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APZX

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Everything posted by APZX

  1. @TheVideoGamer What no love of giant drums slamming into a nice buss compressor that was frankly working way too hard for the track ­čĄú Seriously, though great work folks. Had some interesting & different takes on the source than I thought would happen!
  2. And I think I've broken my record...and possibly something is wrong with me. Not sure which of those or if its both and I cannot figure out which is which. Edit - Seriously, I think I've broken my previous record for getting one these tracks out. It was like 3 days, but this took me about 36 hours including revising the mix some (well a lot). And really that makes me question if something is wrong with me lol
  3. It has worked in the past, so I'm going to try and Trancifiy this a bit. We'll see how it plays out. I'll probably be a bit beyond the definition of MnP though with it.
  4. @The Vodo├║ Queen It took me years of practice and reading to learn this stuff. It is not an overnight kind of thing. There are a myriad of techniques and tricks one can learn about audio, and there are some general rules of thumb that one ought to follow. But at the end of the day the final say are your ears. I go by the mantra of "If it sounds good, it is good." For example a general rule of thumb is to not route your kick into reverb because it often muddies up the mix too much. But sometimes you need that kick going into the reverb for the track to sound right. Another general rule of thumb for EQ is to boost wide and cut narrow, but sometimes a narrow boost is just what the thing needs. But that is why they're called rules of thumb, they're there to serve as baselines really. If you want to learn how to mix a track, then your best bet is to just download some multis and give it an honest shot. If you want to learn to compose and the like then this compo and PRC are pretty solid ones. If you want to focus on how to program synths along with some composition and the like then KVR's One Synth Challenge is a decent start. All I'm saying is that it takes time and practice to do this stuff. For most it does not come naturally and requires a lot of focus and work
  5. @The Vodo├║ Queen All right so I've created a simple audio example of what I was talking about with regards to sidechaining and how useful it can be regarding letting a kick through without much effort. Please see attached How I've laid this out is that you hear a very basic 4 on the floor type beat followed up by a nice & loud sustained bass sound. Then I play both together without any sidechain compression happening. Then I kick in the sidechain compression. I then fade in a simple supersaw type pad that is also sidechained. From there I go into a few times where I alternate between no sidechain compression and sidechain compression. Lastly, on the pad I remove the sidechain compression and bring in a gated pad controlled via a simple sine wave to rhythmically gate the pad so it sounds a bit more interesting. Now, other than the dynamics processing and some reverb on the pad, there is zero other processing going on (well save a limiter on the master cause I'm lazy). So, what you hear is just the power of the sidechain Quick Sidechain Audio Example.mp3
  6. @The Vodo├║ Queen In a situation like that is where the art of mixing comes into play. I can do a lot to make a mix cleaner & clearer even without panning. Take your track for example. I'll just start from where you go full electronic. The build-up and transition are fine and you've got a small bit of wall of sound going on. You've got decent transient information there to work with as well. The instrument voicing is perhaps not the most conducive to making it sound huge because there is too much in the 600Hz to 2KHz range going on. Now, thankfully in the electronic realm there is a technique that is super useful. It is called Sidechain compression*. In this particular case the most probable course of action would be to sidechain the main synth sound to the kick. Bring the kick into the center then sidechain the main stab to allow the kick to come through more clearly. Another option is to force the kick to pump a compressor. Here what you do is route the main synth sound to another channel and then send the kick there as well. Then you simply start turning up the volume of the kick to the point where it causes the compressor to react to the kick primarily. To create even more room for the kick in there as well. On the main synth if you take out say (just guessing here) about 3-4dB around 100-200Hz and then do the opposite for the kick you've given the kick a little more room to hit a smidgen harder. Something else I'd do here is on the other bits of percussion, I'd route them all to their own channel and add a bit of transient designer to them for a little extra attack. Something else to consider is that your main synth there is also providing your low end. So, you'd want to give that some more weight in the form of say something like a low shelf around 50-80Hz. Or alternatively you can let the kick win there, by high passing the main synth say around 80-100Hz and then boosting the kick's bottom end in a similar fashion that you would for the main synth. The next bit of concern is the additional synth you bring in. It also has a fair bit of lows. Now, me personally from what I'm hearing I'd take out some of the main synth's 300-900Hz region and give that to the other synth, while giving the additional synth a high boost with a very very wide high shelf (I'd start with the shelf around 20KHz and bring it down until I got the effect I want). Further, for the main synth I'd also compress the ever living snot out of it. I think something like an 1176 style compressor here would be great. Set it for say 4:1, attack middle-ish, and release as fast as it'll go (that'll be all the way clockwise). Then aim for a lot of gain reduction (I'd say 6-12dB would be a good starting point). Then for the last bit of polish on the additional synth that comes in. I'd go for some gentle compression, likely an opto (or a VCA can be used if the attack is set long and the release is set short too). The aim here is to do some gentle leveling of the sound. Just ride the overall dynamics and just squeeze them down a little as it were. Don't forget to pull some of the lows out of the sound as well. For the hats. They're simply too quiet, and honestly I think just a level boost is all they'd need. Maybe a bell centered around 6-8KHz to bring out the attack a little bit more. The clap just needs a level boost to my ears. If you paired that up with a transient designer you could really bring them forward in the mix. The trick to loud is much more in the composition rather than the mix though. The instruments have to have the room to breathe. Selecting which instruments play when and controlling the voicing of the instruments such that the actual desirable part of the sound does not conflict with another. The other thing is to watch the amount of low end you put into the track. The more low end, the quieter it is going to be simply because for us to perceive lows there needs to be more level. The more level the harder it is to make that sound loud without making a limiter sound bad. And that is probably the last thing, just a good overall spectral balance of the mix. If you were to take an average spectral view of commercial tracks, you'd see that generally it tends towards the shape of pink noise. Another trick is to actually use more highs. This does not generally make the track any louder, but it makes it appear louder, but be careful you don't overdue it Okay enough waffling. * - I really do not like this term, but it is what it is. To start the basic anatomy of a compressor. I'll assume the feedforward topology for this explanation (the difference between a feedfoward and feedback compressor are where the sidechain of the compression is fed from. In a feedforward design it happens before the gain reduction element and in a feedback design it happens after the gain reduction element). There is an input buffer and the signal is then sent to both the sidechain and gain reduction element simultaneously. The sidechain consists of multiple parts on its own, but functionally it consists of a detector of some sort (RMS, peak, or average typically) feeding into a comparator of some sort (determines whether the signal is above the threshold of the compressor) that is then fed into an envelope shaper of some sort (this is what gives the compressor its attack & release characteristics). Now, the entire job of the sidechain is to control the gain reduction element such that whenever the signal goes above the threshold the gain reduction element will begin to turn down the signal. The thing is though that a compressor is functionally two different major circuits. One is the audio path where the signal passes through the gain reduction element and the other is the sidechain circuit. Knowing this, it is possible to disconnect the audio path from the sidechain and then feed in whatever signal you want into the sidechain; thereby, effectively compressing any signal with another signal. Some examples are whenever you listen to an EDM song and when the kick hits everything just seems to duck out of the way of it? Yeah that is sidechain compression. Another useful place is when you're trying to fit in vocals around a bunch of guitars in say a rock track. Often the most desirable frequencies for both instruments are in the same region one thing you can do is duck the guitars around the vocals a bit by using sidechain compression. This same technique can also be applied to gates. Ever listen to a Trance track and here some nifty gated instruments? That can be done using a gate and something like a simple square wave feeding the sidechain of the gate
  7. @Souperion Had the same issue, if you select the blank entry it will be Coloradoweeks'. I had the same concern and checked with @TheVideoGamer and my vote went through as anticipated
  8. I really don't like the tempo rule to be honest, and I'm probably not going to submit something for this one simply because of it. I've got an idea for a Trancey piece, and for the feel to be right I'm up around 128bpm which is a bit too far from the 110 in the original IMO I do have another idea, but really I'm not jiving with some of the melody parts. I don't mind the groove I've got going, but I do mind some of the melody parts. I dunno maybe I need to sit in front of some synths and get to hashing out some sounds. Edit - Plus I've been working on something original the past week or so, and when I go to remix this I kinda want to bring forth those ideas when I know I shouldn't but I can't separate the two.
  9. @Dextastic Not clipping, but VCA CV feed through or you could also call it VCA clicking. Basically, to get the synth to behave the way I wanted to with that sound that click was just part of it unfortunately and it is basically impossible to remove after the fact lol.
  10. I think some of your questions are actually not at all related to mastering in the slightest. "1. Getting frequencies all "colored inside the lines" and not bleeding out or being too much, etc. " That is mixing 101. Sure, some issues can be fixed in the context of mastering, but really this is on the mix to settle. "2. Getting frequencies and song volumes all consistent within the same album release. " No issues with that. Just lots of listening. You could use a LUFS meter to help you in setting the overall level of each track if you don't have a lot of experience controlling the dynamic ebb & flow of an album. "3. Getting the bare minimum amount of clarity for the instruments and accompaniment (maybe related to item #1 above?)." This again is a mixing question, and not a mastering question. Primarily, mastering is a function of Quality Assurance and Quality Check. A lot of time is spent just making sure that there is nothing wrong with the original source file. Is the source in mono when it is supposed to be stereo? Does one side of the stereo track have its polarity reversed? This is why it is often better done by an unbiased fresh set of ears. Frankly, I gotta side with Jorito here. He is correct in that the actual processing is going to vary between individual tracks. Sure you can use the same tools for accomplishing the task, but really you gotta listen and make the appropriate decisions based on the individual track. Some may need nothing more than some limiting and others may warrant M/S EQ, two layers of compression, soft clipping, and a limiter to sound right.
  11. Thanks man, and believe me I know what it can be like juggling multiple things at the same time. Truthfully, there really is no good way to go about other than to focus on one at a time. When you hit a wall on one then you focus on the other until you hit that wall. Keep repeating until eventually you're there (mostly-ish).
  12. Ya know sometimes it be what it be. At work I would say F&%*ing Magic, or draw a big circle with the letters FM inside lol. Really though, this is a very simple source (or at least the MIDI shows it that way). Consequently, that means what you're working with is also simple. You find a few basic building block sounds, aim for a general tone, then ????, and profit?
  13. Man, I really need to learn how to slow down...
  14. @The Vodo├║ QueenI approached it from a slightly different point of view than the others (at least I kind of think I did). Anyway, I did not have a problem with the length at all. What really irked me had nothing to do with the composition itself, but more in the way the track was presented. My compositional skills are at best, meh. However, I can gauge where you were trying to go from a perspective in terms of sound. Take that saxophone for instance. It is just BEGGING for a long reverb tail on it, with a gentle reduction in the highs of the instrument. But what you have instead is a sound that is completely separated from the rest of the track at that point. The drums fit fantastically with the general vibe, they're prominent enough to be heard, but do not themselves take center stage. It is like the rest of the instrumentation sitting below that saxophone. This is just touching the surface of what I mean when I say space. If you go listen to pretty much any kind of commercially released music and pay close attention you should start to notice that there is a certain feeling or sense cohesion or depth to the tracks. This is the rather abstract concept of space in terms of music. At least to me. Your track just juxtaposes instruments in an attempt to try and capture or relate the uneasy feeling of Metroid's soundtracks when in reality the vast majority of Metroid's off putting sound really comes from the fact that it is not music in a traditional sense, but more atmospheric. More about the suspension of what is the game's sound effects and environment sounds and what is the soundtrack itself. In of itself it is not about the individual notes nor the instruments, but the way that everything is blended together to create the atmosphere that we recognize as the sound of Metroid. It is one of the reasons why I do not like remixing Metroid tracks in general, and why I did a pretty conservative re-interpretation of a track rather than try a proper remix. Really, after doing some re-listening to the tracks that were in this round, I noticed that a lot of work was spent on actually making the originals more musical sounding rather than trying to really emulate the nuances that make Metroid's soundtrack sound so much like Metroid.
  15. My votes are in. Ya know, I was not expecting such an eclectic collection of tracks. It will be interesting to see how the voting turns out on this one.
  16. Look man, I have a different interpretation of what a Meat 'n Potatoes remix is from Hoboka (I like to think of it as more of throw your initial idea at the wall and see what sticks kind of thing). However, that does not stop me from entering these competitions. In fact about a year ago one of the MnP remixes I did actually made it to OCR*. At the end of the day the important things with these competitions is to have fun. I use this competition more as a production test bed in terms of how quickly I can get an idea down and get something of decent quality out. While it may not seem like it, each completed track that you do no matter the quality of writing or production or whathaveyou is experience, whether good, bad, or neutral. With experience you know what works and what does not work. You just slowly build up this palette of preferred tools and techniques that work for you. Maybe you like to mix in LCR. Maybe you prefer to use simple libraries or synths over complicated ones. Maybe you have a preferred set of plugins that you put across every track. I dunno. Use these friendly competitions as test beds to see what sticks and what does not * - There is a bit of a story here. Initially it got rejected or whatnot from an initial listen by a judge (or something to that effect). At any rate I disagreed and requested that it be sent to the panel regardless and it turned out that in general my suspicion was correct that it was more minor things that needed to be ironed out. After some rework and whatnots I resubbed it and it made it to OCR.
  17. Life has been pretty crazy lately (and will be again in a few months lol). Just happy I've been able to get back to do something. Good to see you're still around too!
  18. I wanted to get in sooner, but alas life conspired against me lol
  19. Nah, at some point when things are close in terms of writing and such you have to differentiate on things like production and mixing. Because all things being equal you have to differentiate the positions.
  20. Well I mostly got my software issues sorted out and even got my sub up already. I guess I haven't gotten any slower lol. Though I may revisit the mix again tonight or tomorrow. But the core idea for the track is there at least.
  21. I've been hovering around. Just been busy hehe. Was hoping to get in on this, but I've got software issues right now that are making things more difficult than they ought to be lol.
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