Friday, March 26, 2010

Wait, What DID You Say?

Was listening to the 22 January 2010 episode of NPR's Planet Money podcast (yes, I'm that far behind in listening to it), and realized I was listening to Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek"

Or wait... is it a remix.  A visit to the blog referenced an artist I'd never heard of, Jason Derulo, singing "Whatcha Say."  Say what?!

New R&B song featuring tons of T-Pain-influenced Auto-Tune and an Imogen Heap sample.  Interesting that I don't like Derulo's use of Auto-Tune but do like the Imogen Heap use?  That's a good question.  After listening to the tracks, I think Derulo used a fairly simple processing that was totally unnecessary.  He seems to have a nice voice, and the stylization that this kind of Auto-Tune effect adds really just hides his voice.  The Imogen Heap use is really just part of an entire package of processing.  After listening carefully, I realized that the lead vocal track is only very subtly processed (except at very specific phrases).  There's actually a harmony track that seems to have been generated by heavily and severely processing the lead track.  That's where all the severe-pitch cutoffs are coming, not on the lead track (the vast majority of the time).  And at times it sounds like there are actually three vocal tracks: mostly unprocessed lead, echo-y effects lead, and heavily processed harmony.

The best part of the Derulo track is the Imogen Heap chorus.  It really stands out.  The re-mixing of that is actually pretty interesting.  It's sped up (and not pitch-corrected) over an interesting rhythm track with some interesting repeats.  I'd much rather have heard the producer remix the original track with some studio singer adding strategic vocals.

By the way, it's obnoxious for the opening non-Imogen Heap lyrics by Jason Derulo to be "Jason Derulo."  Of course, before that, the producer inserted his own name as a vocal.  I just read that it's his signature to do that.  How horrible would Quincy Jones's career have been if he insisted that his name open every track he produced?

Wow, I'm probably over-analyzing this.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thanks a lot, Friends!

I just wanted to thank all my friends and family who helped me reach
my fundraising goal for the 24 Cancer Dance-A-Thon (starts tomorrow!).
I've just personally met my goal (minutes ago) and see that the total
2010 tally $131K! I know that the fundraising will continue
throughout the event so if you'd still like to donate, please feel
free to do so!

I'll try to post pictures and stories from the event for you all to
give you a feel for what's going on.

Thanks again!

--John White

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Friends, a quick note to ask you for some help.  I'm participating in the 24 Hour Cancer Dance-A-Thon again this year!  From 11am March 13th to noon March 14th, someone on my team will be continuously on the floor, dancing (relay-style). In the past few years, you all have been so generous in helping me reach my goal of raising money for the City of Hope.  Can I ask for your support again?

I don't need much from any single person (one Friend donated the $4.75 he got from his month's recycling).  Every bit helps, and to emphasize the point, the money goes to fund cancer research at the City of Hope.

The event has raised over $400,000 since it was started in 2005, not including the $80,000 we've already raised this year.  And that money comes in, one $4.75 donation at a time.  Well, it can be more, but you get the picture. *grin*

You can donate at my link here.  If you prefer to send a check, you can make it out to "24 Hour Cancer Dance-a-thon" (put "John White" in the memo field so they know I raised the money) and send it to:

24 Hour Cancer Dance-a-thon
17961 Skypark Circle Suite C
Irvine CA 92614

If you can help me out, thanks!  If not, we'll still be friends with a whole year 'til we raise money together for the 2011 Dance-A-Thon!