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F-Zero: Big Blue ReMIX !i!


Supahfast198
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Hey! Welcome to the forums. F-Zero's got a great soundtrack. It's always nice to hear someone make an arrangement. You've got some great things going on here. For example, the 1:38 solo is awesome, and the drum work isn't repetitive. There are two things I'd work on if I were you.

First: Production is pulling you down. I'd look for some better samples. Also, there is some pretty bad compression pumping at about :28.

Second: I like the effect you are going for at the ending, but if I were you, I'd do something after that 30 second bass section before ending the song.

Hopefully that's helpful. You've got a good start here. Good luck!

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I think setting the master volume to 110% may have decreased the quality of all the sound, if so I changed it back to 100% and slightly edited the ending to where the synth guitar isn't as loud, so it should be much better

img.php?fid=992

I'm still thinking of editing part of the original solo (2nd playthrough) when it's the build-up on one of the guitars, I may have it panning in and out during that short sequence.

Can you define more on how production isn't too good? I'm not trying to say it isn't, because I honestly haven't been making music long enough to know some essentials as this.

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Can you define more on how production isn't too good? I'm not trying to say it isn't, because I honestly haven't been making music long enough to know some essentials as this.

Haha. I'm no good at production, but I understand a few things. I think your mixer has a limiter and because the volume is too loud, it is getting "pumped" down to avoid clipping. It seems to coincide with that bass kick drum. Try lowering the velocity of that note during the :28 sequence. Besides that, I'd recommend finding some better virtual instruments. They tend to be mastered more appropriately to avoid pumping. That's all the advice I've got :D Hopefully someone else on the forum with better know-how will chip in. Regardless, these tutorials might be helpful as well. http://ocremix.org/info/Category:Tutorials (particularly Zircon, part 5, scroll down to Mastering. Good luck!

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There's a lot to cover here, so I'll do my best to address the biggest parts.

The Bad:

The guitar samples just don't cut it at all. The first one that enters at 0:20 is tolerable. You might be able to pull this off as a synth type guitar with enough effects, but that's a far shot.

Oh, no, no, no! I gotta be brutally honest. 0:59-1:15 just makes me cringe. Slayer is a terrible guitar sample, and you have it as your lead instrument here. Fortunately, it leaves the scene quickly. You need a new sound here, whether it's a new guitar or a new instrument entirely. If you change nothing else at all, make sure you change this.

1:24 That double kick isn't working at all. There's so much low end noise that it makes it difficult to listen to. The compression also diminishes this effect. If you insist on keeping this double kick drum you need to find a way to fix the production of it. A cool idea, so I would like to see you fix it rather than scrap it.

The drums in general need some attention. They are quite dry, which could be a benefit to the sound you are going for, but they need to be balanced. The ride cymbal in the beginning is particularly loud, I think. The overall sound is good for this sort of raunchy, grizzled, rock sound. It just needs touch ups. The sequencing rocks!

The bass line is pretty much a copy from the source. You'll need some variation on this part. You don't have to make it crazy, but a few changes to the source here or there will keep it from getting bland and vanilla sounding.

There's a bunch of compression pumping on this track. It might boost the low end (which I think is what you may have been going for) but it causes the rest of the parts to suffer.

The mix is a decent arrangement. I like the heavy rock feel you are going for, but it's too conservative. You do a great job at 1:32 on switching things up melodically, but I think you ought to do more in the beginning to make it a mix unique to you, rather than a cover of Big Blue.

Biggest complaints: (1) The production on this track is holding you back tremendously. If you can get a handle on how to properly morph and manipulate your sounds, the quality of this mix will increase dramatically. (2) The quality of the instrument samples, particularly the guitars, are just no good. I would strongly encourage you to find more believable, realistic samples, or use another instrument in your library that is more believable and easier on the ears.

The Good:

The drum sequencing is actually quite good. There's some great variation that compliments the different sections of your mix quite well. With a small bit of attention to detail and sound processing, the drum track will sound truly fantastic.

I like the synth sounds you use, especially at 1:24. They add an edge to the song that wasn't previously there, and it adds flavor to the overall mix as it transforms. The sequencing that follows at 1:32 is freakin' awesome. This is the part that really drew me in. You've got some really sweet stuff going on here from 1:32 all the way to 2:12. Epic.

The double time at the end of the mix is a nice changeup from the balls-to-the-wall tempo in the beginning. The jury is still out on the ending though. It works, but at the same time I want more.

The overall arrangement is alive and kickin'. This is a high energy piece of music you have here with a ton of potential. You've got a fantastic start.

Other Thoughts:

This has got a lot of good and a lot of not so good in it. I think once you address the overall production issues and instrument samples, you will have a formidable mix here. Keep at it. I'd like to hear a new version.

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Quite an improvement over the first version, but there's compression and EQ problems all over. Use an EQ to cut out the lows from the instruments that don't need them. Of the ones that need them, figure out how much they need, it's probably less than you currently have. With unnecessary lows cut away, you'll have an easier time working with volume.

Then you should work on the volume. It's better to mix it pretty soft and raise it with a limiter on the master/output track than to have to push it down in the output stage. Drop everything 10dB, mix the volumes as follows:

Mute everything except two lead/foreground tracks, pull down the volume of one of the remaining two and raise it until it's at a comfortable level where you can hear it but it doesn't get in the way of the other one. Unmute one of the other tracks, pulld own its volume and raise it until it's good. Keep doing that with the other tracks. That way, you should end up with a more balanced mixing.

And then, use a limiter at the output/master stage as the LAST effect. Raise the volume feeding into this effect (called input gain if the limiter has a knob of its own for this) until it sounds squashed and terrible, then pull it down until it sounds good again. If necessary, compare it to some well-mixed tracks (you won't get yours as loud without problems, but if it's not a lot softer it's good enough, volume-wise).

Those solos have a Willrock-vibe I like, but the sound of the instrument isn't that good. While much of the sound design here isn't good, enough of it is passable for this to become a mixing practice track. :P But find a better sound for the guitar parts. :P You're learning supahfast, keep it up. :D

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The Good:

Dude, that synth in the beginning (0:20) is SOOOOO much better sounding. Whatever you did to replace the instrument or heavily modify it worked, and it worked damn well, and you NEED to keep this sound. It's perfect. I dig the nuances you have here too. Little pitch slides and flams here and there. This is a world different, and sounds great.

The new drum pattern variations sprinkled around the song are a welcome addition. Sometimes the ride cymbal is a tad harsh, but that's a minor and easy fix.

Dude, the synth sample and sequencing you have at 1:32 is just golden. I love the breakdown here. You get really gritty and slide that melody around like it's no one's business. 2:03 is pretty psychedelic with that vibrating effect. The ascension at the very end of the song is sweet too (if that happens to be Slayer doing that, so be it. KEEP THAT PART)

Like I said before, the ending section at 2:12 is a slow, heavy rocker, and the only thing holding you back is Slayer.

The soundscape is much less squished and pumped sounding. There are still some sections that need attention, but overall the mix sounds 100% better.

The Bad:

My headbanging and foot stomping came to an abrupt halt a minute into the song. I was disappointed to hear that screeching, cutting Slayer lead still playing at 0:59. The sound you had going on already with that synth was great (though it isn't a bad idea at all to pass the melody off to a new instrument at this point). This part in particular is the weakest part of your mix when it comes to the mix. You have got to replace this instrument with something new, or find a creative way to keep the first lead instrument you have in the mix.

1:24-1:30 has that double kickdrum the entire 6 seconds. Instead of being a neat little effect to add oomph to the song, it gets old, distracting, and ugly. Maybe just one or two measures of that would be good. Too much just sounds unimaginative.

Other Thoughts:

You'll probably need more variation and unique material for this to be OCR quality, but you have a solid start. The grunge rock feel you have is totally sweet, and those synths are just smooth and raunchy all at once. Work on finding a new instrument for those Slayer lead/rhythm parts, and then you're down to the nitty gritty of tweaking the small things.

This version has seen a ton of improvement. Keep it up man! This is sounding better and better with every version you've posted.

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The Good:

Great source material!

The Bad:

MIDI rip.

Drum samples do not sound good, and are programmed poorly.

Synths sound dull.

Arrangement is lacking.

Mixing is counter-intuitive. Everything gets buried by everything else.

Overcompressed.

Source isn't correctly represented.

Guitar samples are not good.

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I've restarted and copied all the tracks to another save, piece by piece, so it's got a fresh EQ on everything.

MIDI rip.

Source isn't correctly represented.

Guitar samples are not good.

2 things for the first 2 I restated up there: both of those statements go against each other.. If it were a midi rip, then it would/should be the original source. Plus, I made it all from scratch; it's more challenging and more rewarding like that, hehe.

- Guitar samples are not good : I do know this; I've been trying to find a good way to keep a good quality recording for my own guitar playing.

The bass I have changed alot, actually; so it's got a somewhat new feel to it. I've changed the drums up a bit, too; specifically kick drum areas where they needed to be, and changed ride/ louder un-needed parts back to the way they should be.

I don't have a current version yet, but I'm going to clean it up alot. the next time a new version will be posted, it should also have real guitar in it as well. (exception: I suck and can only play decently hard rhythm parts)

So.. be sure to watch for an update, it's been alot of help so far!

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This is far from done, I've got guitar recordings planned for this piece for sure. I fixed some major production problems from before, but in no way am I finished. In this version there's an example of the rhythm guitar I'm going to record; plus more later on from that as well, possibly a lead in there along with the rhythm.

I'm not changing any of the original synth solo any more, unless something comes up that needs to be fixed.

Please check out this newest version. :wink:

img.php?fid=1002

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I have finished.... most of this; now I just need to play the guitar myself, and put it into the song. updated a mimic of how I'm going to play guitar onto the track, for the most part. All of the notes are correct on how I will play them, but it will sound alot different considering gain / unique sound of a real instrument. the only thing I may change of the song is the backing rhythm guitar for the synth solo (2nd playthrough)

Apart from that, I didn't want just a useless bump "because I'm desperately anxious" , just notifying that I'm still working on it.

img.php?fid=1016

any comments of the newer material would be greatly appreciated!

I forgot! I'm also planning to add an ending solo during the double timed breakdown. Yeah, definitely forgot about it.

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