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Mario 64 Docks Remix (WIP)


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Hello there!

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Angel, but I'm also known in the internets as Elcar. While I am new to the forum/community itself, I have been a frequent visitor and fan of this site for more than a year. This place has really interested me in making my own remixes/arrangements, so here is my first try!

Before I proceed with linking the file, I must state that I've only been using Fruity Loops for a couple of months, meaning that I still do not fully grasp the program and many of the remixing concepts. I believe that what I have so far here is pretty good considering my mastery of the program, but I do want to make it better. I am aware that the remix does not take liberties with the original source, which is disappointing, and that the beat might get monotonous. I'm hoping to change that very soon.

So without further delay, I present to you this Trance take on the Docks theme from Super Mario 64. I thought that this theme needed a more danceable take, so I gave it a shot. Here is the link:


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As a general rule, posting the source is a good idea to help people know where the song is coming from. A simple Youtube link works fine. Feedback and that sort of thing can be hard to come by. The good stuff takes time to really listen and critique/criticize; so it's not a hop on and do this really quick thing. (for me anyways, also, I'm lazy:<) And for whatever reason, I don't think we have -enough- people that can do it doing it.


A few things I see with this:

1) The flow and dynamic is getting lost in the middle. You have your introduction, then one huge middle where one idea goes into another very similar idea. (Usually + or - something from the drum track) There are some changes, but they're not varied enough for my taste. This makes for a long middle that gets old too quickly. This is about a 2:30-3:00 song that feels stretched.

2) In line with #1, there are times where the development is too slow in my opinion. 0:51-1:09, then the clap comes in until 1:30, then hats till 1:45. This whole time the same bassy thing is going on. It seems like the progression should be shorter with less repetition. The same is true at 2:07

3) The synth that you're using at 2:07 has that real choppy sound to it, but it's very inconsistant. The synth sounds like it's for longer notes, and when it gets to a longer note in the piece, it tries to shift. I'd say look for a more consistant sound that's similar to that if that's what you want (I'll shamelessley promote zircon's guides:arrow:http://www.ocremix.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=29)

4) The drums (and I'm a drummer, so I try to be a stickler for the drum track) need a few of the details worked out. Velocity changes for starters, so they sound more natural. Typically in a rock type sound the hits on the beat are louder then the off beats, stuff like that. The kick needs more DOOF DOOF. I'm not a fan of the clap sound instead of a nice fat snare sound (likley several drums layerd till you get the sound you want) Layering is another way to make things varied enough to be different and iteresting without changing too much. (Hats, open hats, bass drums, etc)

5) There's not a ton of interpretation on the part of the melody itself, just the background instruments, which is kinda niether here nor there. I only point it out so you can think about the OCR submission standards on interpretation. Start with knowing the key, then having an idea of a direction that you want to go with the mix. Rinse and repeat till you get something you like. One thing I might also point out is splitting the melody apart. You pretty much have a 1 to 1 copy of the melody when you use it, just using different instruments. (having keys helps make it easy to play around. I'm making that my next investment, using a mouse to hear my notes is tedious)

6) The EQ and panning could use some work, and don't forget about reverb and anything else I might have missed. This is admittedly one of my weaknesses, so bear with and get a second opinion on this stuff.:oops: I don't hear any panning really, other than from a few of the synths on their own. Panning would really be cool on that bell part that is the theme melody. Volume is okay, but not a lot in the way of dynamics.

All and all, not a bad start. My ears didn't start to bleed and fall off :tomatoface: so we're good.

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Coincidentally, I am currently working on my first piece as well, which also happens to be Dire, Dire Docks :-o, so I'm already WAY too familiar with the source tune.

If you actually want too submit this, you're going to need to do more than just add techno drums and a bassline. Change up the source and make it a true remix. As it is, it sounds like a MIDI rip with new instruments. Come up with something unique that makes the piece original, like an extra part layered on top, changing up the notes every once in a while, something. On mine, for instance, I took the same song and turned it into a dark Metroid tune.

There's also no way this should be 5:34 with this little material. The build-ups are way too slow.

I can see where you're trying to go with this, but it just needs more depth, more variation, etc.

Oh, and don't really worry about EQing and panning and other production stuff like that yet. Make sure you've got a solid arrangement first.

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Dire Dire Docks is one of my personal favorite tracks from the outstanding Super Mario 64 soundtrack, so let me give you my feedback as a fan of the original with no musical/remixing skills to call my own.

0:00-0:51 - This is obviously the song itself using different instrumentation. I think this style of arrangement is fine for a start, though you might benefit from not playing through the whole song right from the start; in other words, use the intro as more of an intro than a quick play-through

0:52-2:08 - Where the trance beat kicks in is great, but I personally feel it goes on for far too long without any melody. Perhaps you could shorten this section up

2:08-4:15 - I feel like this part is kind of subdued. It's the same melody as the original, and again, it uses different instrumentation. I think this is where you can really afford to deviate from the original. Use some different/additional sounds here, play something that sounds like it is part of the track without being the melody itself again

4:15-4:54 - The outtro isn't bad for the trance part, perhaps a bit long, though I don't think it's really an issue like the intro section was

4:55-5:34 - Again, this isn't bad, but instead of playing through part of the song here, you could get to a point and deviate from it somewhat, as if to say (through music) "this is the end." You kind of do it during the last three seconds, but that could probably afford to be extended.

My general feelings on this are that you are off to a good start. I think if you shortened the introductory stuff you could get some really good variation in the middle, which is where you really need it. But yeah, for lack of a better term, you need to "freestyle" or something in the middle of the mix to separate it from the original on a level beyond instrumentation and beat.

All the same, keep working at it. I look forward to hearing an updated version at some point!

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