Submissions by Arcana tagged edm

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.

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,

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 (

More EDM practice - I am working on creating a template in Bitwig and continuing to learn how to use Bitwig features.

This is pretty unfinished, I spent a few hours on it. If you want to see the process, you can watch it on my stream:

A Eurorack jam. I spent a lot of time with the Metropolix on this one and came across tons and tons of bad takes. I streamed much of it today, but I ended up with a few technical problems and a lot of moments of bad inspiration.

Hope you like it, it's pretty much like a dark techno-y song.

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

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:

There was a live stream of this:

Instead of normal music time, I decided that I'd do Two Hour Track Sunday (

The instructions were as follows:

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:
and here's the submission.

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.

Something something flying in the sky watching the world from above while kittens are in the rocket

Yes, it's this melody again. I created it during One Hour Compo, then I tried to redo the song during WeeklyBeats 1 2.

THE SONG'S BACK! WeeklyMusic gets a turn at this because I want to use the melody in something but the song hasn't really come together, ever. That said, I think it's much more successful this time around because I basically shortened it a ton.

BONUS: I mashed it up with this other One Hour Compo song so really, nothing in this song's original, other than me slicing things up from old music.

And you know what, the result is possibly better than the original songs.

It does need some work. The beginning need some more texture and timbre - and mostly in some double-checking the arrangements and lots of production work, levels, mixing, etc.

This is a redoing of 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 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!

A trance song. Originally composed for OHC, it was pretty good so I just did mostly touch-ups.

More practicing with live loops and Eurorack modular that I created earlier this week. More breakbeat-style tracks.

Few things I learned:

  • I need more Octatrack scenes
  • Tetrapad vibrato is worth exploring
  • Octatrack patterns always seem to get messed up, and I have to pay attention to them
  • I don't have enough attention span yet to also play with the TR-8s's motion recording and effects blocks. Need to practice.
  • Having a verse-chorus structure will be nice one day, but maybe I should get the EDM->rise->drop->break structure down first. I usually construct the loops in OHC, so if I can get that down to 1 hr of time then I know that I got it practiced.

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:

  • Use reference tracks. Use more than normal. I started dragging in reference tracks into my song and I realized tons and tons of problems with my mix as a result, like:
  • I always always always made my melodies too quiet. Like way way way too quiet.
  • My mixes were quiet overall, and often I wasn't compressing things enough. While I'm still trying to figure out how to compress elegantly and gracefully still, overall it seemed that I needed to apply really extreme compression to each track with much higher gains than I was used to. I also needed to apply limiters to get the loudness I wanted.
  • What seem to be ridiculous numbers maybe actually aren't. Limiters in every track. 30:1 ratios on my compressors. Gains of +10dB. These feel like ridiculous numbers to me but in reality they didn't actually affect the mix that much and they made everything much more even. Maybe as I learn more I won't need to paint with such a heavy brush but so far, it seems to be doing more good than harm.
  • More automation, side chain/ducking, and auto filtering to balance other tracks. As I layered and layered, I needed to do all of the above, especially to compensate for really layered choruses vs. subdued verses and intros.

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.

I actually submitted this really late - on Dec 31 (a full week after it's due). It's an aborted attempt because I wanted to actually do something that wasn't a laid-back EDM-style song like this and was going to start over.

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.

Learning objectives:

- 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


- Guitar

- 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

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