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wip Super Mario 64: Dire, Dire Docks Remix ("Thunder Synthony") *UPDATE: MAR 2, 2011*

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I really like this arrangement.

I think the drum kit isn't mixing in very well in the beginning, maybe you could take just a little bit of reverb of the snare? The kick is okay, but the snare just seems to be floating out in space.

I really like everything else about this, I suppose it could be mastered a bit louder. Those choir samples are very obviously fake too, but I dunno how much of a burden that is.

This mix needs a little less reverb and more bass frequencies becuase right now the only bass that is there is the kick drum with the occasional timpani, and since this is orchestral, I feel like there should be a bit more bass presence.

Other than that this is pretty amazing, just needs some production polish methinks.

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Thanks for the replies XZero and Wolf!

Some things I did in this update:

- Removed most of the reverb from the song

- Choir samples slightly altered (still not humanized but thats not my concern right now)

- Increased the bass freqencies. I had the EQ cut out some of the bass and lower frequencies because they seemed to be muddying up the song. Still feels kinda muddy because I have a 2 different synth basses playing most of the track

- Increased the tempo -- THIS UPDATE DOESN'T WORK WITH THE BREAKDOWN DUE TO TEMPO/TIME DIFFERENCES

- Overhauled 3 major sections of the song (not complete because the transitions aren't 100% smooth)

I'm posting this because I feel like I'm stuck and I know for a fact I'm SICK of hearing this song (its been 10 months!)

I'm relying on the listeners to help guide me! I need things to FIX because I want to finish and get this thing closer to submission soon!

Thanks again OCR peoples :)

UPDATE: http://tindeck.com/listen/vrty <--- OLD

SOURCE:

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Ah I see, well what would be better is to cut out the bass frequencies of individual instruments and THEN if its still muddy. (unless you did this already but that kick sounds 8000 times more beefy than before)

Mmm... I think the Trombones (left speaker brass) could either be made more wet or could come down a little bit. Those choirs blend a heckuva lot better, good work there.

If you want to adjust it, you could put a really intense high-pass EQ on the more active synth bass so that it doesn't muddy things, and you may want to consider taking just like the SMALLEST smidge away from the kick, but that is really really splitting hairs, and truth be told I like the sound it has now.

Still loving the arrangment, and I think it benefits greatly from the increased tempo.

:) :) :)

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OK, I agree that the tempo and other updates here work really well, but you have asked for things to fix, so I'll do my best to nit-pick (though really, overall I think it sounds fantastic right now)

The main thing that it seems to me is that the melody doesn't always stand out lots from the bass synths and strings.

Places of particular interest:

0:45-1:02 - the piano and bells (?) are almost buried in the bass parts at times. When the trumpet comes in, it stands out well. You could try to make the piano and bells parts stand out like that in that section.

2:40-2:50 - again, the strings carrying the melody get buried

You could also do more like at 4:00, where you drop out the heavy bass synth, which might make it feel less muddy too. It feels like that part repeats through most of the song, and doesn't really sound bad, but just starts to sound repetetive before 4:00. Skimming back through it all, it looks like thats the first time the bass drops out completely for pretty much the whole song. On some of the other more calm sections (0:45-1:00, 1:42-1:51, etc.), you could try dropping it out or EQing it down and the trebble parts so they stand out more.

Well, I hope this helps, as production is not my strength, but those are my thoughts. Take them at whatever value you want, but good work so far. One of the best upbeat versions of the best song ever :)

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This is great, though I'm a little bothered by the brass. This may be the result of an untrained ear getting the best of me, but I think that the brass is a little bit too synthy and, therefore, a little out of place in this particular song. It doesn't detract a whole lot from the ReMix as a whole, but it doesn't sound quite right considering the style.

That's just my opinion, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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First of all... Merry Christmas!

Today's update has taken into consideration many of your recent suggestions (I tried my best to work through the holidays and shopping)

So some notable changes would be the addition of those "missing" bass frequencies. I noticed that just filtering them, or using a bass boost wasn't enough (and was causing some of the muddying). So to remedy that, I brought back and beefed up some of the bass strings I had playing.

I also continued the overhaul on some of the sections from the previous update. Additionally, I've been working on slight melodic changes to keep things interesting. One of those was the return of the pitch dive, which makes a subtle return during the break at 4:35.

Otherwise, not much has changed. I still am working on eliminating some more of the muddying sounds. I've found quite a few instruments playing in the same octave (like 3 basses) and they each carry some unecessary frequencies which I am in the process of filtering out. Oh, love the EQ.

Anyway, here's the update, and again, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Feedback always wanted and always appreciated!

UPDATE: http://tindeck.com/listen/rpdq <--- OLD

SOURCE:

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Wow. The arrangement on this is really, *really* good. I think with a bit more polish in production value it could easily be subbed.

My only real criticisms:

- The snare *still* needs a bit more presence in the beginning. It doesn't sound so washed in reverb, but it still seems a bit thin to me. It might need a boost in the mids.

- I think you need a new title. Not really a very constructive criticism, but I'm not a fan :<

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Wow. The arrangement on this is really, *really* good. I think with a bit more polish in production value it could easily be subbed.

My only real criticisms:

- The snare *still* needs a bit more presence in the beginning. It doesn't sound so washed in reverb, but it still seems a bit thin to me. It might need a boost in the mids.

- I think you need a new title. Not really a very constructive criticism, but I'm not a fan :<

Yeah, this is amazing. Excellent. All the arrangement's incredible, but the production could be better (how much better, I wouldn't know). I always have the same problem: good arrangement, not so good production. So I'm better off stickin' to the simple piano remixes. ;)

I don't know what it is, but the drum samples you used... I don't like 'em. :P Maybe turn down that tambourine a little bit in some parts; just a little, not too much of course. Other than that, great.

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Hehe thanks for the reply. I'm actually working on the production right now! The tamb seems to sound too dry, hollow, and loud. I turned it down a bit and also the timpani seemed to be a bit problematic so I did some toying around with the EQ on that.

I also redid 75% of the synth bass track and removed a dulcimer that accompanied the piano's bass in the early part of the song. It was the source of the muddying.

And speaking of the intro, I finally had the heart to change it up. It starts out the same but the part that leads into the up-beat stuff has been redone. I've been working with that intro for way too long and finally brought the production up on that!

Update will be coming soon!

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So I just realized that you've given me plenty of feedback on my mix, and I have yet to comment on yours! So, here goes:

The Bad:

The sound is a little muddy at 1:18. Perhaps it's a little overcompression or too much reverb. I hear some pumping while the kick drum is more prominent. The soundscape is squished here. It's not overwhelming, but you might take a look at it.

I'm having a hard time picking out "bad" things, which is good! One thing you might look at doing with your bassline: make it do something other than octaves in the active parts. It fits the song and is a throwback to the old 8-bit and 16-bit days of Mario, but perhaps as the song progresses, maybe change it up some? That's really a minor qualm, because the overall construction of the song is quite solid.

The Good:

The beginning of the song from 0:00 to 0:39 does a very good job at leading us into the Dire Dire Docks theme.

The theme itself has some very nice variation in the piano. Also, at 0:58 the melody is thrown around between the piano, strings, and brass. Excellent! The panning is a nice touch too.

Nice change of pace at 2:10. I like the choir here as well. The synth at 2:22 is a wonderful touch.

The chimes at 2:29 are fantastic! (um, share those please. :wink:)

The ambient effect of the percussion in the piece is awesome.

That ending is sweet man. I love the trilling marimba sound.

Other Thoughts:

The overall sound of your instruments is superb and very convincing. The finesse of your application of effects is apparent, and this piece is a very interesting take on a theme that is commonly remixed (not that that is bad in any way). This has been very easy and pleasurable to listen to.

There's really not much "bad" that stood out to me. I think you've got a solid mix here, and if you haven't submitted it for mod review yet, you might consider doing so soon. Best of luck!

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Before I go about talking about this update, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all that (I'm a bit late). I was anticipating an update sooner but I just haven't had the time to carry out the changes I wanted.

So today I finally have those changes, with a special thanks to everyone who has left feedback that included specific changes to the song, such as snare problems and where the song sounds muddy. Those are the feedbacks that help the song get better! I do love all feedback though :)

Now about this update, here's a simple list of the impost prominent changes:

- Second half of intro that leads into main song has been re-done

- The "synth break" at 1:50 has gotten a major facelift

- Strings do not play as much as they used too (I may have removed too much)

- Bass track on certain sections have been altered to give more variation and excitement

- Section at 3:54 has instruments removed that either weren't noticable or was adding too much clutter to the song

- Snare isn't floating in space, however it still seems to be carrying an extra frequency that doesn't mix well with the bass, please let me know if the snare sounds muddy at times

- Added a bit more Mario-ness in a certain section of the remix

- Outtro has an extra piece of "calm" added to it, nothing plays except the basses, drums and part choir.

I still would like to know how this song sounds to everyone -- I purchased new headphones and the bass on this girl is awesome but I think it would be helpful to know what others think.

Feedback always wanted and always appreciated!

UPDATE: http://tindeck.com/listen/crjf <--- OLD

SOURCE:

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What I'm really liking is how much the instruments get switched up just for tiny sections. The back and forth of the soft and brass near the beginning is really invigorating. It feels like I'm flying through the song and there's a wide cast of characters popping in and out.

The World 1-2 section is neat but the energy drops a bit. Maybe the "echo" could be a bit more creative with the source, like some kind of tune dance-off in the middle of the song. I dunno. Something to keep that section from being so much of a break from the flow.

The drums don't bug me any more, although I didn't pay much attention to them. That's good though. It means they didn't stick out in a bad way. Whatever you've done worked.

Anyway, my advice is rarely seconded by other listeners, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but I hope I'm helpful in some way.

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I know what my issue with the snare is. I feel like it's pitched way too low. Now, I prefer my snares to have a much snappier sound to them, so I tend to pitch mine up quite a bit. That's just my preference, though - not at all necessary, I don't think, but I'd find much less of an issue with it if you were to do that.

Like... towards the end when they have more of that military cadence feel, it's okay, but when they're holding the groove for the rest of the song, I feel like the drums are really underwhelming overall, and the snare to me is the biggest culprit.

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@Invader Thanks for the feedback man! Yeah you've heard this song progress since I first posted (link still up) and it's been a long, long way since there. There was a lot of monotony with the song and a lot of production problems, which I think I've gotten past (maybe not 100%). The World 1-2 theme was a bit of a trial kind of thing. I wasn't expecting too much from it, as it only switches between a light detache strings, bells, and a trombone/trumpet duo. I don't quite understand what you mean by the "echo" thing. Could you elaborate on that? Thanks :)

@Sirius Thank you also for the feedback! I think you're right with the snare. After listening to it again, it seems a bit flat and I did mention earlier that the snare seemed to bother me. I can't quite get the right sound that I want but I'll keep trying. I will definitely be raising the pitch a bit, or at least let more of the high frequencies (the "snap") pass through since it's been partially filtered out.

If anyone else has any problems or suggestions please let me know! Everything is taken seriously and I would love to get this remix subbed! :)

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Dude, with a 6:45 song you sure make it hard to critique the whole thing. :-P This has morphed a lot since my last listen, and I'm glad to report that it has been an amazing transformation. There's some seriously rockin' stuff going on.

The Bad:

That sax lick at 1:58-2:00 is nifty, but it sounds a tad out of place. The sample is a little weak, but I think with some minor tweaks you can easily rectify that. Keep the lick, tweak the sound.

That's it.

The Good:

I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, but the soundscape seems a lot more open in this newest iteration. I like it a lot! It sounds clean, but still energetic. Bravo. The transformation and difference in quality from the first few iterations is absolutely amazing.

What is this new section/arrangement at 1:21-1:31?!?! Awesome, that's what! I got a kick out of it.

There's so much variation on the source instrumentation and style, but the melody is very well preserved. There's no way you'll be critiqued negatively for this.

DUUUUUUUUUUUUDE! 4:17 - 4:38 is GOLDEN! I got goosebumps! That is some incredible usage of another Mario theme to change things up and give it a fresh feel.

Other Thoughts:

Seriously man, I don't think I can give any more constructive critique for this mix. It sounds very well produced, deftly arranged, creatively varied, and the spectrum of sound is covered by many different instruments. This is a solid mix, and I don't expect it will be long before I see it on the front page.

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@Invader Thanks for the feedback man! I don't quite understand what you mean by the "echo" thing. Could you elaborate on that? Thanks :)

Well, in the World 1-2 song, the second and fourth measures are repeats of the measure right before it. That's the echo I'm talking about. If you had those echoes expand on the previous measure instead of copy them, it might help the flow.

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@Rev thanks again for the awesome feedback! I went back to that mutated mute trumpet and adjusted it a little bit, should sound slightly different and not have that fading out/slide sound between each note

@Sirius I went back and adjusted the world 1-2 theme a bit. It isn't as repetitive and doesn't follow each other verbatim but at the same time adds to the excitement when the overworld theme kicks in. I also raised the pitch of the snare and attempted to give it that "pop" again. Let me know how this works

As an added treat, here's a music video I put together with today's update:

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UPDATE: http://tindeck.com/listen/kwdn <--- OLD

SOURCE:

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Haha yeah I like that effect too! It's something that you wouldn't expect the first time hearing it, and it goes pretty well with the whole "echoing water" theme that goes throughout.

I do feel that I need to step up the drum track. It's a bit too boring at times since its 95% of the time a kick, snare, kick snare, fill, repeat.

Next update should have a new drum track

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So I'm back after about a month with a promised update (happy Valentines Day btw)

Some notable changes would be the addition of a super awesome bass drum hammering in the intro, with a sexy new thunder crash.

Likewise, the outtro follows suit with the intro, and also ends with a pretty cool bang.

Throughout the song I've concentrated on changing the drum track, which was more troubling than I had anticipted. Why? Well after playing so much with the drum track, it seems that any major change would really throw the mood of the song off. So I reverted most of the changes and went to subtle tweaks here and there. Mission accomplished (I think!)

One section of the song that I forgot to finish tweaking would be the transition at 1:17. Please don't kill me! It doesn't sound as smooth as I would like it to be.

And for the final notable change (actually it's subtle), I brought back the original bells I started with (the reverby kind). So some parts of the song will have an intentional echo-y ness and it really seems to work well with the whole water theme.

I hope you guys like this! I'm marking this one as finished and unless you guys have any more suggestions on production or whatever, I'll change it to mod review after some time.

Oh and yes, I still have to master this a bit louder.

Feedback is much appreciated! :< . . . . .

UPDATE: http://ocrwip.fireslash.net/?fid=1115 <--- OLD

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Yes, I agree with you on the remastering - I had to bump up the volume on my headphones to be able to hear all of this songs awesomeness in it's entirety. But I must say, I think it sounds excellent! I'd seen some of the progression on this song, and more than any other improvement, it just feels less cluttered than some of the early versions did. And you have tons of variation, so it never feels like its simply repeating.

I also like the little hints you have blended throughout of other themes and sound effects in the background - it adds to the semi-chaotic, but still controlled, feel of a storm. I think the name Thunder Synthony (or Thunder Symphony? this is the one I'd prefer, but its totally your call) fits it perfectly. The whole song has the intensity of a storm, but at the same time, it has the calmness that is Dire, Dire Docks.

I can't think of a single thing to change. Very well done.

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@SuperSlacker Thanks for your feedback throughout! Since you've been listening since the start, you pretty much heard the entire thing grow and evolve. And as for the name, I chose Synthony because it's like a synthesized symphony, especially with that bass

@Rev I'll be changing this to mod review real soon; I just want to see if I can get any last minute suggestions before I bother a mod. Thanks again for your continued suggestions and that wonderful breakdown you've given me with the good and bad's. It really helps!

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OK! So I finally got around to the much needed volume adjustment. Mastering it wasn't as easy, and simple raising the volume on the mixer wasn't good enough, because many of the instruments, especially the percussion, would become too loud and start clipping.

So basically, I took apart the song, rendered each individual group, made volume adjustments and finally stuck them all back together. A 6 hour process that I wish was a little easier, but hey, it should be up to par now.

Because some of the sounds have changed, I'm just asking for your opinion again on how this sounds!

EDIT: Do the drums need to be louder?? asdhfasdfaskdfa..

:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

UPDATE: http://tindeck.com/listen/phyz <--- OLD

SOURCE:

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Well, I'm glad to have been able to follow this from start to finish - Dire, Dire Docks can never get enough love. The fact that there are like 3 different songs with variations on it floating around right now in the WIP forums is proof enough of that.

Anyway, I think the mastering came out really good - I don't think the percussion needs to be louder personally, mainly because you can hear it in the parts where its need, but it doesn't draw unnecessary attention to itself. As for the rest, there are a few parts where I really like the almost secret parts hidden in the background, and I think this draws them out a little by hiding them, if that makes sense. I don't see a single reason for this to not be put to Mod Review, and then hopefully submitted soon after. Congrats on all the hard work!

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