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Sonic 3 - Angel Island Zone Remix


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This follows the source tune way too closely.

Now that's something I haven't seen often with remixers, a lot of the time I see "It's too far from the original tune" or something to that effect. I don't want to deviate too much from the source tune, because I'm not that confident in my remixing skills yet. This is only the second tune I've submitted to the WIP forums for discussion, and the other one got lost because NG went down the day I posted the topic. I'm more looking for technical than stylistic advice.

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For those of you whom Newgrounds doesn't like (probably a good reason for that) or who just don't like Newgrounds (shame on you), here's a Mediafire link to the version of the file you can download from Newgrounds.

NOTE: This file IS still under the Creative Commons-Attribution-Share Alike-Non Commercial licence that all the work on Newgrounds is under. That means credit me if used even if this is still a WIP.

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Clutter, and some things seem to be clashing in key. The lead is far too loud, drums don't have the energy they would need, and you're probably too close to source.

You should listen and compare ocremixes to their respective sources, see what you can learn. I mean, about the writing, frequency balance, levels mixing, all that. If you're not confident in your writing, make some original tunes for practice.

I don't mean to throw you off the board, but I'm wondering if you should be here yet. After some practice and critical listens to ocremixes, you should have the ears and skills to make something more interpreted, something you've put your own spin on.

Whatever you do, good luck.

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Rozovian, while I always appreciate your comments, that last one is a bit harsh. Ofcourse he should be here, where else can he learn? Newgrounds isn't the place that gives you the feedback you need, while people here can. While his work is far away from being OCR standards, you got to start somewhere...

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Well, if the problem is that there's not enough creative writing, there's not much that feedback here will do, 'cept state the need for it. Writing originals for a little while is a great way to develop writing skills. He said he wasn't confident in his "remixing " skills, which when read in context seems to mean his writing skills.

I don't mean to say "u suck get off teh baord", I mean "work on your writing by making a couple of originals".

Besides, BorgBuddy, there _is_ a wip board for originals too. :P

Syko, I think you should work on your writing. Whether you do it in a remix or in an original is up to you.

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Why is everyone focusing on the creative writing?

I don't think thats the biggest issue here... I think you have done well in varying the backing chords, and that is half the battle. Variation in the melodies and more variations in the second repeat of the source (chords and melody) and you are there in my opinion. Not to mention the original backing at 1.11 shows that you can write creatively :D

Yes, there are no original sections comments, but from what i've seen, you have some idea of how to write original sections.

I suggest writing an original section for your next update, see how it turns out.

Ok, so crits -

Bad samples. You have some ok ones I guess, but most sound bland and boring.

Not something I think you should focus on at the moment, but it is something you will need to address later on.

There are some clashing notes - like the lower note in your melody at 0.23, is incorrect. Bring that note up a semi-tone (one note) and all subsequent others like it.

Also, there are notes that clash with your new chord sequence at 1.11 onwards. I know that the notes are correct compared to the original, but they don't fly with the new chord sequence. Fix those off notes and you will have a variation of the melody :D

Levels. This track isn't mixed well at all. I think the backing (not including the drums) are too loud to the lead instrument. The bass, and the synth (which I like btw :D) are competing with the lead instruement for domination of the track at the moment and it is making your track sound too intense, and tiring for the ears. Sort out the levels as well.

So, in a nutshell -

Write an original section

Fix clashing lead notes

Fix levels.

looking forward to your next update :D

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There's my latest update :3 Includes:

- Altered mix, all instruments brought down except lead and drums

- Claps on the bridge (provisional sample)

- Some corrected notes

- Altered lead on the bridge

- Second, original bridge

And guess what! It's just for you, Newgrounds haters!

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Overall sound is thin. The automation effects are cool, but the writing, sound design, and mixing all need work. I recommend fixing them in that order.

The first 1:40 feels completely redundant. The rest is better, but still feels like it's too reliant on the source. Then again, I barely remember the source, so someone else should comment on that.

The background melody/rhythm instrument is pretty annoying, and the other ones are a bit clichéd, something OCR doesn't want in submissions. There's some cool backing drums, but a lot of the time, it's just a weak bass drum and a messy snare rhythm on a weak snare. There's no hats, ride, cymbals, crashes, shaker, anything in the high range. The instruments fill up the range a bit, but it lacks clarity. Hats would help with that.

As for mixing, the drums need more weight, more punch. Giving them an EQ boost in the 50-200Hz range (ca 80Hz on kick, higher on the snare, I guess) would help, but you need compression to really get them powerful enough. You might need to find other drum samples. The overall sound is pretty thin a lot of the time. Yeah, detuned saws are pretty wide, but saw noise isn't enough, the track needs a pad or additional backing voices. The frequency range has got a lot of bleedthrough from one instrument's range to that of another, so some EQ cuts to keep everything in its place would be good.

I'm noticing I'm becoming something of an elitist, it's difficult for me to enjoy this. I recommend practicing your writing, toying with synth settings and effects, and comparing your mixing to that of other tracks in comparable styles and sounds. Good luck.

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When the melody comes in at around :30, it sounds sorta bland (what if the main lead was an octave higher? just a thought). I loved the first bridge, especially 1:12, and the second bridge helps because the rest of the piece is very repetitive. The key change at 2:51 also helps change things up and is very fluid and subtle (I didn't even notice it the first time).

As for the ending, it just -- ends. I don't know if that's what you were going for or if you just haven't finished yet, but it's very abrupt.

Very good piece. It just needs a few tweaks.

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The mixing, as Rozovian has said before, is very thin (especially for this tempo). We really need some mids in the EQ, as well as more sound to fill the space. If this song was faster, you could get away with the thinner sound, as collectively it would fill itself out in the end, but even then, you'd need to fill out the sound at least a little bit (especially in the parts with the melody).

Again, this is a variation of the last critique, but at this slow tempo, the sound really doesn't work. Play with the tempos a little bit (it sounds like 112.00 right now - try something like 144.00 - 160.00; if it doesn't work, then just change it back).

Although the texture does change periodically, it changes into two or three textures that just alternate. Even if the variations are subtle, varying each texture from each other similar texture will make a huge difference.

It doesn't sound like the volume of any individual sequence ever varies; only the amount of sequences that are playing at the same time and the EQ's do. Although not truely critical, it can add the variety needed in some of the parts.

A final note - that little counter-melody that comes in at 0:34 - 0:35 (as well as in other places) bugs the HELL out of me. It's just too... midi. Even then, there is no variety in volume or EQ or... anything for it to have any flavor at all. It's just... there. Please do something to it - even getting rid of it completely will improve it.

As practice for future pieces, though, good job. I hope to hear more from you.

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That strong kick needs a more even rhythm, it gets kind'a jumpy now. Overall, this is much wider and nicer, but there's a little _too much_ mids now, the track fees cluttered. Cut some of the mids from the tracks that don't need it (like high and low range backing tracks). Give your lead a little more highs, drop their mids to even things out a little. I'm also a bit surprised there's no bass instrument in this, one of those would even out the low range. You need it. Add it.

There's some weird distortion on the first instrument. That one is probably the worst mid-range clutter offender, so drop its mids. The track needs more clarity, so give the master EQ a little more highs.

Nope, you're not there yet. Keep working on it, you're learning.

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Yeah, the drums could use some more punch (usually by boosting a narrow band around 80-150Hz, that's where it is for the bass drum anyway, and using compression and other effects right.). Have no idea how you've processed them, but read up on drum processing. There's a few threads on ocr, and google is your friend. Also, read zircon's compendium, all 5 parts. You'll probably find something you didn't know there, something you can learn from and use, not just on drums.

Also, consider using other samples. The snare you've got doesn't have much energy., mostly sounds like white noise on a volume curve.

The synths here are a little uninteresting, we've covered that already. the writing is pretty competitive, all the tracks are fighting for attention. EQ the background track to cover less used frequency ranges and not compete with the lead. That way, it'll still sound rich without sounding cluttery. At 3:30 it's especially noise, so listen to that while working with the EQ and levels. yes, levels, you should work with the volueme lvels too, not turn everything up to arghloud, as that'll just screw with dynamics, either by pushing compression or clipping most of the time. Or both.

Writing is still pretty uninterpretive. There's some nice sections in this, but the actual source use needs more interpretation. I checked the source.

Lots and lots of crits. This is how you learn, and I can hear that you're learning and improving. I mena, I don't mind the mids now. :D Keep at it. Good work so far.

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http://www.mediafire.com/?mmdhjitkdwmNext version. It's like I'm making a new one nightly, wow...

Well anyway. Fixes this time:

- EQ's added to every instrument (had to split the project file in two to do this, I'm using Computer Muzys which only allows a maximum of 15 total plugins)

- Layered drums. In retrospect I think the second drum kit needs a fuller sound, but that can be fixed later.

- Breakdowns added in the first part of the song

- Pads added at the end of the song

- Layered lead sound

Listening to it back again, I think it's getting a bit cluttered in the mids again, mostly on the bridges, like it's crowding out the lead, would I be right in saying that?

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The beginning sounds weird now... it's like you can only hear the harmony that's supposed to be staying in the background but is covering up the melody instead. I know you're going for "more interpretation", but I'm not sure about the overall effect.

Other than that, I still like the bridges, and the ending is still very abrupt.

Maybe the sixth time's the charm?.. :|

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Yep. This latest one sounds much cleaner. I'm hearing some parts I hadn't heard before, and that's a good thing.

The only thing that still kinda bugs me is the melody that comes in at :44. You expect to hear the Angel Island music, but instead comes this harmony to Angel Island pretending to be the lead. It may just be a personal preference, and I can tell what you're aiming for, but it just doesn't sound right to me. It sounds like something that would fit well later in the piece, after the main melody has been established.

Do what you will with it. The rest of the piece is great, and I don't have any other real complaints.

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A lot better than I remember it being, which is a good thing :P

Your biggest problem here is the drums I reckon. They have no presence in the track, no punch whatsoever, and that snare sounds horrible :P You need to bring out the bass frequencies in the bass drum, and I would suggest a different snare altogether, the one you have is way too high pitched imo, like rozo says, it sounds like white noise.

what is that drum that starts to rise in volume at 1.25? sounds horrible imo, get rid of it completely.

I like the bass sequencing, and the frequency automation is a nice touch as well.

The track sounds muddy still tho, like every track is fighting for attention.

I'm not liking sample choices, they sound a little low quality at the moment.

carry on with the EQ until every instrument sounds defined and clear. I think there is too much treble, your track has back end, but its not as defined as it should be imo.

I'm liking the arrangement tho, its the production you need to work on i think.

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