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Streets of Rage - Level 1 - ‘training cover’


Jetlion
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Hi :lol:,

Like i explained in my introductory post (http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=27625), I’m very new at this, and this piece i worked on is in no way a real remix. It’s just something i work on to learn the ropes and grow better.

This is the theme from the first level of Streets of Rage (Megadrive/Genesis), remade by ear.

img.php?fid=676

I would mainly need feedback on a technical side, as i really didn’t slide away from the original tune.

For example, using the ‘Feedback Checklist’ as a reference, the ‘Production’ list should be enough to ‘judge’ my work

Looking forward to hear from your comments!

Thanks!

-

Jetlion

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Hey,

So, still no feedback... :sad:

I guess my request was not really fitting here.

So, anyone can point me toward another part of the forum where my work can be evaluated?

Or maybe I am so beginner that I am beyond help? :-o

Looking forward to hear from the community. I don’t mind harsh words, as long as they are fair.

Thanks again!

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I saw your remix before the bump, just don't post nothing cause I'm being lazy.

And basically it's almost the same for the community. :sad:

The strange side of it is there is a lot of enthusiasm around Streets of Rage music, and you got no responses. :-o

You said you remade it by ear for the reason of traning, so for this subject I can say you made a hell of a good work.

Maybe it's the cause your work was not evaluated, for what you proposed yourself to do it's done.

The only exception I have is that you need to focus on rearrangements, it's kinda boring listen the same track you already known.

And above all, here is a remix community, next time you work on this. :wink:

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Hey Esker,

Thanks for your post!

I know this is a remix community and i understand that it must be annoying to listen to the almost exact same tune as the original :banghead:.

But as i'm a beginner, i first want to focus more on the technical aspect of creation, leaving the artistic part for when i'm more confident. That's why i needed feedback on things like mixing, leveling, eq, effects, etc...

I don't lose hope and i'm sure some people here will fight through laziness/boredom and give me some advice. :wink:

Thanks !

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I kinda understand your worries, but I have to tell you if want to learn how to achieve certain technique or effect is better ask for it when you hear it in some composition. There's so many things out there that give you advice on "you should do this, you should do that" it is like interfere on your artistical view.

Specific for your mix, which we can talk about mixing, leveling, EQ, I am going home where I have good pair of monitors to evaluate your work (first rule of mastering). ;-)

Jetlion, it is a SoR remix, we shall work on that. :lol:

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@Red Rum

Thanks a lot. I also find the SoR 1 and 2 soundtracks fascinating, even if most of the tunes are 'ripoffs/homages' from other artists.

(I guess everybody here know this stuff, but the similarities between these two pieces are just... welll...:350:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO14WFh1k-I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0Mzr_A-Q0I

)

@Esker

Looking forward to hear from you. I don't have any good monitoring gear, just standard headphones and speakers. Thanks again

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@Phantasia

Thanks for the feedback. I take good note of your remarks, you're right, the whole thing is a bit too quiet. I tried hard so my volume doesn't clip but i think i went a bit overboard:lol:

The squeeky synth, you mean the 'alarm sound' i guess? Ok, i will do something.

As for your Metroid mix, i listened to it but i don't feel the 'right' to give feedback as i really am a 'baby musician' (only 6 months experience with this whole DAW thing). What do you think :?:

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@Phantasia

Thanks for the feedback. I take good note of your remarks, you're right, the whole thing is a bit too quiet. I tried hard so my volume doesn't clip but i think i went a bit overboard:lol:

The squeeky synth, you mean the 'alarm sound' i guess? Ok, i will do something.

As for your Metroid mix, i listened to it but i don't feel the 'right' to give feedback as i really am a 'baby musician' (only 6 months experience with this whole DAW thing). What do you think :?:

Yeah I mean the alarm thing ^^.

To know how much you can raise the volume without clipping... look at the two volume bars in the very top (if you use FL-studio...) They should never become red-red, but it can get close, but it really depends on how loud you want it... Also you could try compressing the whole mix bit, if you haven't.

Do you use FL-studio?

Well I'm very new as well. That's only my second remix ;p. I've playing around for 4 months ;P

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Hey, I am not very familiar with the source.

This is totally 90s dance music.

My first impression is, your song is all about layering, that's cool, but I think you could do well with not trying to think about the music in such a blocky fashion, try to give yourself more freedom (it's all about perspective, and sometimes it just takes a lot of work and practice to get your music to sound less limited)... Then again the dancy drama does kind of limit you to the blocky format.

Your song is way muffled. The drumkit is very ... well it kind of sucks. It makes for a great quirky intro kit, but you need to step it up and put another kit in there later, something cleaner and it would help if it had a better bite to it.

Your synth choices for the lead are kind of muddy and don't stand out (in a good way)... Put some fx on them, mess around with them, layer them, EQ them. Right now, most of them sound really defaultish.

Also that synth that comes in and does a couple notes on the right speaker gets on my nerves a little bit after a while, I'd turn it down a tiny bit, or do other things with it (some arpeggiation, anything) to lead back into those two hits.

Basically, your writing isn't bad, but you need to step it up, in both arrangement and quality of sound. Try to really really hand pick your sounds, listen to other people's works that you really like, and start trying to emulate their sound, until you eventually find your own.

PLEASE, keep it up, its a long process of trial and error, and learning from experience that makes people better at producing this kind of music. I enjoy the groove you've established... Just next time, hopefully you can remember some of the pitfalls you fell into (it's really just you have some bad instrument choices and need to experiment more)

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@phantasia

I use Cubase, but it seems all DAWs work in a similar way

@Monobrow

Thank you! That's exactly the kind of feedback i need. I still have a lot to learn :-P

As for the source material, you can hear it here if you want:

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

A couple questions, if you can answer.

-Can you briefly explain the generalities of how to get less 'blocky'?

-When you say 'arpegiation', you mean the kind of effect produced by an 'arpegiator' right?

Thanks again

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What I mean by blocky is how everything you have written is derived by sections. It's very standard in most music, don't get me wrong, but I feel that it is a little limiting for a musician to think in this way. You get stuck in the format you've picked, when writing a song.

Most songs are like this:

verse

chorus

verse

bridge

chorus/verse

things like that

in between these sections you sometimes have breaks (drum or otherwise), sometimes pauses for effect, etc. etc.

What I mean by being blocky is how if you limit yourself when writing music to a formula, you often get stuck and your creativity can sucked into the vortex of what you've already created. It's hard to break out.

And I mean, it's all well and good to make music within the limits you have set, to really push the barrier, but often times, things don't work out that way (when you have first started music especially) and things (to the listener especially) get boring after a while because they are so used to it.

My suggestion is, you want to balance your song having a formula, and flowing well, with keeping the listener interested, and most importantly, expressing yourself through your music in a way where you don't feel limited and creatively stifled by the type of music you've chosen.

Some things that can beef a song up: key changes, extra sections, solo sections, drum and bass sections, false endings and starting a completely new thought, (in remixes) nods to other music from the game, slow cool down sections where you can build to a climax again, breaks for half a measure or so in between sections (usually drums) etc. etc. etc... You just want a feeling of musical freedom even though you are making a 90s dance type song lol... Hope that helps... I may have tried to explain this too much, because it's not really a "rule" or anything, but a perspective on music, one that took me a very long time to actually grasp in any way.

Areggiation = what you said... But you don't always need an arpeggiator, you can write them in yourself, going up and down scales, etc. etc... For me when I say arpeggiation, I really just mean fast eighth or sixteenth notes within a measure, doing the lead or otherwise (they are usually in the background of the song)... So yeah, you got it right.

Anyway good luck :J

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Wow Monobrow, just... thank you!

You really did go into details, and i really thank you for your time.

Plus when you said my song is 'all about layering', i got the wrong idea. I thought you talked about the 'vertical structure', i.e. the different layers (tracks), and not about the 'horizontal structure', i.e. the linear progression of the song. Thus your explanation was very helpful.

As for this tune, i was just mimicking an existing one, from the 16 bits era. That explain the 'blocky' feeling. But that's no excuse, as i'm still afraid of breaking out of these 'rules' as a beginner. I will, eventually:lol:

May i ask another thing? About 'selecting my samples', as you said i have a problem with that. Is there any 'common knowledge' or rule of thumb for this part? Are free samples always a bad choice compared to commercial ones?

Thanks again

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Check out some sites that can link you to some good free samples such as

http://www.kvraudio.com/

Do searches and basically you have to sift through a lot of crap to get to some of the really cool free ones.

I also think there are threads that point you in the direction for good free samples in the workshop forum.

The problem with non-commercial samples is that you usually have to tweak them a lot and really push them to get the sound you are going for. But in some ways this is really good, because you learn a lot about how to make instruments sound exactly the way you want them, with things like EQ, Compression, and various effects channels. A lot of commercial vsts have a lot of prefab settings that kind of do the work for you, but can lead to a lot of reliance and laziness on the musician's part. It's best to intimately know what you are working with.

The rule of thumb about choosing samples and instruments for your song is to have a goal in mind about your soundscape.

This is really hard to do IMO because sometimes I just start a song and wing it as far as how I want to sound, it's a lot of trial and error (more error lol)

When you start a song, pick out a lead that you will stick with, something that stands out, that expresses what you are going for. Then pick your bass and any accompanying instruments out, and when you pick these out, you want instruments that will both compliment and contrast your lead, as you will write a song... You want to focus fitting everything into your soundscape seamlessly, like how you want the song to feel... Do you want it to have a lot of warmth to it? Do you want it to sound sad? Is it electronic, is it dancy? Is it gritty? Questions like this help a lot in centering in on what you want to go for.

When you pick your instruments, just focus on what you really want to use them for. Stabby synths sometimes can help with emphasizing the rhythm of a song, long attack pads can add depth to the soundscape and mood... Your main focus when you start writing is to kind of look at all your instruments and make decisions on what is most important (like your lead, or the kind of song you want it to be, or how you want it to sound) and then build around this.

When I write drums for example (and I just wanna say that this is my IDEAL way to go, I am by no means an expert on any of this, I am still learning myself) I try to usually treat the drums and the bass as all part of a bigger whole, I emphasize on certain beats in a measure to convey emphasis on something important (usually within the melody) or a lead into something else (a changeup or a break)... Anyway this is really really just touching on a long subject, but it's all really that intimate. The more direction you have, the more you know what you want to accomplish, the easier it will be to convey your thoughts.

This by no means means that you should start a song only if you know exactly what to do, because experimentation is awesome and sometimes you really come up with stuff that surprises you through just not knowing what you are going for... But once you get into that zone and can focus, organization is really important.

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