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Volcano Valley Zone-Sonic 3D Blast Genesis Version


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I bumped this thread rather than make a new once since I am working on the same song.

Main source

Mini-sources

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgrC1CFOJKg&feature=related

Update as of Dec.11/2011

stats.png

-I junked the synths and the cabasa and replaced them with orchestral instrument samples.

-I used drums that sounded a bit more epic.

-Rather than layering bells, I have like two different types of bells in total.

-Made some minor changes to the arrangement.

Still some mixing issues I need to work on (I did this on headphones), but this one sounds closer to how I had originally envisioned it. Has a bit more "power" to it you could say.

Feedback is appreciated.

Update as of Sept.9

My submission got rejected. The issues were

-It was too sparse (some of it due to instrument levels and writing)

-The beat lacked power.

-Lack of bass to fill the low-end.

-It was too simple (not a lot going on a most times).

-Rigid drum sequencing.

So on this 9th WIP is an attempt to fix those issues. I also trimmed off a minute to reduce the fat and remastered it.

stats.png

Feedback is welcome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like this mix, but here are some things I noticed while listening to it:

-The toms sound VERY fake sounding. All the other drums sound fake but not quite as bad as the toms. I'd recommend getting some cleaner samples (maybe check freesound.org)

-Needs more dynamic contrast

-Everything needs a little reverb

-Is that a bell sound or bass synth on the low end? If it's bass, you might want to detune it and add another waveform on top. Actually I'm not sure for that one, it just sounds weird to me :)

I'm not sure what else right now. But I hope you get some varied opinions here ^^

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Thanks for the feedback. =)

- I used these drums in my last WIP and they were fine from what I read. I think the problem in this case might be that I tuned the toms and the snare to a sound reference for them for this project. I'll tune them again though to see how it works out.

-Dynamic contrast I looked up just now. lol. I plan on extending the song a bit more so I'll try and give that a go too.

-For the low end I am using a lead. I made it low. It's not a typical sound but I felt it helped with the mood so I just rolled with it.

-Reverb... I actually used quite a bit. I guess the reverb preset I used didn't cut it. And soloing the drums, it really didn't cut it. I'll experiment with with different types.

Thanks again.

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Haha hmm. Well that was probably my first critique, so I would take my comments with a grain of salt. If you used a lot of reverb and nobody comments on it, leave it there. I guess for the drums, maybe I'm just used to hearing similar ones on my MIDI keyboard. I just meant that they would sound much more epic if they were punchier and more realistic sounding. Maybe echo? I dunno. I'd play around with it a bit, but if you think it sounds fine, leave it there.

Also, did you already release a WIP beforehand? I thought that if we did, we were supposed to post later ones in the same thread :)

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I have 2 other WIPs of this, but this is one I submitted first. My first version I did render it, but I didn't want to submit it knowing I could do more with it already. The second one the same reason, but moreso on the mixing side of things and I wanted to try and implement the tips I got when I did one of my other side projects This resulted in my third one which I thought was the most polished. Still had some other ideas though.

Anyways, here is my 4th work in progress.

img.php?fid=498

-I used a different reverb preset for my instruments and I gave the drums their own reverb preset... and I even gave the hi-hat and cymbols their own preset. lol. It should sound less dry hopefully.

-I adjusted the tune of the Toms and tried a different compression setting for them. They should pop out a bit more. I also increased the volume of the snare.

-I made two attempts at dynamic contrast in two areas of the song.

-I added a bit more melody to the song and as a result it is longer.

Well... enjoy and critique away!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like the intro, but at 0:11, there are some weird cutoffs that are distracting.

0:17, 0:21, 0:24 - Whoa, what. Sounds like a wrong note in the plucking progression that just KILLS the feel. Look into the original again and fix these.

0:38 - Ouch. That's hellishly loud for as quiet as the intro was.

0:45 - Again, that's REALLY loud and muddy.

0:53 - 1:29 I can't hear much beyond DOOM DOOM DOOOMA DA-DOOM DOOM DOOMA and "BOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGG". I'm sorry, this is just... not good.

1:29 - 1:58 - The background pluckline should actually go underneath the melody, when you have the notes right.

1:58 - 2:57 - That section went nowhere until the very end.

2:57 - 3:11 - There needs to be more going on to continue the energy that you JUST had in the tune.

3:26 - 3:55 - Not exciting enough in the programming to be a drum solo...

3:55 - Sudden dropoff to flute + harp?

4:24 - My sub goes balashfhaweufoewufh again.

4:51 - I heard one loud, rogue harp note.

5:05 - Tune the flute/picc. It's not tuned with the rest of the instruments you have, and it's WAAAY too loud.

Overall, I think you have some good ideas in your head, but need a bit more experience in putting things together. Transcribing / re-arranging by ear is good ear training, if you can get something to compare your result with an original (check for a MIDI on vgmusic).

Appropriate layering, scoring, and sound choice are going to be the next things to work on. The drum sequencing wasn't awful, it was just too loud, and got uninteresting/boring shortly after it started. It also felt like the percussion was written with a whole different idea in mind. Also a genre clash of percussion vs. instrumentation.

Best of luck.

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Thanks Escargot for the feedback.

-It took me a bit but hear the cut offs you are complaining about. I think something went wrong with the rendering at the time. Hopefully this won't be a problem next time.

-The notes you described @ the 0:17, 0:21, 0:24, I used those notes for the flute and bell parts of the chours at 1:29-1:58. Are those wrong as well? I compared them to a MIDI version of the song I got from VGMusic (thanks for directing me to that site). I think the note is A#. When I do a comparison, the flute and bells sound right, but for some reason the harp doesn't. Maybe it's just me?

-The 0:38 part and forward, I was going for dynamic contrast... perhaps I made it a little TOO dynamic?. I will lower that part so that it isn't as loud. I'll also try readjusting the other levels that were of concern.

-the flute and harp part @ 3:55 I wanted to calm down the energy for a little bit.

This may sound like a weird question, but you said 1:58-2:57 went nowhere. It seems to a common problem I have. How can I make a section that has bit more meaning? I was even thinking of picking up a for Dummies book to see if it might help. lol

Again thanks for taking the time to listen and give me some hints.

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Yeah, 1:29 - 1:58. It seems that anywhere you have that phrase, you're hitting wrong notes.

Not only is 0:38 loud, but the voice is harsh, and has a muddy sound to it that's present throughout the song where it's used.

As far as 1:58 - 2:57, that's a solid minute of the same backing plus a lackluster flute solo. It's just... kinda... there, and blah. Re-write would be the way to give that section more meaning.

Also, not a problem. I'm subscribed to the thread, so when you post a new WIP version, I'll check it out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On one hand I have to say very, very nice.

On the other hand, is everything in tune? I like the mixing it up in the melody but often I got that "Wait, is this a key change?" feeling when the bells chimed in. Later with the flute as well, from 2;28. Might just be me.

The harp. First note of every bar is just distractingly strong in my opinion. From 0:00 to 0:12. I guess it's deliberate but I'm not sure what you're trying to say with it. I think that if that note was just as soft as those that follow it would be sweetly soft and a much nicer intro.

Personally I think the flute chorus (is this the chorus?, don't know) at 1:44 should be postponed. Firstly because for me, that's the best part of the tune and I would enjoy more build up to it (I like the returns to it later though). Secondly, because the stuff from 1:29 to 1:44 is just begging for another run through with some slight addition, in my opinion. It's more this reason than the first. This part finishes and it's a bit surprising.

Don't know what to suggest about the minute of flute solo afterwards. It is a bit like waiting for the song to continue.

One more thing. Would you consider replacing the ending with something basically just like the intro, perhaps fading out? Just a suggestion, I'm not the expert nor the owner.

Overall though, really nice. I really like the soft but moving feel it has. The source deserved to be in a better Sonic game (though by this point in time it was pretty much over for decent Sonic games).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for the feedback Defend! Glad you liked it for the most of it. I am in the process of rendering the file now and I took in what you suggested.

-I didn't change the key for the flute part or the bells @ 2:28. It's the same notes. The flute sounds a bit peculiar with certain notes though I will admit. I changed that in the revision I'm about to post.

-The intro... I saw what you meant. I made the amendment.

-I experimented with the first chorus. The first flute chorus is gone and instead I put in a choir. I find it sounds a bit more ominous on the second run.

-Man that damned flute solo is gonna be the end of me. I kept the first half of the second verse cause I liked the energy, but the second half of that same verse has been changed. I used a piccolo instead of the lead flute for the later. I also added a choir to that part as well. It should sound less boring now (I HOPE).

-I THOUGHT about doing the fading out of the chours for the end, but I am trying to avoid that since it's been done on another arrangement based on this. I don't want to be seen as copping out or biting. I repeated the intro in the ending but added a final note to make it feel more complete compared to the interruption that happened.

EDIT: Here is the latest one

img.php?fid=596

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Arrangement works for me. The drum writing and the out-of-key notes would have to be dealt with, but the erst I'm fine with. After 4 minutes it feels like it's run its course and should have ended. The 4:54-5:08 part would be a decent ending, sans drums and with some minor changes to the writing of its second half.

Anyway, the beginning works for me, tho the drum mixing (and writing) needs some work. Toms need more bass. The bass has some clashing notes. It's a cool bassline, but it clashes with the other stuff. Not sure your bass sound is right either, sounds like a synth where just about everything else are samples. Church bells are a little too loud. Drums aren't loud enough (or t least snot strong enough), and the hihat pattern doesn't feel right to me (and it's not realistic to have that hihat pattern playing over the toms).

Clashing notes a little everywhere, like in your lead at 2:18 and 2:34.

1:58-2:57 section sounds ok to me, it's not as directionless as you said you thought it was in your pm. You could cut some filler melodies from the lead, it's okay to have pauses in the lead. ;)

To keep it from dragging out, you could end it with the 3:42-3:55 part, but the part that follows could be the best in the whole mix. 3:55-4:10, I mean. Seems like putting the parts in a different order could help this mix a lot, you've got a lot of cool parts here.

Repetitive within the sections and not stitched together in the best order, clashing notes and some mixing problems, some weird transitions and key problems. That said, there's enough good stuff here to make it worth sticking with, like 0:00-0:29, 0:38-1:14, 1:29... Okay screw it, I'm gonna cut it apart and stitch it together myself and show you what I mean. :P

edit: screw that, all I did was cut a minute of repetition and fail to piece it together it any better order. Cutting that minute out did help tho (mostly just repetition). Maybe the problem is that there's no real lift, no "big" part. It has a lot of mysterious builds and grooves, so when I say "big" I don't mean a full-out crash into awesome-type section. That would probably change the style too much. Cut the repetition, add a finale, a "big" (not too big) part after the builds, and deal with the aforementioned issues, and you should have a pretty cool mix on your hands.

Hope my early in the morning ramblings are helpful to you. Good luck. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you very much Rozovian! The ramblings were of help. lol. And you were right about the bass being a synth. I am actually using three different synths in the song. I took a look at the notes that I have for the majority of the song and compared it the parts that were of concerned to you. The bassline for sure had some notes that were a semi-tone off. Other "odd" notes I found as well (not sure I found all of them though). I also attempted to rearrange some of the parts to see if I might be able to come up with something but I fared no better than you. XD Anyways, here is the update.

img.php?fid=609

-I was able to cut down some of the repetition. I was able cut through about 30 secs or so. Mostly around the beginning and 3/4 into the song. So it is around 5 mins max (Cause in retrospect a nearly 6 min song to be much =\)

-Changed the ending. I took out the drums and played with some notes. As a result it ended up softer and "dreamy" compared to the one I had in the beginning. I kinda like it compared to what I had before. (I just hope it works).

-I increased the volume of the drums and readjusted everything accordingly. Used a different compressor preset for the Tom and boosted the bass frequency. I ditched the hi-hat and replaced it with the cabasa.

-Amended a couple of notes.

-Tried out a different bass synth to see if it works better.

-Adjusted the bell levels.

The "big" part is still pending.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Update as of Sept.9

My submission got rejected. The issues were

-It was too sparse (some of it due to instrument levels and writing)

-The beat lacked power.

-Lack of bass to fill the low-end.

-It was too simple (not a lot going on a most times).

-Rigid drum sequencing.

So on this 9th WIP is an attempt to fix those issues. I also trimmed off a minute to reduce the fat and remastered it.

stats.png

Feedback is welcome.

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  • 1 year later...

ZOMBIE THREAD

This is my latest version of my Volcano Valley Zone Remix

stats.png

-I junked the synths and the cabasa and replaced them with orchestral instrument samples.

-I used drums that sounded a bit more epic.

-Rather than layering bells, I have like two different types of bells in total.

-Made some minor changes to the arrangement.

Still some mixing issues I need to work on (I did this on headphones), but this one sounds closer to how I had originally envisioned it. Has a bit more "power" to it you could say.

Feedback is appreciated.

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