This week, I offered to create character themes for members of my Free Company (guild) in Final Fantasy XIV Online.

https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/lodestone/community_finder/951e1b0cad05af75dcb102ebe05f188ab2fe9d2a/

What was I thinking?!?

Anyway, here's three of the themes that I completed this week. The first asked me for "Concerning Hobbits" with a side of horror, the second asked me for "a somber theme with a sense of loss" and the third asked for "something whimsical" (except that I knew that she likes ZUN).

Edit: Okay, I added a fourth which was BY FAR the hardest one to do because it was based off of the B section from Isabella's Lullaby (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTJjtSP-ORc) and I almost NEVER do super maximal orchestral stuff like this.

Edit 2: Fifth song came up. I added an Alter:Ego voice here (the request was creepy, yet upbeat), but Alter:Ego is pretty finicky and I don't really like how the voice ended up coming out so I'm redoing it.

Kedbreak136 · 113 days ago

@Arcana Thank you! That sounds like a good idea - may want to check that out myself!

Arcana · 114 days ago

@Kedbreak136 It's basically 1-on-1 lessons with someone that I was referred to from work. They're a graduate from the New England Conservatory. We do everything online, there's a lot of screen sharing to go through material for example, or we may talk about special topics.

Kedbreak136 · 114 days ago

@Arcana I am curious about these composition lessons. Is that something you took online?

Arcana · 119 days ago

@Kedbreak136 I started on February 17th, so I did these in about five days. I didn't really keep track of how long it took me to do these, but I spent a decent portion of Saturday and Sunday so maybe a dozen hours in total?

Doing One Hour Compo (http://compo.thasauce.net/compos/view/OHC) for years has literally enabled me to crank out music. The other thing? I've been taking composition lessons and it's improved my theory and listening skills substantially.

The biggest challenge here was matching the styles to the reference tracks requested, especially for styles that I'm not used to doing or may not have the samples/instruments for!

There's three more tracks to do (two more members and my own character's theme) so you'll see more next week!

Kedbreak136 · 121 days ago

I like the concept a lot. Did you do all these in one week? That is quite an endeavor!
My favs would be Aeris' Theme (which sounds like the most developed one - the voices are a nice touch) and Locklyn's Theme (whimsical, light and has some interesting little twist around 0:36 ).

That was nice!

Arcana · 122 days ago

Elistipha's theme is on purpose, it's based on the style from Touhou, which is a video game that uses GM-sounding effects.

The others, I have no excuse :p

Ranranzeau · 122 days ago

I think you filled the requests quite well!

If anything, I'd add effects to give them more body. They're a bit dry to my taste as is (especially Elistipha's Theme). Maybe it is on purpose?

More submissions by Arcana for Weekly Music 2021

This is actually the same project as last week's with enough changes that it's basically not really recognizable as the same song. It's not exactly done either (the arrangement isn't really complete, and the "core loops" are not as polished as I'd really like, but what a HUGE difference a week makes.

I was practicing making some trance (though it kind of sounds like House) in Bitwig, so I didn't really get that much done this week. Still learning the UI and learning how things work together in the new environment. Hope for more results next time.

We got our weekly music theme today from Two Hour Track Sunday. We played a (really complicated) game where you had spies and non-spies and the non-spies composed a song according to a "location" and you had to guess first who the spies were and then the spies guessed what the location was.

I ended up spending maybe an hour and a bit on it in total.

The theme was "Cemetery", though part of the game was that you were supposed to make it a little ambiguous so that the "spies" couldn't guess the location!

This was live-streamed also - https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana on June 6, but look out about an hour and a half into the stream for the beginning of this particular track, since I started doing some stuff and then started over.

An initial sketch, it took me about 1.5 hours during OHC, and then I worked on it for an additional 3h 30m during stream, and it still needs more work. I didn't really listen to the master either since it's in such a draft state.

Riding high
In the sky
with my happy heart shaped
Chocolate drop

See the world
Sweet and clear
Covered in a rain of
Chocolate gold

Happy heart shape chocolate drop
Dancing with the stars aloft
Happy heart shape chocolate drop
Around the world, we’ll never stop

Ambient music on the Eurorack modular, though in practice this might actually be more drone than ambient. Recorded live, took two takes and about 1h 30m total.

Streamed live here https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana/ With respect to streaming, it was actually a pretty good day since I got a pretty big raid (of about 24 people).

I did this for 2HTS:http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/2HTS372

"By the time I got to this it was masked behind a copyright claim for YouTube

Cribbed from some great piano players - will my livestream of this session get silenced?

This is a little bit of an absurd callout to when streamers play classical music legally on their streams, and then suddenly Twitch will mute the video and slap DMCA violation because their performance is too similar to some classical professional performer's recording owned by a record company."

It kind of has some goodness in it, but I forgot to side chain, and the mastering chain really crushed the dynamics so it wasn't quite what I wanted to hear and I cut it too close to the end to adjust it.

This might be a borderline case but this week I was tired and didn't really end up creating a song of my own, but instead ended up doing an impromptu collab with my friend Starla (who runs compo.thasauce.net). Starla produced the track and provided vocals, and I did a guitar solo and some of the male vocal parts so it's really kind of not my track as the main artist but since it was a COLLAB~ I wanted to upload it anyway since I rarely do collabs or contribution of instrumental parts to other people's songs.

Also we did this as part of Two Hour Track Sunday which meant that we decided on what to do in real time in UNDER TWO HOURS over a stream!

Check out the stream here:https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1017024668

And if you can try to follow https://www.twitch.tv/starlainjury or drop by https://compo.thasauce.net!

its only temporary
so they said
i'm waiting for my judgment
so you said

I'm filled with all my secrets
I keep them to myself
I'm waiting for my judgment
ooohh

i'm hidden in this limbo
ohhh
im waiting for salvation
ohhh

Tell me all your secrets
I'll keep them to myself
I'm waiting for my judgment
ooohh

lost in the space between
you and me
in purgatory

tethered to you
can anybody hear me
can anybody hear me

drawn to the world that keeps
you and me
in purgatory

tethered to you
can anybody hear me
can anybody hear me

I set out today to create an "epic orchestral electronic" track that might invoke images of a final boss battle in a video game.

I don't know if I quite got the "epic" down but it has a bunch of tension and stuff. The song is in A minor, it's 136 bpm, etc. etc. I don't really know what else to say about this yet.

if you do want to see the making of video, you can check it out at https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana and look out for the May 2 video.

I started this one on my other computer (my old 2013 iMac, but, for various reasons, the old iMac actually performs better than the new Mac Mini I got) and it has templates/sounds that are a little out of date. I streamed that one, and interestingly enough I didn't get audio dropouts at all while streaming but as soon as I bring it over to my new 2018-era Mac Mini it starts to sputter and desync and it's a terrible mess and there's only like 6 tracks or so.

Also it's VGM Con and I'm helping out so I can't really do much with it the song weekend. I'm going to just ditch it and move on with the next project.

I did however learn from the chat participants watching about how they like to bus wet reverb or wet echo differently from dry and compress only the wet signal. I normally don't do that.

Wrote this as a last-second for Two-Hour Track Sunday: http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/2HTS368

There was a live stream of this: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/992381846

I created this song as a live stream on Deluge, Eurorack, and Meeblip. Here's the live stream channel: https://www.twitch.tv/emeraldarcana It's under "creating music in real time with hardware".

I got kind of tired so I didn't really sit to polish this one up, but after doing listening I probably would change a few things like adjusting levels a bit more. I was getting into gainstaging problems where the gear was overloading the VCA and the unity mixer was clipping hard. I might have to pay more attention to that later on. Other than that it's a long live jam done in real time.

I haven't sat down to like actually compose in a while - spent a bunch of time on a secret album project (which was primarily me playing guitar poorly 2 weeks ago) then doing the Eurorack modular live set.

Here's Shanna's Theme. Her character is a crystal pirate, so she wanted something piratey - like heroic pirate theme.

A live jam for a synth meetup this evening. I also recorded a stream of this on Twitch where I was setting it up and practicing performing it.

Gear: TR-8s, Analog 4, Deluge, Linnstrument

arggh my fingers hurt so much this is what you get when you don't pick up a guitar for like one and a half years but then you get mad at sequencing guitars in MIDI so you're like "let's just try playing it" and then you end up with this also my guitar's like years old and I've never changed the strings because rarrr

Two Hour Track Sunday Track originally (submitted here)[http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/2HTS363#entry-17685].

I was learning Shreddage 3 Jupiter, which I had upgraded to after not using Shreddage 2 in about 8 years. There's a bit of a learning curve - it has a lot of articulations and so forth that I didn't manage to get into so the guitars don't really sound real, but that's what happens when you do a compo.

I've been kind of slow on music projects recently. I got caught up in learning a DAW for Windows (Studio One 5 trial, so far) and I'm learning some voice (still a beginner, so no real recordings yet) and am writing more on my blog.

Instead of normal music time, I decided that I'd do Two Hour Track Sunday (http://compo.thasauce.net/compos/view/2HTS)

The instructions were as follows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EBpRCsNqY0

Basically, it's to use a web-based sequencer with a partner to create samples, some beat tracks, and then load those into your own DAW after to create a song.

I'm not even sure what to say about the actual song at this point, it just literally started.

Here's what I had to work with: https://wesequence.live/gDzDTHeUV
and here's the submission. http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/2HTS362

I must say that was actually super educational because I had to actually learn how to use the sampler. In the process, I learned how to snap it to zero-crossings, how to slice the parts (by transient, at least - not by beat), how to one-shot vs. pitch shift samples, and even how to load them up. I don't normally work a lot with raw samples, usually I use a sampler that's already been mostly assembled. This was a total eye-opener. I don't know if the song itself came out that well, but it was definitely a cool experience for the purpose of learning.

I did five themes last time and there's three left to go.

Zelfie asked for a theme that followed a reference track that resembled 70s funk/disco.

Pixie asked for a "whimsical" theme and linked me some songs from World of Final Fantasy that were composed by Masashi Hamauzu. Pixie's theme took a while. I broke out my piano book for SaGa Frontier 2 (I don't play piano) and studied one of the songs and learned like a metric ton of stuff about whimsical and bright piano music from just two sections.

I still have one more theme to do: my own (T'mi's theme). The running idea is a combination of the Terminator theme and some random rock riffs to give it a super heavy wall of sound. It's not done, hopefully I'll finish it this week and you'll see the third track.

Edit: T'mi's Story. "An adventurer pulled from time and lost in worlds discovers through the gift of a bird what true friends are." (When you are the composer of your own theme, you can write as many gratuitous program notes as you want. AND you can make it twice as long.)

The little child tastes freedom after escaping from a life time trap.


A bunch of experimentation here with actually playing some parts live in MIDI (over many, many takes).

Unfortunately I don't really like the outcome. It's a little shrill and the melodies aren't varied enough and the harmony isn't really that interesting or exciting, so it's a little bit of a "I wrote it and dumped it off" today.

The adventurers scale the dreadful Elisius Mons while still under pursuit from the Captain of Templar Orionus.


Yes, the title is entirely made-up.

A cinematic piece that I composed as a throwaway mostly to try out Damage 2 by Heavyocity (which is a very expensive and very high quality cinematic drum library).

I wrote this, didn't really like the direction or the compositional choices, and decided to just kind of slap an end on it and not really worry about the transitions, the sudden mood shifts, or anything else. I'd rather just finish it up and let the idea go and start on something different for now.

Title refers to the ring around a star (which is where the coronavirus got its name from). I didn't really want to refer specifically to COVID-19, everyone's kind of done with "quarantine" themed songs I think.

This is practice with making tense, more film-score like tracks. I kind of want to make one of those epic battle themes one day and in the middle there was a transition that I kind of wanted to make more tense but I didn't quite get it right and was a little too tired to try to really push through it today, so instead of changing the mood I kept it the same and finished.

Song notes:

Bm, a lot of harmonies, tiny amount of melody and not that much counterpoint going on. Mostly work with drums here. Meter is 6/8, which is pretty obvious from listening. I do go from 3-bar phrases to 4-bar phrases after the transition.

Weekly Music 2021

Write, record, and upload a new piece of music every week.

joined 24 weeks ago