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Scrapped: 12/18 - Kirby's Block Ball - Stage 1 Remix (Untitled)

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Hey guys, I return after 8 months to remix a track from a game that nobody (including myself) has heard of.

Anyway, what you're going to hear is the style I've been producing/DJing for the past while.

Note that the arrangement is meant for DJing, hence the basic kickdrum in the intro and outro, and some of the repetitiveness. It's actually quite short for a track of this genre.

It's technically "Happy Hardcore," but I'd prefer for you all to think of it as "UK Hardcore." It's also got a jungl-ish/fast breakbeat breakdown. Influences include DJ Kurt, Joey Riot and Dougal & Gammer.

Midi link:


Remix link:


I've gotten some feedback already from the WIP IRC channel, and this is the second version so far.

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Three-word sentences. Long wip run.

This feels long. Source is there. A bit repetitive. Maybe too much. Not too interpretive. Has pleasant sound. Annoying pan effects. Use with moderation.

Brief feedback, sorry. Good work tho.

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Annoying pan effects, hm... I added those, might as well take them out then. I'd want to know which part specifically had the annoying panning, I know the arp did as well as the drums in the middle, but I'm not sure which you'd consider annoying.

Once again, I'm not too sure how to interpret it more... That's my problem :(, if I try to do it, then I end up with something like a completely unrelated melody that follows the same chord progression. I could always do something simple like extend the chord progression a few bars, but that might have the opposite effect, as in the judges thinking that there's not enough source.

I tried to make it non-repetitive, but I'd like to know which sections you considered to be repetitive. If you mean the rhythms, then that's just how the genre goes XD, but if you mean synths, then maybe I can incorporate some more interpretation there.

However, I'm cautious about this now. REALLY cautious. I tried hard to make the last one I did be varied, but it ended up being TOO varied, even though I thought I used the source as much as I could :S

Thanks for the feedback! :)

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Here's what I think -

There's nothing inherently wrong with the piece, but I do feel it's much too long. Maybe that's just how the genre is, but the problem feels to me as though it should definitely be addressed. 2:20 is when the actual song started, but I felt it should've been a bit sooner. The tambre delivering the tune also felt somewhat quiet/apathetic, but I suppose that it could've been to contrast with the song's climax at 3:10 (which, by the way, I loved). I also felt by 5:20 that the song should have ended a long time ago, when in fact there was still half-a-minute left. Again, it's possible people will overlook it because it's how the genre rolls, but it feels like way too much, IMO.

Parts of the piece also felt somewhat gimmicky and flat, namely 1:30 to 2:10 and 4:00 to 5:03. These places, IMO, would be perfect to insert a synth, probably something rather slow, that taps more into emotions. While the song is plenty happy, it does feel as if it's missing a little soul, and these parts in particular could use a boost.

I didn't notice any "panning" problem, but then I'm sadly unfamiliar with the term :\. The low "brumpy" instrument felt like it would be going for one section too long when I got to 2:15.

I did like it more on the second listen, and I really did like the tambre that started at 0:45 as well as the section from 3:10, but in the long run, it feels a bit too long and a bit too flat. I suggest shortening it up a bit and adding in a synth with more emotion in the places that feel a bit empty. I didn't really hear much of a problem with interpretation, but then I'm not a judge.

Keep it up :]

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Thanks for the feedback :)

I made it long so I could DJ it. I could do a cut version for OCRemix, but I have no experience making intros and outros that aren't for DJs :S... any suggestions on that end are welcome.

I agree that 1:30 to 2:10 could use something else. I'll try to add something there, but 4:00 to 5:03 is the outro, and I mentioned that it was designed with DJing in mind, so that section can't get cluttered with all kinds of stuff, or it'll be impossible to DJ. Then again, I could make an "OCR Mix" and a "Club Mix" and I'd be fine.

The bass thing was originally pure sub-bass. I could always change it back to that, but I don't want to have a section be too bare of bass, or it'll feel weak...

Panning is left-right stereo imaging... An instrument is panning from left to right if it's moving from the left to the right speaker. Just FYI

Thanks for the advice! :)

I'll see what I can do emotionally in those sections, and also length is definitely an issue here, even though this track is quite short for those in its genre. I can see where I can cut off a few bars here and there, but nothing too severe :S

Thanks again! :)

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Alright, updated it. Check the original link for the new version.

Lots of tweaks: Shortened outro by a number of bars. Changed progression in breakdown to be more interpretive. Added a number of different instruments in breakdown to spice it up, and removed the crappy ones!

Hope it works better now! :)

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Wow, I love what you've done with the intro - it feels so much more complete :]

My complaints are very few with the edit - a few things that still seem a BIT off are...

at 2:49 when it speeds up... mainly the piano, it feels a bit cramped/rushed. I would suggest giving it something smoother to do that still portrayed their chords instead of still trying to fit that rythym in, which, while it was great with the slower tempo, seems somewhat off in the quicker one.

When the big happy doodah comes in at 3:10, the main synth seems a little too wavy or soft or dilluted or something I can't quite put into words, but a slight touchup that gave it a little more oomph might be good, IMO.

The final thing is that the outro still feels a tiny bit repetitive, even though it's great you shortened it up. I would suggest taking out or varying the brumpy instrument at the 4:18 mark, perhaps to reinsert it a part later somehow, so that one can hear the synth better (but I'm probably just saying that 'cause I like it so much). I know you don't like much variation in the outro, but it does seem a tiny bit bland in the final stretch. I might want to suggest the creating two mixes - the two do have somewhat different purposes. But totally your call.

Anyway, I really really like the new edit. I don't think I mentioned how much I like the piano (it kind of reminds me of the target test in SSBM :), and I just overall like what you did with the tune. (On a note of complete irrelevance, I've come across another more acoustic remix of it, have you heard it? Not that you need to or anything.) I don't know if you're planning to submit it (I can only assume so), and I really think you ought to. There's a lot of production quality and good rythym here :]

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Of course I intend to submit it! :) I have not heard the other remix yet.

I can certainly smooth up the piano on the slowdown. I'll have it play something slower, which should lead into the next section (hopefully).

The problem with the outro is that it's already getting small, and it might get somewhat difficult to mix. However, I have (as I mentioned earlier), no experience with non-mixable outros. I could try to remove the bass (as that's what the "brumpy thing" is), and maybe have a solo of some sort... I don't know :(, it's hard! I'm so used to just making endings like this: really drawn out, for a smooth transition into the next track of the mix.

I have an idea, though. I'll give it a try and post it up. Lemme know what you think!

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Well, the too long problem is definitely taken care of IMO, but the outro still feels a bit off - don't give up!

First off the cutting back on the piano when it first enters at 1:19 seems extreme. This is probably going to sound exTREMEly bossy so you DON'T have to do it (disclaimer!!), but if it were me I would fill it out a bit more by having it play the chords on beats 1 and 4 in the 1-2-3-4 rythym rather than just one, so it sounds like "dum-__-__-dum-dum-__-__-dum-dum-__-__-dum" rather than "dum-__-__-__-dum-__-__-__-dum-__-__-__" but again, that's just an idea and it's totally up to you. The piano just sounds a bit too uninvolved in that section before it goes to the rythym you had before.

I nailed down what I feel is a bit off in the 3:10 climax - it seems like the synth is echoing a little too much so it can't breathe enough. You don't have to change it or anything, but if you cut down the echo I think it would help.

Now I want to say this - don't make the outro any shorter than it is now. I suggest that in 4:19 you put more of the piano in than just the chords. Like very small melodic variations occuring between them. I also suggest you stop the main percussion or at least significantly downsize its prominence when you take out the synth at 4:30 - I know you'll end up with just the piano and the wahwahwahwah echoey thing (for lack of better word :), but it'd help the listener know the end is nigh because when I first listened it sort of came as a shock.

I'm really sorry if it feels like I'm stomping all over your creativity or something (cause it sort of feels that way to me :[ ) so just know that all of these are just suggestions of what I think would help the piece, not that you have to do them or anything.

Good luck :]

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No, no, no! I really appreciate all of this help! I'm not good at the arrangement section, only really at the "producing" end. This is basically what I need :)

I'll definitely change that piano, that looks like a good way of doing it. Also, I know what you mean: I'll cut down on the reverb/delay a touch too.

I'll also add in a few bars, maybe 4, at the end... to let the listener know it's almost over.

Question: is the intro ok? Or should I change it?

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Intro is a little long and doesn't contain any source. Could use a subtle background melody or something. Or shortening. That would work too.

The arp chord feels a little too weak compared to the drums and bass. Just make sure you don't bury the other tracks under drums and bass.

About half way through, there's a nice melody that could work over a variety of different chords. Extend your chord progression and modify the melody to work with it, that could work.

The e-piano sound doens't work imo. Or maybe it's the melody. Something there bothers me. Too strong (or just too low) mids on it, maybe?

More crits. But that's what we're here for.

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Intro is fixable. I'm trying not to bury anything... that's what mixing is for. It's supposed to be a background arp.

Nice melody... Would that be the one that comes in near the end of the breakbeat-type section? I did extend the chord progression. Anymore extending, and it wont really sound like the source anymore (plus I have no idea where I could take it).

It's not really supposed to be an E-Piano, but an M1 type thing. It's a staple of the genre. If you don't believe me, then ask me to link some stuff. I don't think it has any lows, and the highs are EQed up really high. I don't know why it would bother you :S

I need to get me some fresher ears so I can crit it more myself :/

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Hmm... okay on another listen...

I still feel like the piano when it first comes in feels odd somehow. I think I may have misspoken - what I meant by 1-and-4 is what you're doing but actually twice as fast. ([.--..--.] rather than [.-----.-]) Also, I do think it could be a bit louder from 1:30, a bit. It's not a problem when it reenters, however.

I still feel as if the main synth in the song's climax is a bit too fluid, and I still feel like the piano's rhythm doesn't work as well in the speed up at 2:50...

Now I think a slight problem is how long it builds up and then quickly deteriorates after the climax without giving much new material. One might want to introduce a quieter, secondary tambre (probably also a synth?) interpreting the 3:10 melody a bit in the middle of the climax that remains in the section directly after the climax that starts at 3:56 even though the main synth did not.

Also, the piano still sounds a bit odd in the end, although I like how you give it time to echo before doing the variations. I would suggest having the variations be way higher and much less prominent. Maybe just a few notes plunking and echoing.

Sorry, I know it's getting really complicated and confusing - this happens the time when I'm making music, too, but I guess it could just be cause I'm something of a perfectionist :P

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The game itself is a Kirby take on Breakout. I own it, and I'm mad at it (Stupid Border Line scores!) Just so you know! But it's pretty good! I actually like it so far (typing as I listen). It builds up to the track nicely! And long isn't necessarily bad... And it fades into the piano nicely in my opinion. Great track, I really like it!

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Windkirby: I don't get what you mean with the piano, and I don't know what you mean with the lead being too fluid... I tried to fix the other stuff, though... added a 303 line, changed the piano in the ending...

Mirby: This actually sounds like a really... well, not bad, but simply decent game. Thanks for checking it out!

I think it's as close to being done as it's going to get, unless windkirby's tired ears can pull out more criticism. However, sorry, you're probably too used to it. I need a new set of ears on this last draft, which is hopefully final. Oh, unless you don't like the 303. I'll be updating it when the export finishes.

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Wow, amazing... it's pretty much done, I think, and I think it's wonderful.

There are a few tiny things you could change, but you don't have to or anything...

1. It's very difficult to explain what I mean with the piano when it first enters. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate it is if you copied that section (when the piano first enters, ideally just the piano) somewhere and sped it up exactly twofold, then listened to it. That should demonstrate what rhythm I meant by 1 and 4. (Or perhaps I could say: you're playing the piano on the 1st and 7th beats out of 8 when I meant the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th beats out of 8, or in other words the 1st and 4th out of 4). If you think it's enough the way it is, that's totally fine, but right now I think it'd be better if it played more when it first entered.

2. I'm sorry if all this criticism is frustrating for you! It sounds good when it ends, but I think it might sound better if you also had a higher note or two that played when the final two chords did so that it didn't introduce higher playing then not utilize it.

3. I really like the tambre you added in the chorus, but it sounds a tiny bit awkward when it first enters. I'm not entirely sure of the cause, but I might suggest adding another one of those big surrounding fading fwisssshes that you had at 3:11 (if it helps, it became indistinct at like 3:17 - sorry if my music vernacular is horrible!)

Anyway, I'll listen to whatever you throw out, but I'll warn you I've heard the piece so many times it's starting to get a little difficult critiquing it - I'm sure you know what that's like haha. :] Well, whatever you decide to do, the piece is very good!

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Ok, I figured out what you meant, and I've added it. I'm neutral on that first point, but I've done them all anyway!

Thanks for all your help! I'm aware that your ears are getting a bit raw, but mine are much, much rawer, considering I made the track :S... I'd need someone else's opinion once more, then I'll submit it to the panel.

One last question for you specifically, Windkirby: Is the intro ok? Or should I change it to have more harmony/melody and the like?

Thanks for all your help! :)

File will be updated when I get another export done.

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