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Vidilian

2. ready for review Summon Night: Swordcraft story - Deadly Swordfight

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I've tried to work on humanising my sequencing with this track by doing pretty much all the tricks associated with it but at the same time trying to keep them subtle so things doesn't sound sloppy or weird.

Feedback, especially about that, is greatly appreciated.

Source:

 

 

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

Edited by Vidilian

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Cool one. I like your work on the humanizing too, it's pretty good! Sequencing's nice too.

Oddly those strings are panned to the very right. I'm mostly used to hear them on the left (when it's violins), and even so not that much panned. You could center it a bit to balance with the other group of strings.

Instruments (mainly flute and strings) sound kinda dry, and I think you could add some reverb to them. Drums are okay on that aspect, but I think they could have some more work.

Go go go :<

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Thanks for replies. Glad to know I'm on the right track with the humanising.

Did everything that was said plus adjusted the EQ so its more subtle, added a bit to the percussion, gave the kick more thump, made the bass more interesting at the chorus and added about a minute to the song. Still need to add a couple more minutes to this.

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I see that the original WIP was from way back in 2011 but awesome that you've made time to come back to it and work on it!

Mod Eval

There's a lot of interesting concepts here and I really like when arrangers take material that is very synth heavy and take it in a completely different direction. A few things here stick out to me as a bit odd however, the first being the piano. I feel like it could use a bit more humanization as there are some sections where quicker passages really sound unnatural. The first place I heard this was at 0:12. You hear almost a bit of a jitter in the quick notes the piano is playing. Some fine-tuning of the individual dynamics and adding some sustain will do wonders for this. 

In terms of production I think there are a few things that will help improve the overall mix. One thing is the separation of the piano/strings/flute and the rhythm section instruments tonally. The bass/drums seem to be quite dry and very frontal in the mix which makes it abrasive against the quieter instruments such as piano/strings and flute which are soaked in reverb. You might consider bringing the bass/drums a bit down in volume and also have some sort of common reverb for all the instruments to do some blending. Also, I appreciate the use of vibraslap (or ratchet maybe?) but its VERY dry compared to the rest of the instruments and needs some blending with verb/volume as it really sticks out. 

I don't mind the string sounds here too much but you can definitely hear a bit of their syntheticness in the quick passages such 1:46. Depending on your library you could probably remedy this with playing around with different articulations/dynamics etc. Often I find it's helpful to know the limitations of your samples. If you have string samples that sound really bad playing fast passages, it might be better to re-write the part for an instrument which can handle the music you've written for it. 

Composition-wise you've got some great ideas here and as I stated before I really appreciate your treatment of the original melody. There are basically three distinct themes within the original tune and I feel like you've done quite a bit with the first theme (0:01 in the original), a little less with the second (0:27), and nothing (0:51) with the third. Your mix is a bit short so I would maybe introduce some concepts from the third theme and see where that takes it. You might be surprised where it goes!

Overall some neat concepts and a cool direction to take the piece but this definitely needs some production work and a little more play on the source material wouldn't hurt. I think the biggest thing here is to balance out that rhythm section and your strings/melody parts. It's not quite ready for submission yet but keep at it! 

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[This is an automatically generated message]

I've reviewed your remix and have returned it to Work-in-Progress status, indicating that I think there are some things you still need to work on. After you work on your track and feel that you'd like some more feedback, please change the prefix back to Ready for Review and I'll review it again! Good luck!

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Update.

The reverb i used before gave the snare and hi hats overly prominent tails when i tried to increase it to the same level as the orchestra's (thats why i felt the need to keep them relatively dry in comparison) and didn't give the sense of space I was trying to emulate for the orchestra unless I increased it to too high a level. 

I've now found a reverb that doesn't have those issues and works equally well for both the drums and the orchestra, which has allowed me bring the reverb level on the drums and orchestra to the same level, making them more cohesive.

Also tweaked other things. Will extend later.

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Good news, bad news. Let's start with the bad.

On 1/17/2017 at 6:41 AM, Wiesty said:

Often I find it's helpful to know the limitations of your samples. If you have string samples that sound really bad playing fast passages, it might be better to re-write the part for an instrument which can handle the music you've written for it. 

This needs repeating.

The piano-strings-woodwind interplay in the beginning could use some work. I think it's the offbeat start of the piano couple with the slow attack of the strings that's throwing me off. Better strings might solve it, though a single low piano note might also do it. Either way, a good downbeat would anchor the rhythm and help orientate the listener. The strings are a bit of a problem here. Not their writing but the sound itself, hence the quote.

You should probably redo the mixing entirely. It's salvageable as it is, but starting from scratch (levels, eq, reverb, compression) with what you've learned since you did it last time can help a lot. Any sound-design-related effects can probably stay. I'd mute all the tracks that aren't the most important for the tracks, and make the most important ones sound good on their own, then bring in the secondary tracks one by one and adjust their levels and effects accordingly. Maybe even do two passes of primary tracks, one for the melodic instrumentation and one for the rhythm parts, and then mix them together before bringing in tertiary things.

It sounds like you're fading out at the end, which you don't have to. You could end on that 2:28 note (or one earlier) and just let it ring out. I can't tell if that's a fadeout or just low-velocity notes on a piano that doesn't sound right at low velocities. But I don't think you need to soften it that much anyway, just dropping out the other instruments does a lot for the track already.

Your piano humanization is successful in that it sounds human, but it's not a great performance. From what I can tell, there's a lot of timing adjustments in here, but they sound more like random timing imperfections than a performance. If you can record midi, I suggest you play the parts yourself, even if you only play on a single note, just to get the timing and velocity right, and then create the melody from that. If you have some soft humanization tools, you can use those too. This is less important for instruments with slow attack.

The frequent breaks in the beat are a little strange. You could mitigate that with a more percussion-oriented track that doesn't do the breaks, or that leave cymbals and things ringing out over the breaks. Or maybe a heavily filtered copy of the drums you've got. These might not give you the sound or style you're going for, it's just what I'd do. (Beware the "what I would do"-type suggestions, they might not work for what you want to do.)

I don't think humanization (or arrangement) is the main problem here, sound design and mixing is. You could improve the track a lot with just a few changes to the sound design and a mixing overhaul.

I like the arrangement. I like the bass glide thing at 0:27, and the glide effect at 1:29. I like the sound of the snare and those highest little string things. I like the muffled drums sound nearing 2:00. And I like how this is from a source from a game I haven't even heard of.

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