Cover vs Original Music Composition Observations

The difference between making an original piece of music and making a piece of music form pre-existing has just hit me and it’s so interesting.  With original music, you’re free to make your own thing, not feeling pressured to “Stick to the original version” because you’re making something from scratch.  With a cover, you’re making something from scratch in a way but also not really.  If you want it to be your own spin on a cover, and not just you covering a song verbatim (I consider this more arranging when you add your own spin on it).  I think making a cover your own is definitely a puzzle in itself, trying to figure out what pieces of the original piece you want to keep the same, if any, and what you want to make different.  Do you want to make an upbeat song somber and orchestral?  Want to make a sad song or emotional piece rock?  Then you have to listen to the original track, picking the piece apart for parts of the song you want to use, and parts you want to make your own.  Want to just make the entire thing you own?  Well then, that’s a whoel different animal!  Time to start playing different musical ideas until you find ones that fit the tone your going for.

 

I find I hit road bumps whenever I want to change something a lot.  With that battle theme I altered I mentioned a while ago (I still need to post that) it was upbeat and high energy, and I wanted to completely shift that to something haunting and somber.  So taking chord progressions that fit that tone from the original was really interesting because I had to fit my concepts of how I wanted the track to be with the basic melody structure of the piece.  In the end, I got something that sounds completely different from the original, that is definitely something my own while still sounding like it’s that track because of me using aspect of the original track to form that idea.    And I hope that made at least a teeny bit of sense XD

 

But I’m hitting the same road blocks with this new cover I’m working on I did with that one, and even though it’s frustrating, at the same time I’m like “Well the more I struggle with this, the more I make it my own and it will get easier with time”.  I don’t want to rush it, but I think I’m finally forming an idea of how I want this to sound.  At first, I really wanted to use an iconic chord progression in the track, but got some good advice from a friend when I asked if it would matter to leave it in or out.  The basic progression will be there unless you drastically change the initial melody of the track, so don’t really worry about it.  I found something close to the chord progression that I will probably use for my version of the song, and am heavily taking inspiration form Laura Shigihara’s version of the track as well (which is also really different to the original but still sounds like it’s that song) so like I said, won’t worry about it.
I had a lot of these musings while trying to hash out getting this track down, and have found some interesting work arounds to trying to figure out how to write a track!  Breaking down the original version by listening to each track of it individually is something I figured out I didn’t know you could do just by importing midi to reaper, so that was cool!  Now I have a new way to learn parts of songs, and come up with ideas for stuff.

 

Really just wanted to share my findings with this whole thing and my thoughts on the subject.  If you have any, would love to hear in the comments!

Lesson Learned from a Seemingly Small Statement

I went to record some video today for a collab quickly because my computer cord is starting  to do a weird finicky  thing where it has to be positioned a certain way to be charging.  Because of that, I’ve been keeping it plugged in at all times because last time that happened, my cord died and I was without a computer for a few months.  I’m prepared this time, though!  Already backed everything up, and getting anything due to people done asap so I can not worry too much if the cord does die before the new one I ordered comes in.  It’s not being super intense with its amount of plugging in and out, like it stays plugged in and charging well but sometimes it does go in and out, in and out, so I’m taking extra precautions.  At the same time, I’m not sure if it’s just wiggling out slightly because sometimes when I position it and then move it around it just stays fine, but like I said better safe than sorry.  It happened to me once, I won’t’ be caught unawares again!  I’ve only had this computer for about three years, and am not sure of the lifespan of new computers but I feel like this one is getting a little worn out with all I do on it with such little ram.  But only thing I’ve ever needed to do is replace the cord, so I’m assuming what’s happening is a cord issue again (it’s a ten dollar off brand cord so I’m guessing it’s life  span isn’t as long as the Acer cord that died end of last year).  I’d like to get the Acer brand cord for this computer, but navigating the site is so freaking confusing I sort of gave up lol.

Because of that, I sort of didn’t really care about my appearance in the video.  I mean, I made sure I didn’t’ look hideous or anything, but I didn’t wear makeup at all.  I’m still a little self-conscious  about doing something like that, so when my Mom went in and positioned my camera to record, I asked her if I look fine without makeup.  Specifically I asked, “Do I need concealer?”

 

She went “Well yeah, you know you have dark circles under your eyes.  But you either put on concealer, or you don’t care about it”.
and that statement super hit me in a way it hasn’t.
Because I’m always so obsessed with how a video looks, how I look, how my music sounds, how interesting my videos are, that something as simple as “Yeah, whatever, I’m comfortable looking like this in this video” has never hit me.  I know she didn’t mean it like that and was just stating a fact, but hearing it and going “Yeah, she’s right!  If I want to hide that part of my face then do it.  But if you’re not going to, then also don’t’ sweat over it because it’s just a part of your facial features and people can deal with it because this is how I want to record my video”.

 

It was a weird moment, and possibly not the best choice for a collab video, but honestly it felt good to just make that decision and go with it.  I finished the video with only lip gloss on, and got it to my collaborator.  And just doing that honestly made me not stress about the video quality, because it was just me sitting there and being chill.  I’m debating vlogging, and knowing that I’m alright with doing something like that now makes me feel like I’d be more comfortable vlogging, as well.  Because I never mind when I’m recording video, but the preparation for recording said video, putting on a face of makeup and all of that is what always makes me second guess recording.  But now, I’m realizing something I realized a long time ago with my music:  Do whatever you want, own your decision, and roll with it!  It’s so weird to  be relearning these things, but at the same time I’m learning it in a different way so it sticks more.  Being less self-conscious is  an eternal struggle for me, so realizing that with such a small statement from my Mom was a big eye opener.

 

I’ve been tossing around the idea of vlogging with my brother, but haven’t really figured out what I’d vlog about.  Would I post it on the same channel as my music?  Would that be a problem?  Maybe make a second channel?  Plus when I sit down and talk in front of a camera, it’s always so awkward for me haha.  I’m fine with podcasting, but for some reason on camera I’m like ugh this suuuucks.  So if you have any ideas, or tips on vlogging, post them in the comments!

Not Much to say so time to grumble grumble

Nothing like trying to schedule a post on your other blog for like 30 minutes only to think you’ve done it then check and nope it’s just published with the time stamp of tomorrow~  I hate wordpresses scheduling feature, it’s the worst and have never been able to figure it out in its new format.  I miss the just type in day and time thing it used to have before it made all these dumb changes.
But anyway, today is hot.  Yesterday was hot, like I don’t have AC and it’s hell on earth hot.  All I can really do is sit around, try to stay cool and hydrated until 7 PM rolls around because that’s when it’s freaking sundown here right now.  I thought I lived in California, not Arizona!!  It’s so hot that just having my laptop on my lap is making me want to die ugh.  I need somewhere else to put it on hot days like these.  To top it all off, got some virus that’s making it painful to open my mouth, therefore can’t sing (or eat much which is frustrating) and I just want it to be gone so I can have more than yogurt and smoothies and I want this heat to be gone so I can do things during the day that aren’t just trying not to burn up.

 

So yeah, not much to say, more of a rambling post than anything but will get back to regularly scheduled programming next week probs.  How are yoooou?

Some Video Idea Brainstorms

This post is more of a brainstorming post for me about different video ideas I’ve been having so I can flesh out said ideas a bit more so here we goooo lol.
I got this idea from someone else who’s been doing this cool idea called a cover story:  they have their cover, but there’s a story or idea explored in text via the subtitles/captions section on YouTube (hurray for accessibility there!).  But it got me thinking about doing something like that for some of my videos.  Now, for their videos, they still add a full video aspect, but I’ve been thinking that doing a sort of storybook or slideshow thing could work?  I was thinking, I have a lot of lyrics that I wrote that turned out more like poems, so they’re just sitting on my computer  It would be nice to try and fit them to some music, post the poem as the visual aspect, and have that be the video.  Ideally, I’d like to have some sort of still images drawn (enter the storybook aspect) but in general, I’m thinking use the poetry to write some original tracks to as inspiration, then post the poetry as the video.
For covers, I thought of maybe making a little story, but haven’t quite fleshed that out yet.  I’m thinking combine my love of fanfiction with writing little stories for the cover, and make it like a storybook – like how Kirby’s Epic Yarm  plays out haha.  Super basic ideas so far, because like I said I haven’t quite fleshed it out, but I’m really inspired to try connecting my poetry to some music somehow.

 

Now on the visuals end, I honestly have no idea if reading poetry to music would really be interesting to people.  I’m willing to give it a try though!  I’d loooove to somehow add some other artistic aspect to it though, like maybe some artwork drawn by someone else, or some sort of tactile art I can make, take pictures of, and use?  Or some sort of stop motion posting, which is another idea I’ve had but doing stop motion skits put to my covers is a whooooole other animal haha.  I’m trying to think of ways I myself can make videos interesting, because sometimes I just don’t have people who have the time to edit stuff for me.  Which is completely understandable, I’m happy with the amount of people who are willing to help me out with the visual aspect of YouTube (my friends are pretty awesome) but at the same time I guess I’ll always be a I have to try to do things myself person just to see if I can do it XD

 

So yeah, just some ideas that have been bouncing around my head.  I’ll probably wind up trying some of them, and see how it goes!  My top favorites are definitely the poetry/storybook ideas, I think those ones are really cool and inventive.

 

Have any cool video ideas?  Would love to hear in the comments!

Happy Birthday Kirby! Green Greens Cover

Green Greens A Cappella Cover [Kirby’s Dreamland] Crystal Dennis – YouTube

 

Happy birthday Kirby!  August 1, 1992 is when Kirby’s Dreamland was released in North America, so since that’s the date I would’ve gotten Kirby that’s the date I’m saying is his birthday – the same month as mine, woo!  I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on the blog, but I looooove Kirby.  I have a lot of Kirby merch, and any time I need to color coordinate my room I always make it Kirby pink.  If I need a darker shade, then it’s the pink that’s his feet haha.  I just love how happy, sweet, and cute Kirby is, he just always makes me so happy and since this year is also his 25th anniversary, I thought it would be fun to make this month on my channel Kirby month!  Which means both the covers I’m posting this month are going to be Kirby, starting with this one.  I also thought it would be fitting, since it’s the very first stage track we ever got in a Kirby game!
For this one, I really just wanted to have fun.  So it may be a little silly, but whenever I listen to it I’m honestly really happy with how it came out – I was going for capturing that high energy, happy feeling Kirby always gives me, so hope I did!  The Kirby noise at the beginning I did before recording a certain take, and it was more of a blooper but I left it in because I liked what it added to the cover XD

 

But yeah, hope you enjoy!  Happy Kirby’s birthday to aaaaall~

Hurray For Happy Accidents!

I guess I’m on a be flexible  and chill and not so perfectionist kick lately, because something happened with baking the other day that otherwise would have made me stress out and possibly start over.  It was a good lesson for me and something fun I figured I’d share, so here we go!

 

I was making the brownies I love yesterday, and my brain was just not functioning in the brownie frame of mind.  I’m so used to making cookie bars that even though I was reading the recipe for the brownies, which says you need half a cup of flour, I put a full cup of flour in which is the amount for cookie bars.  I had already put in every other dry ingredient on top of it, so it’s not like I could jus tpull out half a cup of flour.  Oh no!  My brownies were ruined.
Or were theeeey~

 

My fam was like “Don’t worry about it” but I was like “Well the recipe takes 2 eggs, so what should I do?  It may not be the same consistency” so in the end we decided to just throw one egg in there to make it a cookie bar doughy consistency.  Having a full cup of flour in there made the chocolate taste a little less prominent, but I was eating the dough from the bowl that was left over (because come on, who doesn’t) and it tasted really good!  Like a chocolate sugar cookie, basically so I was really curious to see how the texture of the brownies would be after baking.

 

After the normal bake time, pulled it out and it was done – which is normally what happened with the brownies.  But I noticed it was a bit more fudgey than the more cakey brownies I make with the 2 eggs, and half a cup of flour.  Turns out, they were more fudgey, it was so delicious!!  It’s less chocolatey, but you can taste all of the flavors added into the brownie instead of just chocolate.  It somehow came out richer, probably because of that fudge texture.  I used baking powder because that’s what the brownie recipe needs, instead of baking soda which is what’s used for the cookie bars and it just turned out to be soooo good, it’s hard to describe!  And to think, I wouldn’t have found this new way to make brownies if I hadn’t “messed up” the recipe.  Today I ran out of vanilla extract, so am trying it with nutmeg, and it also makes a completely different tasting brownie!  Well, haven’t tried the brownie yet but the dough tasted sort of like a coffee, red velvety fudge.  Ugh this recipe is just so good, looove it!  I like how I can add frosting and other toppings in this because of the diluted  chocolate also, because the recipe I normally use is really rich from the getgo so it’s hard to add things.

 

But yeah, I’m loving not stressing so much about things being perfect, and figuring out how to work through problems instead of just starting over from scratch when something doesn’t turn out quite right.  This is the first time I drastically diverted form a recipe as well, and it’s really fun being creative in the kitchen – can’t wait to do it more!  I’m really curious to see how 2 eggs will work with the 1 cup of flour, we’ll see if I try to do that next time I make brownies!

21 Day VGM Challenge, Final Day is Tomorrow! What I learned wrap up

Tomorrow is the final day of my 21 day VGM Challenge and I was debating waiting until next week to do the wrap up post or just doing it  day before it was over.  But I figure, what I learned during the challenge isn’t going to change overnight so I’ll just do a post about the things I learned during these past 21 days in a nice bullet list format!

 

  • Biggest thing I learned was no matter what, if you want to write something, just sit down and write.  This doesn’t just go for music, it goes for anything:  If you want to write a novel or fanfic, or blog, just sit down and write.  You’re not going to like the first thing you churn out, but you’ll have something to grow and learn from, and you’ll get your brain working in a creative way so you can actually be in the proper mindset to work on the piece.
  • For music, don’t be afraid of hitting a road block!  There were so many times during this challenge I hit a snag while making a melody or chord progression, but instead of getting frustrated, I stopped and said what I had was going to be my bars for that day.  A few times, the next day I came up with something I could use for the thing the day before, so just stopping and taking a breather instead of banging my head against the wall helped loads.
    • This is a huuuge one that I see a lot of musicians and creators struggle with, and it’s a constant battle for us but honestly don’t be a perfectionist.  There were a few times I made a mistake, and it made something even better than I was trying to get because instead of giving up because it wasn’t “perfect” I forged forward in spite of   the “imperfections”.  Especially in music, flaws show character, and can make something great out of something you may have thought was garbage.  So really try and check your perfectionism at the door, and just get out there and create!
  • I was getting burnt out halfway through the challenge, but I forced myself to keep on moving forward.  I know people think that creativity should be some sort of muse, or flash on inspiration, but it’s really a muscle you need to flex so it can get developed enough to come up with ideas. Whenever you need to.  If you want to make this your profession, then making music when you’re not “inspired” is a must have skill.
  • I’m slowly learning how to develop better melodies and figuring out how to make things more dynamic, and I wouldn’t have known that without this challenge.  I also wouldn’t have figured out the sorts of VSTs I want to buy for the type of music I make without it either, and wouldn’t have figured out writing for different styles isn’t as hard as I thought.  I put off doing a few other projects to keep my momentum going for this challenge, so I will probably do this sort of thing every so often to get a lot of ideas for songs.
    • As it stands, I’m going to work on some collabs, some other covers, and also work on fleshing the ideas I got from this challenge out (I already have at least three things I know where I want to go woo).  I’m really happy I did this because as you see, I learned a lot from it, and enjoyed it a lot and defs will do it again!

 

If you want to check out the ideas I came up with during the challenge, you can check out the playlist I made for them here!