blaggles

4. submitted Donkey Kong Country - 'Interruptible Power'

12 posts in this topic

Just something I started on a couple weeks ago. I like the Fear Factory theme from DKC a lot and I've been on an 80s kick lately. I dunno. Could use a bit more variety I suppose?

Link to WIP (old, see newest post)

Original theme

Sephiroth likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eval:

Minimalistic intro. Then the eighties kick in. Cool.

The sound design could use a bit of work, maybe using different drums and an additional layer of pads for the intro. The less there is going on, the more you have to pay attention to the sound design and expression of the instrumentation. Sound design is much less of a concern in the busier parts of the mix.

The mixing could use some work. The whole track sounds a bit dark and muffled, even on my speakers which I know hype the highs a bit. Giving the bass and leads a bit more of their (individual) higher frequencies should help. Just don't overdo it. There are moments where the pads dive deep into the lows, seemingly arbitrarily (eg 2:25). Get your lows under control.

It's an interesting take on the source, no complaints about source usage. The arrangement overall works well, but it  lacks signalling and punctuation. Eg at 1:00 the track stops and goes into a breakdown. Nothing to signal it or accentuate it (in this case, signalling would probably work better than accentuating, punctuating the change). Same at 1:53, where the only signalling is two tom hits. It could use more, and start earlier, and cover more of the instrumentation. How to do this is a matter of taste, as there are a lot of techniques to use for punctuating and signalling change.

It's a chill piece. I like it. But it needs some work before it's ready to eb subbed. Some mixing and a few arrangement edits are probably necessary. I think those are the critical issues. Cool stuff.

Jabadoterry likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One over-a-month-long silence later and I'm back with another draft of this thing. It's more 90s now and is based on the level where the lights keep flickering on and off; the intensity of the track also alternates between intensity and darkness.

Draft 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not an eval. I'll leave that to @Gario or @Wiesty. Just posting to drop you a suggestion: use reference tracks. Well mixed tracks in a similar style, from ocr or elsewhere. Figure out if yours is similar enough in frequency balance, loudness, proximity/distance, stereo balance, and everything else that matters.

Also, it still sounds rather 80s. That's not a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm liking it so far, I'm by no means a judge, or music maker by any level of measure, just my opinion, is it sounds too flat, or 2D, add some depth to really highlight the difference between intensity, and darkness, like in the intense, make it in your face without making it too loud and obnoxious, and the dark, could sound distant, eerie and spooky, but without losing too much of what your going for, otherwise, I'm really enjoying what I'm hearing, keep up the good work! :D

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback. I haven't paid a ton of attention to the energy of the track nor done an exhaustive production pass on it yet. I'm going to redo the drum tracks from scratch and come up with a new bass line and try to get it to contrast better with the breaks.

 

edit: Draft 7 with new bassline and percussion, and production pass (I skipped a bunch of revisions already) 

Regarding production - it may still need some more work; I have a bit of hearing damage in my left ear from working in audio for years and it's not helping me. If anything this one might be fun to play in audiosurf :) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the 80s vibe! Bassline, drums, syntheseizers all are great. Can't really comment on the production quality though, my headset at work isn't exactly hi-fi. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EVAL

Well, this is certainly a different approach to the arrangement - it's almost calm with it's 80's flair when most really push the pumping industrial aspect of the source. You almost forget that there are pretty catchy themes behind the more mechanical elements, which this does a nice job bringing out.

I love the style, and I like the arrangement. The production is okay, as well, though it could still use some fixes to the mixing; while it's not an extreme issue throughout, there is still little sense of what should be in the background, what should be in the middle and what should be at the front of the mix. In this case, the pads are mixed in a way where they sound like they're in the middle of the mix when they'd better serve in the background. The lead that comes in at 1:16 sits in the middle of the mix when it would serve us better closer to the front. Little things like this help keep the listener focused on the important things while allowing the structural portions to do the necessary work.

The pacing in the middle (1:47 - 2:53) is pretty slow. Slow isn't inherently bad, and you'll get different opinions on it from different judges, but stacking two or three distinctive yet slow sections in a shorter arrangement like this makes the piece drag. 2:18-2:20 sounded like it really wanted to bump the pace at an appropriate time, but it cuts short like an incomplete thought.

To be honest, the style and overall quality might still land you a pass on this, but the vote would be close. I personally would send this back to you on the panel due to the mixing concerns and some pacing issues. It's a pretty borderline track as it is, so with a little spitshine on the mixing you'll likely have a good pass on your hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made some changes to overall balance, did a lo-fi drum track thing to help add some momentum to the slower sections and the break, added some subtle sweeps for some additional depth, a tiny bit of glitchiness, and really went overboard with automation. This one might be my final. Maybe.

Draft 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first heard your WIP, I almost didn't recognize the theme. It has more of an ambient sound to it, and the 80s flavor changes everything, too. I like the lo-fi drum sections. Keep it up. I hope this gets accepted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this remix just made the song clearer for me! Your latest draft (8) is calming at start then throws you back with the loud energy synths. I like this and the transitioning and the solo 3:08 feels appropriately placed. Got me chills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now