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    Phoenix, AZ


  • Biography
    I started remixing in April 2011. I LOVE video games and game music! Anything Zelda, anything Mario. I could live in a Zelda game and be perfectly happy. ;-)
  • Real Name
    Kristina Scheps

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  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Mixing & Mastering

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Chimpazilla's Achievements

  1. The master is driven hard indeed, and the track does not have a lot of dynamic range as a result, but I don't hear any overcompression artifacts. But still, -8db RMS is fairly heavy-handed on the mastering side these days now that we've realized the futility of fighting the Loudness Wars. For a three minute track, I feel like the intro goes on too long before the lead motif begins (0:00-1:02). The intro is a very slow build, with elements being added one at a time. The guitar that starts at 0:15 sounds very fake and stiffly sequenced (although I love the reverse transition!). The vox starting at 0:23 sounds weak; I get the gimmick but it is more comedic than cool. At 0:30, the sound playing the arp is very vanilla with no effects on it and isn't doing anything too interesting. At 1:01, there is a combination lead consisting of steel drums and a flute, and both of them sound stiff and fake. 1:33 is the bridge section of the source tune, and in the remix, a similar string patch is used to the string patch in the source. I feel like this string patch (and also the one in the source) are too slow in their attacks to keep up with the fast writing and it ends up sounding awkward. This could be fixed easily by layering something with a faster attack right over the strings. There is a ton of creativity in this arrangement, lots of instrument changes, sfx, filter transitions and additional ideas as the piece moves along, full credit is given for that! I love the bassline throughout the track, super creative writing for that bassline. I wish the bass sound had quite a bit more beef to it though. I also wish there was a section with the lead writing personalized, or a lead solo, or something to break up the verbatim source-tune motif writing. My favorite part of the track is the lead starting at 1:56, finally a lead that has a bit of movement to it! It needs to be louder, stick up front a little more and perhaps have some light reverb on it. Most of the instruments in the mix sound like they are very dry. You've actually done a very good job placing the various elements in the soundscape, with some things more center-focused and other things like arps sitting widely in the stereo field. Excellent work on that! Careful with autopanning though, as it can make some people dizzy especially on headphones; keep autopanning instruments from panning too widely and/or too fast. The ending is abrupt, short, and disappointing, but not dealbreaker. Wes is correct about sidechaining. I can't tell what if anything in the mix has sidechaining on it, perhaps the bass does? I can't tell, but he's right that sidechaining most of your elements in varying amounts throughout a track like this will let your kick punch through well, and will give the entire arrangement much more groove. If you're going to do this, the bass should get the largest gain reduction (somewhere between 6-10ish db GR), then plucks and leads and even percussion loops should get less gain reduction (like 3-6ish db of GR, in varied amounts so it isn't all the same), all with a very fast attack and release setting. Sidechaining like this will also allow more overall headroom for doing a clean mastering job, as it stops things from competing for volume and frequency whenever the kick hits. All of that said, sidechaining (or lack thereof) is not dealbreaking my vote on this mix. Just like with Wes's vote though, my vote reads like "death by a thousand cuts." I want to emphasize that there is a LOT to love about this arrangement! So much creativity going on here, and it is a fun, upbeat arrangement. For me though, the cheap/vanilla sounds, stiff sequencing and lack of reverb and/or other effects (delays, filter movement on the leads, etc.) is killing it for me and making the arrangement lack finesse. These sounds, sequencing and effects would have gotten the job done back in the day, but not in 2023. I hope you will work on this more though, I'd love to hear it again with improvements made! NO (resubmit)
  2. The mixing and balancing work well enough, although the overall master is on the quiet side. I am hearing tons of harmonic dissonance though, throughout the piece there are areas where notes seem to clash, at least to my ears. The drum sequence does not change once established, the level of energy stays mostly the same, the writing seems to be mostly copy and paste, and the instruments are the same all the way through, giving the piece a repetitive feel. Is there more to the track, because this render cuts off very abruptly at 3:19, with no type of cooldown or outro, it just cuts off cold. More work to do on this one in terms of writing, removing disharmonies, adding variation and interest to the arrangement, and rendering the entire track including any outro. I do like this concept though! NO
  3. "Default FL Keys" yep, sadly it sounds like that, super mechanical, tinny and expressionless. The intro goes on too long without adding anything else to build up to the next section. Kick sounds great when it enters, but the piano playing those blocked chords is too simplistic. The bass sounds good but it is hard to hear over the arp and piano, and it is struggling to play the lower registers clearly. This section goes on way too long. At the 2:00 point I am really hoping to hear something else besides the arp and blocked piano chords. You have entire LONG sections that, once established, do not do ANYTHING else. At 3:00 there's kick and clap, and really good sidechaining on the bass. But it's the same exact arp and piano chords. At least changing the patch playing the arp would have helped here. This is another LONG section that, once established, continues without any change, nothing new to add interest. At 4:00 there is a new element added, and long overdue. I like this pad-like element, but it sure would be nice to add another element that could play over the top of it like a proper lead, because thus far there has not been a lead of any kind. This would be an opportunity to do some soloing or even add a motif or melody from another source, optimally from the same game or franchise but could be from another game or franchise, or could be something original that you write. The ending cuts off before the final note finishes playing. This track is twice as long as it needs to be to convey the ideas, each section needs to be cut in half unless you have something super interesting happening during that section. At present there is nothing interesting happening during any of those long sections. The same arp and piano plays all the way through and both of those sounds become stale in the first minute. This is a good layout for a track but it isn't complete. It needs to have many more unique ideas to keep the listener engaged. Sometimes even with good writing ideas, it can be clear as you're working with it that a section is too long and needs to be cut in half, so you may need to do that while thinking of ways to add interest to each section. Great start, just needs more (ideas) but also less (length). NO
  4. I like that triplet groove! I also hear no sidechaining, which is a shame because the mix lacks groove as a result. I really like the synth choices. I believe it sounds more muddled than it would otherwise due to the lack of sidechaining. Although it IS a dense mix with a lot going on in similar frequency ranges. Sidechaining all of your elements, in varying/gentle amounts (heaviest on bass, next heaviest on pads, but you can also sidechain plucks and leads, I even sidechain my percussion loops lightly for mixing clarity), will glue this soundscape together, it will allow your drums to be heard better, and will add 100% more groove to the feel of the piece. The writing is repetitive, which is a shame for such a short mix. You're dropping an outro on us, just as my mind was wanting to hear a proper drumless breakdown, followed by a buildup and one more huge section before a proper outro. This feels like half a song, to me. The render cuts off before the final sfx has finished playing, that needs to be fixed. All that said, I DIG this so far, it just doesn't sound complete! Please do some strategic sidechaining, you'll be amazed at how much groovier it will be. And if you can extend the song, while not repeating anything wholesale, that would be excellent. Changing out some sounds as the track moves along would also go a long way toward breaking up the repetitive feel. I hope to hear this back! NO (please resubmit)
  5. That initial chippy synth has some autopan on it that is disorienting to me right away, it is so wide and the rate is super fast. The drums, bassline and backing synths are very rigidly timed. I hear that off-key chord Larry mentioned. I think both Brad and Larry covered most of what I would also say about this track: the sounds are simplistic and robotically timed, and the writing is repetitive. The drums are stiff other than the drumrolls which are actually quite good. Most of your elements are sitting in the dead center of the soundscape so much that I actually checked it in mono, and I can't tell that much of a difference other than that auopanned synth and some reverb here and there. That's a missed opportunity to utilize more of the soundscape to make a 3D mix. Intro and outro are pretty much bookends. The solo is a very nice touch, you'd do well to add even more writing personalization throughout the piece. I feel like you have a solid start here and you may want to drop this into our workshop forum for further feedback and advice. NO
  6. The arrangement works, and I appreciate the dedication to the FM concept in the soundscape, but I'm afraid I agree with my peers. The problem for me is that EVERY element is getting the same kind of distortion, pitch bending, LFO action, so it sounds like a wall of these effects rather than something cool, as it would sound if only strategic elements got these effects, and not every element. There can be no contrast in a soundscape where everything sounds so similar, and it is fatiguing to listen to. It is very difficult to mix something like this in a way that each element is audible. It is all mushing together into a wall of unpleasant sound as they compete to be heard in the same frequency ranges. The mastering is also odd, it is super loud while having a fairly low peak ceiling of -1.5 Props for the ideas here! I recommend scaling back on the effects, and let a few non-effected things come through, for sonic contrast. NO
  7. That's a huge sound right away, drums and everything. Some kind of drumless buildup would introduce the material better I think, it can be short but just a buildup to the drums. When the drums come in they sound very quiet and tame. I don't hear any sidechaining on any element, so the drums aren't cutting through, and the musical elements don't have any groove with the drum patterns. I like the instruments and sounds used here generally, but this lack of groove makes the soundscape very flat. Oh I like the sirens! Almost every element used in this arrangement is sitting in the same frequency range. Without sufficient mixing and effects (stereo placement, EQing to allow fundamentals to come through, strategic reverb to place things forward or back), everything is competing to be up front, making this a wall of sound. The bass sounds lovely and low, but I can barely hear it. Larry and Brad both nailed it that the leads are competing in writing, which is exacerbated by the flat mixing. There should only ever be one primary element playing lead at any one time, and other elements (backing chords, arps, or countermelodies) will need to be strategically placed further back in the soundscape. Elements can take turns being the more up-front element/lead, but when you have multiple up-front elements, it causes a cluttered overly-busy soundscape that is hard for the listener to follow. I agree with my fellow Js that there are too many unpleasant mid-highs and highs in the mix overall. It's fine to have one or two elements with distortion on them, so they stand out, in the context of the entire mixing process. But when everything feels too crispy, the whole mix becomes uncomfortable to listen to. Whether this occurred during mixing or mastering, it needs to be dialed back quite a bit. That ending does not work. The reverb tails are so long that when the chord changes it clashes with the previous chord that is still playing, and it becomes a disharmonious wall of sonic mush. This concept could work, but the reverb from the next-to-last chord would need to be almost completely finished before that final chord plays, to avoid the disharmony. A safer bet would be to have your final chord be something that fits with the key of the preceding chords and writing. The arrangement is great, very creative combination of these two themes! The issues are almost entirely with mixing. I think you've gotten some great advice in this thread, and I hope to hear this again with the improvements made! NO (please resubmit)
  8. The intro strings/pad sound lush. That lead synth is really nice, but it is bone dry and lacks any kind of filter movement or other effects that would give it needed interest, and it feels like it is right up front and in my face. The backing synth stack also feels very dry and could use filter movement, and reverb would push it to the back where it needs to be. The piano is super rigid and un-humanized as well as dry. Because every element is dry, it all is competing in the soundscape and everything sounds like it is trying to be up front, when only the lead should really be that up front. The drum writing is super simple and repetitive, and the drums are mixed without any reverb, without any impact, and without any effort to put them in their proper places in the soundscape. Also, there needs to be some sidechaining done so that the drums can be audible over the soundscape, and also to give the arrangement some generalized groove; at present it is totally lacking in that regard. Easy fix with some gentle sidechaining on several elements (bass and pads at a minimum, and possibly every element in varying, gentle amounts). Mastering is on the tame side; much more could be done to add a touch of sparkle and depth while bringing the overall volume up somewhat (not too much!). I actually think this arrangement is really nice! There are terrific writing and instrument variations and the elements work well together. But it needs a mixing overhaul, strategically adding reverb and effects to put the elements where they should sit in the soundscape and to add interest. Drum writing could have some variation easily by adding a shaker or percussion loop at different sections, to vary the energy up and down as the arrangement moves along. Piano needs humanization, as well. I hear a lot of promise in this arrangement, and I hope to hear it again with the improvements made. NO (resubmit)
  9. The master seems to be brickwalled at -3db peak, which is odd right away. That initial sound is not pleasant, and not even interesting as a device, it just sounds disharmonious and also too highly distorted. The lead starting at 1:24 is a much nicer sound but it is mixed very quietly in the soundscape and also feels like it has a touch too much distortion on it. Most of the synth choices in this mix are not great individually or in combination. The arrangement itself isn't bad, honestly. The synths would need to be changed out to more pleasant ones. As prophetik said, the arrangement noodles along throughout most of it, without any motivic elements for the listener to grab onto. A track of this length needs to justify itself with some more solid musical ideas, and they need to change and expand as the arrangement moves along so as not to become repetitive. Interesting ideas presented, but this will need much more work in sound design and writing. NO
  10. The intro sounds promising, but there's a riser that starts at 0:16, it only goes four bars which isn't long enough to build the energy there, and the final beat is silence which isn't signaled in any way, and it is sloppily done (perc loop still playing until final beat, should stop sooner) which sounds very awkward and more like a rendering error than a transition. When the drop hits at 0:23 it has no impact because the same energy and beat were already established in the preceding buildup section. The plucked instruments have not been humanized so each pluck is the same which sounds mechanical. This is extremely evident with the instrument playing at 1:28 because each pluck happening on beat four is way too loud. The same instrument is playing the lead starting at 1:53, and the lack of humanization is really jarring. The core drum beat plays the same thing through the entire arrangement, although there are good variation loops that come and go. The energy of the piece never changes once established so it doesn't have good energy dynamics. The arrangement is on the conservative side, with all leads playing the same writing as the source for the most part, with notes left out here and there rather than added to or varied. There are multiple similar drum-only parts. There is no outro other than a quick drum flourish. Great concept and great start here, but needs more attention to writing, sequencing and arranging to be a proper full arrangement from OCR. Love to hear it again with the changes made, though! NO (resubmit)
  11. I absolutely LOVE this concept and how huge this sounds in the big wubby choruses. I truly hope this will be completed because I want to hear it and throw it in my favorites list. But it isn't ready. The samples used are very weak (piano, brass, strings, vox). Those really should be replaced as they are so integral to the piece. Everything is mixed super hot and abrasive; there is no need for everything to have this much distortion. It makes everything fight for presence in the soundscape and makes it all feel crowded. Some elements should naturally float to the back and be less prominent, some should be loud and proud in the front. That will give you a more 3D mix. The bass and wubs are AWESOME. The drums are sort of weak. I can hear the kick ok, but whatever you have layered on top of the snare is not a good sound, it isn't dubsteppy and just sounds like a high-end "smack" sound, you need a solid dubstep snare to carry it. Both kick and snare need to be loud, cut through well, and you need good heavy sidechaining (on the bass at least, but also on the other elements with lower gain reduction amounts so it doesn't pump). Speaking of pumping, the overall mix is pumping and not in a good way. The master is smashed to smithereens, while still coming in at -3db peak, which is not good at all. Your ceiling should be more like -1 to -0.5db, but you need to mix this in such a way that you don't have to overdrive your master compression/final limiter like this. My primary suggestion to get a huge mix and clean master is to lower your master input gain by at least 5db before you even begin to write. In this type of mix you could lower it up to 10db, I do this often. This simple tip will allow you to mix at the higher end of your faders without ever hitting 0db during writing/mixing, which will allow you way more headroom for more creative mastering when it's finished being written. I agree with Larry that this is half an arrangement. On top of that, the two big sections that are here are too similar, there needs to be some more variation between the two. Following what you have here, and after varying the two similar drops, I feel the arrangement needs a nice drumless breakdown and another big section, with even more variations in sounds and/or writing to vary it from the preceding two huge sections, and then a proper outro. That would be my recommendation. I love what's here but this is a wip, please finish it! NO (please fix up and resubmit)
  12. This is incredibly loud, especially since there is almost no content below 130Hz. Due to no lows, all the other frequencies sound overhyped. The mix sounds boxy as well as overly crispy. It is a dense soundscape, so the frequency overlap of elements isn't helping things mixing-wise. I agree with Larry that the string and vox samples are particularly weak. I think both should be replaced, I doubt there is much that can fix them on the mixing side. The drums sound like they cut through too much because it's all highs. If we could hear/feel the lows of the kick, it would sound different. But all the lows are cut out. It's like the entire mix has a severe low-cut on it. Why? The mastering sounds loud and abrasive. This may be partly due to the lows having been cut out of the mix, but I also think there's too much saturation on everything and the final limiter is being driven unnecessarily hard. The arrangement is good though! And the guitar performances are solid! I think the writing and arrangement are interpretive and transformative enough and I really like this piece in that regard. NO (replace strings and vox samples, mix such that lows are audible, tame the mastering, and resubmit)
  13. Ooooo cool concept for this source! No intro, as Brad said, opens right up into the source material. I like the concept for this a lot, but it is loud and cramped right from the start as Larry mentioned. The intensity has no chance to build which is a lost opportunity for arrangement dynamics. All the sounds used throughout the track are there from the first moment and although there are additions as the piece moves along, the core elements never change. The lead never changes, and this lead is somewhat abrasive while not doing anything too interesting other than some delayed vibrato. Some filter movement on an LFO would be nice. To keep this interesting, varying the lead between sections would be a good idea. Either do something different with the lead in terms of effects or writing, or have another lead take over for a section or two. The mixing isn't too bad overall, but the lead feels really wide, too wide, and seems to be a little louder on the right (or is this just my ears?). The lead can be wide but needs to have at least some presence in the center, the lowest part of its fundamental frequencies for sure. Wide highs on a lead are always nice but it feels disconnected from the rest of the track when all of it is stereo-spread 100%. The mastering is way too loud. The waveform is a sausage and it is clipping like crazy, the master limiter is being overdriven massively. As for the arrangement, it needs a bit more work to add interest. A buildup intro would be good, doesn't have to be more than a few bars but we need something to introduce the piece. The sections here are basically the same writing, making one section more original writing-wise would be good. A proper drumless breakdown somewhere in the middle would be most welcomed, followed by the fullest section, then a cool-down and/or outro. There is no outro here, it just stops. This all sounds negative, but it is a really good start I think! Cool vibe and concept, just needs more finesse to make it a proper EDM arrangement. Hope to hear it again! NO (resubmit)
  14. Wow, I am torn on this one. This arrangement is really well performed and sounds great! Although I agree the bass could have more presence and could sound more distinct, as it is now it seems like it is almost loud enough but the low end feels nebulous and unfocused. But man, this arrangement follows the source tune almost note for note on every instrument. As DS said, the drums are the most rearranged element in the mix, the rest is verbatim other than a couple of minor flourishes at the end of phrases. That is REALLY conservative. This is essentially a well-performed cover of the source song. The genre has been modified, but that seems to be the only change from the original source tune. The key is the same, the tempo is slowed down ever so slightly. So, genre change plus very minor tempo slow-down. Our standards say: "MORE THAN ONE" of the techniques is the key phrase here. Does this count as "more than one?" Is the complete genre re-imagining of the source tune enough? I think sadly I have to agree with my fellow Js who feel that a cover is not enough to be a ReMix. I'd love to hear it again with something in the arrangement changed, added, a breakdown in the middle, a unique guitar solo etc., that would be absolutely amazing! I would request also that the mixing be addressed to bring out the low end a little more clearly. NO (resub with a little more originality)
  15. The intro sounds fine to me, the samples are used well enough. After the intro, I can't really comment on the orchestral elements because I can barely hear them over the rest of the soundscape which is super dense. The kick is quiet and the snare is way too loud by comparison. The kick is so quiet partially because it has no lows. There is such a lack of lows in this mix and that causes the higher-frequency elements to stick out in a piercy way. There is distortion on top of distortion, on more than one element here. The chug guitars sound like they have a phaser on them or something? It sounds like a robotic/metallic burbling sound and it is very distracting, especially since so many elements are playing in the same frequency range. This is exhausting to listen to. The highest-frequency elements like the high percussion and even the top end of the snare sound very crunchy/sizzly. I'm not sure what could have happened with the mastering, but the peak is hitting 2.4db. The master will need limiting to 0db at the least; I prefer -0.5db or even -1db. The arrangement is great as my fellows have pointed out. The sampled instruments are working well enough, in my opinion. But the mixing will need to be fixed. The low end of the mix will need to be audible and the highest highs toned down. The snare is too loud compared to the kick and everything else. The guitar distortion will need to be brought under control and if there's a phaser on them please remove that. I also recommend doing some strategic EQ work to make room for each of these elements in the mix. NO (fix mixing and mastering and resubmit)
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