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About Rozovian

  • Rank
    Workshop Evaluator, Songs of Light and Darkness Director
  • Birthday 10/25/1985

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  • Biography
    Dude with beard. Makes music sometimes. Short on pronouns.
  • Real Name
    Ad G

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Pianoteq, Omnisphere, FM8
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  1. If you know it's unfinished, it's _not_ ready for review. Eval/RFR is not for unfinished tracks that lack feedback, it's for tracks that are ready to be submitted, but that the remixer still has doubts about and want people who are judge level or close to give it a listen. Change the thread prefix, keep working on it, wait for feedback from other users and use that. When you think it's ready to be submitted, _then_ mark it RFR.
  2. Well I can tell you this right away: it's not up to ocr's standards. eval: The sound design is all over the place. Some parts are harsh and loud, others surprisingly soft by comparison. I'm not sure where the arrangement is heading at any point, which is a little disconcerting. I think those are the three big problems here. I'm normally not much for sound effects, but your sfx section is one of the more tasteful uses of them. Nice work. I'm not entirely sold on the idea because they don't integrate that well into the sound design, but that's more a sound design problem than anything else. Source is obviously there. I don't think source usage is a problem, it's handled creatively enough. But there are elements that, for part of the mix, are used verbatim. As this is a source I've heard remixed so many times, those conservative bits aren't very interesting to me. That shouldn't be an issue with most listeners, but it's something to be aware of when remixing something like this. A good arrangement gives the listener some idea of where it's heading, even if it takes some time to get there, or changes to head off in a different direction. It feels like the whole thing is deliberate. Here I'm haring variation after variation of the source, and not until the sfx bit comes in do I have some idea of the track nearing the end. And even then, the following part makes me doubt that guess. The softer bit around 1:10 is the kind of thing I'd expect before the last loud part, or possibly at the end of the track, so it gets a little confusing. Listeners, consciously or subconsciously, rely on things like that in the structure to feel where in the track they are, and when those cues come in unexpected places, it's confusing. I'm not saying you have to following predictable, established structures, but learning how to write and mix the thing to signal things to the listener is a very useful skill to have. There's some really weird jumps in level, like at 0:20 and 0:32 and 2:02, that suggest that this was mixed without listening to the actual output. I don't know if that's the case, but it sounds like that's the case. I know a common complain on music is that it isn't dynamic enough, arrangement-wise or sound-wise, but this is the opposite problem. Work on the transitions. The choice of a harsh bass sound in the 1:10-1:35 part is odd, because harsher sounds are usually used in the loud parts, while smoother sounds are used for soft parts. So that's weird as well. Overall, instrument placement doesn't seem to have been much considered here. EQ, reverb, level, pan; use them. The record stops in the last loud part are a cool effect, but I think using it multiple times makes it more annoying than cool. It might be a subjective criticism, but it bugs me. When there's multiple stops like that, it suggests there's gonna be an iteration without the stops that is even bigger and cooler. But then it just ends. With just the first stop, it'd signal that things are getting big, and there's nothing bigger coming, which I think is a good signal. To me, anyway. It's subjective. But I thought I'd let you know how it works on me. And the end is rather abrupt. I don't mind the sound effects, but the transition into it wasn't very smooth. I hope this gives you an idea of what you can do to get this up to ocr's standards. I think it's mostly a production thing, because despite my problems figuring out the arrangement, I don't think it's a dealbreaker. The production, however, is. Get yourself a couple of fairly recent (as in the last 10 years) reference tracks with a sound design you think fits this track, and compare. See what you can learn about instrument placement and level and sound design. It's helped me a lot. Good luck.
  3. You're new here, so I think you didn't read what "ready for review" is for: for remixes that the remixer thinks are ready to be submitted to ocr officially, to be judged by the panel maybe to be approved and become an official ocr mixpost. This remix is not ready for that. You have a few things to learn, including how to mix things more cleanly, and how to write a more varied and dynamic arrangement or a groove. This is a good place to learn that. We'll tell you what you're doing wrong, so you can learn to do it right. Welcome to ocr. eval: The arrangement is essentially a repeat of the source, with repetitive drums on top. Yes, there's a bit where you've created a nice variation of the source, but the structure is the same. When the structure is the same, or similar enough, you need other things to give the track its own - your own - flavor. I'm not hearing enough of that. It's not different enough in tone and mood either. It's also overcompressed. So loud that the elements keep pushing each other down. That's a problem. It can be lessened by using a multiband compressor, but better yet if you avoid pushing the compressor or limiter on the output too hard. EQ the tracks to get rid of frequencies they don't need and to lessen frequencies that aren't important to them. That way you have more room for loudness without overcompression. It's dynamically flat. It's one of the things you can vary if you keep the same structure. Have parts of different intensity, different weight. My favorite part of the remix is at around 2:20 when something actually happens and the track changes. The drums drop out and things get lighter and softer (and as a result, the compression is less of an issue). Things don't have to change that much all the time, but it's good to provide some change to the dynamics in the arrangement and mix. And there are many ways to do this. The beat is repetitive, like it's just one single loop for the whole track. In mixes where the beat is repetitive, there's a strong groove that drives the track, usually a combination of a bassline or riff that works well with the drums. There are usually more subtle changes to everything else as well, filters opening or closing, and new elements coming in during a buildup. But even then there's often drum fills and other changes to the drums that make it less repetitive. Right now, it's like the drums are just put on top of the rest of the tracks. The sound design is rather basic. There's little EQ and other effects to give each instrument its own space. It's like "this is a string ensemble, and it sounds fine on its own, so it'll sound fine in the mix", but that's not how mixing works. You have to give the instruments their own space, depending on their role in the arrangement. There's also a few weird synth sounds that don't sound intentional, that appear sometimes. The high-pitch at 0:21 is the first, I think. It doesn't sound intentional, it doesn't sound good. It's a good source, with many melodies you can use, and your original writing here shows you can adapt to the source's chords and structure. You can get a lot more creative with this source. There were no clashing notes or other devastating problems with the remix, which is a good sign. Keep writing, keep mixing, keep learning. Again, welcome to ocr.
  4. Probably one particular note track missing. I can produce similar effects, mute individual note tracks, though I've never tried with n64 music, in Audio Overload playing nes or snes music. On the snes, tracks aren't bound to a particular instrument, so there could be notes for multiple instruments on the same track. If that track was muted, those things obviously don't play. My guess is that this is what's causing your missing percussion and occasional string notes.
  5. This is how I want evals to work. Actually, how I want feedback overall to work here. Someone posts, someone else adds to it with agreement or disagreement, and the remixer gets a wider range of feedback. Hous3, you got lucky here.
  6. 3. completed

    eval: Definitely compression issues. I would recommend a multiband compressor for this, but I would try to avoid pushing it too hard anyway. One way to create headroom is to high-pass every instrument. Most instruments have lows they don't need, and some have lows not needed in the mix even if it makes them sound rather thin and weak when played solo. High-pass that stuff away. Another is to compress background tracks together to keep them from interfering with the foreground tracks as much. Yet another is to mix soft, and use parallel compression to raise the overall levels. Yet another is to spend hours automating track levels. The most effective, though, is to be aware of how loud things should be, and mix levels accordingly. I use all of these techniques. It's taken me a long time to learn them, but I think I'm finally getting a good grasp of that stuff, enough for my hobbyist level anyway. It's loud enough, so every bit of headroom you create should go towards making it breathe more, not making it louder. There's a fairly high-resonance synth lead here that seems a really odd choice. I don't like it, I don't think it fits. There's a more brassy synth lead used too, which works much better. Most other synths fit well with the jazz stuff, even if the levels could probably be adjusted. That one synth, at least when playing higher notes, is something I'd replace. Like with your Mario track, I'd watch the timings of lead instruments. The synths in particular seem to have some weird timing flaws. That includes both when the notes start, and when they end. I'm a long-time Zelda fan, and for much of the track, I had a hard time identifying tracks. The title screen, and the astral/lullaby combo were obvious to me, but the rest took a few more listens. Source is there, used creatively, so no complaints there. It might be that the track is too much of a medley for ocr, but that difficult to say. Mixing levels and compression issues, note timings, that one synth lead... I can't identify any other flaws. It's an enjoyable listen, and definitely worth subbing once you've dealt with the aforementioned issues. Cool stuff.
  7. The O in Of probably shouldn't be capitalized. It looks weird to me, and it's against what wikipedia's referenced style guides recommend. Dealbreaker? No. Bugs me? Yes. eval: The drums are strangely weak. The whole mix is a bit too soft. Not much. Find some remixes from here with a similar sound or style, and compare how loud they are. Try to put yours on roughly the same level. Err on the soft side, but make it louder than it is now. I'm not a fan of the choice of snare sound. It's too short and snappy, and too same-y when it feels like it should be more dynamic. I don't like the guitar sound either. There's a weird tapping sound at 2:30, probably part of the cymbal rise. I don't particularly like the piano-reverb sound. There's a sound probably from the piano's mechanisms that becomes rather prominent on the higher notes, and bleeds into the reverb as well. It might be possible to filter it out of the sound. If it's recorded audio, and includes the room sound, it might be difficult to get rid of it, but you can experiment with eq to try to reduce how prominent it is. The sound choices overall are good imo, but there's those little things that stand out. The arrangement is quite conservative, but the instrument choices are in part different, and the sound and elements like your piano intro set it apart. Can't say if it's sufficient, but I know I've been needlessly critical of this stuff in the past. Tough call. It sounds like a nice arrangement for a real band, and many of its shortcomings are because it's not played by a real band. There's a lack of detail to many of the sound choices and performances that I think a real performer would have done something about. Drums and acoustic guitar in particular. Dulcimer (or whatever) too. Electric guitar is well handled and shouldn't need more work imo. I think it's a mediocre remix. I don't mean that in a bad way. In many ways, it's neither notably good nor notably bad. It'd be nice to hear a higher level of performance (or illusion of performance) here, because I think the arrangement is worth it. Whether it's suited for ocremix is difficult to say. I'd definitely sub this, I'm just not sure how much work I'd put into it before subbing. Definitely raising the levels, looking into the piano eq thing, and trying to get more performance into some of the instruments. Just not sure how much. Nice work.
  8. 3. completed

    eval: There's some odd timing choices that I think could be smother, but other than that I really like the writing here. Starting the whole track at a later part of the source was a great idea. On the other hand, the mixing is horrible. Horrible. Level, eq, panning, reverb; they're are your friends, don't be afraid of them. The 1:45 bit is especially bad in this regard. I can't tell which instrument I'm supposed to listen to. The sound design is cool. Really cool. You just gotta bring out the right instruments out of the messy mix to let all the elements really shine. Source is there, handled creatively atop the original chord progression. It works well, both recognizeable and clearly made your own. I don't think you'd need to do much more than clean up the mix and maybe sort out some of the note timings in the early parts of the mix, and then it's ready to be subbed imo. Nice work.
  9. Oh come on, this timing. Well, I already wrote it, so... No link to the source, so I'm completely ignoring source usage in this evaluation. eval: The sound is blatantly synthy, with creative use of effects not to hide the synth-ness, but to emphasize it. I can appreciate that. That makes for a nice soundscape. But the lead synth and drums are laid raw and exposed on top of that, and don't quite seem to fit. I think the choice of synths don't quite align with the mood of the piece. Many of them seem more at home in a hard, aggressive genre, whereas this track leans more towards classic circus stuff, played with brass bands and steam organs. It's a weird juxtaposition of sound and style, and in this case I don't think it works. Don't get me wrong, the sounds are cool, but they don't seem to fit this particular track. The writing gets repetitive fast. There's variation in the iterations of what I assume is a key melody from source, but the variations are fundamentally similar and so they don't break the repetitiveness. There's a lot of unison writing and octave doubling, which in itself isn't a problem and makes for some interesting variations, but I find myself wanting more harmonic and rhythmic variation instead, perhaps a different melody used entirely (from the same source or from another). Voice clips and sound effects don't feel appropriately used. I know I'm biased against them, but they, along with some variations of the melody, seem to be thrown in for the sake of some variation or novelty. Overall, the dynamics seem to wobble around the same level, with some stop-and-go moments. That can work when there's a cool groove to keep the track moving. The more staggering rhythm and arrangement here doesn't lend itself to those flat dynamics. I'd want a softer section, a louder section, a faster section, a slower section, a more sparse section, a more dense section... Something more different than this. Mismatched sounds, repetitive writing, and an arrangement that isn't sufficiently dynamic (or varied). I'm not convinced this could make it through the panel. I'm sure it was a fun experiment, but it didn't work out. It might be worth fiddling with, but I'd take what I learned from it and move on to the next track. Work on your arrangement and sound design choices. And clearly I have a very different impression of it than Gario did.
  10. Bumping to remind myself, Gario, and any other evaluators to eval this.
  11. Well, since you asked so nicely... I agree with the crit about vanilla sounds. They're not terrible, but when not much else is happening they get a little grating. Like at 0:25-0:40. The same notes played the same way each loop. Once the reverse crash comes in, it feels like a buildup, but it should feel that way earlier. There are things you can do with automation (feels like the kind of place I'd automate an opening low-pass filter), but you can just start with low-velocity notes and increase the velocity. That makes it feel more like a buildup. If the synth responds to different velocity by making notes more muffled and soft at low velocities and brighter and louder at high velocities, you can get a lot of dynamics just with velocity edits like that. The point is to make it feel like someone's playing, like someone's putting some emotion into a performance. Right now, it feels like a loop of notes that a machine is playing. Any of the tricks I suggested should help make it feel more alive. Note that I'm not talking about humanization, which is when it's made to seem like it was played by a real human being. That's a different thing, and not that important in electronic music. The emotion, the dynamics, the sense of performance is more important than any actual performance. The sounds themselves aren't terrible. I'd be okay with something using these sounds, but they'd have to be mixed better. (and more alive.) Give each instrument its own space. There are many articles, videos, and other information on how to do this, but the basic idea is to use reverbs and equalizers to push some things back behind other instruments, and bring others more into the foreground. At 2:00 you have a lot of instruments playing, and it gets messy. Making some of them more clearly foreground instruments and others background instruments will make it less of a mess. It's also a way to bring out the big hitters like the bass drum more, if that's the sound you want. Just don't overdo it. That leads to other problems. I like the arrangement. More dynamics, more life to the sound, and a more focused mix, and it'll be a really nice track.
  12. Progress is being made. I had my own unrealistic expectations on the pace of the mastering, but we're well on our way with that. It's one of the last things left to do. That excitement I had earlier this fall has subsided, but I have a feeling it's on its way back.
  13. eval: Soundwise, the first thing that bothers me is the level glitches in the 0:30 buildup. It sounds like a compressor is being fed way too strong a signal. Maybe you need some lighter compression earlier in the signal chain, and softer compression on the output. Maybe you need to clean up the low end. Hard to say. The next thing that bothers me is sound design. The ostinato synth at 0:34 isn't great, nor was the choir earlier, but the lead at 0:48 is not a good fit. That they're both rather loud doesn't help, either. Next enters the drums, and they're another step down in sound. Which is a pity, because you set it all up so well with the bass, pads and glitchy sounds. The drum writing is also not that great, not very effective. They don't drive the track, but they do draw a lot of attention. And not in a good way. I'd look into redoing the drums entirely. Sound design, writing, purpose in the arrangement. The arrangement itself is fine. Source is used well. No huge surprises, but some interesting inserts and nice performance aspects to some of the lead melodies. It has some stop-and-go moments that stand out as cool design choices. The glitches get a little annoying at times, when the lead should be the focus and the best element in that part of the track, and it's not. The glitches then distract from the lead. They don't add to the track like that, when they're fighting the lead for my attention. Something as simple as lowering their level would help. I think that's the problem with this. Too many elements fighting for attention, being too loud or too upfront, doing too much, drawing attention when they shouldn't, not knowing what their role in the arrangement and mix is. I think this would get you a NO, RESUB. The arrangement is good enough, and many of the sounds themselves are fine. The mixing and drums need work. I'm not sure you need any changes to the sound design besides the drums, as the instruments I've noted as being not that great might fall into place once the mixing is cleaned up. Cool stuff. Keep working on it.
  14. Epic stuff. eval: It seems to hit all the high points at the same timestamps. Probably too conservative. Too much of a cover for what ocr sees as a ReMix. Soundwise, the only thing that really bothers me is the rather synthetic bass drop, that doesn't fit the orchestral sound. Nothing else stands out. And that might be a problem. It might need a more clear lead, a more clear mixing, as the whole thing sometimes sounds like a big orchestral mess, more so than the original. 1:46 is a good example of this. This is either solved in the arrangement or in the mixing. Unless you want that less hierarchic ensemble sound. I wouldn't bother submitting this, it's just too similar to the original. It's a really cool cover, and you've clearly got the technical chops for this stuff. Looking forward to hearing a ReMix from you at some point.
  15. Let me start from the top. Reverb isn't realism. A perfectly dry performance with a half-decent piano sound will sound more real than a robot playing on a real piano. The most important thing is performance, and it's more important to the music than the sound of the piano itself. So let's not worry about the sound as much as the performance. A real pianist will not hit every note exactly the same velocity. But it's not random either. The suggestion to imagine playing the part is good, you can even pretend your desk is a piano, and figure out the velocity levels from there. Be mindful of how hard, how quickly, and for how long you "press" a "key". Also, listen for any changes in velocity layers in the piano sound. If you can hear a different sample between two close velocities, it's not a good piano. But you can use it to your advantage. Decide to use velocity layers to emphasize or de-emphasize particular notes in a phrase. I know I did this with a Majora's Mask remix (got NO'd, but for other reasons). The piano becomes very emotive that way, it feels like a performance with just this one change. I don't know about this particular VST, though, it might be better than that. A real pianist won't use perfect timing, even if they wanted to. Some notes will trail behind the beat, others slightly ahead. There might be a slight swing to it all. Again, pretending to play a piano on your desk might work here. There might also be a keyboard->midi tool in your DAW, that lets you use the computer keyboard to record notes. It'll get you the timing needed, though the computer keyboard doesn't read velocity so you'd have to do that manually. But you were gonna do that anyway. Those are the two important ones. But velocity has to actually do something to the sound itself. Some pianos have a setting for how strongly note velocity affects the sound. There should be a small but noticeable difference between notes that are 20 velocity levels apart, and a very noticeable one with notes 40 velocity levels apart. If there isn't, you'll probably want to use a different piano. Obviously, there'd be huge differences between extreme values. Provided the piano is responsive to velocity, this should be enough. But if not... A real pianist will use the piano's pedals, depending on what they're playing. Among the midi CC, there should be sustain. A real piano can have three pedals: sustain, sostenuto and soft. I doubt (but I don't know for sure) this particular VST has support for the other two, but sustain is a given. If you think the writing would benefit from sustain, use it. I would recommend starting the "on" level a few ticks into the first note, and switching to off just before the end of the measure/beat, on whatever beat you want to change it. This is optional, however, and given your piano piece is an element in an electronic mix, so the sustain might just make the piano too dominant. Then there's reverb. If you want the piano close and clear, make sure to keep the dry/wet mix strong on the dry side, and make the reflections rather late. Experiment with the settings. Large or small room? Near or far from the listener? Reverb-y or dead room? These would all be available in a decent reverb plugin, but the piano VST might just have a single reverb knob. I recommend using a separate reverb, so you have more control. In general, for an electronic mix, I would try a large room (size), close to the listener (long pre-delay, more dry than wet), and a fairly reverb-y room (high reverberation/length, medium-low damping)... but it depends on what the rest of the track is and how the piano should fit in there. Finally, there's also track level (volume), which will help fit the piano into the soundscape too. Reverb isn't always the best solution. In some cases I might try a rather small, soft, or quick reverb, and use a delay instead for making it big and atmospheric. Maybe a compressor with long attack (~200ms attack) after the reverb and everything else. Sometimes I'd want a really dry (no reverb, few other effects) sound, but filter out the low frequencies for a bright but brittle sound, or filter out some of the low mids to take out the body of the sound. You can use EQ to do that. It all depends on how exactly you want to use the piano. It's okay if it sounds like a real musician on a fake instrument. A fake musician on a real instrument is usually not what you want. But you gotta make that real musician part at least plausible. Good luck.