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  1. Yesterday
  2. Yamaha vs. Presonus studio monitors ------------------------------------------------ Got some news on this studio monitor topic. Some days ago, I've compared the Yamaha MSP 3 (smallest version of the MSP series) - the studio monitors of a good friend - with my Presonus Eris 3.5 (smallest version of the Presonus series). And somehow, I really liked the more airy, very detailed hi-res sound and the better panorama staging of the Yamaha MSP 3 a bit more. Although... my mixes sounded kinda similar on both systems concerning the frequency response levels (Presonus makes a bit more bass and a fuller, warmer sound, but lacks a bit in the top end frequency spectrum), some of my tracks I would have mixed slightly different at some parts at which the Presonus Eris 3.5 have shown me a clean mix, but the Yamaha MSP 3 gave me a little warning that there could be some minimally muffled mids there. While my Presonus Eris 3.5 are already very quiet (you can only hear some kind of a white noise, if you are really close with the ears at the tweeters), you won't even hear too much of a noise when getting really close with the ears to the Yamaha MSP 3. While the Presonus Eris 3.5 might look a bit more stylish, the Yamaha MSP 3 impress with a rock-solid building quality and they also weight more than twice as much as the Presonus. While the Presonus Eris 3.5 studio monitor speaker are rear-ported, the Yamaha MSP 3 are front-ported (which seems to make them a better option for home studios with the common fate of being placed close to a wall). The frequency range of the Presonus Eris 3.5 goes from about 80 to 20000 Hz (which is quite enough) - but the frequency range of the Yamaha MSP 3 already goes from 65 Hz to 22000 Hz (I totally love that higher top end, which only a few studio monitors can reproduce in a pleasant way). Both studio monitor systems are extremely energy-efficient - the Presonus Eris 3.5 have a wattage of around 2*25 W and the Yamaha MSP 3 have a wattage of around 2*20 W. And both studio monitor systems also seem to have a similar frequency response: Presonus Eris 3.5 >>> Yamaha MSP 3 >>> In the end, most of my mixed tracks sounded pretty nice on both studio monitor systems - so, I guess the decision between both is not a deadly one for a beginner or advanced composer or audio engineer. So, both seem to be really good for higher quality mixings - even more, if you use a good additional (adequately turned up) subwoofer like the Fostex PM-SUBmini 2 which can deliver a very dry, clean and detailed bass down to 40 Hz. I'm sure, Yamaha does a great job at least since the 80s with their NS-10 studio monitors which have been successfully used in many professional studios since then. And I really dig the sound of the successors within the HS and MSP line of the Yamaha studio monitors - like in this video which compares the bigger versions of the Presonus Eris 5 against the Yamaha MSP 5: I totally like the crystal clear hi-res sound and the very detailed mid and high frequencies - as well as the really great top end (bigger Yamaha monitors go above 30000 Hz) - of the Yamaha studio monitor speakers. No intrusive bass frequencies which could overshadow the mids in an unpleasant way - a big problem lots of studio monitors obviously have to deal with.. At least I can sense a bit of the good sound quality of these Yamaha studio monitors by listening to this with my Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro headphones, directly connected to my high-end headphone amp Lake People Phone-Amp G109 (which is connected to my Steinberg UR44 audio interface). Finally, I would really like to see (or rather listen to) a direct comparison between the Yamaha HS series and the Yamaha MSP series - because I still don't have listened to both versions alternately in a store or within one video.
  3. The 1:20-1:50 part has some weird rhythm choices, unexpected triplets or some mix of triplets and dotted notes, or something. Pardon my small theory vocabulary. But man this is a fun idea for a remix. Nice work on it, too. 2:50 sounds especially Russian.
  4. Hi! It's still loud. It's still bright (not a big deal anymore, though), and there's still background-sounding things in the foreground. The glissando at 0:07 sounds great. It's appropriately background-y. Compare that to 1:24 when I don't know what's lead and what's background. If you sort that out, it'll sound better overall. Cleaner. It's okay to move instruments from foreground to background and back depending on the role they have, but then it's good to have an eq or reverb mix to automate that you can use to push the instrument in either direction. 1:03 sounds good in this regard, you move the previous lead back to make space for the new lead melody. 1:10 is a mess in that same regard. The foreground-background separation is the main thing I'd complain about for this track. Eq and reverb are important tools for pushing things forward or backi nthe mix, but the most important is the track level. Loud things get attention. And your leads get a lot of attention when less would be enough, 2:18 has a really loud and clear lead. It's clear enough, it doesn't need to be this loud. I know it's tricky to figure this balance out. But here's some things to listen for. It does sound clean, so probably cleaner than before; good job on that. I'd still want the track levels sorted out. Background things softer. Foreground stuff that doesn't need to be _as_ loud also softer. Depending on where in the track it is and what it needs. I'm noticing a lot of things that have become second nature to me are difficult for less experienced mixers to grasp. It's easy for me to say "make the loud things less loud when it's right to do so", but then I'm assuming you can tell. And that takes practice, listening, experience. Refresh your ears and come back to this, see what needs to change, change it, refresh your ears again. I can't offer any better advice than that. You're on the right track, now comes the ear grind.
  5. Hey GSO, I see you've posted a lot of remixes now. I listened to a few of them and noticed a few recurring problems. You might want to pick one of the remixes and do your best to solve the problems in that. Quality over quantity, you know? Anyway, here's what I found: 1. The sound is mechanical. There are a lot of piano mixes on the site (and lots of piano music elsewhere). They tend to sound like pieces of sequenced midi files or separate performances stitched together. While that's a perfectly acceptable form of remixing, it takes some work to make them sound good together. A big part of a human performance is the dynamics, within each phrase, from phrase to phrase, and in the arrangement overall. Another is the subtle use of timing, being slightly in front of or behind the expected timing. I heard a few humanization techniques in some of the other tracks I listened to, but they weren't used well. Humanization is difficult. What I do is to start with a (bad) human performance and correct it, rather than start with sequenced notes and try to humanize. This might help you too. 2. The arrangements lack transitions. The stitched-together criticism applies here too, but on a different scale. 3:03 is a great example of this, then another one shortly thereafter at 4:07. No lead-up to this change, no break, no signalling that the arrangement is going into another part. It's jarringly different. Signalling a change can be done in a lot of ways. And sudden changes aren't always bad. 3. The mixing is loud and harsh. For a few of these remixes, I've noticed a strangely muffled sounds, but this one is loud to the point of clipping, which doesn't sound good. Listen to 4:44-4:47. Can you hear the sound crackling and breaking? Look up some youtube mixing tutorials and guides on audio dynamics and clipping so you can tell when it gets too loud. You've been at this for long enough that you have all the knowledge you need, you just gotta apply it right. A video on what to look out for might help. Mixing with a reference track might help too, something to compare your music to in order to hear if yours is too loud, too muffled, or has any other such problems. I hope this helps.
  6. Never played R&C, I'm getting a bit of a Timesplitters vibe from this and my quick look at the original. This is a really cool soundtrack-y modern take on it. Really nice sound design, well mixed.
  7. Entry submitted! Much harder than i thought, but i got something in.
  8. @IForgotMyPassword might wanna tag @prophetik music to make sure he sees this. Also @Global-Trance
  9. Last week
  10. Amiga chiptunes huh? Probably .mod files. You could import them into a more modern tracker (specialty music program for this type of music notation) and swap out the simple samples for more complex ones. That won't necessarily sound good, and it's nothing like making an orchestral track (whether properly arranged for orchestra or not) in modern DAWs (also music programs). Those require arrangement, humanization, sound libraries, mixing. If you have some skill with music and good ears for mixing, you can probably do it yourself (to a passable degree anyway), as those tend to be the more important things to learn when learning how to make music yourself. If not, you'd best make friends with some music people that know the game and its soundtrack. Not to discourage you from trying it yourself, making music is fun and worthwhile, but it does take time.
  11. Finished my new 8-track album! VGM inspired Electronica. A bit atmospheric and melancholic, but I enjoyed working on it.
  12. Hey Utopia, they are totally the focus as well and I urge you to spread the word about accessing the bonus tracks You can thank DarkFlameWolf, the Director, for getting those included because I was pushing to have them out. The story behind Joe Jonker's Ramirez track is that the OCR Judges were pre-judging all of our tracks and had indicated some minor issues, but Joe insisted his version was exactly as he intended. At an impasse, we had to find another artist. I had been following Joe for years, and I highly encourage you to check out his 'Known to be Lethal' work.
  13. Nice rock/orchestral combo. It might be worth cleaning up the low end a bit, maybe just in the reverb, for a cleaner and more impactful sound. The timing of some of the brass melodies could be tighter, but working with samples with slow attack is a lot of work. But I like it already.
  14. That bass is humongous. For headroom reasons, you should probably ease up on the lows a little, just don't overdo it. There's a really loud couple of notes around 2:13. Watch out for stuff like that. I like how there's this noisy thing being side-chain-bounced at some parts. And I like that riser at 1:40. And the drum break at 3:35. A lot of little things to like, besides the overall sound.
  15. Good news, bad news. Let's start with the bad. This needs repeating. The piano-strings-woodwind interplay in the beginning could use some work. I think it's the offbeat start of the piano couple with the slow attack of the strings that's throwing me off. Better strings might solve it, though a single low piano note might also do it. Either way, a good downbeat would anchor the rhythm and help orientate the listener. The strings are a bit of a problem here. Not their writing but the sound itself, hence the quote. You should probably redo the mixing entirely. It's salvageable as it is, but starting from scratch (levels, eq, reverb, compression) with what you've learned since you did it last time can help a lot. Any sound-design-related effects can probably stay. I'd mute all the tracks that aren't the most important for the tracks, and make the most important ones sound good on their own, then bring in the secondary tracks one by one and adjust their levels and effects accordingly. Maybe even do two passes of primary tracks, one for the melodic instrumentation and one for the rhythm parts, and then mix them together before bringing in tertiary things. It sounds like you're fading out at the end, which you don't have to. You could end on that 2:28 note (or one earlier) and just let it ring out. I can't tell if that's a fadeout or just low-velocity notes on a piano that doesn't sound right at low velocities. But I don't think you need to soften it that much anyway, just dropping out the other instruments does a lot for the track already. Your piano humanization is successful in that it sounds human, but it's not a great performance. From what I can tell, there's a lot of timing adjustments in here, but they sound more like random timing imperfections than a performance. If you can record midi, I suggest you play the parts yourself, even if you only play on a single note, just to get the timing and velocity right, and then create the melody from that. If you have some soft humanization tools, you can use those too. This is less important for instruments with slow attack. The frequent breaks in the beat are a little strange. You could mitigate that with a more percussion-oriented track that doesn't do the breaks, or that leave cymbals and things ringing out over the breaks. Or maybe a heavily filtered copy of the drums you've got. These might not give you the sound or style you're going for, it's just what I'd do. (Beware the "what I would do"-type suggestions, they might not work for what you want to do.) I don't think humanization (or arrangement) is the main problem here, sound design and mixing is. You could improve the track a lot with just a few changes to the sound design and a mixing overhaul. I like the arrangement. I like the bass glide thing at 0:27, and the glide effect at 1:29. I like the sound of the snare and those highest little string things. I like the muffled drums sound nearing 2:00. And I like how this is from a source from a game I haven't even heard of.
  16. Reverb - Big halls don't work for all tracks, so yeah, you might want to use a smaller size. The parameter might claim it's 40m, but don't believe it. Use your ears, adjust to taste. And you don't have to have a long reverb. Length can be fairly short. The dry/wet ratio lets you adjust how clear a track is, so less wet means more foreground-y. You can filter and eq the reverb too, and the reverb plugin might have some options for that, like low ratio or something. At least filter out the lows. If you can set early reflections separate from reverb, you can give the reflections of your leads a longer pre-delay, so their attacks are clear, while the attacks of background instruments blends into the wet signal. Of course, you can do a single reverb bus for the whole thing, or multiple (e.g. foreground, background, distant), or give each track its own reverb. Or some combination. Different methods give you different options, like full control over a reverb bus with eq and side-chaining, for example. Reverb levels per track matters, more reverb means more background-y sound. But track level is ultimately determines foreground-y-ness, reverb is an addition/enhancement to that. As is panning and eq. Panning - Our ears easily tell where high frequencies come from, not so for low frequencies. Center is usually best. Usually. A stage-like plan can work, depending on the music, but I find the better way of thinking is to spread out frequencies, to spread instruments depending on their roles. Kick, bass and snare middle. The rest of the drumkit mimics what a drummer hears (so stage, but mirrored) with the amount of panning adjusted to taste. With the hihat panned left, other high-frequency percussion can go right, eg shaker. If a guitar goes left, another guitar (or any instrument occupying roughly the same frequency range at the same time) can go right. For this track, I wouldn't hardpan anything, I'd go for a kind of jazz club thing, with some instruments panned a bit, others not at all. There are different schools of thought when it comes to panning. I can think of a few: -No panning (stereo is just for stereo-recorded tracks and for effects) -Listener-like panning, with variations: -Drums from drummer or listener POV -Drumkit and bass centered, or placed according to band -Center and hardpan only -Frequency balancing (works well for my tracks)
  17. well I gtot it and it's really cool, I love it! I had to buy a 6 buttons controller with it though....=/
  18. Oh hey, finally something I can help with! I've got them all - what's a good place to host them?
  19. The first thing my wife asked me was if this is on the new TOOL album. That alone puts this song in a special place!
  20. I had posted a previous version of Saturn Icarus here a long time ago. This version is the full release with additional tracks, additional work on some tracks, and full mastering provided by TOKEE. Saturn Icarus Liner Notes and Credits TRACK 1 - I Become The Machine (Technoverture) TRACK 2 - Rarewhere - (OS Boot Menu - Rev. 17.8.104B) TRACK 3 - Aladdin Continent - (Vector City Skyline) TRACK 4 - Deincarnation - (Cybercop Bust Gone Wrong) TRACK 5 - Comfortably Dumb - (Virtua Gangs Rule The Future Streets) TRACK 6 - Run, Logan, Run! (Android Abomination) TRACK 7 - Almost In The Shell (After Hours At The Neuro Lounge) TRACK 8 - Death and Syntaxes (Infiltrating The City Underground) TRACK 9 - Atlas Lunged - (Forced To Fight In The Mutant Wrestling Ring) TRACK 10 - Neon Tolstoy - (Megacorp Declares War, And I Bring Them War) TRACK 11 - Zoso's Bizarre Advertising Venture (The Back Alley Parts Shop) TRACK 12 - Shower The People You Love With Blood (Final Assault On The Grid Headquarters) TRACK 13 - Psycho Mass - (The Ultimate Showdown With The Omega Brain) TRACK 14 - Appetite For Reconstruction (The Sun Rises Over The Metropolis) TRACK 15 - The Machine Becomes Me (Acceptance, The Destiny In Disguise, Credits) Notes: Wow, this production was a hell of a ride. It was originally done for an old-school FPS throwback called SATURN ICARUS ( and 12 tracks were produced for it. I got paid for the commission (!) but to date, the game is under indefinite hiatus and I don't know what, if anything, may happen to it from there. So with the original creator's permission, I have taken the album, along with some other tracks I had done for other things that never got used, and I made a full Synthwave/Hybrid album out of it. Each track is extremely different from one another and features anything and everything I wanted in it - synths, drum and bass, synths, orchestra, synths, operatic choir, synths, trance, synths, Japanese taiko, synths, metal guitar and, oh yeah, synths. A lot of different sounds and genres used here, but synthwave and 80s sounds form the foundation. I consider this my "Passion" album - inspired directly after Peter Gabriel's "Passion" album which was a soundtrack for Martin Scorscese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" that he went back and did more work on before releasing it as an album. I did the same here. It is available for $5.00 total on Bandcamp and other markets that follow a listing on CDBaby. Thank you and enjoy! Music by 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier. Premade loops and construction kits were used in this production for inspiration and convenience. Mixing by 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier. Mastering by TOKEE. Cover Artwork: Original Illustration by Devine Lu Linvega as it appears on Edited by Meteo Xavier. Used with permission by Devine Lu Linvega. Copyright 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier and 12MX Media, October 2019. Licensed to Mischa for whatever he wants to use it for.
  21. Thanks! It took quite the journey, but I'm glad it's on the way home now.
  22. The emotional dynamics are breathtaking. In a mere two minutes, you've accomplished a transcendent sonic progression that leaves the listener sated, yet wanting more. Well done, and thank you.
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