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Coming up on my 50th L'Arc~en~Ciel CDLC (and my 100th over all!)


Billkwando
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Hello all!

I'm currently approaching a personal milestone, on the verge of charting my 50th CDLC by the Japanese mega-group, L'Arc~en~Ciel, and my 100th CDLC overall. Sorry for the long post, feel free to skim! Haha

If you don't already know me, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bill, and I've been a CF member and CDLC charter since early 2014, nearly 4 years. Many charters have come and gone since I started. I guess some burn out after a while, some lose interest, and some just don't have the time, due to real-life.....or maybe they get fed up with only 1% of the people who download their stuff ever saying "thanks" or anything at all...lol

I mention it because every now and then, someone expresses surprise that I haven't gone MIA yet! And I don't plan to, unless I keel over or something. :)

I'm still hanging in here, releasing new customs as often as I can (admittedly, sometimes taking long breaks). I don't have kids, I don't work weekends, and my wife plays guitar, so she understands my hobbies and obsessions all too well, and supports my charting madness (which sometimes takes up the majority of my weekend).

Since I first started charting CDLC, my goal has been to "fill in the blanks", so to speak, for the bands that I like, that I thought *should* be on Customsforge, but weren't. (Or in the case of stuff like Extreme and Danzig, bands my wife likes! LOL)

"What, The Smiths aren't on here?" *charts some*

"What, there's no Prince on here?" *charts some*

Same for They Might Be Giants, Pizzicato Five, 10,000 Maniacs, Tom Waits, as well as a few more obscure artists

So I figured once I got the ball rolling on a given group, other folks would hop in and chart some, and over time many have (and sometimes they haven't, which is fine too!). Naturally, my early stuff was a little rough around the edges, but I kept trying.

I definitely emphasize quality over quantity. I know there are people who seemingly download a tab and just slap some tones on it. That's not me. I spend a lot of time on tones and volume levels. I update my tabs whenever I think I can improve them and I totally go overboard on writing release notes and tracking changes and updates on my CDLC (just in case folks are interested, and also so other charters get an idea of the type of issues they might like to look for in their own charts, if that makes any sense). I spend a lot of time on my customs typically, so that's partly why I haven't been more prolific. I use existing GP tabs, at least for the L'Arc stuff, which range from amazing to horrible, and I spend a lot of time trying to ensure all the notes are right (though I do make mistakes, sometimes!)

 

Oh noes! TL;DR Alert! Better get to the point! 

 

Once I started charting L'Arc songs, I just kinda went hog wild, because they're just so damned fun/interesting/challenging to play on guitar. My wife and I are actually huge fans of the solo albums of Hyde, the singer of L'Arc~en~Ciel, and didn't really know L'Arc that well. Later on, when I joined CF, I was already a pretty big L'Arc fan, but had never thought much about the guitar aspect. I quickly learned that Hyde's music was rather simplistic from a guitar standpoint, with lots of power chords and Drop D tuning.

L'Arc, on the other hand (with their guitarist, Ken.... that's just "Ken", lol) feature a galaxy of guitar techniques, and super interesting arrangements that are nearly never boring, and give you lots of stuff to do over the course of a song. They also have a phenomenal bassist (Tetsu, now known as "Tetsuya", for some reason), so if you ever feel underwhelmed by the bass in the average rock song, this guy's for you.

Hyde also has an amazing voice, not exaggerating. Maybe not as versatile as Mike Patton, but who is? The first comparison I ever made (when I first heard his song Season's Call) was to say that Hyde's voice reminded me of Geoff Tate of Queensryche. Realize that, regardless of what you might think of QR's musical style, that's high praise indeed.

If you've never heard of L'Arc before, they're kinda like the Japanese U2, in terms of stature. They came to America for one show, and reportedly sold out Madison Square Garden! Their music is definitely rock, but they don't restrict themselves to any particular style within the rock genre, so their sound can range from pop-ish to practically metal. Like any band that's been around for over 20 years, they have different phases of their career, so try not to judge them off of only 1 or 2 songs. ;)

Each of the four members knows how to play the guitar, so they each contribute songs to the mix... which is one reason why their music is so stylistically varied.

Most of the songs have guitar solos, some shreddy, some simple, some batshit insane, like John Frusciante on a bender! Ken's also a great, tasty rhythm player, who uses a wide range of chords.
Here's some recommendations, if you'd like to check out a custom, or two. :)
(L'Arc fans, let me know if you disagree, I'm generalizing here, A LOT lol....there's plenty of overlap)



My personal favorites (whether it's the song I really love or a chart I'm particularly proud of, or both):

As if in a Dream (this and Vivid Colors have fun U2-style delay effects)
Blurry Eyes
Link (super fun, and you will nail the solo with very little practice)
Vivid Colors

 

Heavy/Crunchy songs (they also often skew toward the easy side):

As One
THE NEPENTHES
Daybreak's Bell (uh, it's really big-sounding)
Revelation
Drink it Down (awesome song)
Inner Core (a personal favorite, written by their 1st drummer, Sakura) Fun & noisy rakes, and some of my favorite tones
Trick (super easy...written by their 2nd drummer, Yukihiro)
Existence

 

 

Fast, hard-driving songs:

Driver's High
Honey (Their biggest hit, I think)
Heaven's Drive
Stay Away
Shout at the Devil (not the Crue song, lol)
Round and Round (not the Ratt song, lol) AWESOME RIFF
Jiyuu e no Shoutai ("Invitation to Freedom")
Lost Heaven (Hyde sounds like Geoff Tate here, probably our first L'Arc song my wife and I heard)
Promised Land (also points for the cool ass line, "Devils walk in the strawberry fields")

 

Soulful/Bluesy leads:

Fate (!!!)
Shinjitsu to Gensou to ("Reality & Fantasy") kinda humpy sounding too....seksaaaayyy, lol ;)
Snow Drop
NEO UNIVERSE (You'll need an Ebow. preferably)
Shi no Hai ("Ashes of Death") That lead, I can't even, lol.... also, a badass song

 

 

Upbeat/Poppy/Happy:

Sai wa Nagarareta ("The Die Is Cast") This song makes me super happy, I highly recommend it, lol...really fun riff too
Kaze ni Kienaide ("Don't Vanish in the Wind") Like Sai wa, I could hug this song
Flower (a 90's classic)
Lies and Truth (has 30 tone changes, lol)
Dive to Blue
Hurry Xmas (jazzy crazy chords)
Feeling Fine
C'est la Vie (I won't lie,

, I was like "Dafuq??")
 

 

Crazy arpeggios:

Shinkshoku ~Lose Control~ (crazy arpeggios AND crazy octaves....a heavy, moody song. Love it, can't play it worth a crap)
Niji "Rainbow" (this song is EPIC.....probably my favorite song to play, next to Link, whether or not I can actually pull it off that particular day)
Dune (only 1 super crazy spot)

 

 

Rock fingerpicking:

Sell My Soul (so fun, even if you fake it, like a mellower Funky Monks by RHCP. Also kinda seksay)
Secret Signs

 

Ballad/Mellow/Heartfelt:

Time Goes On
Ophelia
Shine (very popular with people who aren't me, lol)

 

 

In Eb:

X X X (pronounced "Kiss Kiss Kiss", also kinda seksay, yet arena-rock?)

 

 

 

Badass Bass (though they pretty much all do):

Blurry Eyes (no joke)
Be Destined (I love playing this)
Secret Signs (I love playing this even more)
Jiyuu e no Shoutai ("Invitation to Freedom")
Hurry Xmas
As if in a Dream
Sai wa Nagarareta ("The Die Is Cast")
Stay Away

 

 

Audio previews for every song in 1 convenient video:

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x67f2ol

 

They're alphabetical, so you can just skip to the general area and find a song easily. It's interesting hearing how different all their songs sound from each other.

The first album, Dune, was released in 1993.

 

There's the occasional pop in the audio from the video capture.

 

So, feel free to check any of them out, or my other customs. likes my Purple Rain (which I just noticed has over 1500 people following the post, wow!), lol. ;)

If you have any L'Arc requests, feel free to share. I don't really do requests for groups outside of the ones I've already done, only because I have to really love a song to put in all that work.

Also, if you have a particular CDLC of mine that hasn't been remastered yet, and you'd like me to prioritize it, feel free to post. Also, if any of you like or would recommend a particular L'Arc CDLC, please post which one (and why, if you'd like....just for fun).

My 49th L'Arc CDLC, which will be done soon, is The Fourth Avenue Cafe.

The 50th will be uploaded this weekend, and it's a surprise! ;)

Thanks for reading everybody, and just I hope someone sees this, and discovers something new to enjoy. :D

-Bill

(P.S. I'm gonna try hyperlinking all of these to their respective record pages, if I don't run screaming to the hills first, from the repetition)

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Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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I've never tried any of yours... what would you say is the highest quality (most like ODLC quality) CDLC you've done?  I'll give it a try!

 

I would suggest any (or all! lol) of the top 4 I listed. Link is super fun and rewarding to play. Vivid Colors is a bit pop rock, but that's probably the one that pops into my head first when I think of ones I'm proud of. I honestly try make everything ODLC quality. Blurry Eyes is one I've worked on the entire time I've been charting, pretty much. As If in a Dream is pretty fancy too (from their debut, some Morrissey influence there, I think). Oh and Niji....I think everybody should try to play Niji.....that one is special...but very demanding on your right hand.

 

Be sure to check the release notes, as I often suggest pickup config or position (unless you only have 1 pickup! haha)

 

If you try more than one, let me know which one you like best. :D

 

 

 

 

(Oh, and all those Prince songs, but those can wait, LOL)

  • Like 1

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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Some of my favorites are:

 

Driver's High (Probably my most played CDLC. I was always under the impression that the one made by Anchang-Style was made by you  :P )

Lies and Truth (The arrangement is amazing)

Fate

Lover Boy (I'll try to make a playthrough video at some point)

And anything from the Dune album.

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Some of my favorites are:

 

Driver's High (Probably my most played CDLC. I was always under the impression that the one made by Anchang-Style was made by you  :P )

Lies and Truth (The arrangement is amazing)

Fate

Lover Boy (I'll try to make a playthrough video at some point)

And anything from the Dune album.

 

I liked Anchang-Style's version ok, but I had already started mine when I found out his existed, and when I figured out he's probably not coming back, I figured I would go ahead and finish it, since the old one wasn't getting updated and had some issues (IMHO). I plan on doing my own version of Ready Steady Go too.

 

I was hoping Lies and Truth wouldn't seem too gimmicky with all the tone changes, but the song has so many great guitar bits, and I wanted to try to capture them all. It requires fast-ish hands (the trick with the delay/echo), but I think it really works with a little practice. I was really happy that everything basically worked out like I planned, tone-wise. The first time I tested it, I was kinda afraid all that work would end up being for nothing, LOL.

  • Like 1

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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Just posted #49, The Fourth Avenue Cafe. :D

 

http://customsforge.com/page/customsforge_rs_2014_cdlc.html/_/pc-enabled-rs-2014-cdlc/the-fourth-avenue-cafe-r32297

 

Probably not the most technically impressive song, but it seems to have a lot of fans!

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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I finally finished #50, My Heart Draws a Dream, which, as I mentioned in the release notes, is @raynebc's favorite L'Arc song. ;)

 

For the uninitiated, this would probably fall into the mellow/heartfelt category, though not a ballad, at 132bpm. It's got some singing, sweet, fat leads that are fun and easy to play, with lots of long sustained notes and vibrato.

 

Some Edge/U2 style delay on other parts, and and tremolo effect at one point.

 

No solo in this one, so it's good if your fingers are solo shy, though I wouldn't say it's the easiest L'Arc song either (the lead guitars bits are pretty easy, of course).

 

:D

 

https://vimeo.com/26890947

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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I had a "billiant" idea of making a video with the audio preview for all 50 L'Arc songs (51, The Rain Leaves a Scar is a WIP, lol), so I'm editing that into the original post above. Hopefully it's useful to someone.

 

 

Oh and iminashi's Kasou is in there too, even though I didn't make it. I didn't want to be a dick and skip over it...lol but I did omit the other two that I didn't make...

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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Don't ever fade away!

 

Thanks! :D

 

I just posted another L'Arc song, from their first album, Dune. It's called Entichers ("Infatuation"):

 

http://customsforge.com/page/customsforge_rs_2014_cdlc.html/_/pc-enabled-rs-2014-cdlc/entichers-infatuation-r32570

 

Lots of cool Spanish guitar-type bits, and lots of fun distorted leads too. An all around fun song. Super crazy bass too.

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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My wife curses you for posting La'en ciel. She loves them and I mutilate the songs.

 

Thank you for your CDLCs

 

That is hilarious, and you are quite welcome!

 

 

Here's a new L'Arc CDLC, Seventh Heaven!

 

http://customsforge.com/page/customsforge_rs_2014_cdlc.html/_/pc-enabled-rs-2014-cdlc/seventh-heaven-r34473

 

It's a pretty easy one, on guitar, as long you're ok with sliding octaves that span 4 frets. :)

 

:D

 

Thanks everybody!

Words of wisdom for CDLC charters:

 

"When in doubt, steal a tone from Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son"

 

- Billkwando

 

Download my L'Arc~en~Ciel Ken "Love Driver Cat" custom Inlays here

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