Japan Trip 2012 – Day 14 At the recording studio

I woke up early and got on the train to meet with my friends to record some music at a studio!
This will be the first time I’ll meet up with these friends for about a couple of years.

Back a few years, I bought their doujin (fan-made) music CDs they sold at comic market, and had been in communication with them. It was about last year that they offered to let me participate in their CD which has been motivating me to improve with my violin and piano.

I brought my violin, music stand, midi keyboard and macbook air with me as well as some change of clothes.

It seemed that although I arrived on time, the other two members were running late.

The studio was a bit of a distance away so we had to catch a bus there. Before leaving we brought some breakfast at McDonalds.

When we arrived, we went to the studio to set up and one of us went to check in to the hotel in the same building.

When setting up, we noticed a few things, the drums didn’t come with any drum sticks and the keyboard didn’t have a sustain pedal.

My friend prepared a timetable for roughly how we should organise our time to record the parts for the CD, and my part was to practice the violin parts until I can play it quite flawless even without music sheet.

That was the other problem. My friend ended up not creating an arrangement of Gymnopedie as discussed, so we decided to drop that and focus on the Aozora song that I started practicing a couple of days ago.

There was no music sheet for that, so I spent some time getting a midi copy of the song converted into music sheet and worked on transposing it down an octave and into the key of D as it is the easiest key to play the song in.

Since I converted the song from a midi, the rhythm was messed up on the music sheet, so I had to just refer to the notes, but play the rhythm by ear. Playing it in tune was an issue and I had to occasionally play the midi and adjust my tuning to match the midi file to ensure I was playing it perfectly in tune.

While I was practicing the violin, the guitarist, Tsukineko, was busy making his own guitar tabs as the music he had to learn was only available as music sheet.

The main person in the group, Nagai, was busy still working on some songs on his laptop while we were practicing and making our music sheets.

There was one other person in our group who worked on lyrics for the vocals for use in the singing software Hatsune Miku.

I am busy practicing violin now and the current plan is to have me record my part tonight.

Lunch was at a restaurant in the same building complex. A couple had the meal of the day, but me and another one of the guys had a different dish.

We couldn’t use the studio till late at night, so after 8pm? we had to leave and call it day for the recording. In the end, we were not able to complete any of the recording and the guitar part needed a bit more work and adjusting of the guitar effects pedals and amp to get the right sound they were looking for.

Apparently we also had a curfew on what time we could go out, so we had to quickly head to the convenience store for dinner. It seemed that there weren’t any other places to eat nearby.

I bought myself some noodles, some cheese karage and some other snacks.

The room we stayed in was quite big and spacious. It was a Japanese style room with a large table in the center.
We ate dinner, had a shower and then Tsukineko and Nagai worked on one of the songs while trying various tweaks to the guitar and effects pedal setup.

Since there was nothing much I could do as I left the violin in the recording studio, I just relaxed and played some little busters on my ps vita.

We also recorded something called Otaku radio and we all contributed to the mock radio talkshow that Nagai was hosting. It wasn’t going into the current CD, but was for something else later on.

Because I slept late the previous night and woke up early, at this stage, I was getting quite sleepy. I was actually on the edge of sleeping as I kept nodding off while they were working on the CD and recording some talk show style interviews.

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