Author Topic: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.  (Read 19069 times)

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[Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« on: March 16, 2020, 08:58:23 PM »

Still with you, my precious listeners and readers, Z_A and my arrangements of, predominantly, Touhou tracks.

My SoundCloud:

All of the older tracks' descriptions from the old forums are hidden, these are pretty lengthy and, hopefully, quite entertaining, since I tried my best writing them. Feel free to browse through some of the not-so-ancient-but-still history.
Decapitated description:
[old info]This one has a rather long history, being the first real Touhou arrangement that I made. I just happened to notice how two compositions had the same tempo and started thinking of a way to fuse them together. It finally turned out like this, combining the heavily modified guitars, both rhythm and solo, and drums (also re-worked) from one composition, and the bass/lead lines from ZUN's Dullahan under the Willows, and some parts of it also got transferred to the rhythm guitar line. The strings are mine though, probably the only part of this composition not borrowed from elsewhere. While keeping that in mind, I tried to make my further arrangements more "personal", so that I could truly call them my own - this one is actually more of a remix thing than a real arrange, even though it was translated from the midi that I made, not using the sounds from the original tracks like it's usually done with remixes.

This arrange is the most ZUN-ish among the, admittedly, scarce amount of my works so far. It even loops like any Touhou composition would. Listen till the middle, if you like - the second half is the same.  And, well, no fade-out, no nothing. Ah, this post is getting way too long. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that this piece was probably just a training of sorts for me, before I'm ready to make real music and my own great compositions and arrangements. I just don't like the idea of making something half-heartedly, even if it's just for training, so I did my best (I have slightly more experience now than I had back then and I still think it's okay). The last thing that I changed in this composition before posting it here, after getting helpful recommendations from Mea and Waluigi, was the soundfont used to render the midi. With the default Windows soundfont it sounded, well, not exactly bad, at least to me, just somehow cheap. I can't really put that feeling in words. The soundfont used this time is Arachno SoundFont, and I am not ashamed to show it to people anymore ^^ so, please, listen and comment on what you heard. I would especially appreciate some detailed criticism, so that I knew where to improve. I'll post my other works too, as soon as I'm done with finalizing them - changing the sound, like I did with this one.[/old info]

The updated description:
An update over that silent update! Now I know how to use EQ and compression, so reuploading the Headless Hunter again. The long history of this composition becomes even longer and more complicated than before, but... well... this one would be the 5th or even 6th version of my track, and now it's significantly different from the first version, like if I had made an arrangement on my own remix. The important thing is - I think it's the first time that this song carries some kind of emotional contents, and needless to say, I like it much more this way. I'm still learning certain ways of processing sound in DAW, as well as testing various soundfonts, so this is most likely still not the final version, but if it's better than before, then, hey, why not post it right away? As always, feedback is appreciated.
Remastered version:
Youtube: - the remastered version
Gapped description (outdated):
I just wanted to post it sooo much, I had to finish it in a hurry... No, really, in my case that's considered "in a hurry" indeed ^^

The story behind this arrangement is not as long as the first one's, but it's somewhat more exciting and eventful (the "events" being mostly various fails on my part). To begin with, I accidentally came across this Akiyama Uni's tune:, and I was like "waitwhat, touhou and ska are compatible!.." I had really liked ska music for quite a long time, but for the last several years I almost completely forgot about that. This song reminded me of it, and naturally affected my decision to make a ska arrangement. Choosing the composition to base upon was a captivating process in itself, considering the VERY specific requirements of the ska genre. Well, what came out isn't an authentic ska tune, since, uh, the accordion is most certainly not a traditional instrument in ska music. Neither is the Akiyama's theme really, but close enough. I was somewhat inspired by the aforementioned piece, although only the last part sounds quite close to Akiyama's style, the rest of the composition much less so. As for the accordion... I have to admit, it's devastatingly hard to make a ska song without vocals; it's basically required, and the singing parts usually have only the guitar, bass and drums playing - totally non-melodical instruments in ska genre, and that doesn't work for Touhou at all. I supposed having just a single instrument play the main line all along was really boring, hence this form of alternation.

The parts of the original composition were rearranged, loosely based upon the other version of Necrofantasia from Magical Astronomy, which I like much more. Compared to the original song, the parts order follows like this: 2-3-4-1-2-3-4-5 (fading out). I just don't like the 5th part, it's too simple, so I chose to leave it for the fade-out on purpose, and ironically, the way I arranged it really made it resemble Akiyama Uni's style the most. The 2nd part was the intro in the Magical Astronomy version, so here I had it play first. All in all, I tried to follow the general ska guidelines as much as I could, I even did a bit of a research to avoid the largest portion of fail, and this composition probably ended up much less complex than the first one. It should be noted, however, that I did have not one, but two pieces available to base the first composition upon, also, in this case I only used the main melody from Necrofantasia, and added the rest (drums, guitar, etc) as I saw fit, thus pursuing my goal to make a more "personal" arrangement, as I had said before. Hope you like it, and please tell me if not, whether entirely, or just certain parts: I really strive to improve my skills, and your feedback is essential for that
Remastered version:
Unconscious Hardcore description:
I wonder if anyone bothers to read those "exciting" stories behind my creations =P anyway, another piece incoming!

So, as I had stated earlier in my "silent updates", I really didn't have the means to properly render my second arrangement (chronologically second, anyway, after the Hunter) until just recently, when I found a way to use more or less decent guitar sounds in my DAW without actually owning and/or playing the real thing. Other than that, the story behind the arrangement is somewhat weird - again, like in the Headless Hunter, I decided to put together a Touhou piece and one other composition (which I probably didn't have the legal right to do), so I was faced with two problems - how to reasonably convert the Hartmann's 7/8 to the more common 4/4, and how to mix the typically rich Touhou melody into a very plain punk/hardcore tune. The latter took me about half a year to figure out (just place it in the bass track ftw, man), and just a couple of days after that to complete the arrangement. And only years after that I have finally learned some necessary techniques to convert the midi arrangement into an actual tune. So, here it is - feedback, as always, is very much appreciated.
Remastered version:
Rock description:
This one is kinda worth reading, trust me =P very inspirational, etc.

So, this one time I sent Yuuka's theme to a friend of mine with a comment like "Hey, check it out - great rock tune!" or something along those lines... Wait. What do you mean, it's not rock? Dude, it is so obviously rock that idunno lol. Well maybe the instruments are not very common for rock, but if they were to be changed~ that's right, I totally need to change the instruments and make an arrangement! It took me a really long time to find the midi, and it even failed to open in my midi editor, so I had to do all the work in DAW. It didn't turn out all that bad, actually, I even found that using piano roll to edit the drums is much easier than the way I did it before. Indeed, the drums in the original composition appeared so surprisingly simple and boring, that I even had to verify myself, whether that was really the case, or just insufficient quality of the midi. Hence, I reworked them quite a bit - you expect something more exciting in rock, right? Well, this arrange is probably as eclectic as everything else that I've made, not proper rock. Having two synth players in a rock band is rather unusual... Still, it turned out quite well, I think. Other than changing the instruments and fitting all the necessary lines into fewer tracks, I also increased the tempo just a bit. I suppose it makes the song slightly more agressive - the original, even being a very special boss theme, is still so calm and soothing, such is the nature of this amazing game. I hope you enjoy listening to it, and if you have any ideas on how to make it resemble rock even more - please share it with me! Any other feedback is appreciated as well.
Nightly description:
Well the thing is... I was actually going to post two arrangements, but it's been a month since I finished the first one, and I haven't really made too much progress with the second, so I guess I'll just post one atm. I'll try to compensate with the story though (;

Did I mention that Story of Eastern Wonderland has some awesome tunes? Not too many though, but this one (the original, I mean) is actually pretty great IMO. Especially this moment in the middle, where the "bells thingie" plays high-pitched notes over a layer of very fat bass and a pad... it does give this feeling "lotsa things happen at night, so be wary" - and then comes the crescendo part, as if those scary things are really starting to appear! (= also, in fact, I made it at night, and only made several necessary corrections the day after.

So, about the arrangement... I think I really like to play around with various padding instruments. At least, that's what I did in the Headless Hunter (and enjoyed it) and in The Final Page, where I enjoyed it even more, because the original there is very minimalistic in nature, and I had the urge to add some "completeness" to it. That's why I decided to try and make some arrangements approximately in the same manner, as this might actually be my "thing" =) Also, I'm not sure whether I should credit the author of the MIDI that I based this arrangement upon, but just in case - I took it here. It's actually mostly wrong, compared to ZUN's original (though maybe it relates more to the "upgraded" version by Romantique Tp), but I only found out after I posted the arrangement, and while I felt kind of sorry about it, a number of people told me that my arrangement is very nice, despite being half an octave off, so I let it stay that way.

It turned out so that I, for the most part, changed only the instruments... and the volume... and slightly modified the rhythm... and added a layer of padding, as I saw fit =P so, basically, yeah, it's an arrangement) it still very much resembles the original, but it has a completely different feeling to it. Something nostalgic and calm, maybe? I think it has a "nightly" touch as well, but in a different way from ZUN's tune. Hence the name, and I hope you enjoy it! There'll probably be more like this one - the other arrangement that I was going to make was Himorogi, Burn in Violet, but the name kind of implies that it needs to be made metal \m/ it's part complete, but atm it critically lacks the growling vocals and I have no idea where to get it, I am no singer and most certainly not a metal singer! So I put it aside for a while, and currently I am working on another one, but in the style of The Final Page and this arrangement as well. Actually, it might be the easiest way - I don't have complete notes, but fiddling with the padding leaves my hands untied. Anything that sounds good fits, basically. I'll be sure to post it here, so look forward to it!
Black&white checkered description:
Another ska piece. The name though... really, "Dimension of Reverie"? Come on, there are ice blocks and other 5#!7 literally falling on your head >_< anyway, here's the story (as usual).

This little thing has actually been lying around for some time while I was arranging other stuff. Reason? I wasn't sure what to do with the second part. The original, having a cool off-beat, already had the ska vibes, but the calmer second part was asking for something else. Initially, I was considering violin, but that would be another genre, right? More like something along those lines Still good, but not what I had in mind, really. They do use the hammond organ in ska though, so eventually I decided to take that path and completed the arrangement.

This arrangement is probably closer to what Akiyama Uni does, which is what I tried to do in my other ska piece (the Necrophantasia arrange), and it's actually much closer to ska. I wonder if I arranged the last part okay... I mean, ZUN uses those paired notes all the time, when he arranges the trumpets or whatever, but I couldn't really grasp the whole concept. Both notes should fit the scale, that much I figured, but why is it a third down most of the time, but occasionally a fourth? In the end, I think my arrangement for the last part seems a bit too dull and rather plain, compared to how ZUN usually does it, but somehow it also has some Russian flavor, which ZUN really does not do. This is kind of weird, but maybe it's just as well. As for the mixing, I started using the limiter on drums, so they're actually audible here and, hopefully, in my future arrangements as well. Hope you enjoy this arrangement, feedback is still (and forever) much appreciated, please comment if you feel like it (=
Shigen no description:
Hope the story doesn't actually bore you to death. Indeed, this arrangement turned out about twice as long compared to my other works. Having finally completed it... would I still call it the "Opus Magnum"? Well, perhaps not, but there is a smaller concept - I'll count this as my nigredo (the first stage of Opus Magnum in alchemy, associated with black). Which is surprisingly fitting, since this tune turned out dark enough to get people asking whether I was making this for Halloween. I wasn't (= that was not even an option, considering I started working on this arrangement almost immediately after I finished End of Daylight (early June), which means it took more than 5 months to complete it altogether. And I don't often plan that far ahead... Its unfinished state has been bothering me very much lately, so I was in a rush to finally get this over with, which is a necessary lesson to me: working faster in the beginning will help avoid eventually getting sick from it later, because doing things in a rush feels bad. Maybe if I took more time to think, I'd have come up with some better ideas for some of the last sections. Or maybe not, but we won't get the chance to find out now.

Would you look at that, we have ourselves a fancy jazz lady here! But, seriously, the character design is so amazing. And it's very nice to have an actual musician in Touhou (well, not that we didn't have before... the Prismrivers, for instance). I kinda really wanted to do something with her theme for a long time, but I guess I wasn't ready back then :) so, about this arrangement... Like I said before, I allowed myself a lot of freedom to modify the lines in order to achieve an interesting sound. I also used quite a lot of instruments (I only have more in the Headless Hunter, and it didn't work out quite well there). I tried my best to come up with some ridiculously complex chords here and there, but since I am new to this, most of those are just 6, 7 and sus4 chords with weird inversions :) Also, this time I wrote the drums myself, they're fairly simple, but I think they work well with the melody. I changed the rhythm of certain parts as well, to put more focus on the lead rather than the beat, and that's the reason for the name.

I just couldn't leave out my fails, could I? The thing is, I didn't really manage to figure out the scale that ZUN used in this composition. Is it some variant of A minor? Not that it really mattered, but at some points I had freaked out: why does it sound so good, yet the scale is so unfamiliar?! A lot of music in Kishinjou sounds rather creepy, so the people asking about Halloween probably had a point: the original piece is powerful, but creepy as well, and I removed most of the power, so the creepy remained... I kinda like that. In the process of arranging the piece and referring constantly to the original, I couldn't help but wonder about some of ZUN's mixing - he really should have done a better job! Next, I finally noticed (and at the very last moment too), that the aforementioned limiter spoils the sound of the drums, so I had to replace it with something else, and with that, the rendering time increased dramatically. You really need to use the VST in moderation! The SoundCloud now has a reminder to upload the files in the highest quality possible, but I only had an mp3 ready, and anyway, I don't feel like posting gigabytes of .wav - my tracks are almost all downloadable, and while the quality is higher, I wouldn't want to bother people with ridiculous filesizes. Maybe next time I'll render in .flac. So... I hope you like this piece! It was, in a way, the hardest for me so far. I'd appreciate your feedback, as always.

PS panning: circular vs triangular => triangular. ONLY triangular. Please.
Santa's description:
The last arrangement this year, yaay! Also, time to do some retrospection (=

Might as well begin from the fails part right away! So... I really don't like the character all that much, the same goes for her theme. However! Pretty much every Touhou arranger makes a version of this piece. It's a silly excuse, I know, but I didn't want to make a really good arrangement. And I decided to do it now, because as I am at the moment - I won't be able to be proud of this arrangement in the future, when my skill improves. Because I didn't like the original, I changed the lines a lot, to the point that it's not even instantly recognizable from the melody alone. I'd say it's about 75% an original composition made by me! =P I did diligently tag the track anyway, so look out for spoilers - besides the name - if you are willing to try and figure out the source on your own. This time, I only put most of my effort in writing the modified melody line (I changed nearly everything - the instrument, the time signature, the rhythm, the sections order, and only left some better parts with no changes), and completed the rest rather sloppily. Though I'm sure it's enough for a decent arrange - I just couldn't come up with some more or better lines. And so now I know one way to fix the SoundCloud hi-hats issue - just don't use them at all! Because this time all the rhythm I need is contained in the 3/4 vibraphone line. Huge thanks to GenericArrangements for reminding me to use the panning - if not for his last feedback post, I'd probably have skipped this part altogether, but since he asked... And he was right to do so, because it improved the sound a lot, at least in this arrangement. Mind you, this piece does not loop: the second half has one significant difference from the first. It would only loop only after the end of the track, which I didn't do just because. The name is a reference to some spellcards of this character, also, the song is slightly Christmas-y. Or so I believe, because I did make this arrangement with Christmas in mind, unlike the former one, Pristine Lead, which came out creepy AND close to Halloween only by accident. Thanks for listening, hope you enjoy, plz give feedback (= you should know how it goes by now, right?
And a new version of it:
Focus Shift description:
Mystic Square has really outstanding music. I've told that already, didn't I? This one is, iirc, the extra ending. The song is so great, ZUN is a genius, and whoever made that midi (took it here, it says the transcriber is ryoya1295) is an amazing person as well. If you don't like my arrangement, I suggest you listen to the midi instead. In fact, you should listen to it anyway - it's very good. I only hope you can find a way to play it...

I tried to make this a melodic death metal arrangement, but It ended up becoming some punk-like eclectics again. I really need to try extra hard and stop making those - I mean, it's not that I don't like them, but it's time for me to start growing further. I wonder if that's okay to just talk some music-related nonsense here at Alice's, or maybe it's better to go someplace else... Outside this arrangement, I was experimenting a little with the dotted notes: they kinda give a more interesting feel to the rhythm. You are probably familiar with some of those patterns, the dotted 4th and 8th notes (1.5 the duration of a regular note) almost give some sort of triplet feeling. But it's just not the same for 16th notes! It probably depends on the tempo as well, but I noticed that some of the typical patterns with dotted 8ths sound like a mess when double-timed. On the other hand, five dotted 16th notes in a row are just half a 16th note shorter than 2 beats, and so it sounds almost like 5-tuplet notes! Which is actually what I used for the so-called "solo" part, resulting in a 5:4 polyrhythm. I think it sounds alright, but it's certainly not good enough for a real metal solo. It's kinda pretty hard to come up with one, especially since I don't even play the guitar - so maybe it's a good idea to start learning to make it easier. Somehow, this has already turned into that part where I'm elaborating on my fails, haha. I wrote the drums myself again, in a futile attempt to make it metal by adding lots of blastbeats. The rest of the lines is, basically, an interpretation arrangement, and I'm totally okay with it, since I like the original so much. The instruments are pretty MDM-style though... Oh, I should also explain the name. It's in the description of the track, actually - first time I added one. Hope you enjoy this arrangement and maybe also comment and give some feedback - I'd be very grateful for that.
Youtube (remastered):
Symphonic description:
More metal for the god of metal! And lengthy stories, too!

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.
Punk description:
It's been a sad and empty autumn, full of vain and pointless attempts to arrange something... So, a punk tune again!

Fun fact: ZUN only used 2 distinct lines in this song. It was a big challenge to make an arrangement using so little, unlike all those other times that I made punk tracks. I came up with a new structure, new parts, new lines, changed the melody and harmony in some parts - those are all, in fact, necessary steps in arranging a tune. It's just that it might have been easier with more material to rely upon. It's almost like I'm complaining or trying to find excuses why it took so long... but no, that was just the usual section with my fails! =D What's there else to say... Something about the track, maybe? It kinda speaks for itself. However, some explanations are still in order. It's Reimu's theme from IN, and I made it because I was very desperate and because I even failed to make another punk arrangement (not telling which one - I still hope to complete it some time later). I'm not sure if I managed to make the tune brighter and more "major" than the original - ZUN's tracks are always in minor, but instead of trying to "convert" it the usual way, I tried to move the tonic, keeping the melody mostly intact. So, if the original was in D#m, this arrangement is part that, part B major/Lydian. I almost never used the Lydian note F though, but neither the perfect fourth E - in fact, whenever it occurs, it sounds like a borrowed tone. F is in the VII power chord though, so it's Lydian at least by that argument - or just regular D#m, or maybe even both at the same time. The "chorus" part feels darker and quite like D#m, while other parts are not so picky and ZUN's common VI-VII-i harmony is substituted with various other chords to tonicize the VI of the scale - B. The point of all that is that real punk songs are usually in major, which is what I tried to achieve here, while also sticking to the original, because it's incredibly good, especially for a song with just 2 lines, ZUN is a genius, etc. etc. Please listen, enjoy, and give feedback if you feel like it. Thanks for stopping by!

Stories are back!

Komachi, my dear!
Very cool collab album I've submitted a track for:

« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 10:10:35 PM by Z_A »


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2020, 09:00:49 PM »
Please watch warmly! March 22 for the full version.


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2020, 03:56:05 PM »
The YouTube version of the Headless Hunter


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2020, 09:34:07 AM »
A certain track un-gapped after remaster!

It's what it says on the tin: the remastered version of my Necrofantasia arrangement, which is an eclectic ska of sorts. The first version sounded so bad that I had to hide it to spare your feelings (and ears). What I did this time was - I replaced about half of the instruments with better-sounding equivalents; rebalanced everything properly (volume and panning both); provided some nice mixing&mastering TLC; and first and foremost, raised the whole track by a whole tone! The correct key was actually a whole tone below the first version, so now it's a major third above I guess... why, though? Well, turns out the instruments (brass, wind and the accordion) have a better sound in this range, and I've tried a lot of different options before settling on this one. It's Dm actually I'm not sure what it is, also, different sections are in different keys, so it's even harder to tell. O Yukari, why are you playing tricks on me (together with ZUN)... After I've changed so much, the true heart of this arrangement finally revealed itself, so I added it to the title. Makes sense due to the key change too. So - please enjoy this track, and maybe write a feedback post as well if you want.

No fails section this time, because it's not a story; I only wish to mention that SoundCloud destroyed the hi-hats again. The cymbals, too.


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 12:08:36 AM »
Another YouTube reupload

I actually fixed this track just a tiny little bit, no way it qualifies as a remaster or something.


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2020, 09:50:24 PM »
Yet another YouTube reupload

The first version was already somewhat well-made, so it didn't really warrant a remaster, but I still did it before reuploading on Youtube (because I can). I also posted it on SoundCloud, too:, so please listen and enjoy!

Also, that single non-Touhou track of mine got on YouTube as well


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2021, 12:27:02 PM »
It's been a long time, hasn't it? More than half a year... wow. In the meanwhile, I've made another Yume Nikki arrangement, and another completely unrelated thing, and... just never stopped failing at life forevermore miserably. Guess I'll just post something, along with a story.

So... y'all know this person, Silent Sinner in Scarlet, right? He had introduced me to a certain Touhou music-related project last year, which, sadly, didn't go so well (speaking for myself), but at least I have this track - I am honestly hesitant to claim it as my own, since it was indeed made with the aforementioned project in mind specifically, but y'know... might as well just pick it up and use it for the greater good, especially seeing as it fits so well with one of Gensokyo Festival's prompts.

I wanted to challenge myself to an ambient-type track this time, something in the style of Brian Eno's early works - I found that he even has a track with the same title! Maybe it didn't turn out quite like I expected - initially, I was going for a very transparent, almost ephemeral vibe, but then I added more layers (and then some) and it became closer to some of the ambient tutorials that I've watched while making this track, where the composition could easily have upwards 20 different layers of sound. Can't say I'm disappointed, though: I used several new instruments and techniques, learned a few tricks about mixing and mastering, I even got to try my hand at sound design a little bit, and I won't tell you which layer or type of sound it is =P all in all, this was difficult, but fun and rewarding. Arrangement-wise, it was far less challenging, the only thing of note is a really short fragment, which could probably qualify as original, that connects some sections.

This is the PCB stage 4 theme, which is also often associated with Lily White, so it's only fitting to post it on March 1st. Spring has come! However, what I had in mind while working on this track is even more summer- than spring-related, something like watching the sunrise by the lake or on a seashore. Fun fact: I did mostly work on this arrangement early in the morning, which is why (I think) I managed to really capture the emotion. Please listen to this track at dawn for the best ultimate experience possible! =D

Fails? Oh yes, of those I have plenty! Let's start with the elephant in the room: the flute, which is badly out of phase. Never using it again, it's so good in stereo though T_T what next... Can't tell if this whole thing is too compressed or not compressed enough. I'd love to have better dynamics, I had to cut the peaks off the "droplet" parts severely (intro, outro, and one more in the middle). Did I mention mixing and mastering, multiple layers? Implying hours of rendering, as usual. I've had several issues with the secret project, which has nothing to do with the track itself, but it kinda affected my workflow in some ways and perhaps even my life, I probably shouldn't even be mentioning this right now (except it definitely belongs in the fails part of the whole story). Anyways, please enjoy First Light at first light, and try to find some stereo sound to mitigate out-of-phase flute. I'll try to return sooner this time, with something new.


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2021, 07:54:43 AM »

More a "midi-slap" than a real arrangement, of which I am not too proud. Still... Also, don't you think the original theme deserves a little more praise than it gets? The name (±.mp3 is the track's full name) is also a reference to the early 2000s dance music, since mp3 was so popular and widespread back in the day.


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2022, 11:18:03 PM »
Remastered this one

A properly mixed and mastered metal arrangement of Charming Domination, now on Youtube.

PS: there's this other track with a story which I don't wish to share. I never posted it here before so here it is

PPS: and two of my new originals as well


Re: [Music] Touhou music arranged by Z.A.
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2023, 10:06:45 PM »

Higan Retour ~Riverside View ska arrangement. What can I say... this was arranged literally years ago (1.5 years, to be precise) but I was hesitant to proceed to mixing because, y'know, it's not my forte - always so time-consuming and with dubious results as well. So, eventually, I came around and finished it. Hope you like it.

Ah, Komachi, Gensokyo's own shinigami. Why ska, though? Well, the original does already have a strong off-beat, so why not? This arrangement would very nearly be just a midi slap, except I actually wrote the walking bass, and yeah, I was sorta creative with lines in general. This cute-sounding organ really saves the whole thing. I think it turned out okay in the end. As for the title - you really need to see Komachi's ending to understand why I called it that. "Heart of the soul" - do souls have hearts? Not really, but Komachi's kindness may still be heart-warming to them.

P.S. Happy new year everyone! You know, I actually had some extra motivation to get on with this track, and that was a certain collab album which graciously accepted a track from me:
So sweet of them! Do check out the album, it's very nice and full of talented artists. All of the hard work they put into making their incredible music, is what filled me with confidence to try and make the best of what I could with this track as well.