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SuperiorX

*WIP* - Mega Man 4: Dive Man Jazz Remix

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Final Update:

Lay Down and Dive (MM4 Dive Man Mix)

http://www.box.net/shared/3v3sn3im2i

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Hey everybody, I'm rather new to the forums. I've done a lot of mixing in the past, but nothing really ever worthy of OCRemix (arrangement-wise), so I figured I'd post a little something I've been working on and see what everyone thinks.

This is kind of a smooth jazz remix of Dive Man's stage from Mega Man 4. I've always liked the Dive Man theme, and this takes it in a totally different direction. I just picture Dive Man chillin' in a nightclub enjoying the music, and drinking a martini. Yeah 8)

Here's the source material (MM4 - Dive Man's stage):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQVlXJ0cMY4

Here's my WIP: Superior X - Dive Man (Jazz Remix 1):

http://www.box.net/shared/qb127ocvrx

Well, I hope you guys like it so far! It's a little rough around the edges still (the percussion needs some work), and I've only gotten about the first minute of the song down. From here I plan on having some improv trumpet and tenor sax solos switching off.

Tell me what you think, all feedback is appreciated!

-SuperiorX

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This isn't bad. The drums (which you already addressed) and bass sound pretty fake, but the brass samples are surprisingly good (I'm not an expert on brass though, some people may still complain). The piano is kinda stiff too, and almost sounds MIDI-ish. Definitely get some better piano samples, man. I'll give some more detailed feedback once you post more, but this so far this sounds like a pretty good re-interpretation of the theme.

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Yep, the brass sounds pretty good, tho I think there's a bit too much reverb on it. The bass could probably be fixed by putting a bass amp sim on it, perhaps it's enough to boost some specific low frequencies. The bass sample probably needs replacing, but the writing sounds pretty good.

Drums are a bit too exposed. If you can give them the right spatial tratment and EQ, they might work. You might also want to keep them softer, get that smooth jazz feel.

Listen to some Neskvartetten stuff, since that's all real stuff. Figure out what makes it sound real.

As for interpretation, it's pretty cool. I think it's ok. Source is undoubtedly there. Nice work, keep at it.

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The drums (which you already addressed) and bass sound pretty fake... The piano is kinda stiff too, and almost sounds MIDI-ish.

Yeah those were the biggest areas I wanted to work on, the piano actually is just a MIDI for now. I just needed a placeholder for the time being.

Drums are a bit too exposed. If you can give them the right spatial tratment and EQ, they might work. You might also want to keep them softer, get that smooth jazz feel.

Listen to some Neskvartetten stuff, since that's all real stuff. Figure out what makes it sound real.

Yeah I've got to figure out the percussion... I hadn't heard any of Neskvartetten's stuff before so I took a listen, and that was really good!

The amazing brass samples are actually from a trial version of the Wallander Instruments vst, which is a incredibly realistic sounding brass and woodwind set. I just decided to try it out and was really surprised with the quality. The full program is $599 though, so the demo with have to do. I'm a trumpet player myself so I was thinking or just recording the trumpet parts, but I'd need to get my hands on a higher quality mic, either way the brass needs the least work anyway.

Thanks for the feedback guys, I'll post some updates here soon.

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I think live horns would make this so much better

*coughcough*

If you want a real bone... I've been dying to play some jazz again...:razz:

/shameless endorsement

I very well may take you up on that shameless endorsement, err, offer. I had been thinking about the idea of a live brass section from the beginning anyway, and a trombone would be a nice addition.

After one run-through of the main melody, I was planning on deviating a bit with alternating trumpet and tenor sax improv solos, with some nice piano accompaniment. I haven't exactly decided or figured out how I want those to go, or for how long, but if the need for a bone arises, I will let you know. Thanks for the offer!

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Minor update:

Well I replaced the piano sample, it sounds a lot better now. I lowered the volume a bit on the drums and tried to give them a little reverb, and I also finished out the first section of the main melody. From there I plan on deviating more and adding in some instrumental solos.

I uploaded two different versions that have different bass samples, the first one is the original bass sample and the second is a new bass sample, but something still just doesn't sound quite right. And I know I still need work on the percussion, but I think I'm going to finish up the song first and mix up the drums once I have the rest of the instruments down.

Update 1: (original bass sample):

http://www.box.net/shared/26ce1n5z5d

Update 2: (new bass sample):

http://www.box.net/shared/d3iyrvmp33

Tell me what you think. Thanks!

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Yeah, the piano sounds fine now, but I still think the drums and the bass sound fakish.

Still, a great feel to it. I like the style, and I dig the source too, so much that I've covered it myself in a retro rock 'n' roll style (here). :)

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Yeah, the piano sounds fine now, but I still think the drums and the bass sound fakish.

Still, a great feel to it. I like the style, and I dig the source too, so much that I've covered it myself in a retro rock 'n' roll style (here). :)

Yeah I have to figure out something with the drums and bass. I think the bass in the 2nd demo I put up sounds better than the first, but it's still not quite there.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the drums. In my head I can envision how I want them to sound, but I can't quite get that to translate onto my software right. I might have to look into a different program for laying down the drum beats, all I'm doing right now is tying together single beats of snare, bass, and hi-hat. Either that or just look for better samples.

I'm glad you like it though! Hopefully I'll have the majority of the song up sometime next week. I actually have your version of Dive Man on my itunes playlist :) I love it, that and your Jewel Man mix is awesome too. You make some great stuff, keep it up!

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Major Update:

So I've extended the song quite a bit now. I have a trumpet and a sax solo section. I'm not sure if those solos are the ones that are actually going to stay, I'm probably going to replace them after I work on them some more, but for know they are there.

Oh and I replaced the bass sample again... I still don't think it's quite right.

And I think the song is getting borderline repetitive, or maybe it's just me since I've heard it 6878974653 times now. I think I'm going to take some time away from it and come back to it later.

Tell me what you think of the changes so far. Thanks again everyone.

Dive Man Jazz Remix Demo 3:

http://www.box.net/shared/1gg0z4gfrj

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Definitely my kind of mix, I'd agree that it's a little repetitive but I think if you change things up a little ways in, and add your own flair to it you should be onto something.

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Update:

Ok, so this time around I got rid of the weak, fake sounding drums that everyone's been talking about. Drum sequencing is definitely not my forte, but I think I got this sounding pretty good now. The whole drum track has basically been rewritten, a lot more variation, and a lot better samples.

I also fixed some intonation and timing issues with the trumpet hits during the solo sections.

Any and all feedback is appreciated! Tell me what you think, Thanks!

Update 4:

http://www.box.net/shared/vv1mx966oc

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I listened to your first and fourth entries only.

So I was going to say something about the trumpet sound, but then I figured out you probably played it yourself.

Which is far from bad, cause it gives that band feel to the song, and really participate of the whole jazz atmosphere.

Somehow, certains parts make it stands out a little too much, but overall it's enjoyable.

The song cuts a little too suddenly, you could have looped / faded it... but don't listen to me, I'm far too concern about small details.

The drums have been redone quite well since the first iteration. I'm not an at it expert too, but the change is undoubtely significant.

I like this cool, lay down vibe you've given to it. This is coming up nicely.

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Somehow, certains parts make it stands out a little too much, but overall it's enjoyable.

The song cuts a little too suddenly, you could have looped / faded it...

Oh, yeah the song just kind of cuts off because I haven't finished it yet. I plan on having closer to the 4 minute mark for the entire song, I just haven't gotten the next parts ironed out yet, so that's why it just abruptly ends. And yeah I still need to fine tune all the mastering, so that's why everything hasn't blended well yet. I'll address all those minor details once I have the entire track more or less how I want it.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad with how this is coming along so far.

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Update:

Alright so I've been working on this a lot the past week. Structurally the song is where I (think) want it to be. I added a little 'chill out' section with some piano and trombone accompaniment that leads up to the finale of the song, as well as a cheesy intro part that I like nonetheless. I think it really helps give it that real live jazz band feel that I am trying to give to the song.

Basically now I just want to go through and do a lot of fine tuning. Volume levels, dynamics, intonation, and what not, to get everything to blend well together and sound appropriate.

Once I finish polishing it up, I'm going to attempt to submit it here, so if anyone has any advice I'd greatly appreciate it. I haven't really submitted anything serious to OCR so I'm not quite sure the best way to go around doing it, other than just submitting and hoping for the best.

Tell me what you think everyone! Thanks.

Update 5:

http://www.box.net/shared/toa1lgavos

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Allright,

So overall improvement since last version. Much cleaner, drums A ok.

But the wind intruments still seem a bit cheap at times. Not a big deal.

I really liked your little improvisation at the end, refreshing.

The only real complain I have, is that it seems the main part repeats itself a little too often.

Maybe you could had another variation mid-song to diversify your piece.

I'm looking forward to your 'fine tunning' on this one.

Keep it up.

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Wow, I really like the changes you've come up with in the latest version, my concern at first was that it was very repetitive, and you've managed to add some different sections and manage to make it sound less repetitive and more like it's moving towards something (of which, the outro was pretty cool!).

It has a very live feel, not something I can really recall hearing in a mix before, but I really think it works. You've already said you're going to do some fine tuning, which is all I could really suggest at this point, volume levels and stuff.

You've done a lot of work very quickly but I think this has come pretty far over the last week or so.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! I appreciate it!

@ZealPath, yeah I though the ending fit perfectly :smile:

The only real complain I have, is that it seems the main part repeats itself a little too often.

Maybe you could had another variation mid-song to diversify your piece.

Yeah, I had been thinking that at times too... I never really repeat the same melody twice, there are always at least some variations on the theme to try to keep it fresh. I might mix up some of the transitions though to give it some more variety, we'll see.

Hopefully I'll have some of the fine tuning posted up by early next week.

Thanks again everyone.

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Ok, well this isn't anything structurally different with this update. It's mainly all 'fine tuning':

  • I raised the master volume for the whole track, cause it was a little quiet, when I was comparing it to other songs.
  • I lowered the volume for the improv section (2:30 - 3:05) to make more of a contrast between the preceding and latter parts.
  • I lowered the reverb on the trumpets a bit, cause they were a bit too echoey, given the environment I was trying to emulate.
  • I also boosted the bass just a bit throughout the entire track.
  • I also fixed a few troublesome trumpet notes that were clashing between 2:17 - 2:29

I'm kind of at a loss with what else to do with this. I didn't want to fine tune it to much because then it would kind of lose that live feel I was trying to give to the song. I don't want it sound like a studio recording, I was going for a live jazz/big band feel set in a small, dark nightclub. Hence why the whole track has a kind of 'fuzzy' feel to it.

I think I'm about ready to submit to OCR (wish me luck!), unless anyone has any last minute suggestions. Tell me what you think! Thanks again.

Update 6: Superior X - Lay Down and Dive (MM4 Dive Man)

http://www.box.net/shared/0ykz5m1tq6

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Yoch! I've been waiting for this one.

So you adressed all the issues previously mentioned, and that's great.

-Volume up to standard was a must, considering the judges mention it as a requirement too.

-The improv (which is my fav part) now fits really well, and transition smoothly. Nicely done.

-I'm not sure about the bass, being a slap one & all. But it doesn't stands out that much. That's fine.

-You shouldn't have to fine tune too much as you said, cause the meat of the mix was already here.

-As for the 'night club jazz' feeling, you ought to mention that in your desciption.

So to avoid people thinking you haven't fine tuned as much as you should have beforehand! ;-)

This track could potentially be a shocker, as it's really different in style from anything I've heard.

But then again, I mean that in a positive way, cause frankly, I thought you did an exellent job on this one.

And as a Megaman fan, I thank you for such wonderful tribute.

Maybe you should wait for some 'experimented remixers' to drop you a line, just to be on the safe side.

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The piano sounds a bit weak and really dry, also a bit mechanical - needs more velocity work, more reverb, a bit of low frequency boosting maybe. Not sure the piano writing is all that jazzy, seems just to be serving as filler. Imagine having/knowing/being a jazz pianist, what'd they do in a track like this?

The toms sound panned like a recorded and mixed track, but the snare seems too weak for that to work and the hats aren't panned enough. Make up your mind about how you want them panned and processed. Stronger snare and more hihat panning, or less tom panning. I really like the tom panning in the end fills tho, so I suggest you pan and fix the rest to fit that.

The count-in and sticks didn't sound good, consider starting the track with the drum intro.

Bass seems a bit dull, could sue some EQ work or a different sample to I can actually hear the bassline melody, not just the rhythm.

That's what I've got. From what I remember, it's improved a lot. Nice work, but it's not out of the woods yet imo.

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And as a Megaman fan, I thank you for such wonderful tribute.

Well thanks! I'm glad you like it so much, now I just hope the judges will! :smile:

The piano sounds a bit weak and really dry

Bass seems a bit dull, could sue some EQ work or a different sample to I can actually hear the bassline melody, not just the rhythm.

Yeah I agree... I added a little more reverb to the piano to dampen the sound. For most of the song the piano is filler, until the improv section at the end, so I guess I didn't want it to stand out to much. For the bass, yeah I can't seem to get it quite how I wanted it. I wanted it a little more prominent but not too overpowering. I've tried messing with the EQ a bit and I think it sounds a little better now (I'll have to re-post an update soon). I think I'm going to add in a little more lower brass to accentuate the bass melody.

The count-in and sticks didn't sound good, consider starting the track with the drum intro.

Awww... but I like the count-in and sticks :-( heh, I'm probably going to leave those in anyway. Thanks a lot for the feedback though, it's a great help.

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Ok, so another minor update:

Here I raised the reverb on the piano to attempt to dampen the sound, to not make it so dry in parts. I also adjusted the bass a bit, and added in some faint low brass accents to attempt to accentuate the bass melody. I think it worked. I messed with the panning on the hihats as well, but I don't think it's very noticeable. I'm pretty sure this is how I'm going to leave the track before I submit.

Update 7:

http://www.box.net/shared/5zjnpkt7bo

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