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About APZX

  • Rank
    Mudkip (+150)
  • Birthday 10/04/1989

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Warner Robins, GA


  • Biography
    Just a guy trying to make music.
  • Real Name
    Austin Simons
  • Steam ID

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    FL Studio
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Drum Programming
    Mixing & Mastering
    Recording Facilities
    Synthesis & Sound Design

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  • Skype
  1. @Dextastic I've got nothing against Rock or Metal, heck I love me some Prog or Psychedelic Rock and some Metal stuff. It is just that really most of the time it is the people behind the guitars rather than the guitars themselves that I have an issue with. Not trying to imply anything just a "general observation". Also, no problem giving some techniques for dealing with things in a mix. I've done a few Hard Rock and a couple of Metal Mixes and there is definitely some different things than you might think. Something else to consider when mixing is that tricks that you may have used in one mix may come in handy for a mix that is completely and utterly unrelated in both genre and style than where you learned it. You'd think that I'd never turn to distortion in a non-rock/metal mix, but surprisingly it comes in handy in all sorts of places. In particular I like using it on bass too make it easier the ear to find it in the mix if it is quite dull.
  2. @Dextastic With the compressor pretty much, but you'll need to adjust based on taste and even play with different compressors as they're attack and release curves will change the way the sound behaves. Just gotta experiment a bit. I can tell you that for this particular application I really really like vladg's Molot. I know it is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, but there is an English option and I like to do this in the "Alpha" mode because it isn't quite as aggressive. It is preference and I've used different compressors for the application just based on various things from changes to the timbre to fitting better in with the other instruments. Compression in general is quite a complex topic and it'd take me way too long to explain in any reasonable detail about how it works or the various ways to use to manipulate space or even forcing one without a sidechain input to react in an almost dynamic EQ kinda way. But with that being said you've really just gotta experiment with it to find something that really works for you. I can tell you that I have a lot of compressors because I find unlike EQs I can get more color out of them and that is typically what I end up doing on a lot of sounds. Rather than using them strictly for mixing. I say compression on the guitars because even though distorted guitars are already quite compressed it isn't the end all be all to further coloring them with compression Much to learn about that you do! But some things you can try to give the guitars some more weight. Put on a different hat for distortion for a minute. Think of distortion as a way to generate new and extra harmonics that you can then manipulate to your advantage. For example you could try some frequency selective parallel distortion to add in some extra girth that you can then mix in with the original to give them more heft if they're missing it. Kind of like the old trick of gating a tone generator from a kick to make it beefier in the mix. Since you have 4 guitars in this particular case then I would look at doing something a bit different personally. I'd take two of them and hard pan them and leave them mostly alone (EQ, compression, etc.) but pan the other's about midway left and right then play with distortion on them and make those heavier sounding. This would likely widen the mix with two different guitar layers at two different stereo positions, but would also have the effect of making the center seem "heavier" and leaving the sides "lighter" further adding to width without really sacrificing any mono compatibility As for the synths, I mean they kinda work. The brass is actually a pretty good sounding brass stab, but it sounds like it came from a ROMpler of some description. I like the piano quite a bit, and I love the sync lead but it is so buried and overshadowed by everything else in that section that it kind of loses its impact While this may sound kind of biased or such, I really really dislike guitars lol. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but just because I'm not a guitar guy and everyone talking about them makes it sound like there are humongous differences between ancient humbucklers and modern ones. Look Solid body vs Hollow Body? Easily understandable differences in sound. But I feel arguing about a 139048 year old humbuckler is like the synth guys saying that there is a huge difference in the way a 50 year old Minimoog sounds versus a clone from like Studio Electronics. Look is there a difference? Probably, but is it worth all that money for it? Probably not. I'm a synth head and I love synths. It is easier to impress me with guitars than it is with synths. Suuns' 2020 (warning epileptic seizure warning) has a guitar sound that I love because I've never really heard it before and plus it is super creepy and unsettling. The bass is a synth and super dark and brooding. Both of those sounds impress me. Mord Fustang's Lick the Rainbow (terrible name I know), but this has quite a few synth sounds that just impress me. Still trying to figure out that bass sound myself. So much breath and life in that. Your synth sounds aren't bad, but if you want something to really show you what is possible with just one synth, then look no further than KVR's One Synth Challenge (I've entered a few myself) and let me tell you some of the sounds people are able to coax out of these synths is simply astounding.
  3. @Dextastic It doesn't sound all that bad. In fact I rather like the transients on the drums quite a bit. Though if I may make a couple of suggestions. First, while the transient is important on drums in order to prevent the cymbals and the like from being "too" powerful in the mix you may consider actually toning down the sustain portion. You can achieve this in a few ways. Transient Controller can work well in certain situations. Another way is to use a compressor and just crack down on that transient quite a bit and not really use much makeup gain, then apply some EQ (typically 4-8KHz) to bring the transient back. There is also the gate that opens up on the transient but closes on the sustain. You can also play a bit with multi-band compression or even dynamic EQ. Just depends on your desired end result. Second, with the drums you did a solid job of imprinting their space in the mix along with the guitars. However, when things get "fuller" you basically completely run out sonic space in those sections and don't really have separation nor clarity between the various elements. No real tricks here other than good ol' listening and trying to figure out what needs focus and possibly rebalancing the mix on the fly with automation. Bonus bit, the guitars could do with a bit more weight and get on those guitars with some characterful compression. Otherwise pretty darn solid.
  4. Honestly, I've looked at the PRC and MnP things lately and I just haven't jived at all with any of the sources Short of doing a straight cover for them, I dunno. I at least try to remember to vote for them because that is the least I can do even if I don't jive with the source.
  5. MnP 79: Megaman X5 - Zero Virus Stage

    Dextastic, Basically, the snare to me is just a pop. I mean if I listen a bit more closely I think I get where you were going, but I mean in context the drums sound too wet except for the hi-hat which may be what is throwing me off. Still I just don't like the snare. I'd say if you want that kind of big wet snare then gate the reverb on it. If that is the natural sound of the snare then I'd work on de-reverbing it so I could control the amount of reverb present myself. Ultimately, the issue I have is a personal thing. There is nothing wrong "technically" with the snare. Silverpool, The hi-hat just lacks movement. You use FL, right? Go to the piano roll and select all the notes for that hi-hat and press Alt+R. Deselect Pattern as that will cause all sorts of funkiness that you're not after. Then select Levels. Under there select Bipolar and then move the "Vel" and "Pan" knobs around, also press the "Seed" buttons and this will give the hi-hat some very slight movement. That is the kinda thing I'm talking about. Takes about 30 seconds.
  6. MnP 79: Megaman X5 - Zero Virus Stage

    I tried something, but my issue was getting the main melodic motif to play nice with the rest of my track in a way I liked. Never happened Otherwise mine is 90% done lol. Anyway, looking forward to giving a good listen to what folks have done with it.
  7. My submission is up. Not my best work, but a fun little source nonetheless.
  8. MnP 76: Vectorman - Ocean

    It is getting sorted out, just not before the weekend because there are a lot of logistics involved. I've got a temporary window unit for the bedroom so I can at least sleep comfortably lol. This isn't all that bad all things considered really. More of an annoyance. I believe a corollary of Murphy's Law is being invoked that states something along the lines of if there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  9. MnP 76: Vectorman - Ocean

    Well it probably ain't gonna happen or a "finished" product at least and here is why. So, last night around 8PM my AC unit decided it had had enough. Well turns out that when things fail "things fail"! That means I've gotta get pretty much the entire system replaced which means I really won't have any free time for the next few days because there is an absurd amount of work that has to be done. Thank you southern summers. Was 98F today and I'm pretty sure the house is about 90F right now.
  10. MnP 76: Vectorman - Ocean

    Still got a couple days worth of work for it. Composed, just needs mixed. I'll see if I can get it Friday though.
  11. MnP 76: Vectorman - Ocean

    Bah stupid work, I wanted to get my bonus up in time Anyway, solid stuff guys! Took a few listens to figure out who to vote for.
  12. I read through the Judge's decisions, gave a listen to your track, and the original. So, I feel the track still needs some work on the mix. Now, let me be clear I do really like this track. Lively and lots of energy. But you really should take a step back and try and listen to this from the perspective of a listener that isn't you. For me, I find the mix too bright, the drums lack impact, and there just isn't a lot of depth to the mix as a whole. Take a step back and really objectively analyze your mix. I really don't what kind of advice to offer for this because it really is one of those situations where you have to see before you can offer advice. In general I'd try toning down the highs a bit (2-3dB) and try to work the 300-1000Hz range a bit more to give the track some more body. Past that I don't know where to start. Try this though. Pick 3-4 instruments that you want to be your focal point in your track and mix those together and then add the others as support around those. That may help you finding a clear direction on how to approach the mix as a whole. Just my thoughts.
  13. What I meant by that was that it is due to me being unfamiliar with source makes it hard for me to say whether or not the track does enough personalization to the source. I know Corneria pretty well, and it is well integrated and such, but I just cannot say about Volley Fire, you know? Beefed up and exciting is just what I say. Typically, most tracks end on a high energy finale. So, the thing that was disappointing about this track was that it didn't have that high energy end to it. Not that is a bad thing, but at a minimum you've got to differentiate that last part from the rest of the track enough so that it stands on its own, which right now it does not. You don't have to make it super high energy and super duper climatic. It could simply be an interesting interplay of the sources or another style of interpretation on them. It just has to be different enough to separate it from the rest. This is kind of the downside of not working with a DAW with your principle sound choices unfortunately, and really I could see this going both ways depending on what it is you want. I can tell you that it'll be easier to do an electronic interpretation than an orchestral one simply due to the sound palette you have available with VSTs for electronic sounds rather than orchestral ones in terms of price. Personally, I'm a lover of string machines and pads from synths. There is a lot you can do with those if that is the path you want to go. If you want real strings then you'll have to fork over some cash for some sample libraries and work with their triggering schemes to make them work for your composition, which leads to the humanization bit. See, as humans we're not perfect with timing. A computer is perfect with timing. Which in some circumstances is very desirable, but with any real instrument it isn't. So, you'd have to play with the velocity, triggers, note timing, and automation available with the sample library to make it behave the way you want it to and make it sound more human. Then of course you do have to take into account just how a human would be able to play the instrument. Most of the time they are transposed instruments as well in that the note you write isn't necessarily the note that they play. They could be an octave lower or higher. We've only got so many fingers so climbs up and down are limited by that. There is a lot to it, and I'm not very good at it lol. The best I can do is give you an okay piano. I'm sure there is at least one other fellow out there who could give some pointers on how to humanize a bit for stringed instruments. So, DAWs are a bit of a learning curve regardless of which one you go with. I just mention Reaper because you can get a 100% fully featured DAW for $60, but lacking in VSTs for making bleeps and bloops with. With FL you kind of have to jump to $200 to get it mostly usable and really if you want something that will get your feet wet with you'll have to go $300 for the extra plugins on offer. With that being said I compose in FL and mix in Reaper. And there is a reason for that, while Reaper's piano roll works, it is cumbersome at best IMO. Honestly, we could talk for days on which DAW is the best starting DAW and still not come to a conclusion. There are just so many variables at play here that you have to basically figure out what works for you and roll with it. Go listen to some Rock and how the drummers use the cymbals to indicate that the track is about to do something else. The little roll you have their just tells me that and it works if the pay off right now is a bit lackluster lol. Drums are one of the hardest things to get right in general. Since you're not using a DAW at this point it'd be kind of counter productive to really talk on it. FL won't drop the sounds out if its "hands are full". Check to see if there is a Limiter on the Master Out, and if it is there remove it. This can cause sounds to sound like they're dropping off when they're not really dropping off. The real problem you run into is that there is a limited amount of frequencies and dynamic range available. That is what ultimately limits how much can stuff into a track. There is a lot of information out there and it can be difficult to get your head around all of it. Take it one step at a time and eventually things'll start clicking. When I come onto this board I tend to look for the WIPs and then look at the thread and see what is said. If I feel I can offer advice that hasn't been brought up already I'll add my $0.02. If not I just move on. I try to at least get the ones without any responses, but I miss a lot of them anyway. But I at least try.
  14. Before I go further I'd like to throw the idea of grabbing Reaper initially rather than FL. Not the easiest thing to work with for sequencing but an extremely capable DAW, and there are plenty of free VSTs out there to get you started that sound fantastic. Just throwing it out there. Anyway, back on topic. Does the overall composition work? It sounds smooth enough to me. Not sure exactly on the direction you want to go with it in terms of sound choice overall so that kind of limits what I can say in that regard. If you're going for a more electronic approach then you'd be fine with your current notations as it were, but if you decided to do something more orchestral in nature than you'd need to humanize this more. Transitions sound mostly fine to me. 1:13 though is just kind of lacking. The bass kind of rolls into the next section and splash cymbals indicate that something is coming up, but what really makes it underwhelming is the snare. It just does not sell it. I dunno if it is the sample in use here or velocity or what, but it just doesn't work all that well. Granted with a full on DAW you could just put a noise sweep there to make it more "exciting", but as it stands I don't buy it. At 2:24 the draw down works wonderfully, and 2:45 the cymbals and little kick roll work again. So, that really isn't the problem. Personally, I felt that the last section could be beefed up and made more exciting. There is more going on in the beginning than at the end and that is kind of a shame because you've got some really nifty ideas in the beginning and it seems you kind of ran out. What also is kind of a downer is the length of that section it just seems so short compared to the other parts. Maybe another 15-30 seconds. I think that'd really even it out. I found it interesting enough as an overall listen. I mean really as I'm typing this it is playing and it isn't boring. Plenty of things to keep my interest. Lots of details in things. Unfortunately, I'm not very familiar with the Volley Fire soundtrack to really say "objectively" if it is "remixey" enough. I say that not as a bad thing on your part, but a quick perusal of the provided video and I can hear motifs here and there, but it is kind of difficult to really pick out exactly what parts of that video you're remixing.
  15. This was a rather fun little source. My sub is up.