Submissions by Arcana tagged synthesizers

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

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.

In Open Fields


"I'd like to create something with a moderate amount of forward energy. A side-scrolling platform game or similar that encourages tension until the end, with a relaxing reprive in the middle. Typical video game cheese would be great."

Note: unlike many of my other submissions, this song is not a live song, I recorded it with MIDI and audio in a DAW.


Sun, Jan 15, 13:30-15:35: A few notes. First, trying to debug my MIDI setup. Since I got a Carbon sequencer and my TR-8, I changed my MIDI setup to be good for live audio recording but in the process did not ensure that it integrated the computer for MIDI recording.

I've kind of fixed it at this time but it's temporary and it doesn't involve the TR-8, because I think the TR-8 does some kind of weird echoing across MIDI and it messes stuff up.

Today, I'm going to go back to basics a bit more and continue with varying the bass notes and to add a bit more bass interest in the song. I also want to continue using suspended chords. Basically - this is a repeat of last week's exercise, but in MIDI (rather than live) so I can really look at the song in progress.

I'd like to create something with a moderate amount of forward energy. A side-scrolling platform game or similar that encourages tension until the end, with a relaxing reprive in the middle. Typical video game cheese would be great.

The 8-bar verse chord progression is:

G D C some chord that I don't really know, with a raised C, I think it's a G with some variation, like a

G D->D7 C csus

See, theory is hard if you don't know what stuff is.

You can hear the changes though. Hmm.

Okay, in the end, this song was pretty pop-style cheese structure as well, but accomplished a:

- G major to D major modulation

- Some variation in bass notes that aren't the root note of the chord

- A bunch of suspended chords

- Some randomness in inversions and stuff that I don't know what the formal name of is, but sounded fine

15:35-15:50 for extra mixing and leveling work on the wave file.

Total time: 2h 20m

Hey StreakClub Weekly people, nice to see some familiar faces around here.

Every week, I am aiming to find some kind of composition or songwriting technique that I can work on during the week. I might not necessarily get an awesome completed song out of it, but I think what I want more than anything is some more breadth and some way to break out of my current no-thought songwriting habits.

This might mark me doing some remixes or covers of previous songs, as well as creative remixes if they illustrate a composition technique that I want to be able to illustrate. At the end of this series I hope to be able to work on and emphasize interesting songwriting techniques within my genre of electronic dance music/ambient music.

Sunday, Jan 8, 14:00-16:00. I think I started about half an hour ago, but I didn't record my starting time.

This week's composition technique is to use some kind of basic figured bass. I'm not doing an awesome job at it right now, but given a chord progression, it's okay for me to not just repeat the tonic of the chord as the bass note.

For this chord progression, I have the classic:

I V vi IV progression (G Dm Em C).

The bass pattern repeats but it's an 8-bar, 16-step pattern with root notes of:

G D B G G F# E E

The verses are standard tonic bass notes for now.

As usual this is performed live.

I didn't spend a lot of thought into the composition itself, focusing mostly on varying the bass, and as a result this isn't very interesting… may have to try this again to actually make a good result out of it…

Time: 2h