This is a redoing of The Cats Got Into the Rocket Ship (https://weeklybeats.com/arcana/music/the-cats-got-into-the-rocket-ship) from WeeklyBeats Week 51.
There are still a lot of the same elements, but much of the arrangement is different and I'd like to think that the harmonic changes are better in the second version than in the first one and that the musical ideas are a little more developed. I am still not quite happy with the arrangement. I think I need to give myself a rest and look at it tomorrow.
As with most songs where the arrangement isn't great, I haven't concentrated too much on mixing and polish, so expect some mud/bad timbres/etc. I am trying to improve in this area too but I'm focusing so much on arrangement, composition, and harmony/melody these days that production/mixing/sound design is taking a back seat.
I'll tag anything that's an ongoing work as "WIP" (work in progress).
A really upbeat dance song made with my latest gear thingy, the Synthstrom Deluge.
All of the sounds and arrangement is done with that single box.
I haven't fully figured it out, so the sound design is not exactly ear-popping, but I was able to compose and arrange the entire thing using that box (with some EQ and Limiting post-processing in software after recording).
Considering that I got the Deluge a week ago, being able to compose something using only that piece of gear is actually pretty amazing for me.
BTW, as I mentioned last week, I released an improvisational album at http://irwink.bandcamp.com. If you like listening to the Eurorack jams that I post here check it out.
I reused the live set I created earlier this week for One Hour Compo because that's what happens when you're lazy but still want to make Weekly Music deadlines.
That all said it really isn't that simple. I redid the lead arp compared to the previous live song, I changed the lead timbre, and then I envisioned a better set of transitions and scene changes.
Song overall is pretty simple. I actually recorded a single take.
I really wanted to give the song a "chill", cyberpunk/electronic feeling, with a bit of groove and direction. That was the aim, I hope I made it!
More practicing with live loops and Eurorack modular that I created earlier this week. More breakbeat-style tracks.
Few things I learned:
I did my first live set in front of an audience. I prepared this for about two weeks and performed it last night (July 20, 2019) in front of an audience of about 10-15 attendees. Overall I got a lot of compliments afterward and even though I know I had mistakes during the set, no one seemed to notice.
I took the recording from a combination of an iPhone recording and a recording that was connected to the mixer because the recording on the mixer missed the introduction. I amplified and compressed the clean recording a little bit to increase the levels a little bit, but it's still a bit on the quiet side.
The total set is about 22 minutes long, so it's a bit on the long side for a WeeklyMusic submission. I hope that some of you check this out. Enjoy!
Rough sketch. Next week, I'll try to work on this and do a better mix.
Initially, the project started as "practice emotion", to try to invoke a particular emotion or mood. I didn't do a good job though because I didn't really choose the mood before I started the song. I'll probably take this and try to make it more of a somber tune but with an underlying sense of tension. Maybe for next week?
I think I'm done with this track for now - I started it a few weeks ago and even though "Weekly Music" is about creating a new piece of music each week, I thought that my weakness was not in actually creating music but in actually sitting on a piece of music long enough to make it significantly better over time, so I've spent the past month or so with an emphasis on improving a track each week rather than making a brand new one.
For this track I focused a lot on mixing and a little on mastering, but mostly in mixing and especially in getting things both balanced, and loud.
Here are some lessons learned so far:
I could still probably compress my kicks more (they are peaky) and I can probably continue to improve overall sound design but I'll do that for another project.
So for some reason I've never been able to do good electronic dance music and I think I figured out the reason: I wasn't creating risers properly!
I need to study up on my clichés more, so here's some Big Room-ish House.
I also need to start finishing tracks so I might work on this more for next week. Arrangement isn't really finished yet and I need to definitely work on processing/sound selection/production.
Welcome again everyone (I took a 4 week hiatus).
I normally don't straight-on upload my One Hour Compo track, but this weekend I'm traveling and the chance that I'll get to submit is pretty low.
This is a live track done on the Octatrack and Analog Four. I didn't do resampling unfortunately - not comfortable enough with it - but it is my first non-noise song with both the Analog Four and the Octatrack together so I guess that's something.
Hi, I'm back. After not doing weeklies for many many weeks, I need to at least work on some projects to improve.
Composition cleaned up from the one posted at One Hour Compo.
Someone help describe the genre for this, I guess it's kind of like Glitch Chip stuff but I'm not really sure yet.
I created this with a bunch of synthesizers (Nord Lead 2x, Meeblip Triode, Roland SH-01a), Maschine for drums, software effects (mostly SoundToys and Neutron), and recorded/mixed in Logic Studio X.
Sunday, Dec 17. Need to start early because I have company over tonight.
10:50 - 12:40. Not too much to say, I kind of lazied myself out at the end. I should really revisit tracks and continue on them but for some reason working on details feels tiring to me, I wonder how I can get around that.
Technical notes: Kick drum from the modular, on clock (I kind of need a way to control that). Lots of Nord Lead stuff also.
At some point I thought that this was going somewhere, but then something happened and I was unable to get the feeling that I wanted, and things weren't really ever resolving, so I just kind of gave up. There were some potentially good sounds, but it never really came together melodically or harmonically and I can't really concentrate on sound design if the harmonies and melodies aren't feeling good to me.
I probably spent about two hours making this? Pretty unhappy with how this came out this week.
Sunday, Sept 10.
- Improve rhythm guitar timing and tuning
- Use synth chords
- Use synth lead countermelody contrasting with guitar
13:00 - 13:20: Noodling and exploration. In 20 minutes, I laid down initial stab chords, a beat, and some bass.
16:50 - 18:55: I resumed this. It's…. really dancey-like. I think I spent a little longer than average on production, but still not that long. Older versions had bad timbre + level matching between the guitar and synth leads so I fixed that up a bit. The song itself is really really simple and predictable, so if I wanted to work on this it would actually need to be on the composition to draw interest. I didn't actually add a whole lot of rhytm guitar to this.
Total time: 2h 25m
- Nord Lead 2x
- Future Retro 777
- My modular synth
- MASCHINE 2 (for drums)
Various software effects
Sunday, June 18, 14:40 - 17:00. Let's try to create more video game boss music in 16-bit style.
Okay, this was less 16-bit and more EDM… but I guess it has some fakebit chip elements. I didn't really concentrate too much on production outside of mixing and some light effects.
I guess it works? I was initially going to find some 16-bit like sampled guitar, but since I actually know how to play guitar, I cheated and just played real guitar instead. (Besides, I need an excuse to play the guitar, I haven't played in months). It's kind of messy at the end... maybe less is more?
Total time: 2h 20m
Sunday, June 11, 15:30 - 17:50.
I think I'm going to end up lazying out of this one, but I do have a bit of an objective, and that's to study a bit of the style of 16-bit JRPG boss music and work toward that style. Most of it is progressive rock with rock-style drum beats, choir pads, and synth rock or brass leads. Very fast tempos. I don't think I'll get that far this week (especially not in the hour or two I typically use for WeeklyMusic) but it's giving something for me to study toward.
Total time: 2h 20m
Liner notes: I kind of stopped this in an incomplete state. I didn't pay a lot of attention to production and much of the sound design and composition is off. Here are some observations:
* The break isn't quite what I wanted it to be, it's a bit too bouncy but needs more tension.
* The bass isn't quite the sound I want it to be, a bit too much release in it maybe.
* Some of the creepy sounds are cool but not really used enough.
* The leads are a little off still. The first pulse lead (it's the Nord Lead sound) is all right, but the second one is a little thin (Phenol). They're layered with effects but the timbres aren't quite right.
I guess it has semblances of boss music (Secret of Mana especially) but needs some work still.
Sunday, June 4. 14:30 - 16:30
I'm going to experiment with weird sounds this week and then work on some EDM-style production. How does that work together? We'll see!
industrial progressive track - a lot of resonance. The talky-instrument is the Phenol, which highlights to me the fact that modular is a ton of fun. After listening to headphones though I realize the panning is WAY off. I think it's because I ran a channel through another synth band didn't set up my software mixing right...
Total time: 2h
May 28, 15:30-17:20. Not in a good mood today. Nonetheless, songwriting time means songwriting time. Also, I borrowed a Korg Electribe EMX-1 to see if I want to buy it so I have to try it out and see if it's something that'll inspire me to do interesting things.
A few things I learned:
- Analog synthesizer tuning sucks
- Korg has some pretty cool SFX in it, but I'm still not clear if I really need a groovebox like it.
- I really really lazied out on this track, it needed a few more parts.
Total time: 1h 50m
I wasn't really into this track this week. It actually came together considering that I was really not happy with it about two hours in, but still… meh.
What kind of genre would you call this?
Sunday, May 21, 15:45 - 18:00. Today is a painting day.
More arpeggiation. More ambience. Lots of modulation in hardware. Some beats.
So far, I have an EDM dance beat going on but I'm not really feeling it today. I may have to do more random noodling.
Total time: 2h 15m
Hang on to rays of light.
May 14, 16:15 - 17:35.
My main is to crank out a melodic EDM song in an hour.
Okay, it was more melodic than EDM, but I guess it fulfills the purpose. I am thinking that the part with the beats isn't quite as impactful as I want it to be, probably due to the fact that the kick is a bit too mechanical. Maybe more noise would have been good for it.
Total time: 1h 20m (the exact time for a One Hour Compo! It's almost like I know the exact time.)
Sunday, May 7, 2017. 13:00 - 15:00. Looking at the Oberheim Xpander. This is a beast of a synth that I don't entirely get. It's from 1984 and it has a totally different UI than most modern synths - tons of menu diving.
At this rate, if I make one or two good sounds with it in an hour I should be pretty happy, as I haven't ever really gotten the mental model of it before.
OKAY SUCCESS I think I managed to figure the Oberheim out. It's playing the organ-like lead in this song.
Lots of weird stuff in this song overall...
Total time: 2h
Edit: The file didn't upload.
Sun, Apr. 23: 13:00 - 15:10. An attempt at a jam.
I'm trying to make more interesting jams. I heard a few things from some other synth guys recently, like:
- They like to use multiple short phrases (8 or even 4 steps)
- Different time steps
- Cut off steps every once in a while
- Use reset a lot
I figure that I can try out some of these techniques in a live jam and see how it goes. A lot of the techniques they mentioned apply to a Eurorack format but I should be able to do a lot even without it.
Total time: 2h 10m
I worked with a theme: Space Pirates. On earth, there was ice. In space… there is still ice.
Production notes: I worked pretty quickly. The song's not too long and I reused a number of melodies and kept them pretty simple. I wanted to get some amount of chippiness in the tune but not too much.
The song is made with predominantly hardware and some software effects. I am really happy with the sounds the Phenol can make - it forms the background drone and really helped to fill out the track. The rest of the track was made with a Nord Lead 2x and MASCHINE druns. Effects are mostly Valhalla Shimmer and some amount of Neutron, but there's also a few others here and there.
Sunday, April 2, 12:00 - 12:15. Again, I am thinking of Zelda: Breath of the Wild so I'm here to make a quick and interesting song in a minimal amount of time!
It's actually interesting to see how much "quality" I can crank out in a tiny span of time.
I've received a theme from someone: Space Pirates. So let's make it so.
Setup and making patches - didn't get enough time to really get started.
13:15 - 15:25. Compose, sound design, mix. Boom.
Total time: 2h 10m
Warning: High Frequencies
Sun, March 26, 14:15 - 15:30. I bought Zelda: Breath of the Wild recently so I've been a bit focused on that.
For the next few weeks you might be getting some strange modular music.
Live, couple of takes, lots of plug-pulling, no software efects.
Bass 1: Future Retro 777
Lead/arp/weird stuff: Kilpatrick Phenol
Total time: 1h 15m