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Everything posted by crypto_magnum

  1. I'm digging your interpretation of the melody; there's a fair amount of original writing here, and that makes your song interesting. Yet, it's also familiar enough that I never get lost or forget that I'm listening to Lava Reef. I think you've struck a great balance here between recognizable and original, and that's often the hardest obstacle for many new remixers. Reverb may be a touch high, though if you're going for something atmospheric, reminiscent of the cavernous abyss that is the Lava Reef Zone, I can't say it's artistically incorrect... personally though, I'd dial back the reverb if only to unmuddy the mix a bit and give all of the instruments a little more room to breath and be heard. This is a good start. Thanks for sharing. =)
  2. Count me in. I'm already a fan of your work on OCR, but that demo sold me even more. Between the Antigravity bonus on the FF6 kickstarter and the four extra digital albums I'll be getting here, my library is about to have the explosion of zircon originals I really ought to have added long ago. Can't wait to hear more. =)
  3. Yeah, other than perhaps sticking too close to the source for OCR's requirements, this piece is a slam-dunk in every other respect, imo. May as well take a shot with it, yes? No matter the outcome, it's really beautiful as-is. Thanks for sharing!
  4. I'm liking this a lot! The change-up at 0:52 is pretty rockin'... then it goes into this sort of "Imposter Nostalgia" style, VVVVVV kind of awesomeness. Really a pleasure to listen to. The back half (or basically everything after the little slow down effect), I feel, is weaker than the first half, though that may just be because it's a work in progress. It's cool to break it down for a little bit to have some dynamic range and avoid making it one big wall of sound, but at some point you'll probably want to come back in with some kind of intense reprise of the chorus and close it out on a stronger note than you begin it on. Or put more simply, the climax right now comes too early, in my opinion. You could either shift things around, or better yet, try to outdo the sections you've already written by making something even bigger and badder. Can't wait to hear more-- this is a really solid start.
  5. Just listened to the latest version, and I have to say I like where the second half of the song is going (0:53 - The End). It feels like the instruments are given a little more space to shine in the latter half of the song, though mixing/EQ could still improve. 1:20-onward features some nice counter-melodies and slight notes changes to the main theme, which I'm digging. Be careful of note disagreements though-- the main melody (and indeed the source) hits an Edom7 on the third chord of the phrase, while the counter melody frequently resides in an Emin7. The difference between these two chords is the G; the minor 7th gives you a G natural, and dom 7th a G#. So we have several clashes between the counter-melody hitting G natural and other instruments hitting G#, creating a minor second interval which sounds out-of-place. Either chord progression works just fine on its own, but played simultaneously, not so much. It's an easy trap to fall into if you turn off all of your other tracks and just sketch out a line while playing bass notes in your left hand... because either chord/scale fits and you can forget which one you locked yourself into with the other tracks. Nice progress on this.
  6. This is a strong remix. The only issue I have is that the climax comes a bit early; the song just kind of gears down over the last minute. Every other aspect is great though.
  7. Wow! This is really good. Very unique sound, and plenty of interpretation. IMO, you're very close to something submittable. Sorry I can't be more helpful than that-- I have no experience with the genre or how it should be produced-- but I know I like what I'm hearing!
  8. It looks like your file has gone missing, fyi. Apologies if this is a pointless bump of your topic, but since it's less than 5 days old, I figured I'd let you know just in case... =)
  9. It's impossible not to smile when listening to this song. Well, it's a bit too cover-ish for OCR, but it's an enjoyable listen nonetheless. I'm curious-- what did you use for the guitars?
  10. Very lovely piece so far. It's got that charming, folksy feel, like the Bastion soundtrack, which is one of my favorites. Very interesting choice to apply this style to this particular source-- interesting in a good way; I would have never thought of this combo, but it works well, imo. Issues to work on: 1. Noise in the recording: there's a constant hiss under the track. Also a little bit of stage noise in a few places, but by far the hiss is the larger issue. 2. Panning: Some may disagree with me here, but I'm not a huge fan of panning strings 100% in one channel or the other... maybe 80% is where I'd draw the line, personally. It's definitely wise to split them somehow so they don't run into each other, but there are a few sections (sorry, can't find the play-times on the site you hosted on) where only one Cello is playing for maybe like 10 seconds, and I can't speak for everyone, but my ears get annoyed with that harsh of a pan very quickly. 3. A few places where the timing doesn't quite lock-up and a few intonation issues. Very musical, very unique/stylized writing. I like where this piece is going!
  11. Dang, the guitars sound great. You've got the chops, there. Most of these individual sections, I could see turning into potential ORC submissions if you fleshed them out and brought your backing samples up to par with the guitars (or at least close to par). Maybe add in a bit more interpretation too on some of them. Great stuff! I can only imagine how long it must have taken... =)
  12. This beats the snot out of the first remix I came to the forums with, that's for sure. This mix shows a ton of potential. A couple of things to work on, that stuck out to me: 1. Certain sections are a bit repetitive. For example, 2:10 - 3:10. It's cool that you broke it down and build it back up in this section, but a minute is a long time to stretch it out when there's nothing going on with the melody except for the same 4-bar phrase. This would be a great place to experiment with counter melodies and other personal touches. Try taking the melody up a third for a phrase or two, or try other notes in the scale using the same rhythm. 2. The mix is a bit muddy. Some more panning could really help the listener hear and appreciate each instrument separately. 3. I'm not sold on that choir sample... I know, good choirs are nearly impossible to find, especially for free. But it sticks out as much weaker than the rest of your samples, imo. Great song for a first post! I enjoyed listening to this a lot.
  13. I've got to admit, I had my doubts when the title said DQ VIII. The source is already so well-written and produced, it seems untouchable. But man, did you guys make it your own. And the production sounds fantastic to me. Really fantastic stuff here. Thank you for sharing!
  14. I hadn't heard this source before. Beautiful. It might be cover-ish, but this is a really nice start. Orchestral stuff is hard, and you're already weaving together a lot of things nicely here. I don't have much advice to offer in the way of mixing, as it's one of my weaker areas, but for pure orchestral music I try to mix it as it would sound on a stage (so, visualize where each section would be positioned, and try to create that effect through panning and such). Although, even going by this method, there are a handful of different ways you can seat an orchestra, so there's no one right answer. Also, if you're not writing with the full orchestra at all times, you'll still need to make sure you're keeping the frequencies evenly distributed between Left and Right... nobody likes a trumpet blasting in one ear only with nothing to balance it out on the other side. For realism, input as much by hand as possible and ride the volume when it's called for. Wise use of articulations is also a must, but this is hard if your samples aren't already made to match up well. Another trick that works with many sample libraries, if your samples are too thin, is to double them. Play the second track a half-step or two below the first, then tune the whole channel back up; this way, you are triggering two different samples to play the same pitch, which simulates multiple players. For staccato sections, since the attacks are sharp and the rhythm needs to be fairly precise, I input by hand and then quantize everything to 16ths, usually (then go back and fix triplets, etc).
  15. Yeah, for sure. For strings, I got a ton of mileage out of Squidfont Orchestral Strings (free) before eventually switching over to the East West Gold libraries ($$$). Although, if you're going for synth strings, these might not be too appropriate unless you alter them. In any case, you can do a lot with Squidfont. Here's one place you can pick it up (actually, I would grab just about everything on this page-- most of it is decent): http://soundfonts.darkesword.com/ Likewise for piano, I had a few different Steinway Grand soundfonts (don't recall where they came from, but again they were free) that I was pretty fond of until I picked up a Bosendorfer sample library. I'm sure they're still out there somewhere. Magellanic brings up an excellent point about mixing... a rough mix just to get some basic separation would really help to un-muddy the instruments while also making it easier to hear which of them are weak links (and of course, as you switch samples out, you'll have to adjust your mix to account for that... even samples of the same physical instrument can fill different frequency spaces).
  16. Wow, what a difference from the first WIP. Now you've got something original and interesting, and not just a cover. To echo what others have said, you should spend some time getting your samples in order at some point. When I first got started, I spent several days just downloading soundfonts and organizing my sample library based on what I liked. There's plenty of legit, free stuff out there (google away and see what you can find, and check out this thread: http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4556). Just make sure (if you go looking for soundfonts in particular) that you have a way to play them... I believe the soundfont player in FL Studio is around $10 extra... no idea what is required with Reaper or others.
  17. urdailywater, The second song is definitely vibraphone, and it sounds like it's doubled with something else playing very soft an octave up, possibly orchestral bells or crotales. The first song features a xylophone (or actually, it sounds closer to one of those middle school baby marimba things that's sort of darker and slightly more resonant than a real xylophone... whatever those things are called) playing underneath the more prominent instrument. I have no clue what that lead instrument is though... it's metallic. Not enough "thunk" to be a kalimba, but not enough "clang" to be a carillon or any kind of church bell I've heard. Hope that helps!
  18. Really interesting and original arrangement. I love the progression from winds/xylo to chiptune to dubstep. The ideas are all there, and the execution on the dubstep section is really great. Areas to work on would be the wind section over all... I'm not sold on the samples, though maybe you could finesse them in the mix. The staccato articulation also sounds a little abrupt (I know... thank you "Captain Obvious"). The chiptune section is pretty cool. I'd just keep it down a bit for contrast, so that you can do a bigger ramp up into the dubstep section; let it come in huge and really blow us away. Definitely keep going with this. Was a pleasure to listen to so far.
  19. Whew, okay then. This is awesome. High energy. Freaking intense. What else can I say? I'm loving this so much.
  20. Whoa! Hold on a second while I pick my face back up off the ground.
  21. I never get tired of this tune. I think what would be great is if you experimented more with the source, and try adding things to make it more your own. Maybe start with some counter melodies, change a chord or two, and then go bold and really mess with the structure of the song, or change up the instrumentation so that it's not quite so similar to the original.
  22. Wow, really good. Definitely too much of a cover for OCR arrangement-wise, but quality-wise, this is up there, imo.
  23. I love what you have so far. To be sure, there's work to be done in the mix (many of the different instruments sound like they're in completely different rooms, and a few like they are in caverns). As for the samples, I actually think they're quite good. The fast notes in the basses don't work all that well (especially being so exposed in the beginning), but everything else is appropriately chosen, imo... it just needs some love in the mix. In general, pure orchestral stuff is very very difficult to pull off convincingly, even with the expensive stuff like EWQL Hollywood or Spitfire. But I think that this is a valiant effort so far, and much better than I could do. Can't wait to hear how this one develops. You're definitely on to something.
  24. Really spectacular. I think you're very close. I'll tell you what's killing me though, is that it starts to get especially interesting around 2:44 and then just fades out. Don't tease me like that, man! I hope you'll consider expanding that section... maybe bring elements of it in earlier. But I feel like we were just getting to the best part and then you pulled a George Costanza and left us on a high note.
  25. Playing from memory? Wow! I used to do that all the way until jazz band finally forced my hand. Seriously, I memorized Moonlight Sonata for a recital once, of all things... If I could make one personal suggestion... force yourself to sight-read regularly if you don't already. It's so very valuable and I wish I hadn't relied on memorization so much and had practiced sight-reading earlier. But nice job!
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