November 2013


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Last week, a couple of days before the Vixx concert, I went to a non K-Pop Korean concert that the South Korean embassy was arranging. Some musicians played classical western instruments, like piano and violin and others played traditional Korean instruments (gayageum, haegeum and daegeum). There was also a vocalist and a guitarist. They were all extremely good!

I really like the sound of the gayageum. The haegeum also has a frail but nice sound.

They performed both classical and traditional Korean pieces. The piece I liked the most was 바다의 사람들 (People of the Sea). You can check it out in the video below. It’s the same artist, Jung Ji-eun, that I saw.

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At the end they performed Arirang, which feels pretty standard at a Korean culture event, mixing piano, violin, guitar and the traditional instruments. At first it sounded pretty plain, but after a while it turned into an upbeat fusion piece. Really good.

 

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A week or so ago I got my Looney Tunes Golden Collection and the complete Death Note DVD box. One is pretty violent. I’m talking about Looney Tunes, of course ;) . No, really, it’s extremely violent. Death Note has nothing on it.

With this Looney Tunes box I got the classic Roadrunner and Coyote shorts that I wanted. And a ton of other classics. I’ve only watched a few – there are four discs per case. Not all are good, but it’s all quality animation. The one with the Coyote trying to steal sheep under the nose of the sheepdog is hilarious.

I actually re-watched Death Note recently, but it got me thinking that perhaps I should see if it’s available on Blu-ray. … Continue reading

 
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Last Saturday I attended Korean boy band Vixx’ showcase in Sweden. It was the first K-pop concert in Scandinavia! There was a strict “no photography” policy, so I didn’t take any photos. Sorry.

When I got the ticket I felt a bit guilty, since I hadn’t followed Vixx before and fan-girls were desperately trying to get a hold of tickets after they sold out.

The concert was held at a pretty small venue, Oscarsteatern. I’ve been there before for musicals. Even though the seats were numbered a queue formed outside the theatre before they opened the doors. It was pretty funny how many passers-by stopped and asked what we were queueing for, because there was no sign for this event and they couldn’t believe that we (mostly girls) were queueing for the show that was playing there other days.

… Continue reading

 

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Back in January, I needed to buy a headphone amplifier for the excellent headphones I got as a birthday present. I ended up getting the Objective 2 (O2) amplifier, which is an open source design that you can build yourself if you want. It had great reviews and the design goals appealed to me. It was basically designed to prove a point: that you could make a transparent amplifier that measured well (hence the “objective”) with fairly inexpensive parts.

The same guy who designed the O2 also designed a USB DAC (digital-to-analog converter) called the Objective DAC (ODAC) following the same principles. I wasn’t really in the market for a DAC, but since I was ordering from the US, I bought both. I got the stand-alone ODAC (it’s the tiny box on the top in the picture) so that I could connect it to what I wanted via the line-out. At first the DAC felt like overkill and I didn’t use it much. When I eventually started using it, I was impressed with the improved sound quality.

The other day I read somewhere that the ODAC might work with Android devices, so I thought I’d give it a shot and bought a USB OTG (on-the-go) cable and hooked up my Galaxy Note 8 to the ODAC. And it worked right away! :D Now I can get “raw” digital audio from my Note and let the ODAC take it from there.

This makes me appreciate both the fact that the ODAC designer opted for a chip that doesn’t require proprietary drivers, but uses standard protocols instead, and that Android follows these standards.

If you’re curious about the headphones, they’re Beyerdynamic DT880’s (premium, 250 ohm). Love them.