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About Cerrax

  • Rank
    Chun-Li (+1000)
  • Birthday 03/11/1986

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Pittsburgh, PA

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Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Drum Programming
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Vocals: Male


  • Real Name
    Charles Koch
  • Occupation
    None of your business
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  1. 3. completed

    First of all, I like what you are trying to do here. The slow and gradual build up of the original song is apparent and the tone overall is fitting for Doom. 0:00 - The lack of any movement for most of this is really dull and plodding. It also severely highlights the mechnical and low fidelity qualities of the instrument you're using. 0:44 - This opening is super boring and the little bit of buildup you have is not really helping the arrangement at all. 1:01 - The drums here are pretty weak. I don't think they convey the dramatic feeling you're going for here. 1:07 - Again, the 1-3 downbeats are very mechnical and uninteresting. If you're trying to build tension here, it's not working. 1:36 - Ooooh! finally some interesting progession! Now I'm ready to start listening... 1:38 - OWWWW! That cymbal is really out of place and crazy loud compared to everything else. 1:42 - Cool wind FX. Giving me a little bit of goosebumps...You should start the song here. All that stuff in the beginning is completely different from the rest of the song and it just wastes the audience's time. 1:44 - The synth here kinda cool, but its sounds very thin and flat. I'd like to hear something fuller, with more low mid presence. Or for a full ominous effect, some nasty rumbling bass. 2:04 - OWWW. Again the volume levels are all over the place. That synth is ridiculously loud. The synth melody here doesn't seem to work with the synth from 1:44. You need to rework the synth from 1:44 to play notes that don't collide and conflict with the lead synth. 2:35 - I think you could nicely build more excitement here rather than letting it just trail off. Instead of playing the melody straight, start fading in some layers and really get the blood pumping. 2:43 - HERE WE GO. This is where the song finally gets going! Just like the beginning of teh song, its sort of plodding and mechnical. There's nothing here to keep us hooked. Its just kind of slowly moving along. 3:08 - I really like this part. We get some really cool melody here and anice sort of build up to what's next. 3:22 - You have that great build up and then......nothing? What a letdown. This should crescendo right into the next phrase. Every time you start to gain intensity, you drop it faster than a hot potato. 3:30 - Now we finally have some instrumentation. Still have the very plodding 1-3 downbeats. You're doing the melody a disservice with this very deliberate and slow arrangement. 4:07 - The new drums you've added here are completely drowned out by the lead synth. From what i can hear, they're pretty odd sounds and they don't really mesh the rest of the feeling being created here. 4:47 - The drums that come in here are really loud and have no reverb on them, so they spund really strange with the lead synth which is drowning in reverb. So far, this seems to be a shot-for-shot MIDI swap. You seem to have taken the original song and just changed some of the instruments. There's no arrangement or interpretation here. 6:07 - Again, there's no effects applied to the layers you're adding here, so they just seem out of place. 8:11 - You have a decent (if somewhat tired and overused) climax and ending here. Overall, this mix is very plodding and slow, with little variation of any kind. I think your primary concern should be focusing on the arrangemnt first, and then the production issues later. The piece is very repetitive, and what little flourishes you do add are fairly conservative and don't really add a lot to the song. The Composition & Production forum ( http://ocremix.org/community/forum/8-music-composition-production/ ) would be a great place to start getting some ideas of how to improve in both areas.
  2. 0:00 - Right out the gate the balance between instruments is much better! This already feels like a big improvement. Instrumentation is still a little bare. It just feels kind of empty. 0:24 - The piano notes are too short. They sounds very mechnical and stunted. Maybe draw them out a bit (like leave the sustain pedal down so they ring out a bit longer?) Also maybe stry having the bass play a rhythtm suimilar to the piano? It just feels awkward that the piano is the only one playing this rhythm. I would also add a string line to play a meody similar to the trumpet. Not exactly the same, but slower and similar enough that it emphasizes what teh trumpet is doing. 0:48 - This part I like alot, its probably my favorite part of the whole song! But because the guitar, bass, piano, and drums are all still using the same exact riffs, so it is sorely lacking the contrast this part should have. Overall, now that I can actually hear the trumpet, bass, and strings you are correct that you should probably redo the trumpet part. It needs slightly more....how should I say?..presence and confidence. It just feels very tepid and it should be a little more confident and strong while still keeping the light and airy atmosphere. As before, the non-melodic parts are all pretty simple and don't change much at all. Simple is not necessarily bad, but stale is bad. And these parts get stale about 1/3rd of the way through the song. Try some different rhythms and harmonies here to keep things more engaging. Great work on the mixing! Next I think you should focus on supporting that fantastic melody you've got here!
  3. Nabeel is correct, you are looking for a standard square wave. Here is an article that shows how to create such a sound in FL Studio: http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/how-to-create-a-portamento-square-wave-lead-sound There are also VSTs such as Peach ( http://www.tweakbench.com/peach ), which specifically emulate the exact square, pulse, and other waves from vintage video game sound chips.
  4. I don't think the video is as important as the music. Mixing static images with video should be fine. Ideally you would want to show the music exactly as how it appears in the game so we can see how well it fits with the actual gameplay and atmosphere, but I don't think its 100% necessary. More than anything, I'd just like to hear some more variety in the kinds of music you show. Game studios want someone who will be able to adapt and work with exactly what their game is about, so you need to show that you are capable of many different styles of music.
  5. Cool! Looks like you've done some great work on some pretty neat looking games! For a 1 minute long presentation, its sad that the first 11 seconds are basically silent. This is actually a 46-second reel, not a minute! I will say that while the songs themselves sound good, you're not showing a lot of variety here. All of these tracks have similar instrumentation, speed, and rhythm. I'd like to see different genres and instrumentation. Because so far the only thing i get from this reel is that you do well with strings and and light, bouncy melodies. Unless I had a very specific need for that exact style, I wouldn't think this video would alert me as a game designer that you should be the composer. Great work tho and the games themselves look pretty cool! Congrats on the wonderful work you've done so far!
  6. 0:00 - Trumpet sounds nice, if a little quiet. I would bring that out more. Listening to it a little more, the music box and piano are just a tad too loud. The strings and trumpet (and maybe even the distorted guitar slightly) are pushed to the back of the mix, despite the trumpet being the melody! The writing itself is pretty good, it's got a good bounce to it and a very playful atmosphere. 0:24 - Drums and piano are a bit too loud here and the piano has no emotion to it. The rhythm here suggests an increasing intensity, but I don't feel it at all. The piano needs more velocity and less volume. Maybe boost the trumpet and strings a lot more here too? 0:48 - I really like the piano and trumpet parts here, but its using the same rhythm as the rest of the song, so the transition is kind of lost. Maybe experiment with a different beat that retains the driving train-like feel but is a noticeably different beat so that we don't get bored with it? 1:22 - The trumpets just kind of trail off here. Why? It sounds like someone bumped the mixer knob and faded them out too early Overall, I like the melodies you have! Its a very playful song and captures the train feeling perfectly! But the layers underneath are very sparse and very simple. There's a lot of repetition with no variation in the backing tracks. Try listening to each instrument individually and pretend you are playing that instrument. After playing the same phrase 4 or 8 times, it gets pretty boring. The audience may not realize it, but that means they're getting bored with it too. Try to alter the rhythm or dynamics or something to keep it interesting! The mix itself needs some adjustment. The piano, music box, and drums are all too loud in some parts. And since they're all fairly short and/or staccato notes, it only makes the piece feel more sparse. I would also investigate adding a few more layers to fill out the sound. Maybe boosting those strings would help, or adding another instrument. Maybe even something as simple as bring the bass guitar into the mix more (I didn't even notice it until the 1:05 mark!) I really like the idea you have here. I love the melodies, just the rest of the song needs more meat to support the fantastic start you've got!
  7. Wow this is really nice! Sounds like something you'd hear in FEZ or EarthBound. Really cool kind of soundscape/ambient piece! Honestly, I would have liked to hear more after the music really starts kicking in at 2:08. I think the song should just start at 0:29 and then keep going much further. The stuff from 0:00 to 0:29 is just ambient filler, doesn't really do any service to the song itself. The idea here is really nice! I'd love to hear a longer version!!
  8. It's not too abrasive, but the severe lack of bass makes it feel too abrasive. There's nothing to support the massive amounts of treble and mids you're using here. The effect is like daggers on your ears rather than a wall of sound I think you're going for. Heavy and abrasive music should smack you upside the head, not scrape your ears across a bed of nails. Other than that its a pretty awesome tune. The vocals sometimes seem a little out of sync with the drum rhythms but overall this is a pretty sweet track. I would try to mix this with a lot more bass on the guitar and/or bass guitar.
  9. Great atmosphere in this track and a solid idea. 0:00 - Nice strings here. Fast-moving strings are tough to do convincingly, but its not bad 0:05 - I expected some new layers to come in here, it was a little jarring that the strings continue with nothing new 0:12 - Ah, there it is! Drums are pretty weak (need some more bass I think) and maybe more instruments here. Horns and piano are not enough to give this the punch it needs. 0:24 - Good build up so far. Again, drums and instrumentation really do a disservice the nice composition. Needs more instruments for a fuller sound and bravado. The high-pitched drum sound introduced here is way too loud and very distracting. 0:35 - OH SNAP ITS ABOUT TO GO DOWN. Dynamics here need to be much more pronounced. There should be a big dip and then a powerful crescendo here to slam the audience! 0:37 - The instrumentation is very sparse. There's no sense of gravitas to this part of the song. This is where the song gets intense! We need to hear a lot of different instruments and layers here to give it the fullness it deserves. 0:49 - I love the drum layers that come in here, but they're too loud. This should be a subtle addition, not as in-your-face as it is here. 1:01 - Feel like there could be more dynamic variation here, possibly a little softer with some rises and falls in it. This is a completely different musical phrase and it should feel different too. 1:10 - That crash cymbal is very sad and dull. Please replace with something brighter and more fitting of the grandiose nature of the piece. 1:12 - This whole phrase is the french horns' time to shine. But the samples used here are kind of dull. There needs to be more expression here, maybe some fluctuations in tone or dynamics (or both). 1:38 - WHAT?! That's a cop-out / trail-off end to a phrase. The drums just suddenly cut out and then the instruments trail off? No sir. You need to gracefully exit the drums and fix that section to have more closure and indicate the end of the phrase. 1:40 - Again, dynamics, Dynamics, DYNAMICS. This is your ending stab. Kick the audience in the face with your last few measures! Overall I really like this piece! Composition and arrangement is a little sparse and deserves more changes in velocity, tone, and dynamics. On the production side I would recommend some more fullness overall and watch the volume on a few parts (especially the drum layers that get added). Great work!
  10. Very cool! The drums sound great and the electronic elements are pretty neat too! On the composition side, the drums get a little repetitive. I would try to make some more variations of the rhythm you've got here just so people don't get tired of it. I would also love to hear more of a climax in this. Maybe add some more layers and have some more build up before the end. Especially if you are envisioning a sort of trailer-ish feel. Most trailer music starts slow/soft and rises to a powerful climax. On the production side, the electronic sounds should probably be louder. This only further highlights the repitiveness of the drums. If other sounds were introduced more prominently, it would detract from the repetitive drums. The atmosphere is definitely there! Love it!
  11. Obviously the piano version sounds much nicer and full of energy, but the original orchestral version is pretty good too. What stood out immediately to me is that there isn't much in the way of dynamics. The song is pretty much the same volume throughout. Notice how in your piano rendition various parts have more attack and volume to them than others. I would try to invoke more of that feeling in the original. Also, the drums are very weak, especially once the music picks up and gets intense, a lot of that intensity is lost in the fact that the drums are not very punchy or bassy. Some of the other instruments need more punch and attack to them as well, but that could be a limitation of the samples you are using. The arrangement itself is very nice and flows well. Its more on the production side that the song could be improved. It has a fantastic melody and I could totally picture this in a game like Skyrim! Great job!
  12. Wow! Singing sounds great Cyril! Great tune too! "Crushing Gravity" is probably one of my favorite songs of all time but i always felt the singing was the weakest part of the song. You've come a long way from that! Nasty guitar playing as always as well.
  13. That's actually a throwback to another Zelda game: btw. hello everyone. Its been a while. I generally refrain from using this phrase but Hyrule Castle is TOTALLY DOPE. It is easily the most perfect atmosphere from any Zelda game ever. The music, the enemies, the design, just everything is perfect.
  14. Have you ever played a game on a touchscreen/trackpad? Accuracy is not a word I would use to describe them. Judging by the pictures, it seems it has some ridges on it to give you minimal tactile feedback, but I'm still skeptical that it provides the same precision as they claim. Don't get me wrong, this seems cool as hell, but I'm not jumping on this just yet. I wanna see the whole package (OS/Machine/Controller) for myself.
  15. I prefer "large" games to "long" games. Large games have a lot of content. Long games have a lot of story. I play games for the experience brought by content. Unless it's a really good story, I will probably never finish a "long" game, because I just don't give a crap. Video games have a long, long way to go in the writing department. Game stories are mostly crap, and bloating an entire game experience with a crappy story just means you have a game (even if the gameplay and mechanics are good) that will bore the hell out of your audience. I play small games for hours and hours and hours because they're fun. Split/Second is a game I can play for hours on end. It has about two dozen cars, about a dozen tracks and I can't stop playing it. The whole campaign could be finished in about 5 hours or so at most, but that game is so goddamn fun, that its size has nothing to do with how much I enjoy it.