Submissions by Arcana tagged drums

Pseudo-epic-trying guitar ballad.

Notes: I tried to steal chords from pop songs, but it was too hard to figure out how they were supposed to sound good together.

Starting in earnest:

16:35 - 18:50. 2h 15m

Really? It sure felt longer than that.

Saturday, Sept 16: I started this on Saturday, but I didn't keep a time log. I maybe spent 30 minutes on this doing a drum loop, some bass, and a few chords.

Sunday, Sept 17: 16:05 - 18:30.

This turned out to be a pretty normal rock song with some synthpop elements to it.

It was mostly a good opportunity to practice more guitar playing. I realized that my guitar goes out of tune a LOT, I tuned it three times because it was drifting out of tune while I was making the song. Maybe this is normal though and I didn't really realize it.

I spent a modicum more time on the drum design this week than normal - as the song developed I swapped out a lot of the 808/909 samples I had for more traditional rock samples, but I do have a few synth samples there.

Total time: Probably 3h?

Instruments: Software drums, 3 tracks of real guitar (lead/rhythm/backing chords), two Nord Lead tracks (pads and bass), one modular synth (background countermelody)

Sunday, August 20, 15:00-17:21 Modular + Guitar Jam.

First 30m was setting up the studio and getting some initial tuning and patches in for the modular synthesizers, and fiddling around with some initial melodies that might be okay.

I kind of wanted this to be done, I didn't particularly like the end result too much. The mood changes too much and I wasn't sure I wanted to go back and fix it all.

Theme notes to come

Not sure when I started actually. It's 10:45 now and I probably spent an hour on this song already laying down parts and getting guitar tones right.

I think I stopped around 12:15, but I'm not clear. So maybe 2.5 to 3 hours? There are some messy parts that I've marked as "FIX" in my project file - the intro for example and the chorus needs work, as well as some of the verses that aren't quite the same section to section.

I think I might do some work next week and add lyrics.

The world is filled with bright lights. Heaven sees them too.

Sunday, July 30. 17:20 - 19:00.

Feeling tired today, so I want to explore a few simple chord progressions and lay down a basic synthpop song. I kind of wanted to try to combine rock/synth a little in this song.

The timing needed work, I ran out of time to work on this.

Total time: 1h 40m.

A day of asteroid mining.

This is kind of not in line with the rules since I continued a track that I started last week, but it's really rare that I'll take a track and actually spend a good deal of time on it so I wanted to actually post it and be happy and not worry about composing something else for this week on the cheap on Sunday. (I'll probably start something - I want to do a remix).

I did a song over six years ago. The beginning sucked but it had a catchy melody close to the end that I never finished.

I've always wanted to redo the song. Now I have a chance.

The song was kind of a goofy song based on space asteroid drilling. The theme still fits (space is awesome) and I've also been playing FTL so this totally jives.


Mon. Mar 6 21:40 - 23:00.

In a massive WeeklyBeats faux pas, I'm continuing a song that I started last week, but hey, it's WeeklyMusic, not WeeklyBeats, and I'd like to do things that'll help me enhance my music quality. I rarely revisit songs, so it's a good opportunity to really build the ideas up.

To work on: smoothing transitions and cleaning up some of the chops and production in the fast part. There are too many themes going on in the piece and it doesn't tie together, so I need to make it more coherent.

Tue. Mar 7 21:30 - 23:30. Fixing melodies and some mixing and bad timres. More transition smoothing needed.

What I think is cool: I still like the old melody, but it takes such a back seat. I like the punchiness when the kick drums come in in the fast part.

Spent 30 minutes just mixing also. I don't think I've spent this much time with a track in years. Probably will give this the multiple-monitors-and-headphones treatment if I have time this week.

Wed. March 8 22:20 - 22:40. Going to do a few touch-ups since I did something else tonight instead of music.

* Make the kick punchier in the middle

* Repeat the melody in the A part

* Make the ending more melodic

Thurs. March 9 20:00 - 20:40. Trying to put in some more finishing touches on parts of the melody that I don't like (I can't believe that a melody can cause so many changes) and mixing/production.

Fri. March 10, 20:30ish - 21:40. Finishing touches - lowering volume of kicks, bouncing hardware synth parts, touching volume levels, etc. I think this is done.

This week: 5h 30m

Total for this track: 10h 20m

Dive your ship into space and escape the light.


It's occurred to me that it would be nice to have a coach or to get someone to review my tracks on a regular basis to get more targetted feedback, especially in the area of sound design and sound timbres. Anyone interested in helping out a struggling musician?

== ==

Sun, Feb 26, 10:15 - 12:45.



i V II vii

Verse A

i III vii VI VI III iv V

// Prechorus

// III iv vii I III VI V I


A C Dm Em G F E G

I'm struggling on what this song "is". Maybe like a spacefaring song, but I'm not sure what the next progression should be after the verse and where the modulation should go. I had a moment of wanting to give up but I pushed through it to lay out another set of chords. (I think it would be easier if I planned this out in advance.)

16:30 - 18:25. Finish the composition and try to tie it together. Needs more production practice (especially if I had time to audition it on other speakers and headphones). I think the levels are off - I really mixed it with low levels and as a result I don't think I used all of my dynamic range.

Total time: 5h 25m

== Objectives ==

Over the past month or two I've reviewed:

* Varying bass notes in a chord progression

* Using suspended chords

* Using seventh chords

* Using dominant secondary chords

* (Ongoing) Learning voice leading/counterpoint

A few other points that have been suggested by listeners (thanks!) include:

* Using more pads to fill out a song

* Improving transitions

* More "driving" bassline

Since last week I didn't end up creating a song I might concentrate on doing that first instead of doing more counterpoint and voice leading.

One thing I should also consider overall is better timbre and sound design for my music.

Gravity Well


Into the wormhole. Hold on tight.


I had some nice sounds that reminded me of space. I have also been watching a lot of Star Trek from the 90s. A few things though that I didn't spend enough time on was getting the melody sound right (too much echoing bleeding into the call-response tracks) and trying to fix a few conflicting sections where there's too much going on and muddiness. Maybe I can work on this next week.

The track is mostly hardware but has a lot of software effects.

Leads are from Nord Rack 2x, pads Alesis A6 Andromeda, the arp from Oberheim Xpander. Drums are MASCHINE, the ominous pad is Massive, the noises are from Stutter Edit. Lots of other SFX and mixing in software.


Technique log:

Sun, Jan 29. 15:05 - 18:05. What's the composition technique this week? More secondary dominant chords and varying basslines.

I thought the song last week had some interesting tonal qualities to it, but it took a long time to create so I'd like to practice my speed this week.


Em Bm C D

Em Gm Dm Am Em Gm Bm B/D (tension section)

Bassline melodics:

Em Dm Am B

The secondary dominant chords are in the counter section, though the whole track overall is pretty simple.


Total time: 3h