Lyric & Translation FAQs
1. "Can I use your lyrics?"
Yes, you can! I don't mind other dubbers or singing groups using my lyrics to do their own covers. In fact, many people already have both on nicovideo and youtube. I very much enjoy hearing others' renditions of my lyric adapations.
2. "That's it? I can just take them and use them?"
Not exactly. You're free to use them, however I ask that you give credit where credit is due. This means that if you use either of the following:
That you are not claiming these as your own. When someone uses my lyrics or my work, I request that they put a link to my channel in their video descriptions giving me credit for the lyrics/music/vocals. If you need that link, you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/user/rockleetist.
If you like my dubs, please support me by doing this. :)
3. "Can we use your lyrics for a group-dub?"
See Questions #1 & #2.
4. "How do you translate your songs into English from Japanese?"
I am not fluent in Japanese, ergo I require a translator. I have several sources that I rely on for my translations. However, motokokusanagi2009 is who I go to for my direct translations. Anything I receive elsewhere, Motoko translates for me to double check its accuracy.
These translations are non-singable, text only.
5. "How long does it take to write English translyrics?"
That's dependent on the song, to be honest. Songs like "Just Be Friends" may take 10+ hours where as songs such as "We are POP☆CANDY!" take only 2 hours.
It's virtually impossible to take a direct translation and sing it to match the melody lines correctly. If done so, it sounds awkward. Nothing matches as it should. To fix this the song must be 'rewritten', but carefully done so that it doesn't it stray from the original meaning of the song.
I spend hours upon hours sitting at a desk with a thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, and notebooks working out lyrics, synonyms, and antonyms for hundreds of words that will allow me to do this. I may take a sentence and write out several different ways in different styles to see what flows with the song more fluidly.
It isn't good to have lyrics that are rough around the edges- which is why I spend a very dedicated amount of time perfecting them before I begin practicing and recording them.
I'm not sure if my fans & subscribers truly know how much heartfelt work I put into my English lyrics- which is why I ask for Question #2 above.
6. "Do you take requests? You should sing [insert song here] by Len!"
I do take requests. In fact, I generally receive anywhere between 10-20 of these messages a day. Ironically, many are for songs that I'm either planning for or have already uploaded to my accounts on Nico Nico Douga and Youtube. I do my best to read through all my requests, but it's impossible to fulfill all of them. There isn't physically enough time in the day to sing all the songs that 4,000+ of you on Youtube alone would like me to sing.
Aside from some of them being a little ridiculous ("Please dub 'The Disappearance of Miku Hatsune'!"), I take the most popular ones that are requested and usually sing those. Or, if I particularly like a song such as "Electric Love", I will sing it just because I like it.
What this means is, if I'm overwhelmed with requests to do the same song (unless I for some reason personally dislike the song greatly), I will pay the most attention to those- as those are what you all would like to hear the most!
More often than not, you can always see what I'm thinking about singing next or what will be upcoming by following me on twitter.
7. "Do you do duets with other dubbers?"
I do on great, great occasion. This doesn't happen very often as my schedule is full most of the time. Doing a duet is a very grueling process as there is much more to it than simply two people singing parts.
Singing a duet, on a technical level, is about vocal blending as well as correct filtering all recorded through similar equipment. I try my very best to make sure that all my dubs are as high quality as I can get them. It makes that very difficult if the person that I am singing with is only using a headset microphone.
However, you may catch me doing this during certain songs that require it. Future notice, I may hold auditions for these particular songs.
1. "Why do you only sing Vocaloid songs? You should sing [insert song here]!"
I sing Vocaloid songs because I truly adore them. I find them innovative and unique. It's something that everyone can create if they have a good ear for music and there are so many genres and types of music that encompass it.
I like the idea of doing something original. There are a lot of vocaloid dubbers/singers out there, but I know very few that do what I do in regards to the lyric work. Many of the songs are fantastic, but Vocaloid fandom is 80-90% Japanese language. The fact that I can take that and introduce it to English native audiences makes me happy because it's much easier to appreciate something when you can understand it.
2. "Do you other things other than singing?"
In between the musical whatnot, I play a lot of World of Warcraft. I also run a gaming shop in Bangor, Maine USA. I draw and upload things on my DeviantART account occasionally, too.
I'm a pretty busy person overall.
3. "Have you ever had any music lessons?"
Piano; 20 years.
Guitar; 8 years.
Intermediate violin player.
I've been singing since I was very young. I have also had vocal training for R&B and Jazz, as well sing acapella barbershop with Sweet Adelines International; an International Organization for women singers as a tenor (Soprano 1, SATB).
I have competed in vocal competitions in Maine, New York, and Florida; placing as a finalist in each. I placed 2nd in the state of Maine for Jazz All-State vocal competition in early 2000s, as well.
Anything that isn't answered here, please feel free to contact me via twitter, youtube, or simply leave a comment below. I do my best to check my accounts at least twice a day. I apologize if you wrote a message to me and it was overlooked.
I get swamped and I don't always see all of them, but I do my best. Hopefully this FAQ will help get your questions answered easier.
Lots of Love and Appreciation,