DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

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CardiacTrance
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DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by CardiacTrance » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:59 am

I volunteered for Kodomo-Kai in Kanagawa.

I don't quite know what is the exact English translation of Kodomo-Kai,
so I just call it "Children's Association." They are the local associations in Japan that
provide various activity services for children. It is somewhat close to boy/girl scouts
but not exactly the same. I remember when I was little, I joined their activities like
camping trip, cooking class, Christmas party, haunted house tour and stuff.

The Children's Association in Kanagawa, Japan held their 1st "DS-10 Caravan"
on June 6th, 2009, under the support of AQ Interactive Inc.
Sano and other developers of Korg DS-10, and DS-10 user volunteers (were called
"DS-10 All-Stars") helped the association to teach the children how to compose/arrange
songs using Korg DS-10 Synthesizer.


"DS-10 Caravan #2 in Atsugi 10/17/09"

The 2nd "DS-10 Caravan" was hold on October 17th, 2009 in Atsugi, Kanagawa.
More than ten DS-10 user volunteers including Keishi Yonao, Denkitribe, and Koishistyle
showed up for the event.
entrance.jpg
Photo by CardiacTrance
It was not hard to find the place. The entrance was decorated with lots of posters and
balloon art by Kobits and their friends. Gulliver handed me the black T-shirt which all the
volunteers supposed to wear. There was the picture and logo of DS-10 printed on the back.
I was so happy because I wanted it sooooooo bad.
shirt.jpg
Photo by CardiacTrance
Members of the association and AQ Interactive were already working on the sound system
and decorating the room. I saw several box-full of Korg DS-10s and Nintendo DS there. Never
seen so many DS-10s!
ds10s.jpg
Photo by CardiacTrance
After the lunch (They got us delicious lunch boxes and green tea!), Gulliver explained
the DS-10 All-Stars how the event goes.
decorated.jpg
Photo by CardiacTrance
About 30 kids showed up. and we made groups of 5 to 6 by playing musical chairs.
(the music was from DS-10, of course!)

The age of the kids varied from 3 year old to 8th graders.
In my group, there were three boys and a girl. (two 3rd graders and two 5th graders)
After forming groups, each group had to came up with following;

*Name of the group.
*A children's song they would like to work on.
*"Adjectives" that describes the style of a song they desire to make.

There were list of songs we had to choose from, like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,
The Frog Song, and 10 Little Indians. They had very basic sequences
already prepared for the kids to tweak and mess around.
allstars.jpg
Photo by CardiacTrance
I asked the kids in my group what song they wanted to work on first. They liked the Frog Song,
and they wanted it to be "Very rock'n'roll and cool." We had little trouble deciding the
name of the group, so I asked each of them what they think is cool, and just lined them together.
Our group came up with this long name "Silver Inazuma Knight" (Inazuma = lightning)

Teaching kids DS-10 is not easy, because anything on the screen would not look really
attractive for kids, and all the texts are in English which they would not understand at all.

Sano announced that our goal was not to make something "pretty" or "well-organized."

As long as the kids have fun with it, it's all good.

Each kids got a DS and DS-10 (they don't own it, just borrowed from the association), and
Gulliver and Kobits started the demonstrations in the front. There was a big screen and kids were
suppose to follow the direction to learn the basic operation of DS-10, like how to get into the
each menus and how to save the data. Then they went through the very basic overview of each
functions, such as the drum sequencer and synth edit mode.

It was impressive that they never used all those synth terms and never even bothered explaining the logics.
It seemed like they made lots of efforts not to scare kids with all the weird synth features in
which they were not familiar with. They were really good at getting the kid's attentions as well
by using sound effects, balloon art and so on, so they could focus and did not get bored.
balloon.jpg
Photo by CardiacTrance
DS-10 All-Stars didn't really tell the kids what do do. They just let the kids to mess around with it,
and helped them if they had problems.

I was just kinda sitting there, answering their questions and giving them advises occasionally.
They came up with lots of problems, like they turned the cutoff filter all the way up so they did not
hear anything. I remember one boy turned the release too much and he was complaining the sound never stops.

Denkitribe's group was next to mine. He happened to have the 3 year old girl (the youngest one) in his
group. She was running around all over doing her own stuff. It was really cute.

Surprisingly, most kids were very focused and enthusiastic! They came up to me often with shiny eyes
saying they made something sounded really cool. I said before there was nothing on DS-10's interface
would look attractive to kids, but I was wrong!

They LOVED the patch mode.

The kids in my group were messing around with the patch cables for the most of the time.
It seemed like the kids enjoyed how dramatically the sound changes by connecting and
disconnecting "the yellow cord thingy."

The girl (who was the most active one) in my group came up to me and said she made a noise
that changed over time, but she did not like it sometimes completely faded. I took a look at
her DS-10 and found out she set the modulation frequency really slow and turned the depth
all the way up. I adjusted the setting so the sound changed but did not fade.
The time was about to be over, so the kids and I did some rehearsals.

This is actually made by my group. Pretty wild, huh?

Check out for other groups' works on http://www.youtube.com/user/aqi

Then each group had little shows in front of everybody else. I think my group did really a good job,
and it was a very cool rock'n'roll frog song. Actually all the groups came up with something very interesting.
They had no idea what each knobs do, so they had to depend on their own feelings and resulted sound.

Teaching kids how to use a synthesizer sounds impossible but it is really not.
I think it has great educational value, and the most important thing was, those kids were having fun.

Here is the online article (Japanese) of the 1st DS-10 caravan. There are some pics.
http://ascii.jp/elem/000/000/433/433077/

Thanks for reading!!
CardiacTrance / Yotsuchi Systems
Graphic Design, Illustration, animation, electronic music.
Official Web(portfolio): http://yotsuchi-osc.sakura.ne.jp/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/cardiactrance/
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/cardiactrance

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bryface
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Re: DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by bryface » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:12 am

that looks adorable! that's great that you guys are helping to inspire them to play with music in a way like never before.

it's really surprising that the kids were "getting" how to make the music with a minimum of musical/technical knowledge. i'm sure it must have been a liberating experience for them.

whose idea was it originally to have these caravan events? Do a lot of organizations ask sano to deliver presentations and workshops as a DS-10 evangelist?

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CardiacTrance
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Re: DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by CardiacTrance » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:59 am

bryface:
Aren't they adorable?
I loved this event so much.

I'm agree with you. I wish I had an oppotunity like this when I was little.
The music education in Japan is still quite conservative, and there is almost no
information about electronic music on school textbooks, even though synthesizers
are a big part of the music production today.

Sano wanted to teach kids DS-10 for long time, and he mentioned it on his
blog. Gulliver from Children's Association in Kanagawa came up with this idea and
contacted Sano. He was so excited that his dream became real.
I think he would even go overseas to give DS-10 presentations for children. :-)
CardiacTrance / Yotsuchi Systems
Graphic Design, Illustration, animation, electronic music.
Official Web(portfolio): http://yotsuchi-osc.sakura.ne.jp/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/cardiactrance/
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/cardiactrance

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DS-10 Dominator
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Re: DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:10 pm

Ha, this is so cool!

Very interesting too to see how kids react to this software. It's cool they had fun without exactly knowing the technical details.
soundcloud.com/auxpulse soundcloud.com/ds10dominator

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CardiacTrance
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Re: DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by CardiacTrance » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:52 pm

DS-10 Dominator:
I also thought it would be impossible to avoid teaching them technical stuff.
I think Sano and Gulliver are so brave actually decided to make this event happen.
CardiacTrance / Yotsuchi Systems
Graphic Design, Illustration, animation, electronic music.
Official Web(portfolio): http://yotsuchi-osc.sakura.ne.jp/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/cardiactrance/
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/cardiactrance

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bryface
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Re: DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by bryface » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:23 am

CardiacTrance wrote:bryface:
Sano wanted to teach kids DS-10 for long time, and he mentioned it on his
blog. Gulliver from Children's Association in Kanagawa came up with this idea and
contacted Sano. He was so excited that his dream became real.
I think he would even go overseas to give DS-10 presentations for children. :-)
would he go overseas to give presentations to children in their mid-20's? =)

who knows, maybe some kind of DS-10 world tour might be feasible.

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CardiacTrance
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Re: DS-10 Stories #4 "DS-10 Caravan #2" 10/17/09

Post by CardiacTrance » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:21 am

bryface:
> would he go overseas to give presentations to children in their mid-20's? =)
He might! He was invited to an anime-con in Denmark to perform as
Trio the DS-10 and he actually went there.
I guess he would go if it's interesting enough for him.
DS-10 world tour sounds awesome.
CardiacTrance / Yotsuchi Systems
Graphic Design, Illustration, animation, electronic music.
Official Web(portfolio): http://yotsuchi-osc.sakura.ne.jp/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/cardiactrance/
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/cardiactrance

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