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 · 1 year ago

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

Arcana · 1 year 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 · 1 year ago

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

Arcana · 1 year 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 · 1 year 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 · 1 year 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 · 1 year 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

Instead of leaving you all with a farewell to 2021, I'm thinking ahead to 2022 because I have a project to crank out.

I have a live show to prepare for on January 29, so I started sketching out the set with Track 1. What I need? A transition to track 2 :D

Composed on a Eurorack modular synth (7u 104hp; the rack hasn't changed in a few months) and a Minibrute 2s.

Here's some more liner notes:

Key: F major
BPM: 116.7

  • Minibrute 2s with drone patch (A-01) transition to A-02
  • Eurorack Metropolix Cyan-5 sequence 1 with skips on 2-8, opening up over time
  • Drum channels A-B-D muted, opening up over time
  • What I want to do is create sequence A-03 for a variation in the acid bass section
  • Also want to create more sequences for the drums and to figure out what knob I can turn to turn this from an acid bass song in F major to something in D minor that is darker and a little more foreboding.

A quick Minibrute 2s Acid Jam that I did while I was streaming without a lot of preparation or planning. I need to learn how to save and restore sequences and then actually take advantage of them! Maybe I'll use the sequences in an upcoming live show...

A relatively short song this week, I streamed and ended up doing more talking and less composing, but I was able together. It's probably more of an intro than a complete song, but it's still like a minute and a half long or so.

Doing some more hybrid orchestral/electronic music. I was feeling a little sick from getting my COVID booster today and I think some of that might have come through in the choice of non-scale tones. I also tried to add a few chromatic mediants here and there for practice purposes.

The end result is a soundtrack-style sound with a lot of tension and hopefully a bit of a mini journey.

Song with lyrics that I wrote for One Hour Compo, but due to render issues I couldn't submit it for that competition.

I wrote a track for Two Hour Track Sunday last Sunday, but apparently forgot to upload it to WeeklyMusic, so this is a super late.

Epic practice as I fool around with some new Kontakt instruments (Damage 2; Symphonic Destruction). I didn't really spend that much time writing this (maybe an hour or so), I spent a bunch of time exploring the sound design aspects of the plugin but didn't really incorporate them into the song.

Submitted for 2HTS, except I was 45 minutes late. Also, I had huge technical issues with this one so levels and quality is TOTALLY OFF and things got crunched up a HUGE amount.

I also started 45 minutes late. So it's not really a good example of quality music-making time this week :(

I may or may not be able to fix the recording issue before the deadline but we'll see.

Trouble's in your face
Permission denied
The paperwork's in place
As our work collides

Should have been hawk-eyed
The words within
Revealed to you the truth
But corporate always wins!

Didn't you take the time
To smell the roses
Don't you read the lines?
Affecting your ways
Protect ourselves,
That's what we do
But why do you not read?
It protects you too.

A drone piece that symbolizes my cat's stomach because it's deep and bottomless.

Created on the Arturia Minibrute 2s using their "drone" patch from the cookbook that comes in the manual.

A generative Eurorack song. I did touch this one while it was recording, but in general it'll just go do its thing for as long as you want.

Yes, I streamed it, you can see it at the usual place (https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana)

I created a track this week in two hours for 2HTS. https://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/2HTS394

But the mic clipped while recording and I don't have time to rerecord this week :(

The others await

They seek the pieces of you

Take that side of you

Away

Each reflection

Each shard

Holds the secret

The power between worlds

Bit by bit

My is mind pulled apart

The sequences fade

From my shattered dream

Piece by piece

What I used to know grows dim

Crystalline memories

Tarnished and lost

One by one

Reaching within

Trying to keep unity

Hope drifts afar

Piece by piece

A neuron at a time

The last feelings in myself

My existence goes away

Fractions

Each reflection, each shard

Losing myself now

Pieces

Each part, each bit

Losing myself now

Lost in a crystalline dream

EDIT: I am getting an error when exporting audio in Bitwig and can't figure it out. For now, I'll link to the part of the Twitch VOD where I play the song until I can figure this out. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1173293038

I guess this is more like psychedelic trance now, but it's gone from being an intro and a drop into an entire song. It needs some work, but I will probably stop uploading versions of this song to Weekly Music and work on that offline.

Issues that need improvement:

  • It's long
  • Need more variation/consistency in the use of the riff/melody/stabs
  • Lots and lots of production, like balancing out the drums/samples/groove/snares/claps
  • Some dissonant chords from typos and stuff
  • Needs some more light FX and fills

As usual this was streamed, https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana/

I think this is kind of cheating since you're supposed to make a new track every week for Weekly Music, but I am actually learning things by picking up from where I left off last week.

A few cool things in this track:

  • I sampled stuff on encouragement from my stream viewers. Specifically, one of the shakers is me biting on a Cheez-It and one of the crashes/risers is the shaking of a Cheez-It bag
  • I learned how to use operators in Bitwig, which is a way to procedurally trigger notes and stuff
  • I have recorded a little bit of voice (it's the backing choir-like pads). It's not that great and can use some more takes, but it was an idea

As usual I streamed this (https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana/)

I took the track from a couple of weeks and worked on it.

A live improv techno song with Eurorack doing percussion (and growls, and some weird melodic stuff) and Future Retro 777 doing the bass. I was doing this while smoking ribs outside. Loop-based, but hopefully simple and fun.

I streamed this. You can check it out, https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcana/

A bit of an exercise that illustrates things that I should practice than my composing and producing prowess.

QUESTIONS I NEED TO ANSWER:

Note to self: How do I save Grid presets?
How do I map the device quick controls to a particular Grid parameter?
How do I reverse an audio clip?
I should improve my timing when playing chords, etc.

A noisy drone ambient set with lots of distortion and wall of sound. Performed live on the Eurorack. This was streamed, you can check it out when the VOD comes out at https://twitch.tv/emeraldarcaa/

Warning: long-ish (7 minutes)

I haven't done "traditional" music in a while, I might go back to that next week.

I performed live for Modular On The Spot at a Community Center on August 28. Great audience, had a decent crowd size, and I received a number of compliments on the set afterward.

Edit: I managed to get the file uploaded. The set is about 20 minutes long, so be aware that it's rather long for a Weekly Music submission.

Original text:

I am rather busy tomorrow so I do not know if I can extract audio by tomorrow, so I'm going to post the video below as a placeholder and hopefully get back to editing it by deadline tomorrow.

The show itself starts around 8m 30s in and it runs for about 15m. (tomorrow when I'm less tired I'll try to get audio and a timestamp)

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1132691191

This one is preparation for a Eurorack Set that I'm going to play live for Modular On The Spot in the city next week Saturday. The set is about 25m long so this song is also pretty long. Sorry about that.

This one is a live performance.

I also streamed this performance (actually, streamed a couple of practice runs).

Weekly Music 2021

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

weekly from 2021-01-04 to 2022-01-03