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Golden Sun vs Chrono Trigger - Deadly Duo


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I'm not a mod, but oh well.

Quick observations:

- Free samples used, nothing inherently wrong with that.

- Sequencing on these samples coupled with little to no automation of volumes for swells nor creative layering of articulations to compensate for fake samples yields an overall "soundfont-like" orchestral rendition.

- The mixing in the context of these samples is OK but not great, and I was a bit disappointed in how the piano at 2:01 was so narrow and buried, which heavily cluttered that section when the violins and trumpets were playing countermelodies. This isn't the only cluttered section; listen carefully to see if you can hear where some instruments are too loud.

- 3:22 is harmonically strange, and it doesn't sound right at this current state of mixing. It may sound better when the balancing is adjusted to sound cleaner or when some wrong notes are looked into. You can actually have good augmented/diminished dissonance, but that's quite hard. Setting aside an hour and a half to watch

may help you. zircon's using Roland SC-88 samples.

- The sequencing is mechanical as you well know from other people saying it. This should be fixed by meaningful velocity tweaking while you fix the overall realism with automation and layering of articulations.

Edited by timaeus222
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First off, I REALLY like the way you've blended your trumpet, flute, and strings together. Nicely arranged. You can tell that the samples aren't the greatest, but they're passable and you use them pretty well.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing about the piano or the drums. Those feel very mechanical and "same-ey," with very little tonal differentiation between loud and soft notes. Also, the sequencing feels very "stuck-to-the-piano-roll," with very little humanization to those parts. At close to 3:00 in the song, the strings and trumpet also start to suffer from this malady as well.

For the drums: consider the fact that a drummer only has two hands and two feet. Try and write a realistic beat based off of this fact. Otherwise, it's hard to listen to. Plus, the samples really aren't in your favor. They're dry and thin, without much body at all to them. If you can get a different drum kit and rely less on the snare drum, that might help you out a lot. The alternative might be to forgo trying to make a "kit" drum and just pursue a more traditional, "orchestral" set. Big cymbal crashes, concert snare drums, and a bass drum. That way, you can still get a lot of snare action in there, but you're not losing touch with reality, since the snare is the *only* instrument played by that musician in an orchestral setting.

Piano: You might want to try and find a darker-sounding piano, and maybe give it a bit more action in the lower registers. Not sure if I'm really able to pinpoint it, but it's missing "something."

Overall I really enjoyed the song, but the mix felt like it was missing something most of the way through. I'm not sure if it was the fact that you hard-panned a lot of your instruments and left the middle of the soundscape wide open, or just that there wasn't a lot of low-end to the track, but there's something missing.

Again, I enjoyed it, and I think it's close. Just gotta polish off those last few things. I can tell you spent a lot of time getting the flute, violins, and trumpet "just so." Let's get the drums and the piano to the same level of polish, and I think we'll be on the right track.

Hopefully this gives you some good stuff to go off of.


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Excellent! Thanks very much for the detailed review; it's helpful for me to know not only what sounds wrong, but why it sounds wrong, and the information you folks have offered is great =)

I think that a big part of the problem with the piano is that it's just buried too deeply beneath other sounds. When I started this remix, I didn't have much of a grasp on how many voices the ear can pay attention to. I still don't know enough about that, but I think that I just have too many instruments going at once. I'll try to adjust levels and maybe even scalpel out a track or two when the piano comes in.

As far as the piano sample goes, I actually switched it to a brighter-sounding instrument because I thought it had too much of the lower frequencies in it. Perhaps the headphones I'm using are weighted too heavily towards bass; I'll have to try a couple of pairs and reevaluate.

The drums are... well, they're a bitch. I've rewritten them a couple of times and never been very happy with how they've turned out. I guess I'll try rewriting them, especially since I made the jump from 6/8 (which favored the snappier, more machine-like drumline) to 3/4 (which should jive better with orchestral instrumentation). It's just... frustrating. How do the timpani sound, by the way?

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  • 2 weeks later...
I think that a big part of the problem with the piano is that it's just buried too deeply beneath other sounds. When I started this remix, I didn't have much of a grasp on how many voices the ear can pay attention to. I still don't know enough about that, but I think that I just have too many instruments going at once. I'll try to adjust levels and maybe even scalpel out a track or two when the piano comes in.

That happens to be a question that should give a very broad answer. Technically, every person has a different hearing "capacity". This is assuming they can hear perfectly fine in both ears.

When a person first starts off music composition, often their ear adjusts to the headphones or speakers he/she uses. Let's say the person uses a pair of Sony MDR-7502's (even though they may be discontinued from certain areas) after using generic store-brand headphones. The Sonys have =2341"]this frequency distribution. Looking at that, you can see that it doesn't give much bass at all, and the treble is almost as weak. However, if those were your second pair of headphones, you probably couldn't tell anything was wrong because your ears had grown accustomed to those new headphones specifically. Now let's say you read some reviews online about some other headphones that you think seem better. Let's say the headphones you picked are Shure SRH240A. Those have =2801&graphID[1]=&graphID[2]=&graphID[3]=&scale=30&graphType=0&buttonSelection=Update+Graph"]this frequency distribution. You can see that there's a good amount of bass improvement and a bit of treble improvement. Specifics aside, it's obvious that the Shure SRH240A have a larger frequency response range than the Sony MDR-7502. Therefore, it is typically the case that when you replaced the Sonys with the Shures, you heard that the Shures sound better to your own ears, or at least different.

Let's say overall you are content with using those Shures for a good long while. Over that long while, in theory you would be able to hear more than when you had the Sonys. Why? Because the wider the frequency response range, the more previously-unapparent instruments in certain songs become more apparent and present. How far people are along this which-headphones-are-the-best-for-me path dictates his/her hearing "capacity". The better audio equipment the person has, the larger the number of instruments that can be easily observed.

That aside, the average person is typically at the moment in their headphone-purchasing path where they own and constantly replace generic earbuds such as skullcandies and iPod earbuds. Those people typically have hearing "capacities" close to that of the Sony MDR-7502 owners. Either too little bass and treble, too little bass or treble, too much bass or treble, or too much bass and treble. So really, hearing capacities are all over the place for the average person. Generally speaking though, the average person hears the lead sound first (typically vocals), followed by the bass, followed by the kick/snare, then the cymbals, then the harmonies, then the hi hats. Two exceptions are drummers likely hearing the drums first, and guitarists likely hearing the guitars first because of their inherent biases in favor of the instruments they each play. That's why you often see drummers air drumming to a song or guitarists air guitaring to a song. Commonly, the average person would probably hear 1~2 instruments at once on the first listen, and 2~4 if they were told to listen closely.

Edited by timaeus222
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  • 5 months later...

Okay, I'm calling it finished. No, the drums aren't perfect, but try as I might, I couldn't get them to be. I've submitted it and, unless I get a conditional acceptance, I'm not planning on tinkering with it anymore. It's nearly 5 years old and it's time to close the chapter. I've got a couple of other remixes I'm playing with that incorporated the lessons I learned while making this one, so it's time to focus on those instead.

For those who want to see the youtube video (which is worth checking out for the AWESOME art a cool guy let me use), it's here:

Thanks again for all of the help, encouragement, and feedback! It would still sound like the shitty first draft if not for you guys =)

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