Friday, March 19, 2010

Video of the Week: He Sleeps in a Grove (RBN)

This week's video is He Sleeps in a Grove by Amberian Dawn available for sale on the Rock Band Network, authored by the awesome people over at Rock Gamer Studios.

This is actually the first time I have ever FCed (full cleared) the song in expert. I had issues where I was stuck on a certain point and once I figured that out I managed to mess up on a part I usually make.

The song is difficult because it is high for a long period of time with little to no breathing room between phrases. In order for me to hold a high note I need a good amount of oxygen and I just wasn't getting must space to breathe. After a bit of practice (or should I say 10+ 99% runs) I got a little better at it although my voice is still a bit weak.

I feel like it has to be said that I am not a real singer, I have no training in classical singing (it's something I'm interested in though)
so don't expect this to sound super great or anything. I'm honestly just happy I FCed the song. I know I didn't have to try to sing it in the original octave to get 100%, but I felt that was the most interest in the song and in all of Amberian Dawn's songs coming to Rock Band. Maybe with practice I would be better at this song.

This song is probably not a good representation of how I sing either, this cover I did of Amberian Dawn- Passing Bells will probably give you a better idea of where I stand vocally.

So here is this week's video:


  1. OK, I'm officially confused now. This is Heidi's voice singing along in the background, isn't it? Is that how it's supposed to be? Or was that a flaw of the recording? Anyway, you sound really, really stunning from what I can hear of your voice. Why exactly do you think Passing Bells is better? O_o

    "This is actually the first time I have ever FCed (full cleared) the song in expert. I had issues where I was stuck on a certain point and once I figured that out I managed to mess up on a part I usually make."

    So you mean you have to sing a part wrong for the game to accept it? Ehm, OK. Which part?

    There's something about the game you need to explain to me. During the instrumental breaks, there are those patterns running through the bottom part of the screen, and do I understand correctly that those are freestyle sections where you can do what you want, rest or make "whew" sounds, or whatever? Or is there any way to get additional points during those sections? But in the Our Truth video, it seemed that in one of those sections, you were expected to do percussion by hitting your microphone at certain points, have I observed that correctly?

    (OK, I see now that you actually mentioned that in the River of Tuoni entry - so you actually NEED to do the percussion to get full points?)

    You know, I've started to like He Sleeps in a Grove more and more actually lately. My favourite part has always been "After the winter came a blooming spring ..." The lyrics are always so interesting and unusual. They sound both poetic and a tad naive, but it's totally true to my experience with folk poetry and authentic folk songs. Heidi totally has the tone of it down, except perhaps a bit more polished, but not too much. Nor do the lyrics sound cheesy. And of course it's a really cool song, too. :P

    You said on

    "Er I just realized the "music school" is actually part of the national conservatory of music.. D: I'm scared now.. ..>.> "

    LOL! Perhaps you should just try the audition for the hell of it. Like, for fun, not really with the goal to pass. So if you don't make it you won't be too disappointed because you never realistically expected it anyway, and if you do happen to get accepted it will be so much the cooler. ;D

    Just imagine if you hadn't realised this before: "Eh, what? You're saying this music school is WHAT? I never wanted to study at the national conservatory, this is a mistake! :O I wasn't even being serious, this was all just a joke! I don't even know how long I'll stay in France and my French sucks and ... XD *freaks out*" Hahaha! :P

    By the way, do you know Très sympa ce site! ;D

  2. Yes it IS Heidi's voice in the background. This is actually how the game is with my purple microphone.

    Let me try to explain it better:
    In RockBand when your turn down a vocal track (as I do with all my videos, I turn it to the max level of "down") the vocal track is never really muted because of copyright issues. Generally with the game issued microphone you'd be loud enough to cover the original vocals and they would go unheard (like with River of Tuoni. But you saw, with RoT the microphone can't handle the high notes as it is a very simple generic microphone. My purple mic can handle it much better, HOWEVER despite having its volume increased to max the input volume of the microphone is very quiet. It's not that I don't sing loud enough but that it has so much stuff inside to help with noise cancellation that it just is quiet, so you'll hear the background vocals because my vocals are quiter. It's nice because I don't drown out the music but it sucks for people being able to hear your voice.

    I honestly can't win.. neither mic works perfectly on top of that there may be a flaw in the construction of the cable that is used to make a professional microphone(my purple one) work with the game.

    This is why I had been including external audio as well in my videos. (My videos are captured using a device attached to my xbox and computer so it just captures what is in the game only) But I honestly HATE adding external audio because it throws off the sound.. it's a bit weird.

    I think I sound better in Passing Bells because I don't feel that my voice is weak in some places where as I do have moments of vocal weakness with He Sleeps in a Grove.

    What I meant with missing a part I don't usually miss was that there was a phrase in the game where I was unable to make "awesome" (meaning you got the phrase in pitch enough) I had to keep starting the song over if I wanted to get 100%. I finally made it past that part (I got "awesome") but in some part after (that I usually never made less than "awesome") I messed up on in that specific run of the song.

    LOL it's a bit hard to explain the game to someone who has never played ;)

    I can indeed explain the "freestyle" section. In actuality what it is is "over drive". When you see that patterned part it means I have overdrive and if I activate it (you can only activate it in the patterned parts by making any noise, in my case I use "whoo") you will double your score multiplier. It has nothing to do with song percentage just purely for score. Any phrase that is in yellow (instead of the usual green) will give you over drive if you get "awesome" on it. So this is why it gets used up and I have to make it again.

    Honestly it's not something very important to the game, and using it on percussion parts (the circles that make tambourine or clapping noises) won't increase your score, so you generally try to use it before short phrases to make the most of it. That gets more into the technical and scoring aspect of the game which is not something I'm interested in as much as percentage.

    The high score however is what gives "gold stars" in the game, and even if you make 100% you're not guaranteed to have gold stars. (5 stars is typical).

    I hope I explained it well, and not TOO detailed as I don't want to confuse you :)

  3. (my comment was too long, so it is continued)

    The lyrics to He Sleeps in a Grove are nice. I do like the stories in AD's songs a lot. It's true that I generally have to look at the lyrics because it's hard to understand (my parents even ask if it is in English lol) but I'm still not too much a fan of this song over some of their other songs. I understand though why this song was chosen for RBN as it is a single from AD's second album and helps promote the band. On top of that while I would love a more sing-y song in RBN it isn't likely unless all the other instruments are an entertaining to play. Some people buy songs purely for level of difficulty to play or how fun it is.

    LMAO yeah I'm really nervous now but as you said I should do it anyway.
    I mean.. all this time I've been living next to such a prestigious school and I didn't know? I would be silly not to go for it anyway. It's funny though seeing as how they claim to take beginners O_o

    And yes! I know the site! I actually made a myspace account again the other day and one of the people who runs the site sent me a friend request because she has seen my River of Tuoni video that Amberian Dawn linked! LOL

  4. Thanks for all the explanations, I think I've got it now xD

    There are some - very short - parts in He Sleeps in a Grove where your voice did seem to struggle. On "sighing" and especially "sleeping" in "only one sleeping" in the chorus. You almost whispered there, I suppose you were out of breath there?

    In fact, NightVermillion said that she is very familiar with the game through her friend's little brother. So you should take her being impressed seriously :P

    It seems that AD provides plenty of challenge especially for the guitar players among the instrumentalists. Many of their songs are typical "GH material", fodder for the kind of people who enjoy playing along with DragonForce. Have you noticed anything with regards to people playing the AD songs on guitar in RB?

    What was it what you were alluding to with regard to GH? It sounded as if you were trying to say that the game is essentially little more than a fancier, pimped-up version of air guitaring. Do you think that playing on RB is harder?

    I'm really curious now about the Conservatory. You say they're especially prestigious? How did you find out? I could only find something about this Music Festival that seems to be very well known. I wonder if eventually it might not turn out that they require their students to have piano playing skills, who knows what "beginner" means for the French and if they are not all born musicians :P lol

  5. I found that site while trying to quickly verify my quote from the lyrics with Google, haha. I really like the layout with various hues of blue - it reminds me a LOT of old NW fanpages, some of which you can still find on the web even if they are sadly (but tellingly) abandoned for many years now, and I think the official site used to have a similar design. I mean I really don't agree that AD are a simple rip-off but they seem designed to appeal to fans of "Classic Nightwish" in so many ways with their entire artistic concept. Pure nostalgia for me :)

    You really like the colour purple, huh? Me too. The background on your MySpace looks lovely, what with all those patterns vaguely recalling seahorse-type fractals. Great design, by the way - it doesn't look clogged like many other pages, and doesn't slow my computer down, something that has made me hate MySpace.

    The photo you uploaded last looks cute, too - are those headphones? At first I thought they were some kind of hair accessories. Like bows or so. Are they supposed to look like cats? Funny.

    The red-purple velvet dress you're wearing on the picture with AD looks awesome :O

    That's a nice coincidence about the friend request you got on MySpace :)

    Your baby said "ouiiiii"? Are you sure it didn't say "weeeeee"? LOL

    I didn't even realise that you had the baby around distracting you and throwing things at you while singing River of Tuoni! It doesn't really show in the video ;) But the lipstick was clearly a trauma for you afterwards LOL

    By the way, don't mind sweetaztecangel69, I remember her now, I think she's the same person who has bugged Juliana as well, also on the Tarja forum. Just check out Juliana's thread on there. I think this person is a bit sour grapes and that's why she feels she has to annoy other singers. *rollseyes*

    What does your hubby think of your singing hobby (LOL), by the way? Does he like metal, too?

    There are so many cool power metal bands coming out of France nowadays, you should look around the town if there are any bands looking for a vocalist :P Although the closest I can find on Metal Archives for your town is a symphonic black metal band called Morghash, and a hard rock band called Nedgeva.

    Somewhere else, you've mentioned that Kasperi is going to help Gamma Ray out. On Metal From Finland, I've read that Kasperi has been with Gamma Ray before, actually. According to Wikipedia, that must have been in 2006. :)

    Something funny at the end:

    I've never thought of it that way, but it makes sense :P

  6. Yes the "Silently sighing" parts had me for a looong time.. I can do them now but not so well. It's not to much out of breath as needing a newer fresher breath to be able to hold it in a not so weak manner. I don't know how to explain what I mean, but it's a bit like out of breath I guess. I guess I need a pause to pick up there stronger.

    Lots of players are enjoying the challenge in AD's songs on the level of drums and guitar. The solos are especially fun. I did play both songs on expert guitar and failed in the solos! LOL! But then again while I used to play primarily guitar in these games I have moved and focused on vocals so my guitar skills lack.

    What I mean between GH and RB is that GH generally likes to take popular well known music and put it in their games. The company who has GH franchise now is a greedy devil. They just crank out games without working on their quality to make money.
    Harmonix on the other hand (makers of RB and creators of the first 2 GH games) are guys who generally have their heart in their games. Many of their developers are musicians themselves. Look up "Harmonix bands" and you should find some.

    So you'll hear about GH more because of the greedy company who owns it is rich and well known, but the game isn't necessarily better quality etc. Every new game is just like a song expansion, whereas RB focuses more on releasing new songs as downloadable content, and is helping unknown bands with the Rock Band Network.

    I also honestly find RB harder on guitar than GH (timing windows are different) while vocals is VERY VERY hard on GH compared to RB.

  7. The music school has a bit of local reputation, apparently my husband knew and didn't tell me.. :/ when I told him about what I discovered he replied "I know, that is why I want you to try to go there" >.<
    I'm honestly not too familiar with it because it seemed very private in all the times I passed by the building in the past.
    I hope beginner doesn't mean knowing how to play piano. I always wanted to play when little and made "songs" at my friend's house who had one (her parents were both opera singers in Germany, her dad is German) but I don't really know how to play lol.

    Yeah I don't find AD to be a rip off or clone of anything really, but they do remind me a lot of old Nightwish which is why I think I loved it right away. However AD is much faster, less keyboard and Heidi's voice is different from Tarja, so while there are similarities they also have enough differences.

    Yes, I hated myspace too! I had one but it was soo clogged with comment spam and my poor attempts to have something pretty looking. I essentially canceled my old account and started anew. I DO really like purple and I wanted something clean so I just used simple color and an abstract background.

    Haha those cat heads are actually ear muffs, the things you put on your ears when it is cold. I LOVE the little black cats from Emily the Strange and when I saw those I had to have them! Too bad the first pair I ordered were stolen when someone broke into my mailbox in my building to steal my package. The company was nice and sent me another pair.

    My husband is actually in that picture as well, if you look again maybe you'll see the guy who looks like he belongs in the band but isn't haha!(he has an awesome pic of him and AD and I swear if you didn't know the band members you wouldn't notice he didn't belong)

    Actually in that RoT vid, my daughter was asleep. The purple lipstick was bad choice :/ it doesn't look good on me at all! LOL

    I will look that person up, I'd like to see how THEY sing since they are so judgmental. Haha.

    My husband barely knows about my singing hobby. I don't sing in front of him. He saw my youtube video of my partial passing bells cover and just looked at me like "I didn't know you could sing like that!" I sing on RB but before they added AD's songs it was nothing "special" even the first time I played RB with him he was shocked because he didn't know I could sing.

    My husband likes Metal a lot. We have the same music tastes. He likes AD, old NW, Tarja. He does however like a bit more stuff like Dimmu Borgir which I'm not that enchanted with because I prefer clean vocals.

    He is learning to play guitar and wants us to eventually do something together. It's a cute hope but I'm not certain of my ability.

    In regards to my teasing about Kasperi it's more a joke. I know he played with them before. But this last tour he played a lot with Epica too and I like to tease and say that bands are trying to steal AD's guitarist lol.

  8. Yeah well, breath control is one of the central issues that a teacher is supposed to practice with you and give you tips for.

    Yeah, the solos are also what I enjoy LISTENING TO most besides Heidi's voice, of course. The music is not only technically challenging (not overly much, though, so still accessible), but it also sounds damn fine. But I'm not telling you news with that lol

    It's surprising that singing on GH is so much harder while guitar playing is easier. Hell, I didn't even know that you could sing on GH at all! I thought it was just for guitar and RB was the game with the innovative concept of allowing the gamer to take every role in the band, not just (lead) guitarist.

    I was just joking, I mean if you want to study music (musicology or music pedagogy, which includes a lot of theory) at university (as opposed to at a musical academy, which is more practically oriented) - at least here -, playing an instrument is sensible and utterly helpful (though ridiculously enough, I learned some time ago that contrary to what I'd heard, you don't have to play any instrument to study musicology here). But as I understand it, that private institution isn't about training musicologists (i. e., scientists or academics at least) or teachers, but practicing musicians, right?

    Although, perhaps, we DO misunderstand everything totally, but your hubby should know what the school is about, shouldn't he? Can he confirm that the school isn't totally wrong for you? What does he know about it?

    But really, DO go for it! I'm dying to know what will happen!

    Perhaps it wouldn't be bad to seek out contact with a few French metal musicians because you'd still need a drummer, bassist and probably keyboardist after all. MelonMan1981 (on seems to have connections. I don't know where exactly he lives though.

    You know compared to many other symphonic metal bands with huge sprawling epics AD's songs are almost like a punk version of the genre: Fast, short, rocking, fun, stripped down, and to the point. lol It's a rather unique trait, but I think adding more elaborate songs would be a good idea to keep the music varied after some albums. The formula contains the danger of getting repetitive.

    I know, I loved randomly hammering around on a piano whenever I could get my hands on it myself as a child and it would have been really awesome to get some guidance with it. I've sometimes jokingly called my chaotic, dissonant messing around on the piano progressive or experimental lol. I tried a friend's keyboard too a few years ago and it was awesome, all those different sound effects you can get out of it. I learned what square wave and sawtooth wave sounds like and I got to know other effects that I only knew by sound or by name and learned nifty things such as that by limiting yourself to the black keys you can produce melodies that sound Chinese or Japanese. Isn't that cool? lol

    Listening to a few songs from Wishmaster I did realise that Emppu's guitar tone is really noticeably different from the one the AD guitarists use. Nowadays I actually think that Emppu doesn't sound that great even with his guitar tone, quite disappointing lol. Not to mention that especially most of his solos are rather lame in comparison. I mean just listen to the one on Birth of the Harp, it's short and simple and catchy and still beautiful and awesome. I can't stop gushing about how gorgeous and brilliant their music sounds, and how much fun it is. lol

  9. Yeah, your MySpace looks a lot like Facebook, huh? I don't get why people don't follow the famous KISS design principle there more (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

    Ohh, I feel dense now. Earmuffs. Duh. Of course. *facepalm* lol

    Cats rule!

    Ooooh, the guy in the left, right? I saw your hubby in the other photo but didn't connect him to the one in the AD photo. I was just thinking "man, those AD guys are really good-looking bitches" when what I didn't realise is your husband just had caught my eye LOL

    And I was wondering why there were so many of them, too ... I mean that is quite a number of guys. Two guitarists, bassist, drummer, keyboardist ... OK, plus your husband, and the number is correct. Can you show me his photo with AD?

    However, I DID have the impression at one point that when I was hanging with AD people thought I'd somehow belong with the band, too ...

    Which video was it then where your baby was throwing things at you? I'm confused now.

    Yeah, good idea. I'm sure she's just jealous. Haha :P

    As a guitarist, what does your hubby think of Tarja's music in terms of the guitar parts? I mean it's all pretty simple stuff and doesn't sound that great unfortunately, I really hope WLB is going to rock a lot more and sound better with more interesting guitar parts, even if they aren't particularly melodic (although I tend to prefer those).

    I've grown to tolerate and even like harsh vocals over the years. Sometimes they are really fitting and cool. I barely perceive them as anything special anymore, it's just like any other form of singing really, and not that much more unintelligible than operatic vocals lol. There's this Maiden cover by Dark Tranquillity and the lyrics are so easy to understand that whenever I listen to it the voice makes me spontaneously think of Lordi LOL

    Though I do prefer music that has at least SOME clean vocals, too. I like variety after all. I've even learned to do harsh vocals myself which has promoted my appreciation of it, but my technique has to be wrong because it does hurt after a while.

    Aww, you're always so harsh on yourself. I'm glad that your husband is so supportive and believes in you just like I do. Heart-warming :)

    Hmm, this exchange is really turning epic. Perhaps we should carry it to MSN, ICQ or Skype? lol

    By the way, that question on was mine! lol

    I think I could enjoy Alsatian food because we've got a lot of the same things here that I'm used to and I really like flammekueche too. Sometimes I do get heartburn, perhaps from too much fat, but usually I get bowel problems only when I eat too spicy.

    I also think that generally speaking, fatty cuisine is more healthy than too much sugar like in the US, because contrary to what many people believe, fat doesn't make fat (it makes you feel saturated quickly, which prevents you from eating too much), sugar does. Also salt and flavour enhancers are more problematic as they can make you eat much more than you wanted. Just think of those potato chips :x


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