Jump to content

Runescape RnB-ish mix


Vidilian
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...
Update: Changed up the arrangement so there's less repetition, changed some samples and tried to sort out the EQ, volumes and reverb.

I'm pretty bad at seeing issues in my own tracks so comments needed please.

It has a lot of potential in it. The drums in it are a turn off for me. When the kick does that fast roll with the snare following it, it seems a bit spiratic(sp). I think this would sound a whole lot better if you kept it more simplistic with variations of course, but i feel its over done here. Keep at it, I know if you put more time into it, it will sound great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks a lot for the feedback.

Update:

Got rid of all the fast rolls you were talking about.

Extended the song although I'm not sure how well the new part fits in with the rest especially since its a different time signature to the rest.

Made subtles tweaks to arrangement so theres more variation.

Adjusted the panning

Also, I learned that the order you insert things like EQ and compression makes a difference so I sorted that out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting to put a RnB-ish mix in 3/4 time. Even more interesting to integrate orchestral instruments. I think it works pretty well. The groove and general feel are nice.

The only thing that bothers me is the solo string instrument starting at 1:04 -- I'd either find a real cellist or viola player, or use another sample (maybe ensemble strings, which are easier to fake and you use to good effect elsewhere in the mix).

Also, the section around 2:20 sounds kind of empty. The syncopated pizzicato part may need something else to carry it through. Some smooth ensemble strings or synth pads might help fill it out.

Other than that, not sure I can be of much help in this genre, but keep at it! :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I think I EQ'd things too much last time in an attempt to make things clearer, so the samples lost frequencies that probabably helped them sound more realistic. I returned most of them so I'm hoping that panning and EQ on the reverb will be enough to keep things clear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Update: EQ'd the new sounds so the mix is clearer.

Adjusted the compression, volume and EQ of the bass and kick so there less dominant.

Made the arrangemnet at around 2:00 less empty and differed it from the rest of the song more so its less boring when it gets to that point.

Changed the limiter on the whole track to a compressor.

And other things that I'm forgetting.

Switching this to Mod review to get an idea of where I'm at with this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember this song, way back when RuneScape didn't have all the anti-scamming stuff, so people could actually learn what a scam looked like in a place where it didn't really matter that all your money was swindled out of you. I finished doing all the free stuff, got bored and stopped playing, but I check in every now and then. Anyway, the song:

- At 1:10 and 1:25, the (what sounds like another) violin that comes in for two seconds is flat and kills the moment. Please either change it or (preferably) take it out.

- The mixing of the R&B drums and the 3/4 nature of the song was off-putting the first time I heard this. Strangely, every other time I've listened to it, it's fit perfectly, so maybe it was just the shock of something different. Quieten down the snare a little, though.

- I love the piano and string instruments in this. They should not be touched at all.:grin:

- The ending is just a fade. I would have liked a build-up instead, or even if you cut off the last 12.5 seconds and put the ending there. But if you like fading, then just ignore the previous sentence.

I realise that MMO games are not as commonly accepted, as they're not on a console or something like that. This has to be one of my favourite songs from RuneScape...that I can remember. If you can get this through, I will be happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright man, thanks for your patience. I've been listening to the track on and off to try and get a feel for it. I used to play Runescape a lot so I'm much more familiar with this source tune than I'd really care to admit x_x

Anyway, I'll start with the good. You seem to have a pretty good ear for balancing your instruments and overall, the production on this actually isn't too bad. I'd say your snare is a little too piercing and could lose a bit in the high frequencies. The way you wrote the song also leads to a lot of crowding in the mids, mostly due to the strings clashing with each other.

Overall the arrangement is pretty good as well, quite interpretive and a nice time signature transition/genre adaptation. Shows a lot of creative talent, which I appreciate and recognize.

However, there's a few serious problems here that I'm afraid will take time to iron out. First off, the sequencing is very unrealistic, and I'm not really sure there's a quick fix for this. A lot of it is just that your writing sounds blocky - everything's playing at very fixed intervals and there's not a lot of variation in the patterns. In addition, it sounds like your note velocities are all pretty much the same. These two problems generally give an amateurish sound to a song, and unfortunately it's showing through here pretty strongly. I doubt the song would be able to pass the panel for that reason alone.

In addition, your sample quality is... not the best. I'm not sure how much more you can get out of the samples you've currently got (what DAW are you using?) but I really don't feel like the ones you have are really cutting it, unfortunately. I know it's not impossible to make good sounding music at OCR quality with free samples (ProtoDome and Ziwtra have done it and routinely outperform those with high-end samples in terms of overall quality) but in order to do that you probably need to spend more time writing music and paying special attention to humanization (i.e. note velocities, quantization, and laying out notes in a way that sound like they're actually performed by a real instrument.)

Ultimately I think you've got the chops to write good music, but in order to make it on OCR you need to really work on your sequencing and how you utilize your samples. I would honestly suggest just continuing to write music and get feedback here instead of dwelling on this track, you'll gradually tend to get better as you work on new songs. Maybe someday down the road you can revisit this with some more experience... I don't mean to be discouraging, but the problems with this mix I don't think are really going to be "quick fixes" per se.

Good luck man :-) Hope this was helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, like emu, have been giving this a thorough listen on-and-off to give adequate feedback. Sorry for the delay!

First, that source is really nice and soothing. I had a difficult time nailing the usage, because the only time I can pull the explicit melody is at 1:03 - 1:35, 1:58 - 2:05, 3:14 - with the piano during the fadeout as well. If you wouldn't mind indicating where else you used the source tune explicitly, I'd very much appreciate it. I'll continue digging, though.

As for soundscape, I really like how moody it is. Some sound samples are good, but on the whole, this needs some more humanization. Emunator's right to call this a little bulky. It mostly has to do with the orchestral elements outside of the pizzicato strings sounding stiff and having unnatural attacks and decays(also that oboe sample sounds out of tune with the rest of the instruments).

For one thing: I think a more natural Piano would sound great, something like splendid.sf2 grand piano (do a google search, it might be harder to find these days since the original site doesn't have it anymore, but you can find it if you look) or even NS Piano would do. And if you can take care of those odd attacks and release by using Midi controller data (google for some cubase tutorials on velocity dynamics and automation, that might do the trick) that should help a good bit. I can't speak specifically since I've always made those changes in a VST. Taking some notes and doing slight offsets just enough so that they're still in time but sound "humanized" would be good as well.

I'd personally love to hear the inclusion of some of those brass progressions from the source, but that's just me. Melody source in general could probably be beefed up to be a tad more overt.

In all, everything Emu said pretty much rings true, and with time and TLC, this already-good sounding track can reach even higher levels. Best of luck, please do come back to it some day!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. It was helpful. Used Cubase with a plugin called Edirol orchestral to do this btw.

Shame the issues can't be sorted out right now. I'll come back to it some day though.

Well, don't get me wrong, this isn't impossible to fix. But in order to do so, I think you'd probably have to spend quite a bit of time learning the many facets of humanization that you could probably learn more easily by just making more music in the meantime. I think your time would be better spent coming back to this later, but that's 100% my opinion.

I do have to change something though, since I've used EDIROL Orchestral and the samples are actually quite nice. I'm not sure why they're sounding so stiff and unrealistic in this song, maybe it's just an illusion caused by the unrealistic sequencing, as well as the attack and decay values like Stevo is saying. I know for a fact that you can get great sounds out of the VST you're using, actually.

I realize my last post was kind of discouraging, but I hope you don't take it to mean that it's impossible to get this up to workable standards. I was just giving my personal advice on how I feel is the best way to improve your craft, based on what I've seen from other people burning out when they dwell on a song for too long. Your mileage may vary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah don't worry I understood what you said. Your idea about taking a break from the song makes sense to me since, even though I understand the issues with the sequencing, it'll take me some time and research to figure out how to sort it out properly. I know it won't it be as simple as just de-quantising/playing things in with a keyboard, and varying up the velocities even more (tried that with a piano remix awhile ago and it just ended up being sloppy in most parts).

Also, I just spotted your comment MC Ardle. I don't think MMO games aren't commonly accepted because they're not on consoles. Its because they take up so much time. In fact, people who would remix MMO songs are probably spending most of their free time playing MMOs not making music hehe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@MC Ardle - lol, you didn't need to bring that up. I don't like being reminded that I'm getting older hehe.

@Level 99 - forgot to out this in my last post. You asked about where else the source is used. Other than where you said, the strings from 2:37 - 3:14 in the remix play the tune that the brass in the original atarts playing at around 1:35 and the piano at 2:55 is playing the melody that the woodwind instrument is playing at 2:18 in the original. These parts are in a different time signature and not always the same notes as the orignal so that makes it harder to spot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I've come back to this one after learning some stuff. I'm pretty sure everything thats been said has been resolved now. Humanisation and production in particular I focused on.

Arrangement-wise theres a few tweaks here and there aswell. Added brass later on in the song so it hopefully sounds more like the part in the original that its based on.

Gonna go ahead and keep this Mod review so I can see how much progress I've made since the last wip.

https://sites.google.com/site/vspaine/wips/Harmonious.mp3?attredirects=0&d=1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like your sequencing skills are improving quickly, but your samples are still bringing this down. The piano sounds pretty nasty, particularly in the low-mids, and the other samples still feel pretty MIDI-ish to me. Your bass isn't sounding very rich either, it feels like it's coming through only in the lowest of low frequencies. Your arrangement is sounding really nice though, I think with some proper polish and a boost in sample quality across the board, this might have a chance. Hate to say it, though, but it's still well below the bar as-is. Improvement, though :-D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for review. If the issue is the samples then this ones as good as its going to get for a long time. I don't see me getting a computer that can run the type of samples you're talking about anytime soon if ever.

In that case I've just made a quick update to this and will change it to finished since theres nothing else I can do to it atm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Please don't take this as me being harsh or stubborn, but I have yet to be convinced that, with any certain amount of time, someone running a pentium 3 computer with the most generic soundfonts is unable of making something stupendous. While it may be considerably easier to get better samples or a better computer, I think there are still improvements you can make here.

On the other hand, I can also understand being mentally "finished" with a piece, and that may be what you're at here.

Out of curiosity what specs are you running again?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Wasn't expecting another reply to this so didn't see until now.

I'm using a laptop with an intel core i5 cpu M430 @ 2.27 Ghz of RAM.

I'd love to know how to get this sounding good enough with the samples I'm using because I'm sure its possible too but I've gone as far as I can with my attempt at humanising. I've tried PMing Emunator a few times hoping he could give me the specific help needed but haven't gotten a reply.

Haven't given up on this song at all by the way, its just that I can't take it any further without some help. Trust me, I've tried my best up until now but theres somethings I seemingly can't figure out by myself as much as I'd love too (I hate asking for help lol)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
Wasn't expecting another reply to this so didn't see until now.

I'm using a laptop with an intel core i5 cpu M430 @ 2.27 Ghz of RAM.

I'd love to know how to get this sounding good enough with the samples I'm using because I'm sure its possible too but I've gone as far as I can with my attempt at humanising. I've tried PMing Emunator a few times hoping he could give me the specific help needed but haven't gotten a reply.

Haven't given up on this song at all by the way, its just that I can't take it any further without some help. Trust me, I've tried my best up until now but theres somethings I seemingly can't figure out by myself as much as I'd love too (I hate asking for help lol)

Okay, when I talk about humanizing, I'm talking about the specific methods with which to make a sample sound more realistic. This can be done using a combination of techniques.

First step in humanizing is adjustment of timing. Unlike tight electronica where everything is perfectly on beat, human instruments always have a slight delay bias either early or late, and it can range from minuscule (think tightly timed lead guitars by an expert) to significant. The farthest end of of this also effects the actual rhythm, also known as the swing timing, if its all consistent in a given direction. However, for what you're doing, you need not concern swing right now. For this its really about giving those orchestral instruments a slight nudge every now and then off the perfect time of the beat. Not enough to make it sound sloppy, but enough to allow for human error in the player. This is especially essential for something like a piano.

The next step is humanizing the dynamics. When using a mouse to input a MIDI instrument's sequencing, things can be very static with the velocity of each note. If you're using a MIDI keyboard or similar controller, then you'll likely get velocity based on how hard you press your finger down on the key. The trick here is to give a consistent curve to the velocity progression, as well was making sure you're accentuating things correctly (using high velocity at the right time) and lowering things to balance (lessening the velocity on low notes or downbeats). You definitely have some velocity changes going on here but some are very severe and sound awkward. This takes a long time to get right, basically you have to try things out to see what sounds natural in your track, as well as referencing other works and even possibly reading up on theory.

Taking that step even further has to do with humanizing attack, decay, and note trails. If you notice, many soundfonts and mediocre-quality sample packs have a very stiff feeling to what they're playing. Take your strings here, for example. They either sound heavily vibrato'd for the duration of a note (especially in the exposed cello), and later on they are completely without vibrato for entire notes. Furthermore, those vibratos were not on beat with the tempo of the song, making it sound very jerky in movement. I'm not an expert on how to achieve the best sound, but tinkering with the attack and decay of an instrument, and also doing dynamic velocities (i think that's what they're called) or the mod wheel to cross with another sample (mod wheel down is no-vibrato, mod wheel up is vibrato, can cross between at will) does help a lot.

Listening back on your mix, it also sounds like you could do with a bit of mixing work. Utilizing buses effectively to achieve a fuller mix (separation of reverbs and EQs), and possibly doing some more layering of instruments especially in the midrange.

Anyways, hope you're still working on this slowly but surely!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...