Thursday, March 4, 2010

OMG RBN! Video of the Week: River of Tuoni

I totally had intended to remake my first ever youtube video but I had a change of plans.

It just so happened that while I was failing at FCing Forever by only getting a strong on the last note Dpritch sent me a message on xbox live talking about the ever spreading rumor that the RBN was coming TODAY!

I immediately decided it wasn't worth continuing to kill my voice for In This Moment- Forever and hovered over twitter watching for the latest news..

And then it came... Rock Band Network was listed under the Music Store and I instantly downloaded the 2 available Amberian Dawn songs (Hey! I helped get them in the RBN ok?) Naturally I went straight for River of Tuoni.. I mean I love Amberian Dawn but He Sleeps in a Grove is not one of my favorite songs of theirs. (I can't wait for the incoming 5 new ones)

I'm actually EXTREMELY lucky I got to play these songs at all because the RBN was not available everywhere.
I only managed because I have a US Xbox Live account and I had points from when all my lovely friends sent me MS points for my birthday in December. I'm glad I saved them for RBN.

Anyway, I was soo excited and full of adrenaline my hands and my voice were shaking.. so I got a 98% on the Sight read (who knew that missing percussion notes counts against percentage? boo :/)

The REAL FC came (and probably first FCs of the song 3/4/10 18:45 GMT +1) were when Dpritch and I did a vocal score duel we BOTH FCed the song (he did a sight read FC though, kudos to him) I have the video that I will post up later.

As for my weekly video I did this as an Amberian Dawn tribute. I had my River of Tuoni t-shirt and use my microphone signed by Heidi (vocalist of Amberian Dawn).

There is a down side to using that old mic.. it can't handle the high notes.. upside though is you CAN hear me.

Hope you enjoy this week's video.. in lieu of my purple mic I used purple lipstick.. too bad it came out looking like crap.. the lighting was also crap as I recorded this at night.

Oh! And do you know?! WMG actually had the gall to claim copy right on this song.. they have NO rights to Amberian Dawn.. bastards..

UPDATE: Since the original post of this blog the following has occurred:

I was really floored! It's a real honor for me to have Amberian Dawn recognize my video :) ♥ but at the same time I was also embarrassed because now LOTS of people will see that video (I really shouldn't have worn purple lipstick.. lol)  The members of AD are really awesome.


  1. Very cool =) But is the pitch lower than in the original? It sure sounded to me like it.

    Also, why didn't you use your other microphone for this? Obviously the sound quality of this one is kinda ... not so good.

    What was that crap with WMG? What were they smoking? You know, there's a LOT of videos I can't watch in Germany because of f'ing GEMA ... even the OFFICIAL video for "Through the Fire and Flames" by DragonForce which was uploaded by "dragonforceofficial" - i. e. the BAND THEMSELVES (or whoever represents them or handles their official YT account) wasn't available for some time in Germany ... f'ing retarded!

  2. @Winterstorm
    Our mics aren't in the best quality. I almost threw mine against a wall that day. ;)

    But yeah, Awesome job, Heather! Amazing job. Now I just gotta do that decent video of mine. I can actually make it sound (somewhat) good. :P

    And btw, almost 20 RBN FCs. Of course they are at 3 in the morning when my internet is turned off and I am playing on no account. :( Sadness.

  3. @Winterstorm: Honestly no idea.. sadly I'm not very educated in regards to music (ask Dpritch I don't even get how to sing in a lower or higher octave :/).. it might be lower.. in Rock Band though I know you can sing things lower or higher and still make it as long as you have the same note letter? (I'm going out on a limb cuz like I said.. I'm musically illiterate). Just to say that dpritch here above me has 100%ed the song and I don't THINK he sang it that high. I had a friend come over last night who 100%ed it (though not in expert) but singing it lower as well.

    As for the mic.. again what Dpritch said.. the mic was really pissing me off.. I mean I LOVE my new mic but it has it's problems.. the cord that makes it XLR to USB (for the console) has started making random buzzing noises while playing (this is my 2nd cord too...). On top of that you would not have been able to hear MY vocals in the video, you would have heard me more singing with Heidi (You can hear me fine with a computer though, but not with the game.. I'll refer you to my "So Cold" video). This other mic is crappy but at least you can hear me... I don't know why it is that the nicer microphone really mutes my voice, I guess because it's intended to be amplified in some way (it IS a real mic after all) whereas the ones that come with the game are meant to be used in that manner. *shrug*
    WMG is a bastard of a company who thinks they own every fucking thing on the internet.. that's why.
    And yeah I do know about the Germany thing. I have a fellow Rock Band friend from there and he can't watch half my videos because of songs that are in there. Germany is getting really silly in regards to censoring. Hell, Rammstein can't even play in half of their own country and buying violent video games is becoming near impossible. I almost wonder if Germany thinks they might be the US on that stuff (so many stupid US conservatives pushing their "values")
    But thanks for stopping by, I was wondering what happened to you ;P or if my video was so bad you decided to be nice by saying nothing at all... LOL... -_-'

    @dpritch: I'd be really interested to HEAR your rendition to be honest, so get crackin'!

  4. Awesome! Congrats! That was unexpected. I think you can now officially consider yourself the Nr. 1 fan of Amberian Dawn ... ;-)

    Yeah, well, transposing by an octave is no problem at all when a song is out of your range (I'm sure you do something like that automatically when singing along with, say, Rammstein), but it didn't sound to me like a full octave either ... not nearly even, just a little bit lower. But perhaps it was just a deception caused by your timbre. (You REALLY sound nervous in the recording now I think of it. I think that's what made it sound strange, along with the rather crappy recording quality.) The sustained high note sounded correct. You see I'm not really competent at this kind of thing either ...

    But you know, those high sustained notes really sounded amazing, I suppose it's quite hard to do them properly!

    BTW, there's something I think I haven't mentioned yet. At the age of 8 or 9, I did have lessons, at accordion that is. However, I had been much more interested in the piano actually, but for some reason I didn't get piano lessons and my mother now claims that she never knew that I desired those. Perhaps I really never told her. :/ Accordion didn't seem to be the right instrument for me, so I lost interest quickly and discontinued the lessons eventually. But they did teach me a few basics I suppose.

    That story with Rammstein is freaking stupid, and now also censors whole bands (and even groups!) so that you can't even see their names anymore which is incredibly pointless, as well. -_-

    Sorry for not having reacted right away, but I had been busy with other things and couldn't check the video out immediately ...

  5. Yeah I just saw about 10 minutes ago too (when I was investigating how people were finding the video) that AD also posted it on their Myspace journal lol! I guess I should go leave a comment but I need to update my Myspace I never use that site.

    I actually wasn't very comfortable while recording this song, but it's not because of the camera or anything like that..
    Normally I record during the day time hours which means I don't fear that my noise bothers the neighbors who live under me.. but this time I recorded at night and I REALLY was afraid of disturbing them especially as they have a baby. (The higher notes are MUCH louder than typical pop style singing) Top that off with I don't like singing songs like this is the presence of my husband. During the day he is at work but at night.. he is home (I don't sing in front of him except for RockBand) and there is my nervousness.

    Accordion seems like an odd choice for instrument, wonder why your parents chose it. Where I live there are a lot of accordion players actually too.. and MANY MANY music stores that specialize in accordions (like the one across the street from my home).

    WOW! I can't believe has censored Rammstein now too! This is just unbelievable! I'm really glad I don't live in Germany on that level.

    No worries, I'm often busy too, as you see I just left you a late reply.. sorry :/

  6. Hey Anex, Awesome job on the video and congrats on getting recognized by the band! That is so incredible! :D You're singing in the original octave. Timbre definitely makes a difference in the way voices sound. Something else that may be throwing people off is that during the verses there's a backing vocal that's singing an octave higher than the main part. Backing vocal tracks are not affected by turning down the main vocals in game so they're still present and may be giving the illusion that you're singing lower than you're supposed to be.

    By the way, I know for a fact that you do switch octaves at times but don't realize it - this is normal as most people just automatically adjust the notes to be in a comfortable range for them without thinking about it. But yeah, you sing Painkiller an octave lower. :)

    Great job again on the video! <3

  7. Hey Lammy! ♥

    Yeah I KNOW that I sing Painkiller lower, the problem I have is when it comes to guy songs I'm pretty good and being able to sing it in a different octave to pass the song, but I don't know how to MAKE myself do it? Does that make sense?
    I do it without thinking about it.. but the problem is when it comes to songs like the Amberian Dawn ones, I don't know how to sing it in an easier octave.

    He Sleeps in a Grove is hard for me right now, it's really high.. and there isn't a whole lot of breathing room (and I need the breath to hold a strong high note).. I can do it but you can hear my voice is weak when it is sustained that high for so long.. so my only option is to keep practicing (I'm getting better slowly, still haven't FCed it, now at 98%) and/or find out how to sing it differently (which would be nice for passing the song in the game but would make me sad as an AD fan lol).

    But yeah it is way awesome that AD posted my video although I was like "aaaaah!" for about an hour or so after LOL.

    Anyway thanks for stopping by my Blog :) ♥

  8. Anex: Thanks for the explanations and congrats again! I'm so happy for you! :)

    My mother had accordion lessons in her youth as well, that's probably the reason. It's not an unusual instrument in Bavarian and Austrian folk, or folkish, music at all ... ironically, the accordion was invented only in the 19th century. I know, the sound of the instrument is very characteristic of the bal-musette, and associated with France in my mind. However, it's played differently there than here, apparently.

    Sorry for expressing myself unclearly, Rammstein has never been censored on as far as I know, but other bands have. Even Eisregen and Impaled Nazarene were censored at some point.

    Lammy: Thank you too for the explanation :)

    A big reason why I was confused was because her partial Passing Bells cover sounded so faithful, I think. So I expected her to sound very similar to Heidi on River of Tuoni as well. The very different timbre did throw me off, and perhaps also the backing vocals issue. It just sounded odd and not like what I'd expected. So I wondered if it was an issue of the game (as in providing lower notes because of the issue Anex mentioned of the Rock Band crew possibly not having a suitable singer to pre-program or adjust the song properly) or the microphone or whatever.

    Anex: Yeah, AD's, Tarja's and NW's songs often really demand good breath control, don't they? Not enough occasion to catch your breath.

  9. @Winterstorm: I guess I understand the accordion thing better now :)

    Ah well glad Rammstein is not censored on but it still sucks that ANY music is censored really.

    In regards to the RBN authors of the track I think they actually use programs that will find the note and place it on the chart. I'm not quite sure how all of it works but I know that it's a lot of converting the music itself rather than guess work. Though mind you there is some level of "creation" as you would decide what to use for what on the instrument charts, but I think the vocals is pretty straight forward. I know the authors of the tracks pretty well and one told me while she was working on "He Sleeps in a Grove" that Heidi was hitting a C5 and that she thought she was "beast" lol.

    As for my Passing Bells cover I don't know how I feel.. I guess that was probably the best part of the song. I actually did the full one yesterday and posted it on youtube but the ratings are 4.5 so I either have a troll (not the first time) or it's just bad. I think other than sound quality issues (sometimes it's too loud or high and still over powers the mic, though less badly than my old mic)it's pretty representative of what I can do with it. I went ahead and posted it up after checking out the one you linked me. I've been talking to the girl who did it and she is really nice and told me just to go for it.. so I did..

    You can view it here:

    But I get the feeling it is not so great. I also had someone tell me that they thought River of Tuoni was too high for me and I sounded "sharp" I don't think so (I think they hear mic distortion) but again, what do I know?

  10. WOAH! I'm amazed!

    I mean you do sound a little unsure (but then, in this case, it actually fits the song just fine ;-) ) and obviously the song is very demanding, which doesn't make it surprising that it doesn't go through totally effortlessly, but in the end, you managed admirably! I haven't noticed any major mistakes and you sound much better here than on River on Tuoni in my humble opinion - well, I simply prefer your sound here.

    How many amateur singers can take on songs of this level of difficulty and nail them like that? Make no mistake, that's no insignificant feat and not at all usual.

    It won't be long until you'll overcome your doubts and feel much more comfortable singing this song thanks to increased practice, and with heightened self-assuredness you're bound to sound excellent and professional and sweep us totally off our feet. Just be patient. You can't expect to sound perfect so soon (I mean, you'd be a prodigy, a genius), but you perform stunningly at this point already. Just remember not to force things. Relax.

    Don't mind the "sharp" notes, they're supposed to be that way. I've totally got the impression that you really feel comfortable in that high range. Actually, I've never understood how anyone could doubt that the soprano range suits you.

    I just asked a friend (NightVermillion on and she honestly thought you'd already had around 2 or 3 years of professional training! :P All that time singing a real lot on your own continuously and having Rock Band as your judge has worked wonders already :)

  11. Now that I think of it, "drill sergeant" Rock Band is probably the reason why you're so amazingly accurate and on pitch :) Valuable feedback, isn't it?

  12. Well that was a better reaction than I expected :)

    I think I mainly feel bad about the way it came out on youtube ratings. I mean 4.5 really isn't bad from an outside perspective.. but on youtube everyone rated 5 stars unless they really hate it than they rate 1. So it means someone rated it 1 star :/
    Maybe I'll go ahead and leave it up and try to ignore the star ratings. (I had the same with Deep Silent Complete which is why I took it down).

    In regards to River of Tuoni.. I think I could probably afford to do it again without the constraints to try to go for a 100% in Rock Band. Rock Band is a bit of a double edged sword when it comes to vocals in the game. Sometimes you have to do slightly less to appease it.. though to be fair, while I really like the song the only really fun parts to sing are the "Oh! heavy hearted am I" parts.

    I'd really like to get to take those classical vocal lessons, but I'm afraid. I might have a really hard time because my French isn't so good (and I may suffer prejudices for that) and I am sure than the audition song they will choose will be in French, that plus they take younger students first.. worst case I will try again in the US. (can you tell I'm not optimistic? lol)

    I'm actually a bit pleasantly surprised that the recording didn't come out worse.. I mean the whole time I was recording my daughter was throwing toys at me, screaming and being extremely annoying... The fact that the mic cancels background noises helps even if it makes my voice very quiet to where I have to amplify it to a stupid level to hear anything. I'm sure the stress she was putting on me is probably evident in my singing.

    Honestly in regards to the "oh"s in River of Tuoni I thought I did them properly.. but when I got that complaint which was very insistent that the high notes were not in my range I started to doubt. I honestly thought what they were complaining about was maybe mic distortion but they seemed so confident so I started to doubt myself. Knowing that I know very little about music I'm pretty prone to assuming everyone else is right and I'm wrong.

    I'm actually very flattered that anyone would think I had some form of training.. I really wish I did lol.

    But yeah all my singing is car or alone singing. I actually went through a period where I didn't sing for about 3 years because my husband and I were living with my mother-in-law and I never felt comfortable enough to sing.. I was so sad as it was something I really liked to do when I was alone. But I was never alone.. only recently did I start getting to sing again and it took a while to get my voice back to where it was since I never used it :/

    I'm happy that Rock Band gives me an excuse to sing... hehe ;D

    But thank you as always for replying and giving me your honest opinions, I appreciate them.

  13. You really shouldn't worry about YouTube ratings so much. I mean, they come mostly from totally anonymous people you know nothing about, nothing about their background, their reasons for voting the way they vote, etc.

    I think the sound quality in Passing Bells could also be a reason why the song doesn't sound as good as it could.

    I agree redoing River of Tuoni would be a good idea.

    I'd really love to hear your Deep Silent Complete. Even if it's not that good, it's valuable to see what you did wrong and compare with now! :)

    What do you mean by "doing slightly less"? Slightly less loud?

    Well, sometimes less is more, as they say, so perhaps it's not even such a bad thing ;)

    As for the audition, well, you can always try. Perhaps you're lucky and find a teacher who you feel well with. Another idea - since you live so close to the border, perhaps you can find a teacher in Germany?

    I must agree, those conditions you describe are REALLY not conducive to concentrated singing. ;)

    Well, I'm not really very competent when it comes to music either as you know ... but I think you can say that I'm at least not utterly clueless, haha. ;D

    By the way, why is the news about AD's music on Rock Band not on Metal From Finland yet?

    Oh, and good idea to give me those alerts whenever you reply on the blog, as it is a bit cumbersome to have to check it all the time and easy to miss something ... as you have already noticed yourself, after all. :)

  14. That's what bothers me.. if they would at least tell me why they vote me 1 star I'd feel better. I mean say "you sound really bad" or something.. but no.. 1 star and go -_-

    I'm not sure how to get better quality. I do have a very nice microphone except I have to amplify it to a stupid level to be heard and it's still not meant for some of the higher notes so it has occasional problems. I think my problem is volume control, some parts I can be louder than others and that throws things out of whack.

    Ooh I dunno I'm really ashamed of my Deep Silent Complete.. I'll have to think about it :x It'd be like showing you my dirty room lol.

    By "slightly less" in regards to RB I mean slightly less enthusiastic. The game isn't perfect and there are times when you have to do silly stuff like whisper or scream really loud to get the game to be "happy". That is what I mean.

    I will try anyway for the audition but I won't lie, I'll be nervous O_o
    I do live very close to the German border but I also don't have a car so transportation would be hard to find. I can only do this one here because it is like a 10 minute walk away.

    I have no idea why Metal from Finland hasn't mentioned the Rock Band thing.. my guess is that some people see those kind of games as degrading (they miss the point that it is a GAME and not people who think they can actually play instruments) so there is a negative stigma.

    No worries I'll poke you when I comment and I'll try to give you a link lol. This week's video is He Sleeps in a Grove so I suspect our conversation will relocate ;)

  15. Yeah well ... that's how YouTube works (but shouldn't). 1-star ratings with no explanation at all are simply useless and should be ignored. I mean, perhaps they don't like such high-pitched voices, or girls' voices in general? Or they just felt like being a dick? It doesn't help you, so you can simply discard it - without having to feel bad for it. If someone really wishes to help you, they'll try to give you more specific feedback or even advice.

    Just look at this:

    Not that Mitsuko Shirai or Natalie Dessay really needed this person's advice, but just imagining they would, how would it help them to be called "ice queens" by this person? Now this is one hell of a subjective judgment, and even one that sounds quite arbitrary, not to mention offensive. How can this person call Mrs Shirai fake without knowing anything about her as a person?

    (Mrs Shirai is Tarja's teacher, by the way.)

    Ah, I understand how you feel about Deep Silent Complete. If you don't feel comfortable sharing it, I won't keep bugging you about it. Perhaps you'll change your mind eventually, but really, it's no problem. I simply happened to be curious about that song.

    What do you mean, the college or music school is only a 10 minutes walk away from you?

    Haha, yeah, who knows what will happen when you go into the audition not expecting anything, like "this is the best I can do, if it's not enough for you I don't care, I'll get what I want eventually one way or the other, with or without you". Haha, such a detached attitude might actually impress the frenchies. ;)

    I think you've got a strikingly professional attitude towards singing anyway. I tell you, once you find the teacher where it clicks (perhaps a young enthusiastic and open-minded teacher) ... just whow! Only the sky's the limit!

    As for MFF, you misunderstand. In fact, they HAVE mentioned that tracks of another band became available on RB last month. It would be just as newsworthy in the case of GH, of course. You have to know that you can submit news to MFF yourself! Just remember to attach the link to the news source at the end.

    Oooh, He Sleeps in a Grove! I'm already looking forward to that.

  16. Yeah youtube is filled with assholes, that much I have learned.. I'm trying to detach myself from the ratings thing but it's hard, I am a person after all and I have feelings. My He Sleeps in a Grove is already 1 starred by someone. It's true though that it really doesn't sound that great (My voice is weak in some places but it's much better than last week, doing it like 15 times in a row probably helped lol!)

    I may send it to you, but I honestly would like to re-do it. I think the non-chorus parts are fine.. I'm satisfied with them but oh the chorus is the fun part of the song and how it lacks something (or maybe is too much.. I think maybe too much).

    Yeah the music school (it is a private one, probably why there are auditions) is 10 minute walk from my house :)

    Yeah I should try anyway, I guess if I never try I'll never know and wondering is worse than knowing.

    Hmm I guess you're right I will need to look at MFF it is true that GH gets more recognition for some reason (despite how poorly the game is doing and the fact that Harmonix, original creators of the game, make Rock Band).

    He Sleeps in a Grove is already posted and is the first article (as of right now) on my blog's main page.


Thoughts? Opinions? Questions?
Keep it respectful. Any spamming or rude comments may be deleted.