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MC Ardle

wip Scribblenauts: Multiple tracks - "...and then I gave the zombie a sandwich..."

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SCRIBBLENAUTS!!!

This is a mixture of a few different songs from the game. It's the first time that I've tried to make a track that intentionally sounds fake, but it gives it a R&B feel. I didn't want to send it in without getting people's opinions, because there's bound to be some imperfections that I didn't pick up on.

img.php?fid=1276

What do you think?

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Not sure if you'd get with fake sounding stuff even though that was your intention. I could be completely wrong though.

But other than just the fakeness, theres a few sound choices I don't really like, eg. the synth that comes in at 1:40.

Arrangement-wise I think its a tad repetetive especially with the harpischord (I think) playing the same melody for 75% of the song.

But overall I like the feel your going for and the vinyl sample you've got going on.

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I like the overall sound of the piece, there's no noise and a lot of clarity within the piece, which is awesome.

However, I do feel it is a bit repetitve and a large section in the middle could be cut out, or changed, i second the opinion that the synth at 1:40 sounds a bit out of place with the feeling of the rest of the song.

I think you should redo some of the parts add a little more variety to the piece.

Other than that I feel this is really good and has a lot of potential.

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Thanks for the feedback. There's not really any part that I want to remove to shorten the song but I'll consider it.

Also, the harpsicord at 1:40, I'm just wondering what instrument(s) would better suit to replace it?

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Thanks for the feedback. There's not really any part that I want to remove to shorten the song but I'll consider it.

Also, the harpsicord at 1:40, I'm just wondering what instrument(s) would better suit to replace it?

The harpischord isn't playing at 1:40, so I'm guessing you mean the synth thats playing the melody. A good quality flute sample could work instead I guess. And if you are talking about the harpischord, I don't neccesarily think it needs to be replaced. Just humanise it more by varying the velocities of the notes its playing.

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Thank you, Vidilian, for seeing past what I said to get to what I really meant.

Here's an altered version. It's about 30 seconds shorter, the instuments are more human sounding, and the synth has been changed to...two other instruments. I'm quite sure I can call this the finished product, but you decide.

http://ocrwip.fireslash.net/?fid=1183

Here are the original sources for this song:

Edit: Here's that source breakdown you wanted:

"Title Screen": 0:00 to 1:31, 1:50 to 2:11, 2:31 to 3:02, then gets mixed with "Main Menu" from 3:02 to 3:42, back to normal from 3:42 to End.

"Main Menu": 3:02 to 3:42.

"Level Select": 2:11 to 2:31, then gets mixed with "Level Start" and "Starite Get" from 2:31 to 2:51

"Level Start": From 1:31 to 2:11, mixed with "Starite Get"

"Starite Get": Can be heard at 1:46, 2:06 and 2:46.

The strings at 1:00 to 1:10 is the start-up tune to the game. I couldn't find a link to the source anywhere. I hope this makes it easier.

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Mod reviewing this right now, will edit this post when done.

Edit: okay, this is going to take a while to mod review because of five different sources. I'll just post a new reply when done. Don't worry, the mods have noticed this.

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You know, you could really help Stevo out by posting a source breakdown. Sorting through five sources and trying to figure out what goes where is pretty challenging otherwise.

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I'd like to say that I'm happy that the music in this game is getting some more recognition. Nice remix(I don't like the snare sample that much personally), but this seems like a really nice medley.

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Alright, source usage breakdown helped me a TON here. Here we gooooooooo!

Reviewing from an OCR perspective, I'll give you lots of credit for trying to mix so many of the source tunes together, it is a valiant effort. I can tell there is a lot of potential here, so give yourself a pat on the back for what you've done. However, there are three main problems:

1) The sound samples are dull and have poor sound quality. I realize you tried to intentionally make this sound fake, but there is a difference between something sounding fake and something sounding low-quality. In certain instances, low-quality samples work (see how well some of the chiptunes-style ReMixers on OCR use that kind of stuff). However, with the instruments that you're using, it doesn't quite work as-is. You're using violins, flute, saxophone, harpsichord, piano, and marimba throughout the mix. These instruments, through their timbre alone, are very difficult to use effectively with any intention of sounding fake. The drums you could have been fine with with some better processing, less repetition of the same beat and overuse of the scratch effect (that snare is also very wet-sounding and is at a weird velocity where it feels quiet). To get this up to scratch, you'd need to radically overhaul the soundscape with lots of instrument replacements, as well as additions: I'm not hearing a bass cover the low-mid frequency range, which gives the entire track a very empty feeling. If you want that fakey-feeling for the track, I'd highly recommend not going with traditional instruments sounds.

2) The sequencing is stiff, mechanical and repetitive. This also somewhat ties in to your intentionally sounding-fake idea. The majority of the track is without any kind of humanizing or offbeat usage: everything seems to fall dead on. Solid timing is a good thing, but stiff sequencing can kill arrangements. I'm not saying make things go deliberately off-time when not appropriate, but these instruments again, for the most part, sound better when they are humanized: some slight off-timings to give a convincing performance, and articulation of phrases that aren't super-quantized. The track itself has a lovely flow from one source to the other, including the sections where sources are meshed, and you've got a lot of great ideas on how to layer. Making things less repetitive and improving some of the transitions (like the one at 1:00 - you almost had it, that flute early start was great, but the sudden drum drop out reduced the effectiveness of it). That harpsichord melody is used a great deal and becomes a bit grating after a while, etc. Going through the sequencing as a whole with a fine-tooth comb, paying attention to detail and creating differentiations between sections would greatly improve the track.

3) The song feels unpolished. The combination of the above two issues, along with a lack of original material used in the track and, from what I can hear, little-to-no mastering detracts from the listening experience. Spice things up by throwing in some more unique, original stuff with the source usage, and get some practice in production by reading some mastering tutorials (thread for it is full of useful stuff!). The complaint that it is "boring" is somewhat valid because you want to make sure the listener is enjoying themselves, so adding your own flavor to the song and making it sound pristine will provide a better result.

I realize a lot of what I pointed out may seem very discouraging. Do not misunderstand me, though: I enjoyed what I heard, and was able to easily pick out the things that were wrong with it. I really like when a bunch of sources come together to form a cohesive whole, as opposed to something that sounds like a medley. I myself use numerous game sources as cameos in some mixes, as it is effective in "spicing things up". I encourage you to really keep at this because there is a fantastic track just waiting in there to come out!

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Wow...I've got a lot of work still to do.

I've made some changes to the piece, according to Level 99's review. I'm not ready to put up the next version yet, but here are some things I've done:

- Better processing; Instrument replacements: I've changed the samples of the drums, strings and Piano.

- Less repetition: Altered some drum loops

- Improving transitions: All transitions are a lot smoother (I think I've got the one at 1:00, now)

- Quiet, wet snare: Problem solved, due to sample change.

- Bass covering the low-mid frequency range: Dropped the bass that was in mid-range down one octave.

img.php?fid=1276

I have a few problems, however:

- i know how to quantise on Cubase, but I don't know how to humanise the lengths.

- If I take out the harpsichord melody at any point that it is playing, the song sounds empty and lacking.

- I can't seem to find any room in the piece to put anything original.

Thanks for your help.

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