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  • Real Name
    Austin Simons
  • Location
    Bicester, United Kingdom

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  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    FL Studio
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design

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  1. @TheVideoGamer Yes, Annals of Neon was the remix I did specfically for this round. And yeah there are a few notes that are out, but it is entirely intentional. As I said in the summary I did a lot of subtle things with voicing changes throughout and I really wanted to put in some melancholic undertones to this and I felt that some slightly off kilter notes actually helped. I tried really hard to get a balance from the beginning, but I just couldn't get a good blend with the piano at the end so I ended up mixing this track back to front as it were. The middle section and I know a few others pointed it out, and @The Vodoú Queen mentioned it too so here is a more indepth summary plus some of the technical notes. The idea I was trying to invoke here was sort of an introspective portion. I tried to imagine going back into some of the earliest and highly cherished memories would sort of sound like. That section is what I came up with. Partially inspired by the scene in Contact where the protagonist finds themselves on a dreamy beach. The crashing waves set much of the background ambiance. Like how memories don't often come back all at once, but in flashes or excuse the pun, waves. So, that is just a sample from somewhere on the coast of the Atlantic ocean. Then I put two layers of kids playing at playgrounds mixed reasonably low level to try and place into frame that is section is about youth. And I just happened upon an excellent field recording of fairgrounds, and I just sort of used it for some more cacophony and highlighting. There are also only two synths here. A nice soft pad, if memory serves it is just Sylenth1's Meditation with an absurd amount of reverb. Then there is just an arp again bathed in reverb, something from a DX7, it might just be bells or such (I don't 100% remember). The transition to the entire section was done simply by decreasing the send level of the tracks to their respective buses, but then increasing the send level to the reverb & delay. For example the pre-delay on the reverb becomes very noticeable. The notion was to make it seem like one was slipping into their memories and the thunderclap was there really just for something to sort of mask the transition and be something to listen to other than hearing the sounds sort of fade into the abyss. The entire section is then mixed primarily into the reverb and then controlling the amount of dry send that goes into their buses. That is what gives it that feeling of distance and space. Coming out I used a simple sine lead, again drenched in reverb to blend it and pair that up with bringing in the regular piano using velocity. Really the inspiration for coming out of it is Jean MIchel Jarre's Ethnicolor. Glad folks enjoyed it! It was a ton of fun to work on and really pushed me into trying to communicate the vibe and thoughts I was going for here. Also, TVG Departing for the Unknown is pressed really hard up against a limiter. Unfortunately, this didn't make it past panel. Something about the ending and how it felt aimless despite that fact that was exactly what I was going for . Anyway, the original is in 3/4, but I tried to place it into 4/4 by doing some extension work. Not perhaps the best translation, but the sort of sloppiness of it is why I called it what it was. The off kilter nature really fed into the idea of about going off into an adventure sure and ready, but not being certain where or what that'd entail. Okay, enough about that stuff. AWESOME STUFF!!! And lets all give @Bundeslang a round of applause for running this compo for so long and really without much or any fanfare. Thank you Bundeslang for your digligence over the life of this compo. It will be missed.
  2. 19 entries to sort through? Like, I mean I already wrote down my thoughts as this progressed. But picking only three? I don't know even know how to approach the voting on this one lol. Honestly? it almost feels wrong to even vote such is the nature of this particular PRC.
  3. I've got my submission more or less ready to go. Now, I just need to actually get a satisfying mix going on. First pass done, but it just isn't quite there yet.
  4. @H36T Sad day But I'm down. I've got an older remix that I'll put up and I'll see about doing another.
  5. Oh 100% it is over compressed. That was kind of what I was going for though. The original composition has a constant like low brass stab that I used as inspiration for the kick, and in fact the kick is not a normal kick. The sample is called a box drum but it has such a nice transient. But the real idea behind the entire thing was to kind of go against Von Bolt's character traits. He is shall we say very traditional, and I thought it would be kind of fun to take his theme and compose it in a manner that was antithetical to his character but also had a level of superiority to it because he thinks (at least) that he is better than everyone else. Something along the lines, "Back in my day we'd _____." or "Get of my lawn you young whippersnapper!" But yeah as I was mixing this, I just started to turn everything up an extra notch, and when it wasn't gelling. I just kind of you know turned the threshold down and ratio up on my compressor and pressed a button that lifts the highs in the sidechain to compress those more. If I recall at times the compressor was pushing like -9 or -11dB. So, yeah you're not wrong that it is over compressed. But it is intentionally just a pinch above like most everything about it. I tried not to nuke it, but it is very much pushed rather hard.
  6. Even crazier too. There is only three remixes in total for Suikoden 2
  7. Oh bugger, I didn't check PRC That is okay though because I have an alternate. @Bundeslang Since this just started I have an alternate that I know for sure isn't on PRC and there is only one of the games tracks on OCR because I'm the one who did the only remix of the game. The Lawnmower Man's Virtual Reality/Cyber Run. https://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/snes/lmmcbyrn.mid
  8. I'm not sure that what I'm cooking up will be Halloweeny enough, but I'm going to try a bit of a Psy-ish interpretation of it. Don't expect the best Psytrance, but it'll definitely be fun, and I'm going to try and creep it up a bit. So, oughta be fun.
  9. I think the judges did a pretty solid job of commenting on the composition part of things. So, I'll just leave my comments on the mixing aspect. You still have the problem of the overbearing bell in the intro with its super long sustain/reverb. Personally, I'd mask it with a chorus effect. At least that is what comes to my mind as an initial try. The issue here is that it is mainly a pure tone and those can be really annoying to listen to and deal with. It is just the sound that is the issue not what it is playing. The drums could definitely use some extra oomph as it were. If you want to keep the sound about the same but just have some extra to it try parallel compression. If you want a bit more color then you can use some buss compression on them. There is still some extra low mids in the track. Honestly, I think it is a combination of just too many instruments not being HPF'd high enough or at all. Let one key instrument hang out there rather than letting all of them. That is a really hard part of a mix to get right. Agree with the Judges though. Really awesome track under here
  10. Got something in. Sorry for the hiatus. After PRC443 I did actually remix Flight, but its currently in the judging queue. And then I jumped on SeeDs of Pandora album project and did a remix of Overture and Ride On. Finally, with all of that sorted out I'm hopefully back for just some lighthearted remixing fun.
  11. @Rapidkirby3k All right, now I have some more time to write a more full post regarding mixing and hopefully build off of what @Meteo Xavierhas laid as a foundational basis. Equalization - There are charts out there for starting points when it comes to EQ, but they are nothing more than suggestions and at the end of the day its your ears that determine where the EQ ought to go. One thing that must be remembered regarding EQ and compression (I will get there as it has not yet been mentioned) is the idea of keeping the overall loudness the same when you are comparing the dry & wet versions of the sounds. As I said prior our brains lie to us. One such way that also lie to us is if a sound is louder it will sound better 99.9% of the time. So, to properly compare between a sound that has been EQ'd versus one that has not been EQ'd is to make sure that they are level matched. This will help you make more objective comparisons regarding what your EQ is actually doing. Next, we are actually less sensitive to cuts than we are boosts when it comes to EQ. This means that you can do deeper and more drastic cuts than you can boosts. Something that you will likely find if you read up on mixing enough is something along the lines of "Cut narrow, boost wide." This is not universal by any means, but instead think of it as a suggestion as a starting place. A practical example is a snare drum. If you want the snare to some more bottom end, maybe start around 150Hz. Want more snap to the snare? Try starting around 5KHz. You mention muddy mixes in particular. This is typically because there is too much low mid energy in the mix. This is loosely around 200Hz to around 700Hz. So, focus on what is actually going on in that region in particular to try and clean up some of the mud. One thing that I really want to stress is that music lives in the mids. If you can get the 100Hz to 6KHz or so sorted out you've accomplished the vast majority of the hard bit of mixing. The last tidbit regarding frequency and equalization from me. There is something called the Equal-Loudness contour. Turns out that our hearing is far from linear and our hearing is most linear around 80dB SPL. What these show is how sensitive we are to certain frequencies. For example low frequencies require a lot more energy for us to detect than 2-4KHz. This most likely is a consequence of human speech occurring primarily in that 2-4KHz region. Reverb - I think I did an okay job of explaining the gist of it in my prior post so I won't really reiterate it here. Compression - While this was not mentioned by you and only in passing by Meteo Xavier, compression is an invaluable tool to learn how to use. Compression is the only tool in your toolbox that acts directly on the time domain of a signal. Want a big kick and bass? Well, the easy way is to use something called sidechain compression. Got a lot of big guitars and the vocals are just getting buried? Easy button is a little bit of sidechain compression. Is the vocal just a bit uneven in terms of short term dynamics? Compression. Want that bass to be just planted at the bottom? Compression. Those pads and strings just eating up a bit too much of your available headroom? Compression. So, what is this compression exactly? Well, it turns out that being able to manipulate the volume of a signal automatically not only saves a lot of time because you don't have to automate as much, but it turns out that it can do things like make a sound a bit more consistent in its overall dynamic range. Now, I could go on for honestly hours about different types of compression and such. However, that really doesn't explain what it is that a compressor does or how to actually use a compressor. So, here is my little spiel about a basic compressor. There are two different topologies of compressors and four primary controls to compressors. For the topologies there is what are called Feedback and Feedforward compressors. The important distinction here is where the brains aka the detector of the compressor is fed from. In a Feedback compressor the signal feeding the detector comes after the gain control element (this is the thing that determines the type of compressor like a JFET, VCA, Opto, etc...). In a Feedforward design the signal feeding the detector is more or less the same signal that enters into the gain control element. This is important to keep in mind because it does influence the way the compressor sounds and the way the compressor behaves. In a feedback design the control element takes longer to react because the signal has to go through it before the compressor can do anything about it. In a feedfoward design this is not the case. Some compressors allow you to choose between feedback and feedforward. My suggestion is to simply switch between the two and see which one you like more. It is as simple as that. There are many great and famous compressors in both camps. Pick whichever one does what you want for the sound you're working with. Now, the important controls in a compressor. Threshold, Ratio, Attack, and Release. All the threshold does is determine at what level will the compressor even start reacting to the incoming signal. So, if you've got say a signal that never goes above -10dBFS, and you've got that threshold at -6dBFS. Well, then the compressor will simply never react to the signal even if it had an infinitely fast attack because it never exceeds the threshold. Now, this isn't strictly true, but that is because it has to do with the Knee of the compressor, but I will come to that when talking about the ratio. The next control is the Attack. What the Attack determines is how long the compressor must wait after the Threshold has been exceeded before it will begin compressing. So, if the attack is say 1 second. Then the compressor will only begin to compress if the Threshold has been exceeded for 1 second or more. The Release determines how long the compressor will wait after the incoming signal has fallen below the Threshold before the compressor will actually wait to stop compressing. Going with a 1 second release then the compressor will only begin to stop compressing once the signal has fallen below the threshold for 1 second or more. Now, comes the fun part the Ratio. The ratio determines exactly how much the compressor will actually compress a given signal. This is easier to explain with an example. If the ratio is say 2:1 then for every 2dB that the signal exceeds the Threshold then only 1dB will come out of the compressor. That is all there is to the ratio of a compressor. I did mention something called the Knee, and my explanation of the controls assumed what is called a Hard Knee. What a Hard Knee means is that the compressor will only start reacting to the signal once the Threshold has been exceeded. Sometimes though it is desirable to have a compressor that starts to compress a little bit before the actual threshold is reached. This generally results in a smoother compression action. This is called a Soft Knee. And it is typically done in dB. Assuming a Threshold of -10dBFS and a Knee of 3dB means that the compressor will actually start reacting to signals that are at -13dBFS, but at a reduced ratio. The ratio of the compressor will increase in tandem with the signal level until the Threshold is reached at which point the compressor will simply use whatever ratio that is dialed in. Something like Fabfilter's Pro-C or even the Fruity Limiter actually do a good job showing how the Knee, Ratio, and Threshold interact visually. Armed with that basic primer you can actually start to really experiment with what a compressor will do to a signal. Sidechain compression now is a cool technique. Essentially, all you are doing is hijacking the brains of the compressor and feeding in a signal of your choosing. Put another way. You're going to be compressing one sound with another. The most common technique these days is that big pump you hear in EDM. In that case the bass, pads, or what have you are being compressed by the kick. This turns down the volume of all of those sounds whenever the kick hits and creates that pumping sound. I could go on further, but I think between myself and Meteo Xavier you have a good primer to start building your skillset. Most importantly, try different things and find things that work for you. And lastly practice. Mixing is a skill and needs to exercised
  12. Most DAWs have a control to control the width of a sound. In Reaper there are four different modes for the way the mixer handles panning aside from the pan law. The Stereo Pan mixer setting has a normal pan knob and a Width knob. Set the Width knob to 0 to mono a track for example. Failing that Voxengo offers their Mid-Side Encoder (MSED) plugin for free. Click the Side Mute button and the signal will now be mono. Some further notes regarding reverb. Reverb is traditionally a send effect. In ye olden days this meant that if you wanted reverb applied externally you used an auxiliary on the mixer and sent that off to the reverb and returned it into the mixer. I mention this because it is an important factor to consider when you're mixing as a natural consequence of this limitation was a homogeneity in the way that reverb sounded. Another thing to keep in mind with reverb is to actually control the frequencies that are entering the reverb and/or exiting the reverb. If you go read up on mixing you will see that you're told not to send bass instruments into reverb. The reason has to do with keeping the mix's low end from getting too cluttered. But if you say add a HPF before the reverb? Well, now that simply is not a problem. The same applies to the high end of a reverb. While it may sound counter intuitive at first by using a simple HPF and LPF entering into the reverb you can exert even more control what is actually going on with how your reverb sounds. Going further is not thinking of reverb as reverb, but instead thinking of as another pan knob. Except that instead of panning left & right; reverb pans forward or backward in the mix. The more reverb a sound has the further back it will sound and the less reverb it has the closer it will sound. By using the same reverb across the instruments in your mix you can then use reverb to place instruments in front or behind others creating the illusion of depth. Couple this with controlling the amount of the dry sound that goes into the master and you have complete control over the depth of the sound. This is one of the reasons that you see the option for Pre-Fader Listen (PFL) in your DAW. In dense productions you may want to avoid using an actual plugin and instead opt for using a delay plugin instead. The reason being that at the end of the day reverb is really nothing more than a ton of diffused echoes. A properly configured delay plugin can emulate a reverb in the context of a full mix, and since it is a delay plugin you have considerably more control over the echoes themselves. Turning over to the comment about cutting bass from bass instruments. This may in fact sound crazy, but it is very sound advice in certain situations. See, our brain lies to us. One strange oddity of how our hearing works is if you say remove the fundamental out of a bass sound but leave the rest of the harmonic structure the brain will quite literally replace that missing fundamental harmonic. This is because all the rest of those harmonics are there, and thus that fundamental harmonic must also be there. So, by removing bass you haven't effectively lost anything and you've just gained valuable headroom.
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