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ChaosSupremeSonic

wip [Super Mario Galaxy] Rosalina's Embrace

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Hey, new guy here.

So I'm working on an arrangement of SMG's Rosalina's Comet Observatory, and it sounds just like I wanted it too when it comes to the notes that are played.

Although, with that fine and everything, I seriously think there are some flaws that I'm not aware of. One, I'm really new at making music in general, so there's bound to be some things that really need some serious polishing. So I figured I'd come here for some criticism on the piece. I felt like submiting this here on OCR, but I know this isn't even close to being good enough to pass the judges.

Still being worked on, mainly on the Violin Ensemble, so it's going to sound a bit off after a certain time.

So anything that needs to be improved? The sound quality? The insturments?

Link: http://www.mediafire.com/?wzugyzhk1wz

Program used: FL Studio

Insturments used: DVS Saxophone, FL Keys Dark Piano, SynthStrings Violin Ensemble

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Yay! More SMG mixes <3 While I can't comment on the quality of the instruments (cause my speakers are garbage), I can at least offer input about the arrangement and pace.

I really like the slow and mellow pacing you've used for this piece. It makes me think of a romantic slow dance at a ritzy dinner party. But at the same time, I felt there wasn't enough variety throughout the piece. Maybe changing the tempo or something would help. I just felt like there should be a more dramatic climax point in the song.

Anywho, hope I can at least make a little sense. You've done a good job so far and I hope to hear more :smile:

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I really like the slow and mellow pacing you've used for this piece. It makes me think of a romantic slow dance at a ritzy dinner party.

Hmm. Ritzy dinner party?

I was actually going for a more R&B/Jazz take, but I actually like it being associated with a dinner party.8)

But at the same time, I felt there wasn't enough variety throughout the piece. Maybe changing the tempo or something would help. I just felt like there should be a more dramatic climax point in the song.

By changing the tempo, do you mean increasing it from what it already is or by varying it through certain points of the song? I was thinking more on keeping the tempo consistent all the way through the song, because at the moment I suck at changing the tempo in the middle of the song, so I wouldn't exactly know how I could do that.

Do you think you can describe how the dramatic climax point would be if I were to add that in as well?

Anywho, hope I can at least make a little sense. You've done a good job so far and I hope to hear more :smile:

I appreciate it.

Also, an update: http://www.mediafire.com/?fm52z2qjyz0

-Increased the tempo from 87 bpm to 90

-added more to the ViolinEnsemble

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The instruments sound pretty fake, to me. I don't have enough experience with FL Studio to help, but hopefully you know that they need to be improved.

The piano chords that are panned right are pretty loud. I'd turn them down and make them more centered. The chord clusters at 1:36 sound a bit off. You have to be really careful when you write thick source that low. I won't go into a detailed explanation, but chords in the bass are much more likely to be dissonant (even compared to the same chord a few octaves up), so yeah, watch out. In all honesty, I'd cut down the part a lot. For instance, 0:45-1:00 is just too much. Have the piano's bass voice provide a subtle accompaniment rather than playing the rhythm of the lead(sax).

What sabrigami was talking about: I'd definitely add in some variation to the tempo. However, I would not permanently change the tempo, only add retardando (temporary slowdown) at key moments. This will accentuate the more dramatic parts of the piece and add tension, making the resolution of the phrase much more satisfying.

I'd be happy to play the sax part on trumpet if you give me the sheets, or the time to transcribe the part (PM me).

Anyway, I hope this helps some. Best of luck!

Swann

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When I was speaking of the tempo I was referring to changing it at certain parts of the song. As I said before, I do actually like the pace. I only mentioned that because I noticed it's a common technique to add a bit of variety.

As for the climax, the best way I can describe it would be the part of the song that really makes the "core" song (in this case, the observatory theme)stand out. To me, this can mean making the theme a little more prominent, maybe a little faster at that point. It can also mean that all the instruments chime in for dramatic flare or 1 or 2 main instruments take the stage as a kinda solo. But the climax means the core song gets to be the true star of the show.

When I listen to your song I see a fancy ball bathed in a golden glow. A band playing in the corner while the guests drink wine and chat. In the middle or the room is a dance floor where couples waltz slowly to the music. There are many couples at first. But around the middle the crowd begins to part allowing the spotlight to shine on one couple. A couple whose dancing steals the show. They waltz and spin in sync with each other, feeling as though they are the only ones in the room. This is where I imagine the song reaching it's climactic point. The music becoming dramatic and prominent as it reflects their love (man I watch too much tv lol!)

I hope that I explained this okay. Unfortunatley I'm terrible at articulating my thoughts :-(. I honestly can't offer any technical help. I can only try to explain how I feel when I hear the song. Hopefully someone with more musical experience can chime in instead of all these wishy washy feelings of mine lol :wink:

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The instruments sound pretty fake, to me. I don't have enough experience with FL Studio to help, but hopefully you know that they need to be improved.

They are at the moment. DVS Saxophone I just managed to pick up off the net by luck in my quest for a saxophone sound, while the Violin Ensemble and Dark Keys came with FL Studio itself, so it's not exactly going to sound very realistic.

I don't really have enough money to get any of the more higher quality insturments to make the piece sound more real, so unless I can find a free source, I'm stuck with what I have. It's not really easy finding a VSTi that actually produces good sound and isn't too costly, atleast for me.

What sabrigami was talking about: I'd definitely add in some variation to the tempo. However, I would not permanently change the tempo, only add retardando (temporary slowdown) at key moments. This will accentuate the more dramatic parts of the piece and add tension, making the resolution of the phrase much more satisfying.

I get it. Now the challenging part for me would be to learn how to do that without ruining the whole piece, because last time I tried to have a temporary slowdown in another song I made, it ended up ruining the whole peice that I had to start over to keep the old one intact.

I'd be happy to play the sax part on trumpet if you give me the sheets, or the time to transcribe the part (PM me).

I don't really have any sheets for the sax part. It was really done in my head. Also does the sax sound out of place within the tune compared to how it would if it were to be a trumpet?

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I noticed not many comments about the production. Come on guys. -_-

I don't really have enough money to get any of the more higher quality insturments to make the piece sound more real, so unless I can find a free source, I'm stuck with what I have. It's not really easy finding a VSTi that actually produces good sound and isn't too costly, atleast for me.
Then you haven't even tried looking. (^.^) No, I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just saying there's lots of free stuff out there. Here's some stuff I use:

Free KORE and Kontakt player here:

www.native-instruments.com

Soundfonts recommended by Darkesword:

http://soundfonts.darkesword.com

You also need to learn more about humanization.

Not every note is the same velocity. For arpeggio or fast notes, the first is loud but the following are quieter.

Use the "(none)" feature to freely place the notes and offset them so the timing is not exact (but not too offset that it sounds like bad playing)

Hand me the MIDI of your song and I'll show you what I mean. (Or just the FL Studio project, because I work in FL Studio 9 Producer so I should be able to load your song)

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Then you haven't even tried looking. (^.^) No, I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just saying there's lots of free stuff out there.

Well a new guy like me isn't going to try too hard at looking for stuff on his first piece of music his first time around. :lol:

I appreciate the links you gave me.

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At the moment, I'm still working my way around FL Studio and perfecting the song. (obviously :lol:)

Still learning on humanizing my song more, while making sure you can actually hear the more prominent notes being played instead of the ones that would end up overpowering the melody.

stats.png

I ended up replacing SynthStrings Violin Ensemble in favor of the DSK Strings VSTi, so as to make it sound more realistic in the strings. I also gave the strings a bit more melody to them so they can harmonize better with the lead. The Dark Piano stays at the moment, since other piano VSTis that I found did not meld well with the piece as much as much as the Dark Piano. DVS Saxophone also stays for the same reason, and because the Sax VSTis that I did find don't really give off a more natural sound compared to the one I'm using.

Does anybody find some parts to be too loud or too quiet? It might be my ears, but something sounds a bit off in the volume.

Any other criticism could help.

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Well a new guy like me isn't going to try too hard at looking for stuff on his first piece of music his first time around.

Wow, is this really your first piece of music that you've written? If so, you're starting off very strong.

I like the general mood of the piece, though an above poster described the feelings emoted by the song better than I ever could so I won't comment on that ;-) As for the production and arrangement, the it's very stagnant. I agree with the subtle tempo inflections that previous posters have suggested, but in addition to that I think adding in a new instrument or changing up which ones take the lead at times would bring even more diversity to your piece. A section where the strings can take a bigger role, or a part where the piano takes center stage over the piano, or adding in an entirely new instrument like a flute are just a few examples I can think of. The change-up around halfway through the song was much-needed and executed pretty nicely, so that also helped reach the same goal.

I love the concept, but you're gonna need a bit more variety or some more emotive performances (which, unfortunately, you can't get from samples as easily :\ ) in order to keep the song engaging. If you're really serious about this song, check out the links on the sidebar of this page and you can find plenty of instrumentalists who may be willing to contribute live parts to you. I think if you can polish up the arrangement and do some work to keep it more dynamic, it would be an option worth exploring :-)

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Wow, is this really your first piece of music that you've written? If so, you're starting off very strong.

I think he meant it's the first he produced. I hardly believe anyone can compose something like this right off the bat.

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Wow, is this really your first piece of music that you've written? If so, you're starting off very strong.

This is actually my 4th or 5th, but this is the first one that I aim to perfect as much as possible and be the first "Rosalina's Comet Observatory" arrangement on OC Remix. (Good luck with that, right? :lol:)

All the other songs I've made are here:

http://geno136.newgrounds.com/audio/

However, they're nowhere near as good as this one.

As for the production and arrangement, the it's very stagnant. I agree with the subtle tempo inflections that previous posters have suggested, but in addition to that I think adding in a new instrument or changing up which ones take the lead at times would bring even more diversity to your piece. A section where the strings can take a bigger role, or a part where the piano takes center stage over the piano, or adding in an entirely new instrument like a flute are just a few examples I can think of.

I like the piano lead and the addition of a new insturment. Not so strongly sure about having the strings take any sort of lead, as I intend them to stay as the harmony instead of the melody, but I'll experiment with them to see if I could actually go along with that.

Would would a retardando sound to you guys at the beginning around 0:22? Good? Bad? Because I was thinking it would serve well as an intro for the dancers who would begin approaching the center of the "ritzy dinner party" ( really like that comparison, sabrigami :-)) and begin the dance.

If you're really serious about this song, check out the links on the sidebar of this page and you can find plenty of instrumentalists who may be willing to contribute live parts to you.

I'm too much of a freaking noob to know how to collab right now, so...I don't really know. :lol:

I'll see what I can do in the meantime.

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I wasn't really referring to the strings taking a lead, but rather doing something to make them stand out just for a second or two here and there, or possibly during a transition.

As for collaborating, it's really free-form. If you just contact a few of those people and find someone who's willing to work, you can either send them a project file or a MIDI notation of your instruments and they will play it live and mix it in for you, or send you a .wav of their performance and you can put it in yourself. It's not too difficult, especially if you find someone who's easy to work with :-)

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I wasn't really referring to the strings taking a lead, but rather doing something to make them stand out just for a second or two here and there, or possibly during a transition.

Okay, that'll work then. They do sound too far into the background a bit.

As for collaborating, it's really free-form. If you just contact a few of those people and find someone who's willing to work, you can either send them a project file or a MIDI notation of your instruments and they will play it live and mix it in for you, or send you a .wav of their performance and you can put it in yourself. It's not too difficult, especially if you find someone who's easy to work with :-)

I could use a more authentic sounding Saxophone. Which method would you recommend?

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It really depends on who you can find and what their preferences are - when you're collabing with someone the ball's in their court and you'll figure all that stuff out after you find a person willing to play for you.

I'd finalize the arrangement first before you think about that sort of thing ;-)

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I dunno, dude. You sent me a project file because I said I would help you out...

That's called "collabing". :D

No I haven't gotten to it, yet, but if you make any changes to the piano parts then let me know.

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I dunno, dude. You sent me a project file because I said I would help you out...

That's called "collabing". :D

What can I say? Noob here. :lol:

I though collab was a full project from scrath between two or more people instead of getting help in something like humanizing.

No I haven't gotten to it, yet, but if you make any changes to the piano parts then let me know.

I've some changes here and there, like making the piano more of the focus at 1:39 rather than let the sax have all the focus. When I finish with some of the changes, I'll show you the parts. I do have to inform you that I can be quite fast in the changes and in learning on what I need to learn how to do, and I do think I'm starting to get the hang of humanization on the piece where I might not need an example. I just got the hang of learning how to use soundfonts (although they're not in the piece yet), so it's only a matter of time before I actually finalize it. That's not saying I'm gonna rush it tho, that's a bad thing to do. ;-)

Edit: Speaking of which...

stats.png

How's my attempt at humanizing the piece? Good? Bad? I know there are some more silent parts in the song that need to be heard a bit more, but overall, how is it?

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I don't really have enough money to get any of the more higher quality insturments to make the piece sound more real, so unless I can...

...I don't really have any sheets for the sax part. It was really done in my head. Also does the sax sound out of place within the tune compared to how it would if it were to be a trumpet?

If you send me the midi (or I might just do it by ear) I'll record it on trumpet and then you can decide whether to use it or not.

Btw, I like the way you integrated the ritard at the end. However, the strings hang over by a tiny bit, I would change it so the song fades out to the bass voice. I won't go into the theory, but ending on the tonic of the chord is "the rule" for classically-styled pieces.

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If you send me the midi (or I might just do it by ear) I'll record it on trumpet and then you can decide whether to use it or not.

I'm not so sure. I actually like the sax sound for the piece than having a trumpet...

Um, does the sax really sound close a trumpet to you?

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Okay, here's a bit of an update on the music:

stats.png

Made some more drastic changes to give it more variety and a bit more of a classical fee. So far:

-Added strings to accompany the piano in the intro

-Gave the strings more strength in tone to make the piece more vibrant

-Added small flute parts in certain parts

-Added Dream Bell to certain portions near the beginning

-Made the sax the harmony along with the piano while flute does the melody at 1:39

-Changed a few notes

At first when I added the flute, it didn't sound like it would mesh well with the music, but then I realized I was putting it in the wrong places that made it sound bad in general.

Still quite a way to go. The flute addition is new, so it needs to be humanized, as do certain other parts in the piece, but so far it sounds a lot better than it did before.

So any advice to make some other improvements? Insturments conflicting at certain parts? Sound is too loud? Or what?

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Okay, here's a bit of an update on the music:

stats.png

Made some more drastic changes to give it more variety and a bit more of a classical fee. So far:

-Added strings to accompany the piano in the intro

-Gave the strings more strength in tone to make the piece more vibrant

-Added small flute parts in certain parts

-Added Dream Bell to certain portions near the beginning

-Made the sax the harmony along with the piano while flute does the melody at 1:39

-Changed a few notes

At first when I added the flute, it didn't sound like it would mesh well with the music, but then I realized I was putting it in the wrong places that made it sound bad in general.

Still quite a way to go. The flute addition is new, so it needs to be humanized, as do certain other parts in the piece, but so far it sounds a lot better than it did before.

So any advice to make some other improvements? Insturments conflicting at certain parts? Sound is too loud? Or what?

EDIT: I'm going to get into the habit of using the WIP checklist...

That checklist is for people who are reviewing remixes, I don't think it would do much good to the actual remixer.

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That checklist is for people who are reviewing remixes, I don't think it would do much good to the actual remixer.

Oh...well that was even more noobish of me than anything I've done.

Nevermind that then. I only looked at it and thought it would be helpful for folks who would want to give me critique. :lol:

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Oh...well that was even more noobish of me than I thought.

Nevermind that then. I only looked at it and thought it would be helpful for folks who would want to give me critique. :lol:

Well that's what it's for, it's for helping people critiqueing you. I thought you wanted to use it as a guideline. It's not too bad for guidelines, but as an individual it's harder to find problems in your own stuff.

Anyways, the piano is too overpowering, and way too much reverb. The strings aren't loud enough. I would add an extra octave to the flutes.

And I would recommend getting a saxophone player. :P

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Anyways, the piano is too overpowering, and way too much reverb. The strings aren't loud enough. I would add an extra octave to the flutes.

Lower the piano and it's reverb, increase the volume of the strings, and set the flutes up an octave. Noted. However...

And I would recommend getting a saxophone player. :P

This will take a good while (lord knows how long it took me to actually find a sax as good as this one for myself that I can use). I've gone ahead and accepted Swann's offering to play the sax parts on trumpet (I have to send him a media file since the midis I had were silent).

But what exactly are the issues with the sax. I've been around the net for soundfonts of a better sax, and they all seem to end up ruining the piece. Then I tried listening to saxophone players on youtube to get a better knowledge of how the saxophone sounds. The one I'm using seems to match that of an alto sax, so I'm looking for something that blends as easily as the Sax VSTi I'm currently using.

But for production's sake, I'd like to know of the problems with the current sax sound so that, if I'm unable to actually get someone to play it well or find a good soundfont, I can learn of a way to alter it and make it sound more realistic.

Thanks.

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(I have to send him a media file since the midis I had were silent).

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/midi1.htm

But what exactly are the issues with the sax. I've been around the net for soundfonts of a better sax, and they all seem to end up ruining the piece. Then I tried listening to saxophone players on youtube to get a better knowledge of how the saxophone sounds. The one I'm using seems to match that of an alto sax, so I'm looking for something that blends as easily as the Sax VSTi I'm currently using.

But for production's sake, I'd like to know of the problems with the current sax sound so that, if I'm unable to actually get someone to play it well or find a good soundfont, I can learn of a way to alter it and make it sound more realistic.

Thanks.

The issue with the sax is that it isn't human.

You can have the highest quality soundfonts/VST's in the world and it won't matter.

It has to be human.

Velocity changes, offsetting notes because humans don't play exactly in rhythm, etc. With the amount of experience you have it will take a long time to try and successfully humanize this. It can be done but it's not something easy to do. You have to listen to a lot performed music and figure out what makes their saxophones sound human.

I don't know any guys who can sequence a saxophone except for my brother, but I'm sure there are many others because I don't listen to a lot of music. It's not as hard as you think to find a good guy to collab with, it's as easy as "Post a thread and wait a few days."

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