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About DoctorDisaster

  • Rank
    King Hippo (+15)

Profile Information

  • Location
    Athens, GA

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Acoustic Guitar
    Electric Guitar: Lead
    Electric Guitar: Rhythm
    Vocals: Male


  • Occupation
    Graphic design
  1. v.6 is up I wasn't entirely confident I was interpreting your feedback correctly, so there might be a bit of flailing in this version's arrangement changes. Any babies mixed in with that bathwater? I think I figured out what Will was referring to with his comments on the bass. If I'm right, he was talking about the source's bassline, which I had swapped onto a synth in the low mids and then doubled on the fast section's synth bass. I've put it on a new instrument which is much less prominent and occupies higher frequencies. Let me know if you think the new synth is too gentle on the outro, fighting with the guitars early on, or diminishing the fast bit. I've combined a couple of the piano fixes I thought of, so that I could do each more gently. The treble boost is removed, and I've put a separate eq on the delay and cut its highs a bit, just in case they were colliding with the dry piano and getting jangly. I also reprogrammed the drums that accompany the piano arpeggios in the first section, switching to an irregular pattern that deemphasizes the beat. But its irregularity makes it more noticeable -- do you think it's distracting from the guitar, which comes in at the same time? I haven't gotten around to re-recording the guitars. I thought these changes were significant enough to need consideration separately.
  2. Not at all, Willrock -- the entire reason I bumped it up a level is because the feedback seemed to be flagging a little. The pickier the critique, the better! A major reason I decided to start submitting stuff here was to improve my production, which seems to be one of the site's primary bugaboos. I did boost the treble a bit on the piano -- I wanted it to occupy the higher frequencies while the guitar settled in a lower range. This also gave it, for lack of a less obvious descriptor, an icy quality that I liked. There's also a loop lurking in the piano delay that might be causing it to feel piercing -- for reference, here's a short clip of the piano on the left channel and the loop on the right. So, for the piano: I can tone down the treble boost, tone down the delay return (or eq out some of its high freqs) in case that's causing unpleasant spikes, pull back on or remove the loop, or rummage around for a different piano sampler. What do you think would be the best approach? I can redo the guitar recordings with drier effects. I'm not sure I want to significantly tighten up the playing, at least in the slow section; the first half is intended to be a bit loose as a counter-intuitive take on the source and to contrast with the second half. There are two bass instruments in the song. I think you're talking about the first half, where I recorded a guitar as bass. (Yes, there's a bit of delay on it. I might have gotten a bit carried away.) However, I've eq'ed out all but the lowest frequencies on the live "bass," so maybe you're talking about the fast section's programmed synth bass when you say it's taking up too much space. Could you please clarify? The transition is really stark. You're the second person to liken it to a DJ crossfading between two different songs. The problem is that I kind of like that. Not to get my head too far up my own ass with the "imagery" and "themes" of my three-minute video game remix song, but it feels to me like the transition between riding up a ski lift and going down the mountain. So, if this is just a question of style, I'll probably stick with the stark shift. However, if you're thinking I could get a better version of the same effect with some changes, I'm totally open to suggestions. Also, if you (or anybody!) have Reason and want to take a look at the raw version of the song to get a better idea of what I can improve, I would be happy to share it. Sonic, pretty much the only thing I miss from the section I cut is that slowly building, unpredictable kick part. I'll take another look at the drums and see if I can work in something similar. And if anything, my inclination is to keep going back to the drawing board forever. There's little chance I'll ever just say "it's good" and throw in the towel while you guys are still offering suggestions. After re-reading the FAQ on mod reviews, I realized I mixed up the order "mod review" and "finished" are supposed to come in. My apologies -- editing the first post accordingly. Please don't stop critting, though!
  3. Annnnnnnd as promised, I'm bumping this and switching it over to Mod Review.
  4. Here's the source -- from the oft-overlooked Rocket Knight Adventures, for the Genesis. Great game, great soundtrack. Pick up a ROM if you've never played it. Here's my version. Unlike with the last mix, I started by carefully transcribing the original, so I think I may have gotten a little too enamored with the original arrangement. I'm posting this very, very unfinished version hoping that you guys can point me in a few good directions for departures. Thanks!
  5. Everyone but me is probably bored with this, and even I'm already starting work on what will probably be my next mix. (Apparently we haven't got anything from Rocket Knight Adventures? For shame!) So unless there's a sudden outpouring of feedback the next step is probably mod review. I went a little stir crazy on version 5 and made a composition change. The formerly subdued horns that heralded the tempo change are now a lot less subdued. They still play the familiar melody, but now I've added totally unfamiliar harmonies, culminating in an aberrant major chord that dissolves into the breakdown. I also triple-checked the timing on the guitars. The performance (at least on the slow side of the tempo change) is intentionally a little loose, so this is tricky, but the solos definitely come in at the right moments, and the three-guitar round seems to be jiving with itself. I also added back some of the guitar reverb I had taken away in my crusade against any and all things echoey -- they really did get too dry there for a while.
  6. Absolutely love the perc loops and the mallet instrument. The main melody leads seem almost too straightforwardly synthy after that, though. Maybe try subbing in some different instruments? I don't mind the pads, though, so it could be less a case of synth vs. acoustic and more a case of those particular leads.
  7. To give the strings more life, I would probably fiddle with the ADSR. Granted, you want them to sound synthy -- the issue (I think) is that they're dynamically flat. A nice long decay, a reduced sustain, and perhaps a slightly longer attack will give them something to do over the course of those whole notes. Dropping the sustain could also put them a little more behind the pizzicato and the flutes, making it less of an issue -- if not, I might pull back on the level a bit as those staccato elements come in. On another note, this is probably me being a little too "harder better faster stronger" but I want to hear you leaning even harder on the downbeat bass farts after the break. If you've maxed out the velocity, maybe mix in some distortion or push the levels. They set up a call/response with the treble that is very danceable and I'm greedy for more of that.
  8. BUNP Changes in version 4 are mostly polish. I've beefed up the treble a little on the whole mix to combat muddiness, added stereo separation on the drums, threw some LFO panning on the piano delay, and played with levels a bit. I also added one (1) extra beep to the tempo shift transition. So, yeah, mostly production stuff. But please make more fundamental suggestions if they occur to you!
  9. From now on, every time I beat a Mario game, I'm just going to pretend it faded to black and play this song.
  10. FYI: this is a huge problem with mixing in Reason, and any time something sounds out of sync, it probably is. I can't see waveforms for anything I record. Please do bring these up! I've moved the sound a tiny bit earlier; let me know if that helps. Which means, yes, version 3 is here. To build a sense of continuity, I've tried to move as many motifs as will sensibly fit onto the opposite side of the tempo change. Mainly this means more horns earlier and more piano later. I've tried to have more bleed over the transition itself to make it less harsh, which is trickier than it sounds. I stole the beep beep beep trick from the Airbag/Paranoid Android transition in the bass, so let me know if that sounds stupid in this context. Less reverb on everything, period. Less delay in many cases, too, in case that was compounding the problem. I also cut liberally from the high end on the slow bass. And now I am going to take a break and search for hats in TF2. P.S. None of the comments here have seemed at all harsh to me. It's been very constructive and helpful all around. Thanks again!
  11. I'm recording through a pod into Goldwave, which I just use to trim the length of files, and mixing in Reason. The "bass" track from the slow sections is getting its reverb and delay from the pod, you're right. Any changes there will have to be re-recorded, which in hindsight was a brilliant move. The reverb on the guitar solos is handled in software, thank god. For v.3 I might cut it entirely and see what the pod-only tracks sound like. I'm totally self-taught, so bear with my slow responses as I look up acronyms like "daw."
  12. Oh god the number of replies tripled while I was writing. Sonic: the reverb is on an aux send from the soundboard. There is (was) an awful lot of sound being sent, though. That's been reduced in v.2 along with the decay. Let me know if you think it needs more, as I'm not sure how drastic to be. I'll take a look at the transition for v.3. EDIT: Oh, and what's the advantage of soundcloud? I happened to have a domain lying around and figured that would be fine...
  13. Thanks for the feedback, guys! Big change for the second version: I decided that the first 32 bars (!) weren't doing much for me, and cut them. Now it starts on the lonely delay piano -- what used to be the bridge. I think this makes the piano conclusion and the tempo shift make more sense, because the sections with the sloppy bass are no longer "home," so to speak. I've pulled back a bit on the reverb... possibly not enough. Let me know what you think. The change in the arrangement might help this, too. Are there specific instruments/sections that sound too muddy? I'm sad to report that the fake guitar is actually real guitar. I did have a pretty heavy phaser on one of the parts to help differentiate it, though, so I've taken that away and increased the stereo separation and reduced reverb even more than elsewhere to compensate. The triple-guitar section (now starts around 1:15) is the part I'm most worried about. Is it the fast guitar (starts around 2:16 now) the part you don't like? Maybe fiddling with the settings on my pod and re-recording will help. I've added some filtered noise and horn parts before the tempo shift, so hopefully they'll feel a little more foreshadowed now. And without the first section, they do technically come in sooner! Thanks much for getting that link for me, ncocs. Total noob mistake, I imagine.