think this is the last non-year anniversary we’re allowed to recognize by law – after this it’s August 3rd only, baby.
The marriage is still going well; like all marriages, it’s a constant learning experience, with things to work on and help each other with. We make a good pair, Katie and I.
(There was a fairly depressing couple of paragraphs after this; I’ve decided to nuke them after some reflection. They dealt with me feeling stuck in a rut and like I needed something to break me out from the everyday drudgery. Truth is, I already did get re-centered and re-inspired, and I shouldn’t ever forget that.)
A few months ago, Katie and I were heading somewhere in the city, and we saw a homeless guy in the tunnel between the 42nd St station and Port Authority with a sign that said “TELL ME OFF – $2″. And I thought that was funny, really sad, and pretty insane all at the same time.
Tonight we were heading back to the subway around St. Marks (right near the fated telephone booth), and there was a guy in front of Starbucks selling snowballs for $1. Yes, snowballs – as in the balls of snow, not the slush-puppy-like thing they sell in Maryland or in the Clerks sense. This is when there are still giant piles of clean snow all over the place.
I am sincerely baffled.