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Runescape RnB-ish mix


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An old Vid track. :D There are a few things in it that I so clearly associate with your arrangements. I can hear them in here.


The sound design is something that immediately strikes me as being all over the place. There's some weak drums, some orchestral element in a different space, some dry synth or fake guitar things. Things are weirdly balanced and don't seem to fit together. I suggest you pick a couple of recent ocremixes that make use of the same kind of instruments and which has a balance between them that you think would work for your track, and try to emulate that. Maybe things require different samples, layering, changing the writing, different EQ and reverb, or maybe just nudging the level up or down.

I like the chill vibe you've got here, but the sound design and balance doesn't work right now. The sound gets in the way of the chill mood.

The overall sound seems to have this weird resonant peak to it, somewhere in the mids, while the rest of the mids are lacking. It often sounds nasal. That's not a good sound. See what you can do about that.

The arrangement and individual parts writing is a bit clunky at times. Drums in particular, though that might be in part because of the sound design. The timing of instruments entering in the beginning is odd. The lower strings enter on the second beat, which suits the rhythm they take on later but not their entrance. Drums enter well. Be careful with how the tracks enter and exit the attention of the listener.

It took me a long time to get an idea of the source usage. Not sure why. I'm cool with the source usage. There's enough that I can connect to the source.

The track ends with a really long and seemingly arbitrary fade-out. I'd look into either making the fade more deliberate, or ending the track differently.

The arrangement has enough cool ideas that it might be worth fixing up, but you'd have to do a lot about the sound and the writing to make it work on par with ocr's standards. The biggest difficulty in that isn't the changes themselves, but hearing what needs to be changed. If you can do that, you can probably make this ocr-level. Not sure if you want to tear up the old sounds or rather work on something new, but whatever you do, I'll give it a listen.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, this was one of the few that have been eval'd by Level 99 & Emunator, way back when. It would be nice if they dropped by periodically to say hello to the WIP boards again, from time to time, as they're pretty cool dudes.

But I digress - time to give it an eval, Gario-style! :D


Alright, you've spent quite a bit of time on this, and I do think you're close. The idea is interesting, and the source is recognizable. The production is in pretty good shape, to boot - I'm not hearing things like overcompression or limiting errors in this, which is good.

You're probably tired of hearing the humanization issues on this, so I'll rephrase it in a way that might be more useful - your articulations are mechanical. Particularly, the attack envelope of your samples all swell when a real performer might only do such swelling at the beginning of a phrase. This afflicts most of your samples (solo violin, oboe, backing strings), so it's something that can't be ignored, if you presented this to the panel.

Fortunately, most samplers that I've seen have knobs that allow you to adjust the attack of your sample, so decreasing the 'attack' of your samples will give you a tighter articulation. If that swell is inherent in the sample itself that's unlucky, but there's still hope in that samplers sometimes also offer an adjustment of where to start in the sample. Start after the inherent swell fo the sample and viola! Tighter articulation. I would highly suggest considering the phrasing of your instrumental lines, and focusing a little on when it makes sense for something to swell and when it makes no sense to do so, and adjust accordingly.

I spent a lot of time on that (as it's the most noticeable concern), but I will also quickly point out that the mixing doesn't have enough focus to it. I hear a particular instrument (such as at 0:15 and 0:46) that pops out whenever it's around - that guitar. It really makes more sense as a supporting instrument, but it's mixed in a way that brings it to the front, at the cost of your more melodic instruments (like your violin and oboe). Past 1:45 it becomes difficult to follow your track, because of how things are mixed - there's little for the listener to grab onto, which results in the track sounding like it meanders. The strings sound like they should be the focus at that point, but they are mixed pretty far in the background (and have the aforementioned swelling that squashes their sound). Pay careful attention to your mixing.

I do hope some of that helps you out. I hate to say this would still not pass the panel in its current condition, but I would be doing you no favors if I weren't honest. Pay attention to your articulations, and mix it in such a way that the listener can follow the most important elements and it'll fare better. Best of luck!

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Cheers Gario. 

I automate MIDI expression for the sustain string swells so just need to rethink how I'm doing that. For the other instruments, I can pick articulations with faster attack.

The electric piano (that you're mistaking for a guitar) is supposed to be a lead intrument since it's playing the main melodies any time it's around so not sure what makes it seem like a supporting instrument. I'll try and figure out what you mean though.

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