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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This must begin with an apology. Posted May 14th. Not sure when it was set to eval, but I saw it August 17th, you confirmed it's still on eval on September 3rd, and now it's October 21st. That's 160 days. That should not happen. Please, please just PM us when we're slow. We've promised to eval. Hold us to it. -- Structurally, the arrangement is rather simple. Prelude -> prelude with vox -> prelude with strings and rock -> source-derived melodies with violin and metal -> prologue that starts in a break. It's a bit of a medley, in how sharp the transition from source A to source B is. There is some references to it after 4 minutes, but those could be a lot earlier too. The repetitions of the Prelude make it feel a lot more repetitive than it needs to be. You're essentially repeating the same musical idea, with different rhythms and backings, for 4 minutes. The rather mechanical sequencing of the piano doesn't help the minutes it's there, nor does the simple drum beat. Making those sound more human, more like a performance than computer-played sheet music, would do a lot for the track. The instrument choice is a little odd. Piano, vox, strings; sure. Electric guitar and metal drums; sure. All of that together? It can work, but it has to be handled differently. I can imagine a pretty intro with the first stuff, a switch to the metal instrumentation, a pretty break, and more metal at the end. I can imagine the metal providing backing for the violin, or the vox or strings supporting the metal. Here, the elements feel disparate, like they accidentally ended up on stage together and are doing their own thing to the same song without listening to each other. That's an arrangement problem. When do which instruments do what together with which other instruments, and why? Instrument levels could be more balanced. At 3:18, the violin is really loud compared to everything else. Something to watch out for. I can also hear some compression problems, most noticeable in the crashes in the metal sections around 4 minutes in. Find some good reference tracks and compare your mixing to theirs. Good reference tracks are immensely useful. My music improved when I started using them. Find something in a similar style and listen for how each instrument sounds: how loud is the snare, how bright, how heavy; how loud is the lead, how bright, how big... The sounds themselves are fine. I think the cymbals are the worst, and they're not horribad. I like the metal+violin combo, and there's a lot of cool things that can be done with it. You're on to something good here. No bass? The track's frequency balance seems a little lacking in the lows, despite how the guitars try to fill that up. The stereo balance is sometimes a bit off-center too, which might not be a problem on speakers but is rather annoying on headphones.The Prologue part sounds too fast. You could solve it by slowing everything down, but that would make everything longer and the Prelude parts worse. I would consider a tempo change at the point of the break, just as the Prologue starts. If it works, great; if not, don't use it. The areas in which you can improve: more human sequencing, less repetitive arrangement, more balanced instrument choice/arrangement, track levels, compression, and frequency balance and panning. This is not an ocr-level track, but in the half year since it was posted, your skills might have improved to the point where you could make one, especially if you now know how to deal with the issues I identified here. Next time you've got a track on eval, PM some evaluators if you end up waiting more than two weeks, okay?
  6. An old Vid track. There are a few things in it that I so clearly associate with your arrangements. I can hear them in here. eval The sound design is something that immediately strikes me as being all over the place. There's some weak drums, some orchestral element in a different space, some dry synth or fake guitar things. Things are weirdly balanced and don't seem to fit together. I suggest you pick a couple of recent ocremixes that make use of the same kind of instruments and which has a balance between them that you think would work for your track, and try to emulate that. Maybe things require different samples, layering, changing the writing, different EQ and reverb, or maybe just nudging the level up or down. I like the chill vibe you've got here, but the sound design and balance doesn't work right now. The sound gets in the way of the chill mood. The overall sound seems to have this weird resonant peak to it, somewhere in the mids, while the rest of the mids are lacking. It often sounds nasal. That's not a good sound. See what you can do about that. The arrangement and individual parts writing is a bit clunky at times. Drums in particular, though that might be in part because of the sound design. The timing of instruments entering in the beginning is odd. The lower strings enter on the second beat, which suits the rhythm they take on later but not their entrance. Drums enter well. Be careful with how the tracks enter and exit the attention of the listener. It took me a long time to get an idea of the source usage. Not sure why. I'm cool with the source usage. There's enough that I can connect to the source. The track ends with a really long and seemingly arbitrary fade-out. I'd look into either making the fade more deliberate, or ending the track differently. The arrangement has enough cool ideas that it might be worth fixing up, but you'd have to do a lot about the sound and the writing to make it work on par with ocr's standards. The biggest difficulty in that isn't the changes themselves, but hearing what needs to be changed. If you can do that, you can probably make this ocr-level. Not sure if you want to tear up the old sounds or rather work on something new, but whatever you do, I'll give it a listen.
  7. Welcome to ocr. Just about any decent DAW will have VST/VSTi support, so you'll be able to run the vast majority of plugins with that. There are lots of good free plugins, so starting with REAPER's unlimited demo and getting used to its workflow can be done without spending any money at all. Komplete is excellent. I have a previous Komplete, and use something from there in just about every track I make. With my style of music, it's mostly FM8 and Battery, but for something fitting your jrpg-style intentions, I'd probably be using Kontakt a lot. I tried to figure out what exactly K11S contains, especially the Kontakt instruments, but can't find a page explicitly listing them. You get the "Factory Selection" with it, whatever that means. If it doesn't seem like you're getting the stuff you need from K11S, consider the standard K11. Also consider options from other developers, eg IK Multimedia and Magix. I use their stuff from time to time. But third-party libraries overwhelmingly focus on Kontakt, so if you're looking to expand your library later, Kontakt gives you a lot more options. You say you're not interested in big orchestra, but you want to make FF/CT style music. You do realize a lot of that music is orchestral, right? When it comes to the synth stuff, K11S should be fine, and there are plenty of good, free synth options available too.
  8. If you're talking about individual tracks, all official mixposts are free. The word 'arrangement' refers to individual songs/tracks, not albums. You'd call an album of arrangements an arrangement album. If you're talking about albums, there's no convenient list of just the free remix albums, but you can sort by catalog and thus find all the OCRA albums grouped. They're all free.
  9. We haven't lost your wavs. Getting us a new one is an option if you're worried that we're using the wrong version. If you've updated the track since you gave us the wav, or if you've given us so many wavs that you're not sure we got the latest and best one, you might want to find that latest version. Otherwise you're probably fine. I've been thinking a bit about the remixers whom we lost touch with, some of whom had some great tracks that just weren't finished. I'm primarily thinking of Luhny and Jormungand, but there are others. Maybe we could do a mini-followup-album with those tracks, if the main album being released gets them to come back. I have a few arrangements I never finished that could be included, too. It's a thought.
  10. Basic music theory isn't the same thing as formal music theory. You can learn this stuff by messing around with the program, trying to recreate the music you like to listen to, following guides and tutorials, and through getting feedback on the music you make. "Music theory" sounds daunting and complicated to a lot of people. It's really just a system of explaining why some things sound good. If you can make something sound good, you know music theory. At least some of it. Knowing how to play an instrument is 0% necessary. But it helps. It makes learning faster, it's useful for working out melodies and developing ideas, and it teaches you the capabilities and limitations of the instrument. Get FL, or REAPER, or some other music software, and start messing around with it. Make notes, make sound, and see where that'll take you. We have some guides and other threads that can point you in the right direction when it comes to this stuff, too. Welcome to ocr.
  11. Remixers, we still want track notes and bios and things like that. We have some. From surprisingly few of you. And if you're concerned that we might be mastering and including the wrong version of your track, get in touch asap, preferably with a wav of the track. Long-running, big projects managed by amateurs, sometimes have problems getting the right file in the right folder. So that has probably happened here at least once. 'Nuf said. Next project I'm running will require wips and wavs and things to be properly marked with versions and dates and stuff. And all communication consolidated to one place/format. And a much smaller project. Like, three tracks total.
  12. Quick response, don't have my good headphones with me. I'll elaborate on the things I don't need another listen for, and get to the rest at another time. The drum kit's panning is wide. That's usually how drum kits are panned, but it breaks any illusion of being in the same space as the orchestra when the hihat is coming from off to the side and other elements are coming from the center or somewhere else. A drumkit that is physically as wide as an orchestra is ridiculous, and this panning suggests that's what you've got in the track. I realize I phrased that crit poorly. Should have emphasized that it's about the stereo panning. If you have a stereo widener, see if it has the option to reduce stereo width. Don't overdo it. I recommend using headphones for this. Speaking of headphones, the bass rumble is horrible on decent headphones. I don't mind a subtle low end presence, but it gets way too loud for my liking. I recommend you find a standard listening level that you use both for the main mixing work, and for listening to your reference tracks. The effects of the low end are often not obvious on low listening levels, so make sure the lows in your reference tracks sounds good on the level before settling on it. And speaking of reference tracks, those will be useful for figuring out how loud, bright and prominent percussion elements et al. should be. I know it's difficult to recreate the sound of a different orchestra, especially if you don't have the same sample library (or the real orchestra and venue and recording setup...). Still, for the relative balance between instruments and reverb, between instruments themselves, and the frequency balance of each element, good reference tracks are very useful. When it comes to the many small timestamps, I think those might stand out more on the aforementioned reference listening level on headphones. Some of them stand out a lot, others just enough to bother me. I can list exactly how each of them bother me, but for your own critical listening development, it might be better to listen to the track yourself, on headphones and with appropriate level, and try to identify what I've pointed to. Your call. -- On one hand, you do come off as a bit rude. I get that you don't mean to. I think it's because of the terse responses, and the seeming unwillingness to take the feedback and try to understand it. My own attitude to feedback is to try to understand everything, and to apply what you agree with. E.g. why did I list 2:31 in the timestamp list? On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with asking for elaboration, clarification, specifics, further advice, and whatnot. It's easy to get caught up in our own understanding of something and to explain it in our own way. When we aren't being clear on something, do point it out. The goal is to give you good feedback. If we're not doing that, let us know.
  13. mod reveiw

    It's not about improving the original, it's about putting your own spin on the source. And there's a difference between that, and making something new _on top of_ a source. I'm just not sure where to draw that line. There's a fair amount of playing with the lead melody, so I think this is in the clear. Sorry to make a good portion of your feedback thread about this, YB. Also, the ostinato is annoying. Not sure if that's on purpose.
  14. Oh great, six minutes. Why can't people just make it easy for evaluators (and judges) and make Protodomish 2-minute pieces? eval: There's some balance issues. Just before the slowdown, there's some really loud brass honks, before that, some bright and exposed percussion elements. I don't mind the slowdown of the Lavender Town parts, but that rumbling noise is annoying. It's ok to be subtle, you know. It also eats a bit of headspace. There's a few notes and parts that seem off, usually in loudness, but sometimes articulation or timing. You should look into those parts: 0:45, 1:00, 1:06, 1:19, 2:03, 2:21, 2:31, 2:44, 2:57, 3:05, 3:30, 3:46, 4:21, 4:39, 5:27, 5:46, 6:00, 6:04. I'm not sure a traditionally panned rock kit fits into any illusion of an orchestra. You might want to put the rock kit in one place, rather than stretching as wide as the orchestra itself. I'll let someone better versed in orchestral music complain about any orchestration problems. I think these samples could be made to sound better. The right reverb and reverb settings, the right panning, the right levels and eq... To me, it comes down to mixing, little things about loudness of notes, and I'm okay with just about everything else. Almost. Pet peeve: sound effects. I'm not sure what the sound effects are supposed to do for the track. Haven't played any proper Pokémon in at least a decade, so I don't know remember what the sound effects mean in-game. Catching a pokémon? Here they don't fit the sound of the track, regardless of any meaning they might have to regular players (or those with better memory than I have). Imitating them with the orchestral sounds might work better. I'm not sure what to recommend. They stand out, that's for sure.
  15. I wouldn't say there's no oomph at all, it works quite well actually. I would expect a louder crash or a bit of a pause just before hitting, but it works fine as-is, imo. eval: Yeah, it's got issues with frequency overlap muddying up the track's mids. There's also part of the arpeggio where the middle (the one most repeated) cuts through better than the others, making it stand out a bit too much, so it sounds like that's a set of random off-beat 8th notes. I'm not a fan of the higher-pitch lead. It's too simple. It's not expressive enough, doesn't do anything interesting with the melody either. Either of those things would help make the track more interesting. At 1:42 I'm distracted from the melody that enters because there are so many other things bleeping around in roughly the same frequency range. You could clean that up with different mixing, different sound design, or different writing. And I think you'll have to do at least one of those. There's a lot of panning going on around that part, too. It's a little annoying, but if the panned track was softer, it shouldn't be a problem. The ending is abrupt. You just stop playing new notes. There are many ways to end a track, but justing stopping like this is not one of them. Rarely, anyway. It often works to end the track on the first chord in the chord sequence. In this case, minor scale, you could end on i, III, or possibly VI (first chord, which is minor, or third of sixth chords, which are major). I would recommend the first. Other parts of the track similarly end with instruments just dropping out. That's something worth looking into. As is repetition. I don't think this is too repetitive for ocr, but I think it's needlessly repetitive regardless. You can do a lot to vary up a track, like having an alternate set of chords for some of the repetitions, an alternate take on the melody for some of its loops, even just a change in the articulation of the lead can change things up enough. You've got pretty good drums and nice buildups, and the overall structure of the track works well. You've still got a bit of work left to do on this track before I think it would pass the panel, but you're off to a good start, with all the important elements in place. Nice work. Keep at it.