Best Dude55

1. work-in-progress Sonic Rush Adventure - Coral Cave remix

29 posts in this topic

Hello everyone! I've been trying to branch our with my remixes lately, so I tried more a dance style for this one I suppose. I'm still pretty new to this style of remix, so there's probably gonna be a lot of issues with mixing, mastering, and, well, probably everything. I tried to listen to see what I could find what was wrong on my own, but I just don't think I'm skilled enough to hear what else is wrong at this point.

 

Newest version link: https://app.box.com/s/bw7lfimge7681g2fu62ofppxvgd4zmg6

 

and here's a link to the source: 

 

again, I already know there's probably a lot of issues, but I really want to improve with this kind of music so hopefully I can get some help! Thanks!

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I dont know. The original sounds more technoy/dancy. Yours sound like strait midi. Maybe you need more voice samples? Anyways, the mixing is pretty decent, but then again im listening on headphones.

 

 

 

 

*Edit*

 

Actually nevermind, it sounds like it could be in a Kingdom Hearts. GJ.

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Well, the mixing is off to a good start, actually. My main complaint is that it sticks extremely closely to the source (you have very similar instrumentation, and you even have that loop point transition back to a kick-less reprieve at 1:32), not to mention that it's a dance remix of a classic-techno track, so unfortunately there's no genre-switch merit. So while the production is pretty good, the arrangement is just really conservative.

For the production, I can't tell if you sidechained or not, but it would help to sidechain the kick with the bass so that the bass "ducks" for a short moment when the kick plays. That way it reduces the slight bass clash and muddiness, like at 2:06. (it doesn't have to be pumping or obvious)

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Yeah, I figured that would be a big 'X' on the track as well, with the whole conservative thing. I'm not the best with original musical idea-making, but I'll open it back up and play with some different notes and see if I can try to make something a bit more dynamic and original with the notes (well, a lot more original if I want to progress with the track).

 

Right now I don't have any sidechaining going on, but I'll definitely try it out! Thanks!

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Alright, so I tried a couple things to make it a little more... arranged. Here's an updated link: https://app.box.com/s/smzrir72b57rqne2xq5qfi9nsxx37icq

 

I added a lead that plays for most parts of the song, and I changed the transition just a little bit. I'm still thinking of more ideas that would make it more original though.

 

As for production, I tried doing some sidechaining. I've never really done it before so I looked up some tutorials, but since I'm still new with it I probably messed something up in there. I probably inadvertently screwed something else up with production too that I'm not noticing either. 

 

Hopefully I can come up with some more arrangement ideas to make it even more of its own thing!

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Yeah, this is an improvement; the added lead helped differentiate from the original's dependency on groove, and the sidechaining helped reduce the muddiness a bit.

Maybe I didn't hear it before, but now I'm hearing that the drums start and stop every now and then, perhaps a bit too frequently. Try paying close attention to the drums starting at 1:02 - 1:30, for example, and noting at what timestamps you have drums, and what timestamps you don't. To me, that kinda disrupts the flow of the track, and it feels "indecisive". I get 1:02 - 1:10 and 1:18 - 2:24 with drums, and 1:10 - 1:18 and 1:24 - 1:30 without, so you basically have drums for 8 seconds, and then you take them out, and then put them back in, and then take them out again. 2:32 - 3:00 is a similar situation. :-P

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Alright cool! I looked at the parts you mentioned and added back in some kicks so it didn't sound disconnected. Now there's only one section where the drums let up instead of like 5 haha. Here's the link: https://app.box.com/s/4e6u9c1o2g7voc4wt1sw80iycirpt03r

 

I also tried to make an actual ending so it didn't just seem to stop like in the other versions. 

 

Edit: For now I'm gonna change this to 'finished' since I put an ending in. I may change it back to WIP pending future criticism on it.

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Quick update!

 

I've just made a few changes in this new version. The biggest is probably that I added a few runs/arpeggios (I don't really know what to classify them as) in a couple places. I just barely tweaked some other small stuff throughout also. I don't want to add too much at this point because I'm not really sure what it needs.

 

Link: https://app.box.com/s/o5uzrxgg1sicy4k56jy9ry1slzdpotq0

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I think this is coming along pretty well! I'm starting to get a sense of what direction the arrangement is going, how the dynamics evolve and the energy drops off, etc. I sometimes see remixers write something that has an unclear sense of direction, and this is improving in that aspect.

You do have transitions at certain spots, but I'd argue that you can use a few more in particular spots, whether making it more obvious or just putting one at all. Specifically, I'd like to suggest the following:

  • At 0:49, I get this short "breakdown"/low-energy section, but it doesn't quite connect with the previous section. I think it's because the reverse and regular cymbals can be louder there. I can kind of tell they're there, but only if I listen for them after initially noticing them.
  • At 1:03 - 1:17, I think it would help if you made the drums less involved/busy here, while having a more explicit transition into 1:17.
  • At 1:30, you've got that lone steel drum there, and it could be led into, for example, with a reverse cymbal or something similar (but maybe no regular cymbal). That way 1:30 could function as a "bridge" to switch up the mood you had going before to the one you have at 1:38. Nice transition at 1:36.

At 1:52, the lead you have going right now is lacking the expression that I think it needs to attract attention as a lead. You could add some vibrato to it to add some motion to the tone, and that can accomplish part of the goal. If you imagine leads as choir members, have you ever seen choir members sing with no facial expression, but still you believe that they're interested enough in the song or that they understand the message of the song? My high school choir teacher said that if you're not smiling while singing a happy song, you don't understand that it's a happy song or you aren't really interested in the song as a song. Maybe think about it from that perspective and see how you approach writing for lead lines in your ReMixes. Also, it would help for that lead to be raised an octave to distinguish it from the frequency range of the other instruments. Right now it's blending in a little "too well".

Lastly, I think the ending can be foreshadowed more; maybe slowly remove some drum parts as a "builddown" of textures? Right now it sounds like the last note is all that ends the ReMix.

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Cool, thanks for all the feedback, I appreciate it! I've been trying to implement it over the past couple days, here's the new link: https://app.box.com/s/miiq930vxwpircxdwb6cq2sjd25c5n45

 

 

Changes:

 

First, I changed up the lead. You had suggested raising it an octave, but when I did, quite a few parts seemed too high. So instead I tried using the harmonizer thing to add another octave on top to try to distinguish it more, but at the same time not to have too much highs.

 

I tried making the cymbal roll a bit louder at 0:49 to try to make the connection smoother. The cymbal sample I have though isn't the best and it can be too much if it passes a certain volume. Nonetheless, I still tried raising it up as much as I could.

 

I changed the drum patterns at 1:03 as a switch from low energy and a buildup. I'm not sure if it's too much in too little time, but I can switch it to something else if it is.

 

Again at 1:30 I tried raising up the cymbal roll a bit more, but again trying not to overdo it volume-wise as to not sacrifice sound quality from it.

 

Lastly, I tried changing the lead notes at 1:52 a bit. I tried out a kind of staccato pattern thing to try and get rid of the stagnant whole notes. I also tried adding some vibrato to that lead to make it a little more dynamic.

 

Oh, and I also tried making the ending a little more smooth, instead of all of the drums cutting out at once like you said.

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Cool to hear an arrangement from Sonic Rush Adventure, I played this to near-completion not too long ago.

 

I agree it's pretty close to the feel of the original. A bit more mellow and clean if I recall correctly.

 

Some of the writing seems to clash harmonically a bit. I'll try to find the time to give you more feedback on that (at least timestamps).

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Alrighty, I changed the tag back to WIP since, well, it is still being worked on.

 

In response to the last post, is it still too close to the original? Like, will I have to completely redo the arrangement to make it have any hope of passing? I'll also check out some of the chords for clashing once I get back to school and have my desktop back, thanks!

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Since I was pretty bored today I decided to work on this some more. I didn't want to change too much, and I also made a backup of the last version in case I made any bad changes :P I messed with a bit with production stuff and changed maybe just a few notes here and there, but it was pretty sparse.

 

Link: https://app.box.com/s/stabtrmsg68esw2qy40f6bel30m852fw

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Just giving this a bump since it's been a few weeks. I don't have my desktop/FL studio with me at the moment, but any advice is still really appreciated for when I get back to school!

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The transitions sound better now!

At 1:01 in the original, compare that to 1:03 in your ReMix; you should see the similarity in the steel drums you used as a lead. To help keep the arrangement from getting too conservative, even something as small as changing the lead can help differentiate from the original. But you could also just add some "trills" every now and then on the steel drums (like at 1:05.8 - 1:06.9, or 1:08.5 - 1:09.2) and that would help a little as well. You should then also notice the similarity in the bells at 1:08 in the original and the bells you use at 1:10. This applies all throughout 1:03 - 1:30.

At 1:30 - 1:38, the steel drums could also be a bit more humanized. They seem almost quantized, if not all the way quantized (rigid rhythm), and the straight 8th notes are the main thing I'm pointing out here. Maybe some triplets or 16th notes at specific points (like at 1:32.8 - 1:33.0 and 1:36.0 - 1:36.5)? The notes are also pretty much verbatim here, and you have a chance here, that would help quite a bit, to write some original arpeggiated leadin notes. Maybe an upwards scale on the steel drums at 1:36.8 - 1:37.8 to parallel the piano?

The lead at 1:52 is also clearer. The staccato helped draw attention to it, though the melodic contour could be more focused/less meandering at 2:03.5 - 2:05.1. I find that normally, the bass defines an underlying "implied" chord progression for the lead, and outlines the chords that work with the lead, so I think it would help to change the bass and chords to match the motion of the lead at 1:52 - 2:05.

To me, 2:19 - 2:39 sounds like it could be a climax. Also, the lead notes on 2:46 - 2:54 remind me of an outtro; as a result, if 2:46 - 2:54 had the same drums as 2:40 - 2:46, and the bass at 2:46 - 2:54 was less stuttered, I think that would help give 2:46 - 2:54 a more focused direction that's more cohesive with what came before 2:46 and after 2:54 (specifically, leading towards the ending).

Overall, it's definitely improved; you might also want to get a mod review to see what someone like Rozovian or Gario thinks.

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Awesome, thanks for the suggestions! I'll take note of them for when I get back to school then I'll implement them!

I suppose I can change it to mod review as well. I just wanted to make sure it didn't sound bad so that I didn't waste anyone's time with it haha

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[BEGIN THE REVIEW OF THE MOD KIND]

Hey there. My first listen of the track really didn't yield much feedback, honestly. The mixing is pretty damn solid (though I am not a dance master, so my feedback is not as nuanced as it could be), your transitions are relatively smooth (I see you've been working on them) and everything sounds balanced. It seems, overall, like a good arrangement. Cool groove, solid beat, etc. Nothing really stood out to me as wonky.

My only real comment on the first listen was that the ending felt like it just kind of fell off. That's a stylistic choice, so you're free to make it; it just stood out to me. 

After listening once, I took a listen to the source, because I saw some of the other comments on here critiquing that you stuck too close to the source. I know that you worked on that, but I still feel like it basically sounds like the source with different instrumentation. My prediction is that they will nail you on that, but I'm not a judge and I'm typically pretty forgiving when it comes to sticking close to the source. I can't tell you for certain what they'll say. 

In short, your mixing skills are definitely where they need to be. It might be time to start trying to expand your interpretation of sources a little bit, which might be as simple as switching genres. This source was already pretty dancelike, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to head in the direction you did.  

Good luck!

[END MOD REVIEW]

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Awesome! Thank you so much everyone for all of the feedback! I go back to school next week, so I'll have my computer back and then I can continue working on this!

It sounds like the biggest thing I'll need to change is the style a little bit. I'm not too sure how to change it, but I'll listen to some other remixes and such to see if I can get some ideas on that.

Thanks again everyone!

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Hey, you don't have to do a genre switch to make a remix interesting. Genre switches are the best way I'd say, but you can still make it like a redux version by sticking to the genre but adding your own sections, melodies and all those kinda deviations :P 

Coming from a guy who has remixed Coral Cave himself too. :P 

My remix is in the Sonic 25th anniversary remix album project happening here, and what I did was add my own melodies and my own section and a slight rock-dance hybrid touch to it. :) Maybe you can think of adding a drum 'n' bass touch? i don't know haha. 

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Yeah, I see what you're saying haha. I suppose I'll look at adding some more original sections!

The main reason I was considering a genre change was because I'm sure the judges will tear it apart for having such a similar sound to the original, but I suppose I can look at adding some more stuff as well!

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This is a track where I'd say the remix deviates not too much in terms of genre but still offers something unique. And this is Ice Cap we're talking about, possible the most remixed VGM track! 

jmr's Glacier Peak (Ice Mountain - Sonic Advance) is also conservative in terms of genre. Just look around OC and you'll flood yourself with ideas :) 

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