In commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Hatsune Miku, KARENT presents special song.
Here is LASS strings version of malo's "Hajimete No Oto". Hope you enjoy it.
"What was your first sound?" The song was made in 2007, the year when Hatsune Miku was released. The evergreen masterpiece with purity which expresses character of Vocaloid Hatsune Miku.
The strings version of malo's "Hajimete No Oto" which was made in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Hatsune Miku.
Minako Seki and Masamichi Seki from DIGITAL SONIC DESIGN arranged this strings version. AUDIOBRO's "LA SCORING STRINGS", which has a reputation for good sound texture and high degree of reproducibility of playing style, is used for audio source. Why don't you try listening to the song along with reading their comments?
Comment by Minako Seki, the arranger
I am Minako Seki from DIGITAL SONIC DESIGN and in charge of music arrangements.
I listened to "Hajimete No Oto" for the first time in order to arrange the song this time and the most impressive part was the content of lyrics. So I tried to construct the arrangement in a way that follows the flow of the lyrics.
For Hatsune Miku users, it must have been the moment when they installed the software and ran the program to vocalize. For those who have not used Hatsune Miku, it must have been the moment when they experienced to play instruments. I wanted to express "the first feeling." As you can see in the lyrics, it is the brilliant feeling like finding treasures when you "made a sound" for the first time and the exciting feeling wondering what you would be able to do. Also I thought it would be nice if I could express a kind of nostalgia to remember "the first feeling" which we have almost forgot as the time goes by. Arrangement was made in order to follow the lyrics in some parts. I also tried to arrange the song for you to discover something new everytime you listen to it.
Last of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Crypton Future Media, composer malo for giving me such wonderful opportunity, and I do appreciate everyone who listens to this music.
I hope this newly arranged "Hajimete No Oto" brings something to you.
Intereview: Masamichi Seki, the operator
I was especially conscious of connecting playing styles smoothly because I also combined it with arrangement to draw out the character of LASS.
Please introduce yourself.
I am a Sound Designer, a kind of jack-of-all-trades of sound who loves something new and cannot live without Mac and ProTools.
Please tell us about the appeal of LA SCORING STRINGS 2.0.
The appeal of LA SCORING STRINGS 2.0 is its rich parameters which can control the details including divisi. Beginners might think that there are too many parameters to master or it is difficult to learn. On professional productions, it might be thought that recording live performance would rather be easier than programming in such detail.
But for me, I found myself excited at LASS remembering the days when I operated analog synthesizers with enormous knobs and patches to create single note.
When I operate LASS, I sometimes feel as if I conduct or play for an orchestra as the sound expands and the performance starts breathing. LASS may be maniac sound source which is for operators rather than composers. But once you get used to it, controlling is not so difficult and its expressive ability could affect composition.
I want to listen to music by many musicians who drew out the character of LASS.
Please tell us your production environment.
I used MacPro 2.4Ghz 12core (48GB memory), ProTools HD10.2 and KONTAKT5.0.3 in Vienna Ensemble PRO 5 (VEPro) with LASS2.0.1 patch for manipulation. Please see the detail on the page "Sound Designer's Booth" in our website. Minako Seki, the arranger worked in the environment which is mentioned on the page "Composer's Booth".
How did you communicate with the arranger Minako Seki?
I left everything about arrangement to Minako Seki. I asked her to play it when she had finished the whole arrangement. Then we discussed about the part where she wanted to emphasize the expression while she explained me how the direction of arrangement was. After that, I started full-scale manipulation in my environment.
When we exchange our data, both of us use ProTools for production so all I have to do is receive session data from her. But she works on arrangement organizing tracks in her own way, so I transpose it to my template and proceed with my work in my environment.
Please tell us how you used LASS this time.
The patch of LASS differs according to playing styles, but I loaded all of them but particular styles (e.g. Bartok Pizz). I used 4 KONTAKT per section - various styles of "Vn1FC(First Chair)" for first KONTAKT in VEPro, "Vn1A(divisi A)" for second KONTAKT, "Vn1B(divisi B)" for third KONTAKT and like that. There are 5 strings sections in full orchestra (Vn1, Vn2, Va, Vc, Cb) so I used 20 KONTAKT in total.
I made MIDI tracks which correspond to each KONTAKT on ProTools and wrote the melody for each divisi part. Playing styles were able to be switched by key switch using ARC on LASS.
Please tell us about the manipulation.
The arrangement only uses strings this time so first of all, I started working on Vn1(first violin) which is related to the melody of vocal part the most. With this work, I manipulate the flow of the song, breathing of the sound and so on, and made the expression of the song roughly. Of course, some work was needed afterwards because the part is related to other string sections, too.
Secondly, I wanted to work on Vn2(second violin), but I got exhausted because I worked too hard on Vn1...(laugh) So I decided to work on Cb(contrabass) as a base. It enabled me to look over the outline of the song as a whole, so I wrote the harmony in order of Vc(cello), Va(viola) and Vn2.
What were you conscious of?
I was especially conscious of connecting playing styles smoothly because I also combined it with arrangement to draw out the character of LASS. I couldn't adjust some parts with MIDI in the end so I converted them in audio format and then fixed the part. But I did it so much at first that the sound became mechanical because breathing of instruments had gone. So I brought it back to rough sound in MIDI format. It made me thought that LASS was aimed to create such live and rough sound.
Another particular point was how to organize and play each section of strings intertwining with each other, maybe? It's almost the problem of conductors. And, to tell the truth, vocal editing was... (cough, cough, cough...) (I have only Mac so Vocaloid was...)
Mr. Masamichi Seki mixed the song as well. Please tell us about the mixing briefly.
LASS has EQ on its patch and it is turned on by default, but this time I turned off all of them and played. The balance of each track was almost controlled at the MIDI stage so I use EQ and comp just to fix over-amplified bandwidth after converted in audio format. It may be fine adjustment of balance rather than mixing.
At first, I intended to make a mix which reminds us of Miku's singing with string section on stage, but her voice was blown away by strings. So I made the one with the image of Miku surrounded by strings rather than playing the atmosphere.
Please give us the final word!
Playing strings is actually difficult. Musicians have repeated practice since they were children and they make beautiful sound taking plenty of time. As for MIDI, the sound source has been developing to get close to the quality of sound which musicians play, but the more closer it gets, the more complex the spec of sound source becomes and the more parameters to control MIDI has.
I feel sorry for musicians if I play the sound which they achieved with great effort and sweat and tears only by buying music software. Thus I believe it is important to have respect for musicians, see and listen to live performance and, if there's an opportunity to touch the instrument, to keep studying what the principle of making sound is.
If you keep on making such efforts, you would naturally be able to understand the reason why enormous number of parameters for audio sources exists. Please play the music software with a determination to "repeat practice and become good at playing".