Submissions by Arcana tagged trance

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:

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

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

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.

May 28, 15:30-17:20. Not in a good mood today. Nonetheless, songwriting time means songwriting time. Also, I borrowed a Korg Electribe EMX-1 to see if I want to buy it so I have to try it out and see if it's something that'll inspire me to do interesting things.

A few things I learned:

- Analog synthesizer tuning sucks

- Korg has some pretty cool SFX in it, but I'm still not clear if I really need a groovebox like it.

- I really really lazied out on this track, it needed a few more parts.

Total time: 1h 50m

Bring me from life, bring me back to where I came to be.


i v7 VI III v -> VII (em/B G/B)

am em7j F C em/B G/B

i VII->VII VI v iv i V(maj)

am Gsus4—>G F em dm am/E E

Started this in One Hour Compo (Thursday 21:00-22:20). However I messed up and uploaded late by around 8 minutes.

I started another song and worked on it on Tuesday but it isn't very promising so I might do this one instead because the foundation is more solid and may lead to some more interesting things.

Sat Feb 11 11:30 - 13:20. A bunch of touching up bad sounds, adding some sections, redoing things.

This song needs a LOT more time. I might have to upload it because I don't have more time this weekend… but it.. you know how it is.

Sat Feb 11 22:05 - 22:40. One problem with analog synthesizers: if you take a break and come back to the song, the song sounds different because your instruments aren't quite warmed up.

I need to upload this. I'd like to spend more time on it but out of time this week. It needs more production touch ups, better mixing/compression, and some phase correction work, as well as more consistent drumwork and a stronger B section. So much to work on.

Total time: 3h 55m (including OHC time)


(Previous notes of an abandoned song)

Tuesday, Feb 7, 19:55 - 21:05. Starting early this week because my weekend will probably be busy.

I would like to work on song structure - specifically phrasing and transitions. A lot of my current work has really abrupt transitions and doesn't tell a solid "story".

Luckily there's a chapter in this book (The Everything Music Composition Book by Eric Starr) called "Telling a Story" that I can read.



So far, I'm not really feeling it as far as the "song structure". I like the retro vibe so far but I can't seem to get the lead part sounding right.

Maybe it's bright disco lights and dance party rave.


Sunday, Feb 5, 11:45 - 12:15. I may use a similar progression as last week's to (1) study it and remind myself what it's about and (2) to see if I can concentrate on stuff like smoothing out transitions.

Last week's notes:


Em Bm C/E G

Bassline melodics:

Em Dm Am B

I didn't really get a lot done in the first 30 minutes - did some browsing of music to get some ideas and poked around at the track a bit, but didn't really lay down anything concrete.

13:25 - 15:00. I don't think I have a lot of time this week (or next week) since I have errands to run, so I'll probably lazy-out this song a bit.

Chord progression:

V1: Em7 Bm7 C G

V2: Em7 Bm7 F#m Dm G Dm7

The chorus is more simple of course, as you can hear.

I didn't really develop this into a complete song… this is more of an idea sketch than a complete piece of music.

One thing I wanted to do was more "weird" noises. But in the end it does get more expansive and consonant.

Total time: 2h 05m (though 30m wasn't really spent composing).

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

Visting new worlds and finding new joy.

A song about cheer and adventure and fun. Made with mostly software synths, but has some flavors of Nord Lead and Future Retro 777.


Sun, Jan 22. 13:00 - 15:00. Today, I'm exploring different harmonic constructions. I am not going to specifically label what I plan to use today, but things that I discovered were a thing this week include:

* Secondary dominant chords. So you might have a ii chord in your song, you can use the relative 5th of the ii chord as a V/ii chord. So a V/V chord in C maj is D major as D major is 5 scale degrees above G major (which is 5 above C major).

I got this from a book on composition I got a long while back but now I'm exploring how it's actually used in music.

Here's a stackexchange article:

The other thing for me to work on is transitions, as that was some feedback I got from the previous song I posted last week.

In this short theme, two of the secondary dominants are D major to G major and C major to F major.

Verse has a bunch of weird stuff going on in it but it has a neat effect.

The chorus is a standard iv-IV-V-I but there's some bass movement.

I didn't work very hard on the sound effects or mixing though today.

Total time: 2h