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Legend of Zelda Theme ReMix (WIP)


DragnBreth
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My pleasure. Always great to here an original take on a classic.

As far as percussion, what you have is sufficient. It seems that a lot of people either have very static percussion, or go way too far trying to be creative. I think you handle it well, considering the style of the song. There's a little percussive noise around 0:59 (marimba?) which I didn't pick up on at first but adds structure.

Now, if you were to repeat the overworld theme bit from 0:43 to 1:21 later in the song, I would suggest adding marching drum snare rolls as part of the background (maybe changed, more positive, or with more layers?) motif.

You've got a very nice mix going here.

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Indeed, a good start to a classicly awesome song.

I gotta say, it sounds like you need to watch your levels and see how much you're hitting your master fader. I've checked on my main speakers and my headphones, made sure all levels going through my mixer was fine, checked other songs to make sure it wasn't my hardware, but I hear massive distorting going on in your mix currently when pianos get heavy at :20-:21 and :28-:29 to name a couple.

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Piano is too loud compared to the strings, and it's pretty mechanical, especially noticeable in the mid-low key range. Work with the velocities to get more of a human performance out of it. Something about the reverb on the strings is off, you could try using a little more reverb on them.

The instrument you've got in the background around 1:10 needs to be brought out better, not it just sounds like melodic noises. The march snare has some panning thing going on which is pretty annoying. Give it space by some other means. Plucked strings at the end are pretty, but don't sound good. Higher sustain, longer notes, longer release, something... yeah and watch the velocities so it toodoesn't stay mechanical.

You're also sticking pretty close to the original in both progression and arrangement. This sounds mostly like a stripped down version of the original. You've got a few more original bits that you could expand on, with more reference to source melodies, instead of using the structure of the original as a crutch.

More interpretation, try your own progressions. Once you have your own progression it's no problem fitting parts of source verbatim into it without having to worry about it being too conservative.

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Thanks for the feedback, Rozovian. Much appreciated. I'll take your suggestions into consideration... already trying to implement a few of them, actually.

I do have a question, though:

Piano is too loud compared to the strings, and it's pretty mechanical, especially noticeable in the mid-low key range. Work with the velocities to get more of a human performance out of it.

I'm currently playing around with the velocities of the notes for the piano sections, but I'm wondering if there are other ways to give it that human feel? Or is velocity basically it? (My appologies if its a completely dumb question, but alas I am not as well versed in music as I would like to be).

Thanks again,

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I'm still hearing some kind of percussion between 1:04 and 1:14...

I agree with Rozo about interpretation. You might want to alter the volume of the piano in places to give it a more human feel and emotion.

As for the snare drums, I was thinking about short drum rolls. Maybe mix some in with the snare hits? I think it would separate the sound and add diversity.

The ending is nice. It's not really tied in to the rest of the mix very strongly but I like the concept.

Good work!

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I do have a question, though:

I'm currently playing around with the velocities of the notes for the piano sections, but I'm wondering if there are other ways to give it that human feel? Or is velocity basically it? (My appologies if its a completely dumb question, but alas I am not as well versed in music as I would like to be).

Thanks again,

Maybe I'm stepping out on a limb here but essentially the answer to your question is yes....there's basically two things that will make something like a piano sound human.

That's velocity in the fact that a human will NEVER play a note consecutively with exact pressure, so those ever slight changes in the volume make a huge difference...especially with dramatic swells, a piano player may play one part softer then build up and strike the keys harder.

The second thing is the fact that no human will ever hit the note exactly on every beat. The old "Eb and flow" of a piano movement is very important. Now, I'm not telling you to go throw your notes off the beat lol, and personally I just quantize mine, and I'm sure a lot of other people do to, but realistically that slight differences of the notes not going "mathematically exactly" on the note also add to humanization.

Just my input on your question =P

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Ah, a great piece to source.

The good:

:00 I like the use of cellos/basses here

:44 Nice piano writing here. I like it.

General great ideas throughout the piece.

The Bad:

~:15 You need to mix the piano better into the orchestra. It sticks out way too much.

~1:35 The field drum sound here doesn't match the style. Consider a regular concert snare drum instead. The part is also too simplistic. It almost sounds like a bass drum part. Look up some snare drum rudiments. A lot of your hits make good accent points, but you need some filler in between. Some rolls would be nice, too. It's also too loud.

2:50 - There is no transition into this key change. The long note in the basses doesn't provide any preparation for the listener of the key change, and as such you get a feeling like you're driving along and you hit a pothole.

3:16 - This feels tacked-on. Either transition into it better, or replace it with a simple single-note bass stinger.

Overall:

Nicely done, arrangement wise. There are a couple of minor things that need attention with the arrangement, though.

Firstly, make better use of your string section. It can really enhance your transitions to have some moving string lines instead of chords.

Secondly, your percussion sounds like an afterthought. You cymbals were used properly, but your snare drum writing needs a lot of work. Consider using a brighter-sounding snare sound in this piece, as well. It sounds like a heavy field drum, which is a sound more suited for a march. Also, consider using some accessory instruments or even some lighter snare parts in the earlier parts of the piece and ending. Some timpani rolls on some of those transitions could add depth as well.

There was one transition that needed much attention as mentioned in The Bad. Also, refine your ending to make it feel like part of the piece.

Performance is where most of the trouble lies.

Balance: The piano is the dominant instrument, but the rest of the orchestra matters. Make sure not to totally drown out the strings. Also, back your snare drum off. It needs to fit inside of the orchestra sound.

Phrase Shaping: There is not a wide dynamic range here. More dynamics will turn an already good piece into a great one. Also, don't be afraid to lean on the tempo to bring out a phrase or emphasize a transition.

Panning: It may be just me, but I swear I hear basses panned to the left channel. Right side, please. Most orchestras put them there.

Overall, I think this is a very strong piece. With a little polish, I would expect it to sail through for a YES on the panel. Great ideas, I can't wait to hear more from you.

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Ah, a great piece to source.

Agreed. One o' my favorites. Which is why theres something like 4 or 5 different attempts at remixing it on my computer, lol... 2 of them metal... and both abandoned 'cuz, well, I can't actually play the guitar parts for it :P lol.

Secondly, your percussion sounds like an afterthought.

Saddly, it was. BUT I am certainly going to work on it, after a bit of research, of course.

2:50 - There is no transition into this key change. The long note in the basses doesn't provide any preparation for the listener of the key change, and as such you get a feeling like you're driving along and you hit a pothole.

Totally forgot I had a keychange in there... I don't think that was purposely done, either. I'll see if I can figure out how to transition into it... if not I'll just change it... *shrug*

Phrase Shaping: There is not a wide dynamic range here. More dynamics will turn an already good piece into a great one.

Honestly, I have no idea what any of that is... -_-; Everything I know about music is basically self-taught or learned from examining other people's music...

Panning: It may be just me, but I swear I hear basses panned to the left channel. Right side, please. Most orchestras put them there.

Good piece of information to know. Thanks! However, as far as I can tell, the c-bass is panned dead center... I tried to pan it to the right, but it didn't have any effect... I'm thinking it has something to do with the soundfont I'm using... the orchestral strings one from DarkeSword's soundfont page. Dunno if that makes a difference or not.

Again, thanks... I'ma go let this all stew in my brain for a bit before trying to implement it... 'sides I have a lot of school work that needs catching up on. Yay procrastination -_-;

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"Honestly, I have no idea what any of that is... -_-; Everything I know about music is basically self-taught or learned from examining other people's music..."

When someone refers to the dynamics of the song, they are essentially referring to the lulls and swells of a song. If you listen to orchestral music it's VERY dynamic in that some parts are very quiet with maybe a flute and violin playing something sweet and then it builds into something dramatic, loud, and very present in the mix like when all instruments come together for the "Oomph" of the song.

Most new songs, however, are so overly compressed and just smashed like the dickins through mastering that there is absolutely no dynamics left to the song. (Compression in a nutshell is basically bringing your sound floor up...meaning all your quiet things will be brought up louder to match the louder things to give it a more 'even' feel to it)

You'd probably really benefit from reading up on DSP, or Dynamic Signal Processing. I know they have some tutorials on this website, so check out some info on compression and EQ, limiters, things of that nature to also help bring out some sparkle in your mix.

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Updated.

Okay, so I worked on the suggestions posted above, and hopefully that means a decent improvement in the song.

Played around with Compression and EQ, tried my best to add a more human feel to the piano sections, fixed (hopefully) the snare drum issues, and took out the last bit while I work on it... not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it but I'll think of something.

(I wanted to type R&R (read and review), lol... I blame many years spent on FictionPress and the midnight showing of X-Men Origins :sleepdepriv:.)

L&R I guess :D

Hopefully there are improvements, and of course, I am open to any suggestions on how to continue improving on this piece.

Edit: I'm sure most realize, but just in case, I'm just updating the link on my first post instead of adding a new link every time I update.

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  • 4 months later...

Piano still loud comparatively when it comes in. Also, the drum hits combined with the piano at :28 - :29 are distorting and general clipping is occurring here and there throughout the first minute or so of the piano.

The snare that you have going in this is kind of weak. I don't mean volume, I just mean the overall tone of the thing. Also, at the 2:13 mark it seems like everything should get a little more intense so if you're going to keep that snare going at that time, you should really have the snare do something else besides the same beat you started with.

Been a while since I listened to the original and all, what program did you say you were using to make this again? I know reason has a "flam" feature on the snare. If you're not familiar with a flam just look it up. Basically, add a little "seasoning" if you will on that snare beat just to try and make the whole thing a little more interesting when the song is implying it's getting a little more intense since you're using timpani rolls and such.

Last but not least, like I believe someone said earlier in the thread....the song really does stick too close to the source. Don't know if it'll be considered really remixed at this point, but hey man, you're learning.

Good luck

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I must add that the song seems rather repetetive. This is very normal when starting out, as I did it too :P To improve on the note of repetativeness, the second time you go through the zelda theme, add variations, flips, and jumps!!! ....I don't know, be creative!

Also, the left hand sounds a bit nonhuman, in the sense, that it doesn't flow smoothly and just kind of cuts in and out while the main theme is playing... Firstly, try extending the notes just so they dont seem too chopped. And maybe add some more notes inbetween that help accompany the melody smoothly.

This could become something amazing!

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