satoka-eldon

4. submitted 'Blackthorn City Swing' from Pokemon GSC: Real flute & virtual orchestra

7 posts in this topic

I recorded the flute part using a relatively basic mic, and then mixed it in Logic. I only added a little bit of reverb; what else could I do to make it sound better/more interesting next time?

(I'm aware my tone deteriorates a little near the end, but this is a playing problem and not a recording/mixing one.)

Many thanks in advance~

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I think the drums are a bit too artificial. They sound really obviously synthetic. I know it's an early version, but I am going to suggest better ones, and maaaaaybe not that beat. It doesn't quiet fit with the pace you're playing at.

From start to 0:29, it doesn't really feel that different from the source, but from 0:30 to 0:47, you get some nice variations that make it stand out a it more. It's not a lot of obvious changes, but it gives it a tiny bit more life to the melody.

There are some pitch changes from 0:53 to 1:05 that I don't like; I know I said that the earlier subtle changes were nice, but during this part, it's such a noticeable shift that it slightly pulls me out of the melody. It's a lower tone that makes me feel like something bad is happening, even though I know it's not. The source is fairly happy and peaceful.

1:05 and on is a good example of the kind of style changes that work for this melody. A bit improv, while still following the source. It's a subtle thing, and sometimes it's hard to find the right mix, but this is close.

The end with the orchestral swell is a bit overpowering. The background instruments should support the flute, not overwhelm it. If you push them back a bit more, then the flute can stand out more. Because the flute is the main piece here: it's the element that will carry both the melody and the personal touches you're putting into it.

You got a solid start here. Minor changes to composition, moderate adjustments to the synth percussion, careful polishing here and there of the background instruments. You're about 75% of the way there, and I don't doubt you can make it the rest of the way.

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Wow! That's really detailed! Thank you for being critical yet constructive.

I will have another thorough look at the drums - I had problems with them before in other pieces, and still haven't quite grasped how to make them sound plausible. It is that there isn't enough variation, or an artificial-sounding timbre?

Maybe you're right about the adjustments at 0:53 - I went full swing into a minor, and I guess it doesn't fit too appropriately. I'll have a think about how to add in variation here in a different way, relative to the first half.

I have a quick question about the orchestral swell - I got some feedback on another piece that the flute shouldn't increase in volume past a certain point relative to the rest of the orchestra, but I was concerned about a lack of dynamic variation. Would it sound odd to simultaneously slightly increase the volume of the flute and decrease the volume of the orchestra relative to it's current volume?

Many thanks once again!

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7 hours ago, satoka-eldon said:

I will have another thorough look at the drums - I had problems with them before in other pieces, and still haven't quite grasped how to make them sound plausible. It is that there isn't enough variation, or an artificial-sounding timbre?

Both. They sound pretty fake (I know there are limitations depending upon what software you use), and the beat doesn't match up with the style of what you're going with.

One option is to ditch the drum entirely. Don't forget that drums aren't the only instrument that can be used to set a beat. You have those other instruments and can use those to set your tempo.

Quote

I have a quick question about the orchestral swell - I got some feedback on another piece that the flute shouldn't increase in volume past a certain point relative to the rest of the orchestra, but I was concerned about a lack of dynamic variation. Would it sound odd to simultaneously slightly increase the volume of the flute and decrease the volume of the orchestra relative to it's current volume?

I would have to hear it such an adjustment to decide. I'm not a musician or a composer, I just conned a bunch of people to make remixes for me for free a couple of times. :-D

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Alright, my turn.

Not a bad start, but man, some of those chords in the intro very nearly turned me off. See if you can get closer to the original chords if you need to.

Now, for the things you asked The Damned that I may be able to help you with.

The drums:

You can make real sounding drums using white noise. It's all about how you EQ and mix it. This site has been my holy grail for EQing, and there are many others like it out there. If a particular drum isn't quite working for you, add another on top of it to achieve the sound you're looking for.

May I also add that drums are nice, but are only half the equation. You need bass, drums or not. There's something of a tenor in your song in the form of a cello, but you need bass. Every ensemble and genre of musical instrument has a bass instrument (tuba, contrabass, bass flute, etc.) for a reason: it acts like a foundation for your music to sit on.

I've heard songs without bass, and I got to tell you, they may work, but they're empty.

To the other thing you asked The Damned:

No to the increasing flute volume. Fade out the other instruments just enough to make the flute stand out, but not overpowering. If given a choice, decrease, not increase. Well, I mean if you start off soft, yeah, but if you're going from forte to piano, ensemble to solo, don't increase.

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Thanks very much for the feedback! I'm learning a lot!

I swapped out the second chord (a major third) for something in key, but it would be easy to put it back. (I think the rest are the same as the original, at least until the second half.)

RE the drums: I if understand correctly, I need to boost the EQ of the range in which they're supposed to be playing, based on the tables on that site... right? (I am sure the reverb for them is also very weak - I only figured out today how to apply a reverb effect to the drums in Logic.)

I will also add in something in the bass range - that was definitely sloppy!

Thanks also for the clarification regarding the flute dynamics.

(I've also been playing around with the EQ and reverb for the flute as well, and now have a sound that I'm more satisfied with, but I want to keep trying other stuff before uploading a revised version.)

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