In this month’s Bibibi article, Ranko talks about how she writes lyrics and records vocals, with some behind-the-scenes tidbits about Hyakumannin no Heikou Hifuu!
I’m Ranko, the BUTAOTOME vocalist.
This is a series of articles where I introduce my favorite manga and anime in whatever way I like, and sometimes I write a production diary.
Happy New Year, everyone.
I hope you’ll join me again this year.
This time it’s a production diary!
Just the other day, on New Year’s Eve, BUTAOTOME was at Comic Market and distributed a new album!
First of all, I’m glad that the Comic Market was held safely. Really really glad.
I don’t want to go into the details of the event, but C99 was the first Comic Market after two years. That’s why we decided to release a new album.
In this mini-album, two songs were re-recorded. They were songs originally sung by my sister, so these are my versions. (this is also a very special story) (I guess people aren’t too surprised when someone who isn’t a vocalist sings)
And then we have two new songs. Me, my sister, and Comp all write lyrics in BUTAOTOME, but this time I wrote both tracks.
I really enjoy writing lyrics for Touhou arrangements because they are so-called “secondary works” and are written with a character or story in mind. In the case of original songs, I often have a hard time deciding on a theme, so I sometimes think of a story in my own mind and write the lyrics like a novel.
I think everyone has their own way of writing lyrics, but I tend to start from the first verse and write them in order, just like a novel.
When I write lyrics, I always start out feeling anxious about whether I will be able to do it, but about 70% of the time, once I start writing, I can really do it easily. If I know what I want to write, I can do it in about an hour if it fits in well with the sound.
The other 30% of the time, it takes me three days to write, or I reject the first draft entirely. (of course, this kind of sense of time varies from artist to artist, as to how long or short it should be)
This time it was in the 70%. Woohoo.
By the way, the titles were given by Comp. I’m not very good at giving titles to things, so he’s been doing a lot of it for me, and I always look forward to it.
Then I went to Kantou.
The recording is done at Comp’s personal studio (Butagoya Studio). I’ve been going there since BUTAOTOME’s early days.
I feel much better when I sing while holding this. It makes me feel like I’m holding a microphone. It also gives me strength. It is a moderately hard ball with not much elasticity.
This is how I write things down as I sing. Visuals are very important, sometimes more important than you think. If I’m so sure of my singing style that I don’t need to take notes, I won’t write much. But it can change when I stand in front of the microphone.
I’m not very good at spending a lot of time recording, so I try to do it in a short time. Sometimes the more I try, the worse it gets. I’m having trouble concentrating…
So I practice to be able to give everything I have in that one moment. Depending on the song, I may sing the whole song two or three times and be done with it.
For example, for a song that we’re going to play live, I have to be able to do it every time, right? I don’t really think about it that much right now, and since we’re not going to play all the songs live, I think it’s fine if I can sing it in a way that suits the song.
So for this recording, I stayed in the Kantou area for four days, and recorded two songs a day in two days. It was an ideal schedule of riding ahead and staying behind.
I recorded the two re-recorded songs on the first day and the two new tracks on the second.
Physically, the second day was hard because of the Kiatsu. My vocal cords swelled up, didn’t they…? But I managed to finish recording and release the album without any problems.
It’s available at BUTAOTOME’s BOOTH, if you’d like to buy it.
I’m sorry it’s not as detailed as a production diary.
I’ll write one next time when I’ll make a full album!
Well, see you next time! Ranko signing off.