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AngelCityOutlaw

finished Lara Croft & The Path Of The Tiger

30 posts in this topic

I am a big fan of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider series. However, I always especially loved the comic series that was made by Top Cow. So the other day, I finished reading "The Trap" storyline. That trilogy was a departure from the regular art style (drawn by Andy Park) of the comics as they hired someone else to draw it. Anyway, the end of that storyline involves Lara going through the "path of the tiger".

The story takes place within the Himalayas, near the Tibetan Plateau. So I thought it would be cool to put a Chinese spin on the Tomb Raider theme. I referenced the "Anniversary" version of the song primarily, but I will use some melodies from the original games as well. So, inspired by this storyline, I want to make an Adventure film type score! Takin' a break from the rock music and the teknoz.

Check out my remix here http://soundcloud.com/angelcityoutlaw/lara-croft-the-path-of-the

The source http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WfQ8Yf8_d8

and if you're interested in reading the comics that inspired this track

Part 1: http://tombraider.ru/comics/original/21/

Part 2: http://tombraider.ru/comics/original/22/

Part 3: http://tombraider.ru/comics/original/23/

Anyway, feedback much appreciated. Help me get this thing on the front page!

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I haz updated it!

I don't know if I'm going to add tons more to it, I think my next update will wrap up the length of the song.

Any feedback anyone has would help my greatly, thanks! I'm also trying to think of more adventure movie style sound effects to tastefully throw in there.

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Ooo, a fellow soundtrack ReMixer! =D Remixing Lara Croft, no less! Cool!

This is sounding promising. I like the oriental flavor of the piece and the adventurous atmosphere later on.

I have a few suggestions on how to improve this, though.

1) First of all, the dizi (I think it's a dizi) at the beginning is playing every note with the same velocity setting. That makes it sound quite mechanical, which is a real shame since the samples you're using have so much more potential.

2) Again, the first part with the dizi--it's a little rushed, or rather, a little too rhythmically regular for an epic, meditative introduction. I'm not sure which sequencer you're using, but try automating the tempo and making the melody line a little more free and less rigid. If you change the tempo and edit the velocity settings, it should sound a lot better. Take your time with the introduction and try picturing yourself being completely at peace and playing the flute somewhere high in the mountains. Feel the melody and then force your software to sound like the music you hear in your head. =D

3) Another thing about the introduction: start with the wind effect first and fade it in, and THEN let the woodwind take the lead. Don't start directly with the lead woodwind.

3) In my opinion, you're not using enough reverb, so the instruments are somewhat raw and don't really create that spacious epic atmosphere you're going for.

4) The drums are OK, but again, don't use the same velocity setting for every note. It sounds exaggerated and mechanical.

5) The transition at 0:22 is a little too sudden for my taste. If I were you, I'd let the flute play that final note until the end and then transition into the adventurous part with some sort of percussive effect, like the one you have at 0:53.

6) The strings would sound better if you used some non-spiccato articulations as well. Also, some spiccato cellos would be nice. Don't just write octaves, though. Try some chords, at least a third here or there.

7) If I were you, I'd use a gong hit instead of the cymbals at 1:04. They sound a little too sharp and don't fit into the soundscape at that particular moment. It's just my opinion, though.

I might have some other comments later on, but this should give you something to work with. =) I hope it helps!

Do your best to polish this as best you can. I think it really has a lot of potential! If you need any more help, you can drop me a line. I usually write orchestral music, so I know a trick or two about how to manage the samples you're using. =)

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Thank you so much Archangel! Lots and lots of great points. I'll definitely keep working on it.

You're right, I think I did leave all the velocities the same in the intro...It's also a good suggestion to start with the wind! As for the drums, I actually did try to use lots of different velocities and such, but perhaps I'm not doing it right.

I think I will replace the cymbal with gong hits as well.

Yeah you're right, I want to use some non-spicatto strings, but I just can't seem to find the particular articulation I'm looking for at the moment. I'll keep trying.

Thanks a lot for the help Archangel! I actually almost never do orchestral stuff and once I finish this, it would be my first complete orchestral tune. So I hope I can make it a great one.

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Nice change of pace AngelCity!

The dizi kind of sounds like the free one from Kong Audio, am i right?

The only thing I can really say is that it's evident the intro was on a click track or just not humanized enough. When playing something like that take very long breathes and flow. One of my favorite examples

Awesome CD by the way. I'd recommend picking it up.

After the intro I think the piece should open up more then blast completely open further into it. I'm still working on doing this myself in my mixes but if you keep something close to center pan in one section, then double track and move it outward for another it should sound more open. I may be wrong on that or there may be better ways to do it but it's worth a shot.

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Great ideas here, I've always loved the Tomb Raider games and the main theme (yeah, I played through each game and all expansions :D)

Only thing that bugs me is the dizi. You could try adding some thrills, making it more diverse, and also by editing velocities like Archangel pointed.

Hope to hear a complete version soon :D

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One of my favorite examples
Awesome CD by the way. I'd recommend picking it up.

I have that! It's wonderful music indeed!

I'm still working on doing this myself in my mixes but if you keep something close to center pan in one section, then double track and move it outward for another it should sound more open.

I usually pan things when the arrangement is complete. It's easier to position the instruments so that they don't clash.

Also, the song would sound more open with some more reverb. It help tremendously, in my experience.

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Great feedback so far! Thanks guys. I hope to have another update for tomorrow.

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Alright, this got potential to it. Lemme see if I could think up some pointers for you.

Mix-wise

  • First of, let's repeat what Archangel said earlier. The note velocity changes are crucial to get a realistic sound, so I really recommend to pay attention to that.
  • Another is to increase reverb in the mix, or change it, it's a bit too dry. If you want to go gung ho though, you might want to have a separate reverb for every section in a logical manner, that way you'll have more control over the ambience.
  • I think you should stereo widen the drums. They're very mono-ish and more of a burden to the mix in the very middle than anything else. Also, the choice of drum instrument is quite mid-frequenced, I'd recommend to have a prominent bass drum to give more oomph to the mix (be sure to have the bass drum in the middle though, bass doesn't do good when it's moved around).
  • You could want to have a Master EQ taking a bit middle off and boosting some bass and high frequencies and a careful Limiter on top of it.

I won't go deep into the arrangement as you said it's still not complete, but you could try something like this:

  • Not only add a prominent bass drum to give a kick, but also something to provide a bit of background rhythm, like a hi-hat or in this case possibly something a bit more ethnic.
  • More string instruments, like cello and contrabass for more oomph. Also more variation to 'em, you could do much with having more than just spiccato going. This depends alot on other instrument though, you don't necessarily have to change from spiccato if you have some brass to cover up the long notes, for example.
  • Some of the transitions are a bit sudden. You can fix those quite easily with some drum fills or a crescendo cymbal etc.
  • More variation to everything, more instruments. That's pretty much all I can say for now :P

Hopefully you got anything helpful out of that. One way to get things going your way is to listen to someone else's work and then recreate the setting for your song (meaning the mix and instruments). I'm a soundtrack composer myself and got where I am by doing alot of that :-P

I'll check in again when you got an update. Good luck!

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Alright, this got potential to it. Lemme see if I could think up some pointers for you.

Mix-wise

  • First of, let's repeat what Archangel said earlier. The note velocity changes are crucial to get a realistic sound, so I really recommend to pay attention to that.
  • Another is to increase reverb in the mix, or change it, it's a bit too dry. If you want to go gung ho though, you might want to have a separate reverb for every section in a logical manner, that way you'll have more control over the ambience.
  • I think you should stereo widen the drums. They're very mono-ish and more of a burden to the mix in the very middle than anything else. Also, the choice of drum instrument is quite mid-frequenced, I'd recommend to have a prominent bass drum to give more oomph to the mix (be sure to have the bass drum in the middle though, bass doesn't do good when it's moved around).
  • You could want to have a Master EQ taking a bit middle off and boosting some bass and high frequencies and a careful Limiter on top of it.

I won't go deep into the arrangement as you said it's still not complete, but you could try something like this:

  • Not only add a prominent bass drum to give a kick, but also something to provide a bit of background rhythm, like a hi-hat or in this case possibly something a bit more ethnic.
  • More string instruments, like cello and contrabass for more oomph. Also more variation to 'em, you could do much with having more than just spiccato going. This depends alot on other instrument though, you don't necessarily have to change from spiccato if you have some brass to cover up the long notes, for example.
  • Some of the transitions are a bit sudden. You can fix those quite easily with some drum fills or a crescendo cymbal etc.
  • More variation to everything, more instruments. That's pretty much all I can say for now :P

Hopefully you got anything helpful out of that. One way to get things going your way is to listen to someone else's work and then recreate the setting for your song (meaning the mix and instruments). I'm a soundtrack composer myself and got where I am by doing alot of that :-P

I'll check in again when you got an update. Good luck!

Thank you for the advice! I've begun to tweak the mix and the arrangement keeping all the suggestions given so far in mind and I think my next update will be much better!

I hope I can get it posted to soundcloud later tonight. If not, tomorrow morning!

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Alright, so I added the update to the first post. Personally, I'm pretty happy with the song itself. I added in more parts from the source as well.

With the advice given, I've made some of these changes:

A little more reverb

The intro is longer and the wind starts first. Flute is a bit more drawn out with variations to the melody and such. I did change up the velocities, but I don't think this particular vst has too many different articulations.

I couldn't think of any other drums I really wanted to add to the song, but to increase the stereo width a bit, I automated the panning on the gong. I think it's a cool little addition.

I will play with the velocity on the strings in the outro section a to make it a bit more "epic" in that area.

So basically, I'm looking for suggestions to embellish it and give it a bit more polish. Also, if you have any other ideas for subtle, adventurous sound effects to add in, I would love to hear your ideas! Thanks again for all who have listened and provided feedback! I appreciate it!

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I agree with a few other posts, the Dizi and the strings (maybe its the patch you used), sound very robotic and dynamics seem very flat imo (unless thats what your aiming then it still sounds cool)

The verb your using sound very colored/low quality

The drum (you know I LOVE drums like cereal,programming,guitars,amps, etc...) are FLAT, try to compress the drums abit and experiment with verb because verb can change the sound of a drum. Then depending on what you think, try experimenting with panning the drums or leaving them center.

For the gong maybe a pan to the left of right is better then automating it since you want a realistic sound because I dont think gongs are moved while they are hit.

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I agree with a few other posts, the Dizi and the strings (maybe its the patch you used), sound very robotic and dynamics seem very flat imo (unless thats what your aiming then it still sounds cool)

The verb your using sound very colored/low quality

The drum (you know I LOVE drums like cereal,programming,guitars,amps, etc...) are FLAT, try to compress the drums abit and experiment with verb because verb can change the sound of a drum. Then depending on what you think, try experimenting with panning the drums or leaving them center.

For the gong maybe a pan to the left of right is better then automating it since you want a realistic sound because I dont think gongs are moved while they are hit.

I'll keep trying on the dynamics, but I am no expert on the "humanization" thing.

As for the reverb, it is symphonic orchestra's own. Personally, I'm not really picky about reverb. As long as it sounds like the right amount of reverb, I'm usually cool with it.

About the gong, yeah that's true. I don't know though, let's see what others opinions are on the automated gong.

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I'll keep trying on the dynamics, but I am no expert on the "humanization" thing.

I didn't know much about humanization until recently. When I first got into this it seemed like if any note was not dead on top of the beat it felt sloppy or out of place. Now, going back and listening to some of my older stuff I can't believe I thought it used to sound good with such rigid timing.

There are many ways to humanize something and it depends on what tools you have available. If you have a midi keyboard, practice a small chunk of the part you want to record then do it.

The longer way to do it is to mess with note timing and velocity with a mouse. You can loop a few notes of a longer passage and make sure that they feel "human" <------KEYWORD. For example, if you are playing an aggressive passage are the note timings going to be dead on top of the beat as you move to completion? No freaking way! You'll find that most people under all of that intensity anticipate the beat and come in earlier. Same(well, the opposite actually) is true of a legato passage. Most people will not play dead on the beat but instead come in just after it with the actual placement of the note gradually getting further away from the beat as the passage progresses.

Also, even on a good day a player will never play the exact same note the same way with the same attack with the same feeling every single time. That's just corny. A string player will have strings warming, stretching, and decaying. A trumpet player's lips might start to swell and affect his sound, attitude, perception of the audience. forget about the schmuck tuba player kicking his chair behind him.

This is just a generalization of course but if you think about the playing, what the performer would be feeling, what the performer wants to communicate to the audience, whether or not a spot light is in their eye... if you think about things like that then humanizing becomes a bit easier.

One last tip, if you are like me, sometimes you open up your DAW and have no clue what you want to do with anything. Afraid to mess with what you have because you may destroy what you have and make it worse. If that becomes the case just "F&CK AROUND WITH IT ANYWAY!" (my new motto) Mess up the velocity and note timing and see what changed, then make more changes and see what happens.

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I didn't know much about humanization until recently. When I first got into this it seemed like if any note was not dead on top of the beat it felt sloppy or out of place. Now, going back and listening to some of my older stuff I can't believe I thought it used to sound good with such rigid timing.

There are many ways to humanize something and it depends on what tools you have available. If you have a midi keyboard, practice a small chunk of the part you want to record then do it.

The longer way to do it is to mess with note timing and velocity with a mouse. You can loop a few notes of a longer passage and make sure that they feel "human" <------KEYWORD. For example, if you are playing an aggressive passage are the note timings going to be dead on top of the beat as you move to completion? No freaking way! You'll find that most people under all of that intensity anticipate the beat and come in earlier. Same(well, the opposite actually) is true of a legato passage. Most people will not play dead on the beat but instead come in just after it with the actual placement of the note gradually getting further away from the beat as the passage progresses.

Also, even on a good day a player will never play the exact same note the same way with the same attack with the same feeling every single time. That's just corny. A string player will have strings warming, stretching, and decaying. A trumpet player's lips might start to swell and affect his sound, attitude, perception of the audience. forget about the schmuck tuba player kicking his chair behind him.

This is just a generalization of course but if you think about the playing, what the performer would be feeling, what the performer wants to communicate to the audience, whether or not a spot light is in their eye... if you think about things like that then humanizing becomes a bit easier.

One last tip, if you are like me, sometimes you open up your DAW and have no clue what you want to do with anything. Afraid to mess with what you have because you may destroy what you have and make it worse. If that becomes the case just "F&CK AROUND WITH IT ANYWAY!" (my new motto) Mess up the velocity and note timing and see what changed, then make more changes and see what happens.

Good points, Gar. Yeah, my MIDI keyboard has been toast for awhile now I'm afraid....just another one of the things I need to replace lol.

Well anyway, it's -46 degrees Celsius (no really, it is) outside today so I'll probably just hang out and work on this song more.

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Well, there has been some great feedback! I have put the remix and the source in the first post.

Let us get the opinion of a mod!

"Great mods of workshop forums, hear my call! Guide me with eternal knowledge of the sacred art of remixing! I pray that Ye will place thy blessing upon this song so that it may be sent to the council of the elder gods for approval!"

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Well, I've thought about it...thought about it some more...and I just feel, "done" with this tune. Also, I won't have much time to work on music.

So, I'm gonna hang it up with this one and call it finished. For my first purely orchestral track, I'm quite proud of it. Obviously, I'm sure it's not perfect. Nothing ever is. Still, I hope you guys enjoy it!

I'll probably roll the dice and give her a sub, just see what happens.

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Hello,

I haven't heard the previous versions of the song but I like it the way it is.

It's a nice complement to the ost.

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Hello,

I haven't heard the previous versions of the song but I like it the way it is.

It's a nice complement to the remix by Nathan McCree.

I am glad you enjoyed it sir or madam!

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Start of it sounds like it's a movie with the wind sound effect I'm thinking it's some first sequence after a dark screen fading in on the Himalayas and that Lara Croft is there in some mass action. Nice Work!

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Start of it sounds like it's a movie with the wind sound effect I'm thinking it's some first sequence after a dark screen fading in on the Himalayas and that Lara Croft is there in some mass action. Nice Work!

That was the goal! Glad you liked it!

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Well guys, I shared this track with the community manager at the company making the NEW Tomb Raider game for this year!

To my surprise, I got an email back from her. She likes it, and tells me she'll pass it along to the audio team so they can give it a listen too! I doubt I would get any feedback from them, but that reply made my day all the same!

I believe a high-five is in order

high_five-2495.jpg

So once again, thanks all for listening and the advice! Now let's hope the judges like it too.

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Congrats! You might have the makings of a career right there.

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