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About djgalvanization

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    I am an engineer with a passion for music - specifically electronic music.
    I am a fan of both electronic and classical music so I have been trying to find ways to incorporate orchestral elements into my originals as well as my remixes.
    OrchesTrance, if you will.

    Obviously, I am here because I greatly enjoy the music that video games bring into my life. I hope to contribute just a little bit now and then to that ocean of musical bliss.

    I am constantly learning more and more about music - mixing, arranging, sound design, composition, etc. so after lurking on this site for years back, I decided I would join the ranks of the other forum members. I will be attempting some submissions soon so hopefully I've learned enough on here to measure up. If not, well, that's what this forum is about. Learning and enjoying musical creation.

    On the more technical side, I do design my own sounds mostly but I also have some libraries that I go to for inspiration. I use ES2 for synthesis and a variety of plugins in the channel strip to get the final sound I want. I own Omnisphere and a large amount of the EastWest instrument library. I have countless processing plugins as well (reverbs, wideners, EQs, compressors, etc).

    Originally, I used hardware synthesizers exclusively. I have the Korg Triton Workstation, the Korg Oasys, and the Korg Kronos in my arsenal. But now I use my DAW more than anything and just keep the hardware synths for when I want those really warm analog sounds or just want the hardware edge, but in-the-box mixing has definitely improved certain aspects of my mixing.

    One thing I am trying to master is the successful mixing of vocals into an electronic music track. Totally different ball game than just mixing instruments together. So I hope to learn a lot more about that on here.

    Glad to meet like-minded people here. Where I am, very few know what I am talking about in relation to technical aspects of music. Glad to be here.

    Cheers to all.
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  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
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  1. LIstening on laptop speakers... I really like the first half of the song. The serious, tense atmosphere really pulls you in. Movie trailer intro kind of ambience. The middle portion needs work though, I think. Can't put my finger on it, but the atmosphere in that section, imo, detracts from the atmosphere in the rest of your track. The final minute and 20 seconds also sound good. It's just the middle part that needs work. It sounds too different from your beginning and end. Don't know if it's the samples or the melody. But that's all I'd modify. Also heard your Alice track. That one sounds pretty tight. Very somber and eerie atmosphere there. I'd make the pizzicato and that metallic bell instrument (forget what it's called) have a bit more reverb to maintain the reverb atmosphere in the rest of your track. Good stuff though.
  2. Now... this one, I really dig the intro for. This was pretty cool to listen to. Sounds like it could be a trailer track (at least the 1st minute) for a Metroid movie. There's a bit of mud in your bass sounds and wubs between 1:00 and 2:00 so maybe a bit of EQ to give them space. But I like all of it, production-wise. The piano breakdown is pretty sweet. Love the low bass wub after that. This is one of those ambient tracks that actually grabs your attention. Me gusta I'm working on Metroid (Metroid Prime) remix myself, but I'll post when I actually have something worth showing off.
  3. I absolutely love the source tune. Panic Puppet 1 and 2 were my jams when I was in elementary and middle school. It was the kind of track that made me start thinking about making music (which didn't happen until years later). I like the piano intro, very soothing and contemplative. Instantly recognizable as Panic Puppet 1. I also like that that particular part is quieter than the rest of the track. I think your transitions still need work though. The first transition crash is a bit loud relative to how the next part just adds a bit of subtle percussion. The 2nd transition that leads to the electronica part sounds good though. I feel that first electronica part runs a bit long though since it repeats quite a few times. Your snare snaps pretty well, your kick is audible and cuts through, so that's good. Your transition, again, from the electronica part [3:25] to the Panic Puppet piano theme breakdown needs work. The transition is too noticeable and the lowering in volume of the drums sticks out to me. Maybe if you added a boom or a low dropping sine wave to clue into the breakdown. Especially since it is so melancholic in that next part. The breakdown itself is great though. The last electronic part where it explodes [4:58] sounds cool, but I think you'd benefit from a riser that leads up to that explosion, then the silence and drum/snare intro-fill. WIthout it, the two parts from the breakdown to the final climax sounds disjointed as two separate ideas, instead of one cohesive one. From the melody going on with that subtle analog-ish saw after the last climax, I was expecting a melody resolution that led to a strong, sweeping key-note bass with the drums continuing and the arpeggios. The melody just has that cool, epic lead-in to a strong bass feel to it, so you should use it, IMO. Mixing-wise, I cannot comment much as I'm using laptop speakers at the moment so my input would be unreliable. All in all, I love your ideas for this track that I've liked since I was a kid, but I think this still needs more "glue" between sections. Keep in mind, I am influenced by my own ideas upon hearing this remix, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Perhaps some of the things I pointed out were highly intentional, but that was just my two cents
  4. This is really good. Sent me on a serious trip to the 80s (which I barely was born into) and since the 80s bled into the 90s a bit, it sends me on a wild nostalgic roller coaster. Great, great job. Nailed the 80s theme. My one suggestion though, is maybe introduce more panning to the percussion elements (hats, snare, toms, etc.) just to widen the image a bit more. Maybe it's just me, but I'm hearing all of the percussion right down the middle. A smooth panning effect on the fill-in with the toms would be cool (and realistic) too. Just an idea. But I loved the track.
  5. In the end, you are the architect of your own remix, so it's all good The intro is fine, I just felt it run a bit long. Though, I'm guilty of the same thing sometimes. Yea, try lowering the octave on that part and see how that sounds. As far as mixing goes, headphones for the most part are really deceptive as they tend to add color no matter what. One set of headphones that I can tell you is actually quite reliable (in my opinion) for moderate level to professional level mixing is the Sennheiser HD600. There are similar models that are cheaper and more expensive, but this specific model sounds fantastic and tells you the truth, not flattery. They aren't too expensive, but are well worth the investment, so if your current headphones are dying on you, you might as well get some reliable new ones for monitoring. Just a suggestion. Plus, they are really comfortable. Open-back though, so hopefully you don't have roommates who will bug you. Lol.
  6. Nice to see another Trance enthusiast/artist. This definitely sounds very PsyTrance so good stuff there. I like the vibe and the feel you gave the track filling in all the silence with percussive effects and such. That and the constant arpeggios pretty much define trance. At 2:20 - 2:45 or so though, I think you need to clear up that interplay between the 2 little triangle-ish leads. Maybe bring the repeating note down an octave to give them a bit of separation. The intro is a bit slow too I think, but in Trance I suppose that's ok. Your snare needs a bit more reverb IMO, but that's just me nitpicking perhaps. Can't tell if you need EQ work since I'm using laptop speakers right now, but I'll give it another listen later in my studio and see if I hear anything else. All in all though, pretty cool.
  7. Cool. If you do salvage it, I'd love to hear how it turned out. As far as the humanizing issue, remember that it doesn't just consist of velocity values, it also consists of note length and the note's starting position. If all your notes (in a non-EDM setting) start exactly on beat every single time, it'll drain life from the song. So randomize within human parameters the velocities as well as the starting position of the notes by a few ticks. This technique also has the nice side effect of reducing strain on your processor if you're running heavy samples since all the notes aren't happening at exactly the same time. Gives a few tiny milliseconds for an obviously linear processing circuit (single core process for the most part) to finish its job in sequence instead of crunching all at once. I do it with my EastWest samples and it works wonders on my processing issues since EW has massive samples. And no problem on the mixing. I still have much to learn myself, but I'm glad to help where I feel confident in my current knowledge. I had no idea you could create your own RRs with Kontakt. If that's true, I'd love to learn about it. I have Kontakt, but I use Logic's EXS24 more than anything else for sampling. Gets the job done and has clean sound reproduction from the source file (unlike Ultrabeat which colors samples quite a bit).
  8. I agree. I was surprised to see there was very, very little Mass Effect content on here. Made me certain to submit my remix on here almost a year ago ssince it is a largely untapped source material. Mass Effect needs much more love. Amazing game series with amazing music.
  9. I figured that since I submitted a track for OCRemix for Mass Effect, which, oddly enough, was also my first post here, I should comment on this and see where I can help you out. Here's the link in case you want to hear it: I'll know more to help you out once I hear back from the judges very soon since they are about to judge it. *wish me luck* In the meantime, here goes my two cents. I'm no OC expert yet so take it with a grain of salt. I definitely like the more urgent feel you're going for in this orchestral remix as well as the original subtleties you have near the end and throughout. I'd work a bit on the delivery of the brass though. It sounds a bit dry. Too dry. Granted, the original Reaper Horn sounds pretty dry too, I think a bit of reverb on the Reaper note would benefit this orchestral remix since the rest of the song has a certain "space" to it. On mine, I sampled it straight from the song and gave it some FX and mods, but that's because it suited my particular mix. I think yours needs a bit more attention to really make it stand out. I like the orchestral drum rhythms too. I particularly like the end and the intro sends me on a nostalgic trip. On the string samples, I think they need a longer release so that it sounds more legato. I feel the individual notes fade a bit too quickly. EQ work could be done too, but it sounds pretty good for the most part to me. Hearing in headphones right now so maybe some of it sounds warped to me though. I definitely enjoyed your theme and its progression overall.
  10. Like Kirby, I'm a big fan of the source tune. It is the FFVII universe after all. Since you made this 4 years ago, take what I say with a grain of salt, as I'm sure your skills have improved by a large margin by now. I agree with Kirby in that you need to work on adding a bit of life into the instruments, especially the orchestral ones. They sound too sampled and quantized so you should humanize them and add some nice 3-5 second quality reverb to give the individual notes a more graceful attack and release instead of the dry cutoff. Just remember to filter out the low frequencies from the reverb if you do that or it'll add mud to the mix. The piano needs some humanizing as well as the notes always play exactly on beat with the drums. This would be ok if it was EDM, but since it's going for that live instrument feel, humanization is necessary on all fronts. It definitely needs a bit more EQ work too for both cleanup and to add focus to the instruments of choice, but I like the arrangement and how it progresses. If you still have the project file, I'd definitely try to improve and salvage it. Worth the effort since this has nice ideas going on.
  11. Well, let me start by saying that you better finish this remix. I want to hear the rest of it. I like the direction you took with it since it took me by surprise. I thought, "Well, it sounds exactly the same" and then I understood why after it took that dubsteppy turn. I'm not a fan of dubstep, but I did like how this was executed. I can't critique much more than that since you still have a long way to go with this so I'll check it out again once you have progressed. One thing I will point out though is that, up to this point, the melody is absolutely identical when your remix section comes in. That's great for a cover, but if you are looking to submit to the judges, remember that the song needs some original composition integrated while still paying homage to the source. So just make sure you don't make it too conservative. If it is just a cover, then by all means continue as you are. I want to hear it finished for sure. Keep at it.
  12. Thanks for the input Ambient. I agree with your thoughts on the strings in the later half of the track. I had made this track a while ago and I hear it now, and I still think it sounds good but there are some definite improvements I could have made with my present-day knowledge and skill. Had to release it sometime though. The thing is, the source track sounds heavily sampled as well, so that was my thought process behind using sampled orchestral sounds in this remix. I just carried the torch, if you will. I will admit that I didn't do much by way of articulation diversity when using EW's Platinum Orchestra. Still difficult to perfect that, but I'm working on it. Humanization is something I will definitely have to do as well. They were humanized (as in, I physically played it live with my keyboard) in the 7/8 time signature section, but not in the OrchesTrance section near the end. Will definitely watch out for that from here on out. I always find it hard to sacrifice good sampled orchestral sounds for synthetic ones. The sampled ones always sound better to me. But I guess I will have to work a bit harder at blending them just right so that they all sounds like they are in the same "league" with each other, whether synthetic or not. Your bass observation, well, honestly, it didn't occur to me. The originals didn't have much bass either so I guess that's why it slipped me. I still think it sounds good, but I can't deny that a well-placed baseline would give the track the final "oomph", at least when it gets to the upbeat parts. I am actually a big A&B fan. I also listen to Armin van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, BT, and tons, tons more. But A&B is a terrific example of what you're trying to say. Their Oceanlab tracks have always been my favorite ones. Trance has definitely evolved since the 2000s (which I am a sucker for... I miss that sound). Also Trance seems to have dropped into the 128 BPM realm as well. Go figure. About Mass Effect... just be patient with it. The 1st game is the slowest, but you'll be glad you went through it all once the lore keeps piling up in the 2nd and 3rd games. Incredible story and character depth. The music gets much more memorable in the 2nd game and on. One of the tracks called "Normandy Reborn" was composed by our very own Big Giant Circles, and that is definitely a memorable track. Watch out for it on Mass Effect 2. Thanks for all your input. I appreciate it. All of this will definitely help me with my future projects.
  13. Thanks Timaeus. Heck of a video. Watched the whole thing, even though I don't even have Kontact. For whipping that up in 90 minutes, that's pretty awesome. I can make stuff pretty quick right now, but my OCD kicks in and I almost always start polishing from the get-go so I take a while. Layering is definitely something I need to do for that BIG sound I want in a climax. The problem is knowing what to remove. In the vid, he did quite a bit of EQ behind the scenes but I could definitely see how it fit nicely into the image after that. I've been interested in doing trailer music also and that vid certainly gave me some insight into the genre. Like I said, I must master that art at all costs *Edit* Just realized that video was from our own Zircon. Crazy. I should have joined this site years ago (visited a lot but just kinda lurked before).
  14. Hope you find the one that best suits you. Keep in mind though, that GB does, perhaps, 5% of what Logic can do. I'm talking a serious opening of the floodgates here. GB is to Logic as Jupiter is to the Sun. They just aren't on the same level at all. I think money-wise, Logic gives the most bang for your buck, considering the quality of the program and the plugins it already includes. Can't compete with free, of course, but in the paid realm, you definitely get unfathomable functionality. I have yet to run into something I CAN'T do sound-wise on Logic. Drumming is very, very simple in Logic. You can use Ultrabeat (which has a built-in sequencer and drum synth) but it colors the samples a bit, or you can use EXS24 which gives zero coloration and the programming is a piece of cake, especially if you assign a multichannel output for your drum elements. Even allows crossfades down to the sample size level and allows fine tuned looping. Just my two cents. In the end though, what matters is that you find the DAW that best suits you so I hope you find it. I just posted the above so you don't write off something you might love simply because its lower level cousin doesn't even begin to adequately describe the higher level premium DAW.
  15. I can definitely recommend Logic Pro (X if you can, bc they already worked out like 90% of the bugs). On a Mac, in my experience, no DAW is as stable as LPX or LP9. I also have Ableton Live, but I find myself gravitating toward LPX unless I'm looking for live performance elements, which I rarely do. LPX has a good piano roll in my opinion. You can view the roll and certain parameters simultaneously and can edit while playing. It has really good response time to input notes (whether quantized or not) so I can usually play a part or melody live quickly and easily edit out the kinks. Helps if you have a dual screen setup too, that way you can have the tracker on the left screen and the piano roll and mixer on the right. That environment is very efficient for me and LPX does a good job of rendering everything accurately between both screens. Also you have a TON of control of what goes on under the hood. And the effects chains are pretty intuitive. Perhaps a bit of playing around to get used to it but it is pretty easy to absorb. Worthy of note: Logic (any version) comes loaded with plugins ranging from decent to excellent. By way of synthesis, you have all you need by purchasing LPX alone, but if you want great samples, you'll need to buy some. The preloaded samples are decent enough but not awesome, imo. The only thing is that it has no free trial. GB is basically a very tame version of LPX. I outgrew GB very quickly. But it is a good representation of the current interface , minus the limitless parameters you can change in LPX to be a sonic god.