Topic: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.  (Read 4960 times)

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Z_A

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2019, 07:40:40 pm »
More metal for the god of metal! And lengthy stories, too!

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/magical-catastrophe-shikigami

It's sympho-power this time, though. I felt kinda disappointed with myself for unwillingly making the punk-like tune again, so I decided to try again and get it right this time at all costs. Luckily, I had lots of power and sympho-power tabs on my hands to refer to, and I mostly tried to make it sound like one particular song that you might even be able to guess. I didn't borrow any lines from there (they're all ZUN's, and yeah, it's an interpretation arrangement again, though I prefer to think at least I approached it with a reasonable amount of creativity), but it's quite similar in terms of style, and it's actually a popular band and a popular song, that's why.

It's rather interesting how I used some of the lines where they actually do not belong... I'm talking about the solo (= the line in question really exists in ZUN's midi, it's barely even perceptible in the original song as it's a sort of synth padding used to accent the beat a little, but in fact it contains a very catchy rhythmic drive and makes for a great guitar solo line. The 3/4 part - I actually constructed it based on ZUN's harmonies in some parts, and I really needed it to be there in order to properly shift the tune a half-tone back. Turns out, it's very easy to change the tonality when several lines in an arrangement end - for some reason, it feels very natural that way, but not the other way around, when additional lines are introduced. There's also that harmonic movement at the end of that section, it returns the music back to C# and tonicizes it really well after only a few bars, and it isn't found in the original song - obviously, because it is structured in a completely different way and just isn't necessary there at all. I wish GenericArrangements commented on my intricately crafted drum lines for that part :) the drum lines in other parts, however - I wrote them according to some patterns I noticed in all those tabs that I studied. Figures, I was severely mistaken for overusing the closed hi-hat in the former metal arrangement. That's not a thing to do in metal, and it's probably an important reason why it sounded like hardcore punk again. The straight 4th open hi-hat lines and lots of various cymbals are prevalent in power metal genre. Then the new snare sound :) I took it from the Timbres of Heaven soundfont, because it has much better sound than the SGM ones. The other drums and cymbals, however - not so much. For the lack of vocals (yeah... again...) I double-timed the main melody and used it for the "verse" as the guitar lines... yeah, "lines" as in plural - I kinda tried to make a more "professional" sort of arrangement, with automations, cool effects like chorus and other stuff, and one of the reasons for that (besides developing my skills) is that the reference song was also very full of those things and it's barely even possible to perform it live, at least from my point of view - it's a very studio-type song. I also changed the tempo: it's slower than both the original composition and the reference song. I can't explain why, but I think this was the right thing to do. In fact, I have some mystical subconscious understanding of which tempo should be used in each particular arrangement... but maybe I'll try to explain it next time: the post is getting ridiculously long already.

This is my interpretation of the extra theme of PCB, and I wrote a funny description on SoundCloud that would also explain the name - it has nothing to do with Tenshi's theme despite having "catastrophe" in the title. It turned out pretty long, 4:28 - one of my major works so far, but I'm not too hasty to call it an Opus Magnum, or even a lesser part of the concept. Sure, it's rather complex from a purely technical point of view, but it's not like I was particularly showing off my arranging skills (because I didn't modify the existing lines for the most part, only changed the order in which they appear, also they repeat a lot). In fact, I learned a lot of things while making this arrangement, so it's pretty amazing that way, but between acquiring new skills and mastering them to perfection lies a huge gap that I'm yet to cross - in the future, hopefully. The good thing is it took much less time than I expected to make this arrangement, and most of it was actually spent mixing and getting proper sound of the instruments. I'm still not completely satisfied with it, especially that rhythm/power guitar, but let's just pretend I'm a better arranger than a soundman (lol I wish that were true...)

You know what comes next - the fails part of the story :)  for instance, take that 3/4 part: at first, for about 2 bars, it doesn't even feel that way due to the note lengths, but the drums lines are slowly pushing it there. Except for the snare, which just stays there like the time signature never changed... I guess I was a bit too creative there. A similar section actually exists in the reference song (it's not in 3/4 though), so that was another reason to put it there, but I wonder if it suits the general idea of this arrangement at all. I hope it does, or at least that I didn't fail too hard trying to make it happen. Rendering took reeeeeaaaaaaaallllyyyyyy long. I think it was more than 3 hours... or, actually 3 times that amount: tumblr didn't accept the flac like SoundCloud requires (first render) and the 320kbps mp3 (second render) was just a tiny bit larger than the tumblr restrictions of 10 megabytes. Third render, 256 kbps... I really wish my DAW could render into VBR V0 >_< it sucks to be forced to reduce the quality when I expected tumblr to not spoil the hi-hats and the sound in general. It's not a music-specific platform like SoundCloud and it's not really that convenient, so I guess I won't be using it much... or at all... after the event in question ends. I wonder where else to go, however... This post is also a fail, actually - I was too exhausted after finalizing the track and all that rendering, so I wrote it only on the next day, after I got the chance to recover a bit. These are damn hard to write, but I hope that's worth it. Also, it's good to practice my English like that, and I just try to convince myself at times that you do like to read those stories of mine (= but, more importantly, I hope that you like my arrangement! And maybe give some feedback as well, cos I kinda like feedback :blush: thanks for stopping by!

PS: thanks for unbanning me, sir Kilgamayan, and to GenericArrangements as well. This post wouldn't even come to exist without your help! Much appreciated.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 08:09:20 pm by Z_A »

Silent Sinner in Scarlet

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2019, 07:28:57 pm »
https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/headless-hunter
Remastered version:
https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/headless-hunter-remastered

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/yy-the-chosen-one

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/chaos-dial

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/hardcore-youkai-shoujo
Remastered version:
https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/hardcore-youkai-shoujo-remastered

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/flower-land-of-the-past-present-and-future

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/end-of-daylight

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/dreams-and-phantasms

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/pristine-lead

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/catadioptric-starbow-garland

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/kaikidan-a-dream-unforgotten

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/magical-catastrophe-shikigami
This is perhaps the longest post I ever attempted to reply to, so I will tackle each Soundcloud link one by one (whenever I listen to the next, Iíll go back and edit this post):

Headless Hunter (original version): when I listened to it, it reminded me of a Mega Man X song. Being myself a strong fan of MMX, I felt moved by this. Haven't listened to the remaster yet, but this initial version by itself impressed me enough And its remastered version impressed me even more (it sounds even more MMX-esque to me), so I could say itís worthy of a Redditaisai exposure.

YY The Chosen One: sounded playful to me. No further comments here.

Chaos Dial: You seem to have invested a lot on that initial bass; itís what first called my attention. Then the guitar caught my attention. It is good, in spite of hard rock not being my favorite field.

Hardcore Youkai Shoujo: listened to both versions. Not much to say here, maybe because I donít know (or never listened to) the origin song.

Flower Land of the Past, Present, and Future: another playful arrange. No further comments.

End of Daylight: you took my favorite PC-9801 stage theme and turned it into something else. Maybe you applied too much volume to the arpeggio part that I was having a slightly hard time discerning the piano part there (my fav portion of the original; I would have turned the volume somewhat down on the arpeggio and very slightly turned up the volume on that piano. Apart from that discrepancy relative to the original, everything else sounded very OK to me.

Dreams and Phantasms: also another PC-9801 classic turned into something brand new. I like the Ska treatment you gave it. I had recently listened to an Eurobeat arrange of this (by ShinkoNet) so I was very well acquainted with the notes which you seemed to closely follow.

Pristine Lead: at first it sounded like an eerie theme from a mild horror flick (not a very scary horror film, though). Donít feel like having an issue with this one.

Catadioptric Starbow Garland: this sounded to me like a mixture of some element from U.N. Owen with some other element(s) from at least one other different song. Like a crossover of sorts.

Kaikidan: I think Benjo already discussed this one, so I will not issue any further comments here because he is more acquainted with metal music than I am.

And now to my final ďcritique of sortsĒ:
Magical Catastrophe Shikigami: enjoyable. And here you struck a fine balance between the arpeggio and that guitar. And the bass was also good.

In summary, although there were a few hitches here and there, you have at least two or three arranges that could bode well on Redditaisai. I am personally rooting for Headless Hunter, my personal favorite in this playlist of yours; probably it would sell well on Bandcamp, if you allow the Name Your Price option there.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 09:14:36 pm by Silent Sinner in Scarlet »
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Benjo

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2019, 07:39:27 pm »
just saw you did some metal. (your last post)
nice work. the solo part starting at 3:30 sounds rly cool.

it sounds more like a rock/pop song tho. To make it more Metal u need heavier drums. both in sound and pattern. A lot of Metal genres have some typical drum patterns, you can try to copy and evolve.
Also heavy guitar and bassguitar riffs for rythm would add to it, although i dont know how possible this is without real instruments. What where you using for the lead Guitar?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 07:42:10 pm by Benjo »

Z_A

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2019, 08:13:44 pm »
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just saw you did some metal. (your last post)
nice work. the solo part starting at 3:30 sounds rly cool.
Thanks! Is there a solo part at that timestamp though? 0_o

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it sounds more like a rock/pop song tho. To make it more Metal u need heavier drums. both in sound and pattern. A lot of Metal genres have some typical drum patterns, you can try to copy and evolve.
Also heavy guitar and bassguitar riffs for rythm would add to it, although i dont know how possible this is without real instruments. What where you using for the lead Guitar?
You got that right, the sound itself is... not mind-blowing, to put it mildly. The drum patterns are really pretty much sympho power style, I didn't borrow it from any particular song or tab that I was studying, but it really resembles them a lot.

Both the rhythm and lead => some midi sounds from sf2 banks processed through NI Guitar Rig. It's as close to the real thing as I could manage. Pathetic...

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This is perhaps the longest post I ever attempted to reply to, so I will tackle each Soundcloud link one by one (whenever I listen to the next, Iíll go back and edit this post):
Ouchie. You don't have to go out of your way for me... I hope at least you enjoy what you hear there. Thanks a bunch.

Quote
Headless Hunter (original version): when I listened to it, it reminded me of a Mega Man X song. Being myself a strong fan of MMX, I felt moved by this. Haven't listened to the remaster yet, but this initial version by itself impressed me enough And its remastered version impressed me even more (it sounds even more MMX-esque to me), so I could say itís worthy of a Redditaisai exposure.
Thanks! I don't know a lot about Mega Man games, but from what I've heard, they have incredible music - like Touhou, but different.

Likewise, I'm gonna reply to the rest when you're done with it (by editing the post).

UPD:
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playful
No further comments
I'm confused... is that a good or a bad thing? You're right about the "playful" part nonetheless.
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Chaos Dial: You seem to have invested a lot on that initial bass; itís what first called my attention. Then the guitar caught my attention. It is good, in spite of hard rock not being my favorite field.
Cool! Thanks!
Quote
Hardcore Youkai Shoujo: listened to both versions. Not much to say here, maybe because I donít know (or never listened to) the origin song.
Well, I mean, it's Koishi's theme, right? The "other" origin song, however, is not in English, and it's not even a good song, I just thought it was funny how those two had almost identical structure and made this crossover.
Quote
End of Daylight: you took my favorite PC-9801 stage theme and turned it into something else. Maybe you applied too much volume to the arpeggio part that I was having a slightly hard time discerning the piano part there (my fav portion of the original; I would have turned the volume somewhat down on the arpeggio and very slightly turned up the volume on that piano. Apart from that discrepancy relative to the original, everything else sounded very OK to me.
hmm I see. I personally like the contrast between the arpeggio and the bass (but wait... is that actually piano? Huh?), so I tried to focus on that. There's certainly plenty of opportunities for improvement in this particular arrangement, but also I think it might be fine as it is, with all those inconsistencies intact.
Quote
Dreams and Phantasms: also another PC-9801 classic turned into something brand new. I like the Ska treatment you gave it. I had recently listened to an Eurobeat arrange of this (by ShinkoNet) so I was very well acquainted with the notes which you seemed to closely follow.
Thanks! That's what we arrangers do! (heh)
Quote
Pristine Lead: at first it sounded like an eerie theme from a mild horror flick (not a very scary horror film, though). Donít feel like having an issue with this one.
So... again, is that a good or a bad thing? Creepiness pretty much intentional, though not the (actual) main idea behind this arrangement.
Quote
Catadioptric Starbow Garland: this sounded to me like a mixture of some element from U.N. Owen with some other element(s) from at least one other different song. Like a crossover of sorts.
Not sure which other song you mean, but truthfully, I just made lots of changes to the U.N. Owen lines from my head, not elsewhere. So, any similarities are only accidental, and it's almost (but not entirely) an original piece.
Quote
Kaikidan: I think Benjo already discussed this one, so I will not issue any further comments here because he is more acquainted with metal music than I am.
He was talking about the Magical Catastrophe, and this one is not much metal anyway (more punk than anything else imo). And it's another PC-98 piece =)
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Magical Catastrophe Shikigami: enjoyable. And here you struck a fine balance between the arpeggio and that guitar. And the bass was also good.
Oh! Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it!

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In summary, although there were a few hitches here and there, you have at least two or three arranges that could bode well on Redditaisai.
Hmm I see. Maybe I'll look into it, then. Or maybe I'll even manage another nice arrangement or two before that.
Quote
I am personally rooting for Headless Hunter, my personal favorite in this playlist of yours; probably it would sell well on Bandcamp, if you allow the Name Your Price option there.
I'm glad that you liked it so much, but I'm afraid there are very specific reasons why I can't do that; namely that this one is an actual crossover, and while "nameyourprice"-ing (and thus selling) arrangements of ZUN's tunes is at the very least a questionable act to begin with, this one shouldn't even exist in the first place, at least from the legal point of view. My only excuse is that I made it for practice in arranging (cos arranging ZUN's stuff is.. not illegal, I guess, and I really like doing it) and for feedback and that I'm not hiding it...
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 10:10:05 pm by Z_A »

Benjo

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2019, 08:55:13 pm »
Oh damn i was talkimg about the lead guitar part at 2:40. Idk what i was writing.

Oh right the drums are actually in a power metal pattern. I could not hear it out they definetly need more punsh thru the mix.

Regarding the guitar sound. Idk how much you know about electric guitars. But you could simulate stuff like palm mutes, bends, slides, hammer ons, pull offs, pinch harmonics, vibrato etc. Playing real electric guitar without thees technics also sounds shit.

Silent Sinner in Scarlet

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2019, 09:15:29 pm »
I am done with my critiques above.

Z_A

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2019, 10:24:20 pm »
I am done with my critiques above.
I am done replying to your feedback above (above) ;)

Thank you very much for your hard work on that feedback post. This means a lot to me and I'm certain this will lead to my growth as an arranger. I'm sorry if I disappointed you with my version of End of Daylight, I know how it feels when someone makes an arrangement not worthy of an amazing ZUN's piece that deserves it (for me it's the Frozen Capital - not my favourite, but it really ought to get only the best treatment from any arranger who attempts to work on it).

Anyway, I have Discord as well so I'll likely contact you there soon.

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Oh damn i was talkimg about the lead guitar part at 2:40. Idk what i was writing.
I see. Aaaaand... that solo is a "hidden" ZUN's line in fact, from the original piece! Still, I'm kinda proud, as an arranger, to have found it and placed it where it suits best.
Quote
Oh right the drums are actually in a power metal pattern. I could not hear it out they definetly need more punsh thru the mix.
I'm about 97% certain that you're right, but it's very hard to do from a sound engineer point of view, and I'm not even good at it.
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Regarding the guitar sound. Idk how much you know about electric guitars. But you could simulate stuff like palm mutes, bends, slides, hammer ons, pull offs, pinch harmonics, vibrato etc. Playing real electric guitar without thees technics also sounds shit.
I'd say... I know a thing or two, despite not being a guitar player myself. And I totally agree with you on that. The thing is, it's not really possible to apply most of those techniques in piano roll. I do use the palm mute a lot, though, since it's an exception (of sorts).

Silent Sinner in Scarlet

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2019, 10:34:27 pm »
My Discord is SilSinn9801#0413

Benjo

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2019, 10:13:23 am »
Yea its good that you do palmmutes. Probably the nost important technic for rythm guitar in metal. Do you use power chords? Try patterns like this: powerchord = pc, singelnote palmmuted = sp.
pc,sp,sp,sp,pc,sp,sp,sp.

Z_A

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #39 on: April 30, 2019, 05:32:39 pm »
Just as I was about to point out one track where I use the palm mute to create some sort of catchy rhythm... I realized I don't have one such. The closest to that is probably the Headless Hunter, but the guitar sound there is so meh. It's not even guitar rig, just midi, and midi distortion guitar is a total disgrace to all mankind (hyperbolically speaking... it's actually the best I could find). Another example with prominent use of that technique is Chaos Dial, but the riff doesn't get really interesting because of that. You can check yourself if you feel like it.

Benjo

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2019, 01:11:06 am »
hmm, i dont know much about midi guitar but their are some good sounding out their. maybe u know dojin circle dBu for example. They make alot of rock with guitar and im pretty sure its no real guitar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GopDB8QFpvA&list=PLRBmok9QOeRvCnb2yO-y1NzL80z07i1SL

Sounds not that real but definitely a cool sound.


I for example do the bass on a synth because i unfortunately dont own a bass guitar. i never got soundfonts do sound like anything but did not try much tbh

Z_A

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Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2019, 12:45:17 am »
It was a long time, wasn't it? Turns out this summer I'm making something incredible again, but in the meantime I made this little punk-like thing, to get my mind off the bigger project a bit. It took me maybe a couple of days...

https://soundcloud.com/user-595154314/a-distorted-mind

Well, what's there to say... It's not really possible to make a story out of it, just like it was with Chaos Dial - quick and easy punk-like tune born from a simple idea. Sadly, it's not that promised Himorogi metal arrangement, because it's not metal. Maybe some other time. So, for now, just enjoy this arrangement and please watch warmly for the real deal.
 

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