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Donkey Kong Country - Life in the Mines


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Game: Donkey Kong Country

Original Track: Life in the Mines

ReMix: stats.png

This is actually my second ReMix of this song (first was in this:http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22879 mini-medley, which I'll be coming back to later). It was made entirely in Reason 4 and it's part of a collaborative remix project on a DKC fansite. Arrangement-wise, it's pretty much finished (just gotta change the drums and work on some transitions), but I think the production might be a bit off. So, please give feedback/criticism/advice if you can. :-P

By the way, there's also a few cameos/references in there. They are, in order of appearance:

0:20 - Green Brinstar (Super Metroid)

1:01(piano) - Cave Dweller Concert (Donkey Kong Country) [the bit at 2:08]

2:29 - Mining Melancholy/Kanon's Klaim (Donkey Kong Country 2)

Also 4:55 sounds like On to Grasstown (Cave Story), but that was an accident.

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good arrangement, lots of creative ideas and variation from section to section, and the cameos were well-placed and executed. i really like the trippy bit at the end :-)

the sampled instruments (esp. strings) are kinda weak and the sequencing isn't very humanistic in terms of rhythm and velocity. the mixing is a little flat too - i could go for some more low frequencies, as well as some more highs on some of the synths in the back half.

as you've said, production is a bit off, but the arrangement is strong. certainly an enjoyable listen, but i'd love to hear those samples beefed up a little ;-)

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Nice remix! I loved the effect at 0:06, what is that? The overall feeling of the song is wonderful, it sounds very much like Donkey Kong style.

I do agree with halc about the strings sounding a bit weak. If you don't have any better samples, you could try adjusting the volume a bit, using crescendos and decrescendos, that works wonders.

The part at 3:47 sounds a bit clippy to me, I think it has something to do with the percussion. Also, I would lower the volume of the synths a little bit, they're drowning the guitar solo.

Other than that, a very creative and relaxing remix, just a little tweaking and it'll be perfect, good job!

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I didn't think the production was too bad here. The piano is very mechanical though - it sounds like there's almost nothing done with the velocities. You need to add more of a human touch there. The strings were too bad (though you certainly could use some more volume automation there), but the brass has a horribly slow attack and the sample isn't great either. Get another sample for that.

Things really pick up in the second half. Nice guitar, though that synth is a little plain and could use a little modulation. It also bleeds over the guitar a bit. It's a pretty nice arrangement overall though, good work.

I think the main thing is that piano, honestly. It could use a lot of work to make it sound much less robotic. There are a few other samples like that brass, and there's some mixing issues that could be tweaked. I agree also that it could use a stronger bass part for some more low end presence. But this is good work overall, nice job! Just work on fixing some of that stuff.

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It's a good mix with nice improvization which doesn't clash with the original melody. I can't hear any major issues, your samples aren't great, but I've heard much worse. The guy who mentioned clipping around 3:47 is right, either you've got a bad sample or you've boosted it up to a volume it's just not supposed to be played it.

As for cameos, did you really think we wouldn't notice the one at 0:31-0:41? You even repeated it at 2:17 before going into the melody outright. :P

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Nice, creative arr. I must say.

The synth in the end was interfering with the guitar lead a bit too much, which should be made more prominent. The distorted beat sort of takes over too much as well.

Otherwise I agree with what the others pointed out. A nice bassline for a crescendo part would be nice :)

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First thought. The piano is pretty, but it's too tinkly. Can you mess with the release, sustain, resonance? (Does it have these options)

The strings all suffer from the same "slow attack" each chord syndrome, which isn't very good. They are pretty but, every note should not be a slow attack note. I recommend either getting another string sample where you can use automation to do this on your own in specific places, or layer those strings with a synth that you can do automations in volume with too, and put the strings in the background a little more.

Your drums are pretty weak... The highat needs a lot of help, needs more sizzle, and a longer one at that, it's just too small gmish tissy, and is kind of distracting.

I'd actually recommend you drop that kit entirely (or at least that highat) and go for a more dnb or glitchy type of beat, something laid back with some detail, filter fx (the setting is a cave)

I'd concentrate on the atmosphere you have going. You have a nice arrangement, but now I think you kind of need to decide really where these instruments are set... What kind of soundscape you are going for... It kind of seems like you can't decide.

Some of the instrument choices you have, I don't know if I agree with just because they sound like they are kind of trying to be super realistic in a setting where they are not written as so... You may have more luck trying to replace some instruments with others (like maybe that piano if you can't get a better sound out of it, with something like a rhodes or vibes ((or maybe just place the piano at certain parts)))

Anyway, as this thing progresses, it gets really cool, I love your synthy guitar soloing and the drums that come in later. I also enjoy those very subtle glitchy drums that come in.

Here are the problems I have:

1. That highhat sucks, please find something better, or do a different drum style alltogether. I would recommend something cavey, something filters, something more electronic.

2. Those strings, the slow attack... Also I think your chordwork is too basic, make them work for their chords, go for subtle and beautiful *_*

3. When that low string? horn? comes in at 1:00... It really doesn't sound very good, and I can't tell what kind of instrument it is. Maybe you could look into having someone play it live for you? Or replace the sample with something else. (I'm sorry I keep saying this)

4. Your piano arrangement gets kind of dull by the 2 minute mark. It's soloing, but it really just seems like it doesn't know what to do, like the piano player would be bored by now.

5. The bass needs more meat IMO, maybe layer it, and try some EQ/lowpass filtering.

6. I would recommend some reverb on that piano, some sustain, some release, anything to make the piano sound nicer. It's just too plain for this song, when it should give the listener a more intimate feeling. Mess around with fx, I hear some on it already... But it's just not sounding stellar. Maybe EQ the higher FRQ up around 30khz a tad, just mess around with freq some to see how it sounds.

7. At the end of the mix, everything gets muddy somewhat. Cut all unnecessary freq from your mix, you don't want any competition... You really need to parse out where each instrument sits in the mix, which freq they take up, and EQ what you don't need in their sound.

After all is said and done, I really like this a lot, and if you need any more help PM me. I may just PM you with more advice as I listen to it more. I really want this to succeed. Keep up the good work :J

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Thanks for all the feedback guys! I'll try to fix up all the issues you all mentioned. :-P I'm planning on re-sequencing all the piano (and probably some other parts) with my MIDI keyboard to help humanize it a bit, once I've sorted out the slight delay I've got at the moment.

I loved the effect at 0:06, what is that?

All the SFX in the first little bit are from a Reason patch called 'Dark World."

As for cameos, did you really think we wouldn't notice the one at 0:31-0:41? You even repeated it at 2:17 before going into the melody outright. :P

That's actually supposed to be original writing. I'm assuming it reminds you of "Suteki Da Ne," since Emunator pointed that out to me as well. I'd never heard the song until he mentioned it, so it's completely coincidental. ;-)

Thanks again for your help everyone (especially Monobrow :-P). I'll post an update as soon as I can.

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