Mike Wilson's Blog

I was a MA/MST student at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Accoustics.

This is my weblog.

Click here for my main page.


I've finished the first week of my internship at Yamaha.  I'm not sure
how much I can talk about the specifics of what I'm doing, so I will
err on the side of not talking about it at all for now.  But there is
plenty of other stuff to talk about.

I think I am the first intern from CCRMA to work here, which was a bit
surprising to me initially given CCRMA's past connections with Yamaha.
But then I found out that this internship program only started about
three years ago.  So it's not really that surprising after all.  I do
feel a responsibility to make sure things go well and help ensure
future collaborations, but given how the first week has gone I think
that won't be too difficult.

The headquarters of the music division is in Hamamatsu city (浜松市),
which is also the city that I'm living in.  However, the research
center I'm interning at is in Iwata (磐田市), the same city as Yamaha
Motors' headquarters.

I'm working in the Vocaloid group and people are pretty busy right now
since they have announced an upcoming major release of the software.
But everyone I've met here has been really nice.  My manager
especially has taken great pains to make sure that I've settled in

Being able to understand some Japanese helps a lot.  I was in Japan in
2004 for a different internship, and even though I had studied
Japanese for two years prior to that I wasn't really able to carry on
a normal conversation.  It made things pretty difficult.  While I'm
still not fluent, I can usually find a way to communicate with people
now and can read enough to get a general idea of what's going on.

As far as music goes, I brought a tiny keyboard controller with me and
am setting up my mini-studio environment so hopefully I will be able
to crank out a couple of songs while I'm here.  I don't think I'll
have any studio access so it will probably be all-digital stuff, but
I've been meaning to do more of that anyway.  Pretty much everyone in
the group here plays some sort of musical instrument (or does computer
music) but it seems like it might be difficult to get jam sessions
together.  We'll see.

On a different note, Yamaha Motors owns a professional soccer team,
Jubilo, and one of Yamaha Music's managers, who I had met at CCRMA,
took me to a game.  Even though we lost 2-1 it was a lot of fun.  In a
bit of a contrast to American sporting events where music or
officially organized cheering can only occur during breaks in the
action, there were organized cheers for both teams during pretty much
the entire game.  Also, apparently yelling to the tune of Scott
Joplin's "The Entertainer" is a common cheer?

In future posts I will try to talk about things I find interesting
during my stay here.  And of course if I do some more work you can
find out about it here.  Thanks for reading!

email mwilson@alumni.caltech.edu
Disclaimer: the views herein are my own and do not represent the views of Stanford University. All material copyright Michael J. Wilson.