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IdleJohn

1. work-in-progress Unreal - Surfacing

3 posts in this topic

A remix I've been trying to do for ages and this is as close as I've ever got to completion. I'm still fairly new to music production though, so it's all been a learning experience so far.

It would be great to get some fresh ears on it as I feel like I've spent more time on mixing than I have on arranging now, and I'm getting sick of listening to it!

The thing I'm struggling with most is getting it loud enough compared to other tracks. I think it's about right now but I really pushed the levels way further than I wanted to... Anyway dis is eeeet:

 

And the original:

 

All feedback appreciated :)

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I really don't want to go on a big side discussion covering loudness, but I'd like to point out a couple of things that may be hampering your ability to make it as loud and sound as good as you probably want. First, watch your sub energy. It is extremely expensive in terms of headroom in a mix and it also makes your compressors and limiter/s work much harder. Higher frequency material on the other hand is basically free in terms of headroom. Second, watch the amount of energy you give to high frequency material because while it makes things sound louder it can easily make a mix very difficult to listen to. As a general balance I think you've got about 2-3dB too much sub energy and perhaps about 1-2dB too much high frequency energy. Tone those down and then see how much louder you can make your mix. I think you'd be surprised. In general the mix sounds all right. The snare is a bit weak and the tambourine has WAY too much power and emphasis (completely out of place with everything else). The kick also lacks any real definition in the mix and I can hear the limiter pumping (though it could be sidechain compression with the kick). There is a lot of different directions you could go with this mix if this is the general vibe you want. Rather than blast you with a billion different ways to get similar results in a more controlled manner, I think you'd be better served by creating a more balance mix and then tweaking from there. If you wanted this could really turn into quite a long discussion on mixing, but I dunno how obsessed with mixing you are. 

Now, for the composition. It follows the source quite closely, which isn't inherently bad or such and if you're doing this as an exercise then this is pretty darn awesome. If you're aiming for the Panel then I'd say this has a long way to go. That is to say that the remix is just too similar. You've got a similar vibe, similar instrument voicing, and the like. You'd need to personalize it more. I like quite a bit of the sound design going on. The crystalline pads and the pluck (sounds FM-y to me) are a couple of stand outs, but I do quite like the bass (again sounds FM-y and I love FM bass). Though it does have a bit of an unpolished feel to all of it. As if the sounds are at this point sketches of the final version of what they're meant to be. Again if this is an exercise in making something then it is pretty good. Plenty of vibe and plenty of potential. 

Just my thoughts. 

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Thanks for all your feedback! Really useful, and I agree with everything you said. I've done a whole lot more work on it since, trying to make all the sounds sit better and a done lot of general polish. I've let go of my loudness obsession a bit, as it was definitely affecting the track negatively. The only thing I haven't done is reduce the bass (I'm on a [so far unsuccessful] quest for fatness :-D )

It's probably still too similar to the original, but I think that's just going to be the way it is with this one.

I'm trying out hearthis.at because soundcloud has started to annoy me. Unfortunately that means no embed :(

https://hearthis.at/idlejohn-ef/unreal-surfacing-remix/

Thanks again for your help, you definitely broke the wall I'd hit.

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