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wip Super Mario 64 - "Just Keep Swimming" (Dire Dire Docks)

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Anyone who remembers the VGMix 2.0 days may recall I made an acousto-electric version of Dire Dire Docks in 4/4 called Just Keep Swimming.

Listening to it now, it's not horrendous but it feel like I can improve so much upon what I did before. I'll probably be working with WillRock to get some other synthy-stuff in here.

[removed due to upcoming usage]

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Dire dire docks + Level 99 = a very confused Gario - why aren't people checking it out...?

I'm not sure what draft it is, but it's currently messy with the soundscape. Combine the fact that the acoustic guitars are mixed so powerfully (not a bad thing, in itself) and the accompaniment is fairly thick, when the orchestra plays, and you get a soundscape that is hard to listen through. Trust me when I say I know what it's like mixing your guitars with a full background, and it's not easy at all. The synth accompanies the guitar quite clean, though :)

The mids are a bit too powerful for the distorted guitar, for me. Perhaps it's personal, but I feel it's just too much. Tone the mids a bit.

I like the idea of the arrangement - a calm, soothing guitar arrangement with some ballade distorted guitar (and a hint of awesome orchestra). It's a good track as it is, in fact. It can be better, though - I expect an update within the week.

Don't be late. :350:

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Fine, I guess I can poke this with a stick. Lets have a peeksee, pokesee? Eh, right.

-Insert standard hewhoisiam post disclaimer here-

As it turns out, the more advice I seem to give, the crazier I'm pretty sure I am. Or something. I just seem start going, mewantsthis! I'd feel more comfortable if someone came along and went: I DISAGREE! SIR! woop woop woop woop woop woop! Anyway, moving on.

Guitar balance: not awful by any means, could be better IMO. I'd like the clicky strumming in the intro to be brought down in volume a bit, I think it'd help clear things up when the distortion guitar comes in and during the snare part in the intro. With that out of the way, the acoustic might need a bit more reverb and/or volume. Hard to speculate without hearing it.

Drums: I want them sooner. I just do. You don't have to have them sooner. It's total opinion, I just picture tribal type drums in that intro filling out the sound. Another thing I could get behind is just a snare part, rolls, flams, orchestral style. (EDIT: Holy crap! that part is there! Bring that sucker out! (also pushing the strumming down a bit might help)

@2:14 when the main distortion comes in, there is the faintest hint of a guitar part harmony, up down up down up down thing. I'd like it brought out a little bit more. It's so subtle I can barely hear it.

@2:54 hats are too heavy here. I'd think about just putting them on 1 and 3, and playing the rest on a ride cymbal. Or play all ride starting at 2:41 - bells on the beats, then 2 16th notes. 1e& 2e& 3e& 4e&a Thing is you switch to ride right after that bit, so I dunno.

@3:07 harmony guitar here is too quiet for my taste, see above statement.

Gario is a stickler! glad I don't work for him... I'm is was still already a month and more late with Laguna. So fired...

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You did... I fired your ass so long ago. You just do what I say now because you're still scared of me, Hewhoisiam.

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The way you two talk at each other makes me feel like this could go very BDSM at any moment 8O

Dire dire docks + Level 99 = a very confused Gario - why aren't people checking it out...?

I'm not sure what draft it is, but it's currently messy with the soundscape. Combine the fact that the acoustic guitars are mixed so powerfully (not a bad thing, in itself) and the accompaniment is fairly thick, when the orchestra plays, and you get a soundscape that is hard to listen through. Trust me when I say I know what it's like mixing your guitars with a full background, and it's not easy at all. The synth accompanies the guitar quite clean, though :)

The mids are a bit too powerful for the distorted guitar, for me. Perhaps it's personal, but I feel it's just too much. Tone the mids a bit.

I like the idea of the arrangement - a calm, soothing guitar arrangement with some ballade distorted guitar (and a hint of awesome orchestra). It's a good track as it is, in fact. It can be better, though - I expect an update within the week.

Don't be late. :350:

Maybe people are checking it out but they have nothing to say? Or they're all mutes? Or maybe they're busy checking out all the other awesome WIPs around here, which is quite likely. Lots of awesome songs to hear!

I can hear what you're saying about it sounding a bit...messy. I planned on adding more instruments but first I have to balance out the guitar dominance in this mix. My biggest issue is that the guitars are definitely the highlight so I don't want them taking a backseat (and I've been told before whenever I did push them down below other things that it sort-of ruined the mix) so I have to make lots of small changes in order to get it to sound right. I realize the other stuff is drowned out at the moment and I will try my best to change it so that there is a better balance.

I agree that the mids are too powerful on the distorted guitars, I need to change that as WIP 1 had none of the accompaniment that WIP2 has (it was just guitars) so the mids helped the distorted guitars punch through the acoustics which are very low/high. I'll scoop the mids and see about exciting the highs just a tad on the distorted guitars. Worst comes to worst I'll try re-recording with different tones.

You nailed the idea on the head: acoustic/electric ballad with building support instruments that combines conventional soft-ish rock with orchestra (and I couldn't resist a plethora of choirs in there).

May be longer than a week to update it though, Mr. Gario! As always, thanks for the feedback and criticism.

Fine, I guess I can poke this with a stick. Lets have a peeksee, pokesee? Eh, right.

-Insert standard hewhoisiam post disclaimer here-

As it turns out, the more advice I seem to give, the crazier I'm pretty sure I am. Or something. I just seem start going, mewantsthis! I'd feel more comfortable if someone came along and went: I DISAGREE! SIR! woop woop woop woop woop woop! Anyway, moving on.

Guitar balance: not awful by any means, could be better IMO. I'd like the clicky strumming in the intro to be brought down in volume a bit, I think it'd help clear things up when the distortion guitar comes in and during the snare part in the intro. With that out of the way, the acoustic might need a bit more reverb and/or volume. Hard to speculate without hearing it.

Drums: I want them sooner. I just do. You don't have to have them sooner. It's total opinion, I just picture tribal type drums in that intro filling out the sound. Another thing I could get behind is just a snare part, rolls, flams, orchestral style. (EDIT: Holy crap! that part is there! Bring that sucker out! (also pushing the strumming down a bit might help)

@2:14 when the main distortion comes in, there is the faintest hint of a guitar part harmony, up down up down up down thing. I'd like it brought out a little bit more. It's so subtle I can barely hear it.

@2:54 hats are too heavy here. I'd think about just putting them on 1 and 3, and playing the rest on a ride cymbal. Or play all ride starting at 2:41 - bells on the beats, then 2 16th notes. 1e& 2e& 3e& 4e&a Thing is you switch to ride right after that bit, so I dunno.

@3:07 harmony guitar here is too quiet for my taste, see above statement.

Gario is a stickler! glad I don't work for him... I'm is was still already a month and more late with Laguna. So fired...

Guitar balance: do you mean have it pushed down a bit the whole time or lower it progressively as other instruments come in? I think the second one would be easier for smoothing out overall volume levels. I'll see what some volume automation on the acoustic guitar bus yields next time I work on this.

Drums: Hmm, I'm leaning against drums in the intro but maybe an orchestral crash before verse 1 and add some hand percussion to it, up until and through the snare rolls and flams, ending as the standard kit comes in. Depends on what kind of hand percussion I can get my hands on!

@2:14: yes, I think what you're hearing is there, but it's the same part that plays through other parts of the song and also at the ending outro. I'll bump it up just a tad.

@2:54 hmmm, I liked the hecticness of the hats here but I'll tweak it a bit. I like your idea about the bells, but not in the way you think: I'll switch up the final chorus rides to use the bells

@3:07 there's no real harmony guitar here but there's a guitar playing a compliment that was pushed down considerably due to the cluttering. Will see if changing levels makes any difference

A lot of the levels issues might be resolved once I get the mix and EQ of the other instruments proper, but definitely a lot of good advice. Thanks for listening and giving some tips!

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Just listened to the WIP 2, heres some thoughts on it.

What I liked:

- An interesting take on the source, with an overall nice ambient feel to it.

- The smooth transition that starts around 1:22 into the more upbeat section.

- Its a good length, and the mixing for the most part is pretty good.

Suggested improvements

- At 0:56 I would add some background percussion, to fill up the space a bit more and add contrast to the previous sections.

- I would make the orchestral instruments more prominent towards the end to build to a climax.

Thats all I got for now, keep it up!

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Just sent a new version of this off to Willrock, inbetween working on some Plaid Muffins songs. Didn't make too many changes besides EQ, volume, and small processing tweaks. Should be overall better. I still like it when the hihats got a little more intense personally, but we'll see what happens after the Brit lays his hands on this. Who knows, maybe more guitars....:twisted:

[removed due to upcoming usage]

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I really love where this is going. There's so many Dire Dire attempts out there that just haven't captured me, but this one is genuinely doing something original and complimentary to the original, rather than depending on the quality of the source to carry it. Well done.

I was going to criticize that it feels short and incomplete, but then I realized it's a full 3 and a half minutes. The song just progresses so well, I felt like I wanted another couple more minutes to enjoy the work.

That is either a testament to how well you've done, or a legitimate criticism that the song may need another minute in it to really make it feel completed.

It builds up so dynamically, by the time it hits the 3:00 mark I feel like it's just begun. I want to hear all of the parts go balls-out with the symphony (teased in the beginning) and some more intensity on the drums. 3:33 feels like it's ready to ramp up to the next level, and then it drops off, and I'm left wanting more.

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I really love where this is going. There's so many Dire Dire attempts out there that just haven't captured me, but this one is genuinely doing something original and complimentary to the original, rather than depending on the quality of the source to carry it. Well done.

I was going to criticize that it feels short and incomplete, but then I realized it's a full 3 and a half minutes. The song just progresses so well, I felt like I wanted another couple more minutes to enjoy the work.

That is either a testament to how well you've done, or a legitimate criticism that the song may need another minute in it to really make it feel completed.

It builds up so dynamically, by the time it hits the 3:00 mark I feel like it's just begun. I want to hear all of the parts go balls-out with the symphony (teased in the beginning) and some more intensity on the drums. 3:33 feels like it's ready to ramp up to the next level, and then it drops off, and I'm left wanting more.

what's up, josiah =)

stevo, this is excellent.

i wouldn't mind different solo lead at 2:15, something less fuzzy but still with the same intensity. i know that's 'your' sound, but i think something that's a little less metal fuzz would work until you ramp it up before 3:00.

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Love it.

The production sounds great when it's fleshed out towards the end too.

I'd be kinda excited to hear someone put some vocals over this, not that it's necessary, just a personal indulgence.

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I love where this song is going. There are some places early on that sound kind of sparse, but the second half of the song is just great.

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Great mix. I love the source and you have done very well in remixing it. My only critique would be that @1:22 sounds off to me. You go from a nice acoustic guitar to the electric (which is rather loud at that point) and the drums. To me, it makes it sound off. Maybe you could do something different with the drums and fade in the guitar rather than having it start playing all of the sudden.

Good remix overall.

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[iNITIATE SEQUENCE ATTEMPT FULL QUOTED RESPONSE TO FEEDBACK]

I really love where this is going. There's so many Dire Dire attempts out there that just haven't captured me, but this one is genuinely doing something original and complimentary to the original, rather than depending on the quality of the source to carry it. Well done.

I was going to criticize that it feels short and incomplete, but then I realized it's a full 3 and a half minutes. The song just progresses so well, I felt like I wanted another couple more minutes to enjoy the work.

That is either a testament to how well you've done, or a legitimate criticism that the song may need another minute in it to really make it feel completed.

It builds up so dynamically, by the time it hits the 3:00 mark I feel like it's just begun. I want to hear all of the parts go balls-out with the symphony (teased in the beginning) and some more intensity on the drums. 3:33 feels like it's ready to ramp up to the next level, and then it drops off, and I'm left wanting more.

You know, that's a fantastic assessment of it. I went back and listened and even asked Willrock how he felt about it (he's getting to putting his stuff soon, I'm sure!) and we both agreed it's a pretty adequate length. I don't think it can get any more intense without resorting to full pop-rock-ballad after 3:33, and I guess I didn't really intend for it to end up being that. Stretching out the build before that would throw off the song's balance, I'm sure you'd agree. Definitely appreciate the feedback and thanks for the compliments!

what's up, josiah =)

stevo, this is excellent.

i wouldn't mind different solo lead at 2:15, something less fuzzy but still with the same intensity. i know that's 'your' sound, but i think something that's a little less metal fuzz would work until you ramp it up before 3:00.

Will noodle around and see what comes out. I used a different and less intense distortion than normal here so I thought it was a good level, but we will see. Anything that passes your stringent tastes I can count on being pretty good ;)

Love it.

The production sounds great when it's fleshed out towards the end too.

I'd be kinda excited to hear someone put some vocals over this, not that it's necessary, just a personal indulgence.

*gasp* someone who WANTS vocals in a mix?! INCONCEIVABLE! I see what you're saying, though. It's a nice suggestion! Maybe I'll write some lyrics as a b-side bonus or whatever, but I don't think vocals would fit in the mix I had in mind. Always supportive of the vocal-lovers, makes me forget all the vocal remix dislikers :nicework: Thanks!

I love where this song is going. There are some places early on that sound kind of sparse, but the second half of the song is just great.

The sparseness is part of the intended effect. However, once Willrock adds his stuff, I'm fairly certain it will sound less sparse. Could you give me the times that you feel it is, just so I can check for myself? Thanks very much!

Great mix. I love the source and you have done very well in remixing it. My only critique would be that @1:22 sounds off to me. You go from a nice acoustic guitar to the electric (which is rather loud at that point) and the drums. To me, it makes it sound off. Maybe you could do something different with the drums and fade in the guitar rather than having it start playing all of the sudden.

Good remix overall.

WIP3 did have some volume level issues I realized after-the-fact. I believe I fixed them in my current version (which isn't uploaded yet, I'm just waiting for the additional instruments), but you're right that the transition definitely needs some smoothing out. I'll see what I can do.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and criticism!

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AW! I come into the thread, seeing the author made the last post. Mind going *updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate!* AND NO! Denied! He's responding to criticism! ¡PORQUÉ! ¡HAY NINGUNA JUSTICIA!

Tell the kids there's no Santa whydontcha. No update! I'm over here frothing at the mouth. So cruel. :puppyeyes:

...It is nice to know we're in your hearts, or at least tracks. That you address the crits. But. Now you know what you must do. Updates. Chop chop. Get on that. Shoo! Off with you, you have stuff to do.

:wink: <3

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AW! I come into the thread, seeing the author made the last post. Mind going *updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate!* AND NO! Denied! He's responding to criticism! ¡PORQUÉ! ¡HAY NINGUNA JUSTICIA!

Tell the kids there's no Santa whydontcha. No update! I'm over here frothing at the mouth. So cruel. :puppyeyes:

...It is nice to know we're in your hearts, or at least tracks. That you address the crits. But. Now you know what you must do. Updates. Chop chop. Get on that. Shoo! Off with you, you have stuff to do.

:wink: <3

I'm waiting for Willrock's parts before I do any more real updating, unfortunately. :( sorry to dissappoint you! I really didn't mean to! I'M SO SORRY, DARN IT! POR QUE?!??!?

Anyways, Willrock is busy being a superstud and working on things that aren't this song, so I dunno when to expect another update. Feel free to bug him if you want him to act faster though ;)

and there was an update: WIP3. that should have addressed your drum concerns :D

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:dstrbd: An update I missed you say! While I'm being dramatic WOE IS I! I HAVE FAILED YOU! ... You edited the main post or 'm I just dense?

*cough, cough* Will did friend me recently. Perhaps I should teech him zee error of ez vayz. Besides, all the cool superstuds are remixing dire dire docks. The coolest superstuds are actually... critiquing, remixes of dire dire docks...

Anyways, see my previous disclaimer, and last few posts. Question all that follows :-P It's prolly all opinion and... the guy writing it (don't tell him) might not be (shhh!) all there. Let me add to this that it is a real talent to edit a track say from V2, to V3, and keep the file the same size... down to the byte. Guess what I just spent 20 minutes listening to...:banghead: In my defense... I did eventually notice.

This gets right into the sound and that first idea right away. Part of me loves that, but part of me thinks that the very nature of the beast makes it seem. I'd like to hear the first 4-5 notes of melody in this almost over humanized. I picture that first note longer, then the others ALMOST in time with just a hint of being too slow, before that awesome main idea really gets into a rhythm. It's a painstaking task in a DAW cause you have to screw with like every note (or I do) to get what I want. Even then I don't get what I want usually.

As a point of conversation about the track feeling incomplete:

@MrSneak's comment: I've seen a great WIP on the forums here fall by the wayside. (this is the ONLY time, due to my poor trolling skills no doubt, I've seen DJP in the WIP forums) It was a star fox tune, orchestrated, flawlessly. It had intro-itis. The whole track was an amazing intro. It had builds, great instrumentation, the sound was wonderful and balanced, the instruments complemented each other perfectly... but the arrangement never really reached that place it needed to be to keep up with the intros. IMHO, this track doesn't have that feeling yet, the progression is better in this version than the last. But the possibility is there, making it feel like while not incomplete, it needs another minute or so to hammer that theme in. I tend to favor the 'extend the track' option. But I like long epic tracks and I always want more. Still prolly want to get more people to weigh in on this though.

If you go the route of expanding this, It seems to me a natural place is 2:41-3:06 The idea after that and the end of the song are a natural come down. And the theme is only repeating (in that section 1 time? 2 times?) Seems to me a natural place to really break out solos. All the elements, including the heavy distortion rhythm and the lighter alternating notes(in my previous post) are well established. We're just getting into the groove, that feeling that everything is right and good in the world... Just feels... Right. (In my mind, which may not be the best neutral ground) That is, of course, if you think intro-itis, and that it might need something else. Structure and progression ideas are one of my weaknesses.

There are great things drummers can do to cheat. I know, cause I'm both those things:wink: Take the open hat parts at 2:55 (also, this is about the 3 minute mark that was pointed out as being where the track feels like it begins AND the drums changed) The drums in the whole tune are pretty good, but a subtle cheat in slower transitions is to add an extra 16th note in areas where full on fills and solos are just too much. It's pretty much an FYI, I could see it used in a few places in here. It's a drum version of the guitar riff at 2:30. Not in your face, doesn't stand out. But interesting. I'd do this with all my stuff if I got something to the near completion point in a mix. It's the final icing on the cake of a drum part. Honestly also, Now that I'm listening to the right track, this doesn't seem as necessary... But... I can't bring myself to hit the backspace key and make it go away after I put all that thought into it. Put the knowledge in a toolbox somewhere, and use it later.

Oh yeah... keep yer dirty vocals off! Shoo! Awaywiththat! :wink:

Hope there's something in that that helps ya. And it's not all crazy rambling. Well, most of it it. Diamond in the rough? Gotta be something in there for ya.

-H

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The sparseness is part of the intended effect. However, once Willrock adds his stuff, I'm fairly certain it will sound less sparse. Could you give me the times that you feel it is, just so I can check for myself? Thanks very much!

After listening to it some more, I think what I'm missing is bass. My ears kept expecting some kind of bass to kick in when you were adding new voices early on (especially at :29 and :43). But, maybe you don't want that!

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Just so everyone knows, an update WILL be coming at some point, but first things first: this song's going to end up the Songs for the Cure 2011 album. So yes, now we HAVE to finish it!

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