Sign in to follow this  
Emunator

wip [Update #4 - 8/12/13] Sub Zero (Metroid Prime - Phendrana Drifts)

Recommended Posts

WIP 1 - http://tindeck.com/listen/ripz

WIP 2 - https://soundcloud.com/emunator/phendrana-drifts-wip

WIP 3 - https://soundcloud.com/emunator/metroid-prime-phendrana-drifts

WIP 4 - https://soundcloud.com/emunator/sub-zero-phendrana-drifts

I'm kind of at a loss with this mix but I thought the soundscape was turning out pretty solid and I'm really proud of the improv piano take I did so far. Any thoughts on this?

Edited by Emunator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it takes too much from the original source in regards to the piano part basically sounding like the main theme played by the piano is straight from the game. Besides that, it's probably one of the better Phendrana remixes that we've been seeing the last week or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, sweet soundscaping. Nah, piano doesn't make it too conservative, and there's other elements in here that keep it personalized anyway. Drums don't quite fit imo. I'd go for a more... idunno, organic drum sound. And I'd probably put a delay on it and filter out the kick and stuff like that, but that's me. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooooh the background cracklies are really cool on headphones. The subtle chord changes in the low bells are nice; since I'm familiar with the original, those really caught my ears, and were a nice change up. The drums suit the style well imo, and they're up-front enough for my tastes. The snare could MAYbe use a little more volume in the mids? it sounds kinda tinny. Or just another sample layer.

The run that starts a little before halfway (tindeck doesn't give actual times, and I'm VERY lazy about downloading stuff) sounds a bit mechanical; the instrument choice reminds me of those African instruments that have to be plucked, and I picture some native trying to play that with his thumbs flying and eventually combusting and exploding. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRIBE OF NO THUMBS. That won't be easy to live down, man...

The ending just kinda... ends, so I'm assuming you're not done here?

Edit: Ha, this is kind of a series of "I like X but don't like X" "X is good in my opinion, but I don't like X"

Also, delay is a good call for the snare

Edited by Phonetic Hero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really cool! :) The atmosphere is awesome, and I really like most of your sounds!

I agree with Rozo about the drums though. I think it sounds a bit too aggressive compared to the rest of the instruments.

I also think that a more prominent leading melody could be an interesting idea. There's like this big open spot for a cool, relaxed solo most of the time (personally, I can easily hear either a cello, a violin or a synth lead having fun during this).

Well, that's all the constructive comments that I can think of at the moment. I really like this though, and I can't wait to hear what's coming next! :)

EDIT: the url made me laugh xD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really nice atmosphere, Wes! It feels like the song is breathing. I like that very much, my songs never do that. =D

I have a couple of suggestions, though.

1) The crackling frog sound is really nice, but if I were you I'd use the equalizer to push it a little more to the background. It gets just a little overwhelming at times (0:35-0:37, for example).

2) The vibraphone/celesta/whatever that's playing the arpeggio at 0:45 sounds more like something you'd have in the background of the soundscape, so I'd use some equalizer here as well, and maybe even some creative panning to spice things up.

3) The backwards cymbal at 0:58 sounds a little too sharp for my taste. It's a cool effect, but a little too upfront. Try lowering the volume or equalizing it to make it blend into the otherwise very smooth and gentle soundscape.

4) When the piano gets a little more exposed at 1:16 or so, you can clearly hear the key hits along with the tones. I usually remove those by messing around with--you guessed it--equalizer settings. XD

5) I agree with the others that the drums are a little too agressive. The kicks are OK (I'd make them a little softer, though), but the cymbal's too distracting. I'd use some bit-crunched percussion instead of it. It sounds softer.

I really like this, even if I'm not familiar with source. It reminds me a little bit of Gapra Whitewood from Final Fantasy XIII, probably because of the piano. =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy crap, some awesome feedback from all you guys :-D I wasn't expecting this much, but it's actually motivated me to keep working on this instead of just leaving it in WIP form forever.

I've put a lot of your suggestions into effect and it's already improving the quality of the mix and left some room for another lead/supporting instrument (I was planning on writing parts for a cello and the classic Metroid Prime portamento sinewave, actually!) so thanks for the crits there. The drums I'm going to entirely replace, I want to achieve a sound kind of like this (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01586/) but I'm totally clueless about how to get there. Do I need special sample libraries to get that scratchy snare sound or is it just a matter of processing?

Thank you all <3

Oh yeah, and that mystery instrument that nobody's guessed right is actually a glass marimba! :-D

Edited by Emunator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The drums I'm going to entirely replace, I want to achieve a sound kind of like this (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01586/) but I'm totally clueless about how to get there.

I like that sound too. I think a lot of percussion libraries include presets like that. However, I've been looking for something like that for quite a while, but haven't found it yet. I've experimented with bit-crushing various percussion and this is what I got: Example

Also, if you listen to that loooong mix I sent you the other day, the one which shall remain unnamed, you know why [shifty eyes], there's some bit-crunched percussion at 0:55.

That's the best I can do right now. I hope it helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's actually a sample in FL 10 that's pretty close to what you're looking for and wouldn't require much processing (for the big snare hit, at least). Idk what you're using, but here's that path anyway. You'd have to layer it with some other snare sounds, especially for the attack.

Packs > Legacy > Hits > Hit_Gs

HAHA, I meant to type "here's THE path"

DAT PATH

Edited by Phonetic Hero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with DaMonz that some type of melody would be cool; you've already set up the atmosphere, so something to fill in that gap could be interesting. But obviously you'd have to make sure it worked with the atmosphere, rather than becoming the prominent aspect.

Good stuff so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A year has passed, and I finally had a chance to revisit this slightly. Still extremely rough and loop-y, but I added a few new elements and began to build up some structure past the 2 minute mark. Also, a guitar solo sketch at the end that I may try and work into the final product somehow.

Feedback welcome :-)

https://soundcloud.com/emunator/phendrana-drifts-wip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aw yeah, Phendrana. I want to mix this source myself. From a sonic standpoint I think you're right on the money. Not sure about the bird chirps though. :lol: A lot of the track hews fairly close to the source. More so in the front end. Maybe change up the melody or give it some little flourishes? I dunno. I feel weird giving any kind of critiques to a judge. :lol:

Edited by Argle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is utterly lovely Wes, like all your music. The ambience is divine.

I feel like you could maybe hint at the drop, maybe bring in some kicks or hat hits starting around 1:12, just on the first beat of those four bars leading to the break before the drop... otherwise the drop is so totally unexpected as to be a bit jarring, at least for me. Maybe even a kick or snare roll, ramping up in volume, in addition to the reverse effect. That next section is awesome, just needs to be signaled a bit better. Signaling it will make it so much more exciting when it hits.

You need a better crash sample, and need to process it a bit better, this one sounds cheapish.

Some more chord/melody variations, and this is a truly amazing piece. The guitar sketch at the end is gorgeous, I hope you can work it in! :-D

And Argle... even judges need critiques on their stuff! Everyone needs crits on their own stuff. ;-)

Edited by Chimpazilla

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the "bird chirps" are probably just automated really resonant filter sweeps.

The intro feels overly long, as it's about 1:30, in a 3:42~4:10-ish song, for which I'd expect closer to a 1:00 long intro.

I feel like the pads are a bit plain once you reach 0:41. The long sustains on the bass and pad(s) sounds pretty static after 0:41, so maybe you can clone the pad instance, edit the patch, and give it some sort of evolving texture. It sounds like the chimes would be a great transition to that level of interest in the song.

1:24 is where the piano seems to sound a bit cheap. Try to find a better piano sample. This one seems to be too focused on the low end key-down noise and as a result isn't all that bright. I think a new piano sample would help a lot with the atmosphere, as the piano seems to clash a bit with the xylo-like mallet instrument between the impact frequencies of the xylo and the key-down frequencies of the piano.

I'm not sure the bass with its portamento is quite safe. It's basically jumping right into a frequency clash and right back out. Maybe you can adjust its timbre a little to make its better frequencies stand out more, then lower the volume on it, to give more room for your piano to breathe. I just think the piano is a bit overpowered by the generic bass (sounds like some sort of sine wave hybrid), but mainly by the volume, not by the frequency distribution (sine waves, obviously, are very easy to fit into a mix).

Yeah, the cymbal is pretty cheap-sounding. Actually, it sounds like a vintage cymbal, which wouldn't really work here. Try one with a higher cutoff, and then try lowering the frequencies made by the drumstick impact to "soften" the cymbal transient. Right now it's too "hard".

Edited by timaeus222

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is some fantastic feedback you guys :-) Thank you everybody, I will implement this when I have some time and try and figure out a way to make my chord progression more dynamic.

Much appreciated <3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://soundcloud.com/emunator/metroid-prime-phendrana-drifts

Updated again! Still not final in any sense of the word, but it's getting closer! I'd like to get at least another minute or two of main track material in here, build up to a bigger climax and then drop out for the guitar at the end. I've got a pretty good idea of how I'm going to accomplish that. Afterward, it's all just detail work to be done.

Edited by Emunator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WIP 1 - http://tindeck.com/listen/ripz

WIP 2 - https://soundcloud.com/emunator/phendrana-drifts-wip

WIP 3 - https://soundcloud.com/emunator/metroid-prime-phendrana-drifts

I'm kind of at a loss with this mix but I thought the soundscape was turning out pretty solid and I'm really proud of the improv piano take I did so far. Any thoughts on this?

Hey emu, grats on being posted brah. Also, I posted a comment in your soundcloud link ;)

EDIT

We need to collab sometime, cuz I think you share a similar remixing style as me :D - at least in this remix it feels that way. (just done better haha)

Edited by HoboKa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think... Yeah, it sounds pretty much finished!

ONLY THING: at 2:54, I feel like that ascending and descending should be a piano. Only for that part though; for the rest of the track it sounds good as a xylophone(?).

But really, this is basically finished imo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is definitely coming along! I love the heartbeat kicks in the beginning, great twist on my suggestion. I still think a soft kick roll along with that reverse swoosh in the transition would connect the parts a little better, get the listener ready for more intense drumming. I would take out that final heartbeat and replace it with the kick roll.

Gawd that piano lead is pretty. :-D Which preset is that?

Song is still a bit repetitive but I think that's mostly ok... maybe just a couple of slight melody variations here and there? Like between 2:02 and 2:15.

Those choir pads are very nice, but they sound a little bit plain. What about gently sidechaining them for some added movement and interest?

Also the drums are quite repetitive, maybe you could throw in a few little rolls or breaks or somesuch here and there. Like a quick, soft snare roll and crash combo thingy.

Ok 3:04 through 3:36 is really plain. Wouldn't that be a perfect spot to do some kind of amazing solo?

Guitar at the end is stunning. Makes a perfect soft outro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK! Feedback time. I'll start off my saying I'm not familiar with the game or the source at all, so take that for what it is. I did look up the source before I listened to this WIP though to at least have a sense of the original, but I'm not really going to comment on use of source material here at all and instead just focus on your arrangement.

0:00 - 1:04: I love the ambiance here in the intro. The rain stick-ish thing sounds really nice and the bird chirps (while kind of gimmicky) were a nice touch too. Nice entrance of the piano too. Great playing (or sequencing) either way. The wind chimes at 0:39 were really cool, but it felt like it was being used as a transition for something else to enter, but instead it's just more of the same afterward. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it felt like it was building up to something more there. Now I don't like telling people to cut stuff out of their songs, but this intro does feel awfully long, like there is a bit too much repetition. There feels like there could be a little more movement in those low pads, which have a very nice sound, but remain pretty static throughout. Maybe change the notes up a bit more? Part of me wonders if it would feel more fluid with having the wind chimes at 0:39 transition right into the current part at 1:04 (which is the next time a new segment is introduced), and cut out the 0:39 - 1:04 altogether.

1:04 - 1:27: I like how the acoustic guitar instrument is more prominent here. It's got a really nice sound. The whole notes on that new bell (?) pad are nice too. The piano at 1:21 felt pretty empty and exposed. I know it was by design, but I wonder if an accompanying pad there would be a bit nice too. I think the other thing holding back the entire intro is the general lack of percussion. Some subtle ambient percussion textures might help keep the intro moving along too and not feel quite so long. Like even some really simple tom hits on 1 and 3 might do the trick.

1:27 - 2:16: This transition right at 1:27 felt very awkward on first listen, compared to the minimalistic atmosphere you created in the previous minute and a half. On repeat playthroughs it didn't feel as drastic though, and once it gets going though, I really enjoy it. Those arpeggio bell parts are really fun :-D The drums feel a bit too aggressive and out of place, in my opinion. I guess it depends on the atmosphere you're going for though. If you're going for a more chill, laid-back vibe, then I think they're up in the forefront a bit too much. Maybe just mix them farther back in the soundscape or put more reverb/delay on them? You know what would be really cool though is to have some more organic sounding percussion altogether. Like maybe some

? An organic sound might fit the atmosphere you created here more so than the typical percussion set you're using. Just a thought. The piano is perfect throughout though. I love the lush sound it has.

2:16 - 2:52: Not sure I'm completely sold on the choir pad, I love the idea, but the attacks feel a little too pronounced. If it had more of a legato sound between notes, it would be perfect. They also feel like they could be mixed a little more in the background too. I really like the instrument at 2:16, it has a really nice sound and delay on it. I'd watch some of the really high notes though, it sounds like something is clipping on that instrument (or it could just be the encoding on soundcloud), like some of the high frequencies need to be EQed down a bit. The instrument fits the atmosphere perfectly though. Love the transition at 2:50, nice switch up with the percussion there too. That's the other thing I noticed from 1:27 - 2:52 is that the percussion pattern doesn't really change at all, it begins to get a bit repetitive after awhile

2:52 - 3:04: nice, love it. Nice change of pace.

3:04 - 3:43: I agree with chimpazilla here. This section just feels pretty empty and plain as is. Beautiful background and textures here, but it feels like it's lacking a lead. I hear an instrument (the one that enters at 3:04) that feels like it's trying to be a lead, but is mixed far back and plays the same 8-beat pattern the whole section. That really does feel like the perfect section for a solo that expands on that 8-beat pattern, throwing in some arpeggios, maybe on a really nice and crisp square synth that would soar right over the great background textures you have here. I can imagine it in my head and it sounds awesome :-D

3:44 - end: Wow really cool acoustic guitar part here. It's really beautiful, I love it. I think it's a really nice way to end the song, especially with those organicy sounds you have going on in the background too. Again, like the intro, though I feel like some ambient percussion elements here could really help.

Wow, so reading back over my comments it makes it sound like I didn't like this song, but no overall, I really enjoyed it. I think I'm just in 100% project director overdrive mode from all my Sonic CD crits, so please don't take anything personally :-D But yeah, I really dig the atmosphere of this piece. It's got a really relaxing vibe and pretty darn good instrumentation throughout. I think my overarching thoughts are the intro feels a bit long without enough new switch-ups or percussion elements and the middle sections are a bit repetitive too. I think some more percussion variation and maybe a solo lead at 3:04 would really help. Without knowing your stylistic intent for the track though, I have trouble recommending adding/removing elements. Regardless, nice work Wes, I enjoyed it!

Edited by SuperiorX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

0:00 - 1:04: I love the ambiance here in the intro. The rain stick-ish thing sounds really nice and the bird chirps (while kind of gimmicky) were a nice touch too. Nice entrance of the piano too. Great playing (or sequencing) either way. The wind chimes at 0:39 were really cool, but it felt like it was being used as a transition for something else to enter, but instead it's just more of the same afterward. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it felt like it was building up to something more there. Now I don't like telling people to cut stuff out of their songs, but this intro does feel awfully long, like there is a bit too much repetition. There feels like there could be a little more movement in those low pads, which have a very nice sound, but remain pretty static throughout. Maybe change the notes up a bit more? Part of me wonders if it would feel more fluid with having the wind chimes at 0:39 transition right into the current part at 1:04 (which is the next time a new segment is introduced), and cut out the 0:39 - 1:04 altogether.

0:11 is NOT a bird chirp at all, it's a cross-panning resonant filter sweep. 0:39 did sound like a transition, as I mentioned earlier. It does sound like you added a sine wave to the pad, but edit the patch some more. Maybe you can link an envelope to a slightly overdriven resonant filter (norly)? I think 0:39 - 1:04 can work fine if you make the pad more evolving.

It would help if you do a few notch filters / thin peaking bands to have the guitar plucks pass through and leave the piano a little in the background.

A few delayed ambient House claves might do the trick in the intro as filler.

1:04 - 1:27: I like how the acoustic guitar instrument is more prominent here. It's got a really nice sound. The whole notes on that new bell (?) pad are nice too. The piano at 1:21 felt pretty empty and exposed. I know it was by design, but I wonder if an accompanying pad there would be a bit nice too. I think the other thing holding back the entire intro is the general lack of percussion. Some subtle ambient percussion textures might help keep the intro moving along too and not feel quite so long. Like even some really simple tom hits on 1 and 3 might do the trick.

1:22 - the strings are too soft. Bump them up by about 3~4dB. They sound like they're near -40dB to -30dB. Yes, the piano is exposed, but there are some strings there, so try bumping their volume up.

1:27 - 2:16: This transition right at 1:27 felt very awkward on first listen, compared to the minimalistic atmosphere you created in the previous minute and a half. On repeat playthroughs it didn't feel as drastic though, and once it gets going though, I really enjoy it. Those arpeggio bell parts are really fun :-D The drums feel a bit too aggressive and out of place, in my opinion. I guess it depends on the atmosphere you're going for though. If you're going for a more chill, laid-back vibe, then I think they're up in the forefront a bit too much. Maybe just mix them farther back in the soundscape or put more reverb/delay on them? You know what would be really cool though is to have some more organic sounding percussion altogether. Like maybe some

? An organic sound might fit the atmosphere you created here more so than the typical percussion set you're using. Just a thought. The piano is perfect throughout though. I love the lush sound it has.

The drum intensity is fine. I would sharpen the high end on the kick, though. Maybe you can try a Korg-DDD-5 kick if you can find one. The snare still needs some more high end snap. It could be good to do a little notch filter in clashing instruments' EQs where the snare fundamentals are to bring out the low end thwap.

I dunno, I'm just not liking the sine wave bass. It gets pretty grating to me, especially with the House kick.

2:16 - 2:52: Not sure I'm completely sold on the choir pad, I love the idea, but the attacks feel a little too pronounced. If it had more of a legato sound between notes, it would be perfect. They also feel like they could be mixed a little more in the background too. I really like the instrument at 2:16, it has a really nice sound and delay on it. I'd watch some of the really high notes though, it sounds like something is clipping on that instrument (or it could just be the encoding on soundcloud), like some of the high frequencies need to be EQed down a bit. The instrument fits the atmosphere perfectly though. Love the transition at 2:50, nice switch up with the percussion there too. That's the other thing I noticed from 1:27 - 2:52 is that the percussion pattern doesn't really change at all, it begins to get a bit repetitive after awhile.

The choir pad is fine, but I don't like the sidechaining on it, or the volume on it either. Should be softer. The new instrument sounds like a piano+bells layer to me.

2:46 was a pretty sudden change to me. Needs a heads-up! It also warrants a longer breakdown section than that. :P

3:04 - 3:43: I agree with chimpazilla here. This section just feels pretty empty and plain as is. Beautiful background and textures here, but it feels like it's lacking a lead. I hear an instrument (the one that enters at 3:04) that feels like it's trying to be a lead, but is mixed far back and plays the same 8-beat pattern the whole section. That really does feel like the perfect section for a solo that expands on that 8-beat pattern, throwing in some arpeggios, maybe on a really nice and crisp square synth that would soar right over the great background textures you have here. I can imagine it in my head and it sounds awesome :-D

3:04 needs a really nice synth lead. Maybe a quad-voice legato saw wave? Something awesome. Hit me up if you want me to give it a shot. ;)

3:44 - end: Wow really cool acoustic guitar part here. It's really beautiful, I love it. I think it's a really nice way to end the song, especially with those organicy sounds you have going on in the background too. Again, like the intro, though I feel like some ambient percussion elements here could really help.

3:36 needs a transition. There's literally nothing, in case you were still working on that.

3:45 - too bare, needs a quiet pad in the background just filling up space. :)

3:58-3:59 - I think the second note should be softer, and the first note should be louder.

Edited by timaeus222

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, guys. This is so far above and beyond the level of feedback I could have even hoped for. I'm honestly flattered that you all took the time to be so thorough!! I appreciate you taking the time to be as critical as you have been, it's exactly what I needed to push me forward.

Just to respond to a few individual critiques and also make some notes for myself to look over later when I have time:

This is definitely coming along! I love the heartbeat kicks in the beginning, great twist on my suggestion. I still think a soft kick roll along with that reverse swoosh in the transition would connect the parts a little better, get the listener ready for more intense drumming. I would take out that final heartbeat and replace it with the kick roll.

Yeah, those heartbeat kicks were entirely inspired by your suggestion. I'm not 100% happy with my implementation though... I even got a completely different kick sample for that section, but it still stands out a bit too much. I also like the idea of adding some additional ambient percussion during that section... I've got a few sample libraries to test out, but I'm sure I can find something.

And yes, definitely need something to better signal that the drop is coming - I intended for it to be a little bit startling, but obviously it's too much of a drastic shift. I'm going to try adding some filtered white noise sweeps toward the end of the intro to build up the intensity more gradually, while still having the full stop before the song drops.

Gawd that piano lead is pretty. Which preset is that?

Ivory Italian Grand Piano, layered with a soft string pad :-) I love it, the string resonance adds a lot of texture to the track that would definitely be noticeable if I took them away.

Those choir pads are very nice, but they sound a little bit plain. What about gently sidechaining them for some added movement and interest?
The choir pad is fine, but I don't like the sidechaining on it, or the volume on it either. Should be softer.

Haha, getting some conflicting opinions here, I see. Currently I think the sidechaining that Timaeus is hearing is really just me overdoing it on the compression, because I haven't processed/mixed the choir at all yet. I agree that they are plain, I plan to remedy that with some automation and actually tweaking the velocities on each note, then turning down the overall volume. It should sit much better in the next update.

Also the drums are quite repetitive, maybe you could throw in a few little rolls or breaks or somesuch here and there. Like a quick, soft snare roll and crash combo thingy.

Totally agreed. I haven't even touched the percussion yet, I'm just using one loop for the whole song while I develop the structure. I don't know if I will address it in this next update, but it will be taken care of before the final!

Ok 3:04 through 3:36 is really plain. Wouldn't that be a perfect spot to do some kind of amazing solo?
3:04 needs a really nice synth lead. Maybe a quad-voice legato saw wave? Something awesome. Hit me up if you want me to give it a shot. ;)

Yessss. I will be adding some sort of lead to this section, not sure if it'll be a screamin' synth solo yet but I am planning to have a solo section SOMEWHERE in the track before it's done. Keep in mind, I'm still planning on extending this mix to at least 6 or 7 minutes, if I can. I've got a lot more writing ideas I haven't gotten down yet, but a solo section is definitely in the stars. I'll hit you up if I can't come up with something sufficiently awesome on my own! :-D

The wind chimes at 0:39 were really cool, but it felt like it was being used as a transition for something else to enter, but instead it's just more of the same afterward.

Good catch. I'll throw in an additional element after that transition, not sure if it'll be percussion or maybe some backing strings/choir to help the pad not feel so stale... maybe both?

Part of me wonders if it would feel more fluid with having the wind chimes at 0:39 transition right into the current part at 1:04 (which is the next time a new segment is introduced), and cut out the 0:39 - 1:04 altogether.

Will try this as well :-)

This transition right at 1:27 felt very awkward on first listen, compared to the minimalistic atmosphere you created in the previous minute and a half. On repeat playthroughs it didn't feel as drastic though, and once it gets going though, I really enjoy it.

This confirms my thoughts as well, I find myself skipping the intro on repeat listens which is obviously a bad sign. I need to increase the energy of the intro during its second half to remedy this critique.

The drums feel a bit too aggressive and out of place, in my opinion. I guess it depends on the atmosphere you're going for though. If you're going for a more chill, laid-back vibe, then I think they're up in the forefront a bit too much.

Part of this is really just the style I'm trying to develop - mixing aggressive electronic percussion with extremely chill, organic soundscapes. I feel like I was successful enough with Footloose Falls on the soundscape fusion department, but I dropped the ball on the arrangement and melodic content. I'm trying to achieve the same aesthetic with a more progressive arrangement this time around. So yeah, the drums are definitely an intentional choice :-) I do agree that adding some acoustic drums (I currently have shakers and congas but you can't hear them that well) more prominently would be worth it!

I'd watch some of the really high notes though, it sounds like something is clipping on that instrument (or it could just be the encoding on soundcloud), like some of the high frequencies need to be EQed down a bit.

I somehow didn't notice this until recently but now that I do, that melody sounds waaaaay too loud. Will be remedied in the next update, I'm going to try and get that hybrid lead (which is actually 3 patches used elsewhere in the song layered into one) to fit more naturally.

0:11 is NOT a bird chirp at all, it's a cross-panning resonant filter sweep. 0:39 did sound like a transition, as I mentioned earlier. It does sound like you added a sine wave to the pad, but edit the patch some more. Maybe you can link an envelope to a slightly overdriven resonant filter (norly)? I think 0:39 - 1:04 can work fine if you make the pad more evolving.

Haha, you clearly put more thought into that than I did. I just used a random sample I found on my hard drive ;-) The change-up you hear at :39 is me increasing the velocities on the piano+strings, so the string component of that patch stands out more. I do need to do more to make that patch work - it's from Alchemy player which I know supports several automation parameters, I'll tweak with that and see what works!

A few delayed ambient House claves might do the trick in the intro as filler.

Good idea! I'll try this, thanks!

It would help if you do a few notch filters / thin peaking bands to have the guitar plucks pass through and leave the piano a little in the background.

The guitar will eventually be recorded live so I'll keep that in mind when I get the new stems to mix in!

I dunno, I'm just not liking the sine wave bass. It gets pretty grating to me, especially with the House kick.

Agreed, you have any better ideas for the bassline? I know the writing is bland at this point but bass writing is by far my worst area. I'd love some feedback on that element particularly regarding what you think would fit. Or I'll just get Flexstyle to do the bassline again :tomatoface: That worked well last time!

2:46 was a pretty sudden change to me. Needs a heads-up! It also warrants a longer breakdown section than that. :P

Duly noted on both counts. Will address that in the next update.

3:04 needs a really nice synth lead. Maybe a quad-voice legato saw wave? Something awesome. Hit me up if you want me to give it a shot. ;)

I wanna try it out myself first but I'm totally not opposed to collabing on this if I come up short :-D Thanks so much for the offer, I'll let you know after I've had some time to tinker with it myself!

3:36 needs a transition. There's literally nothing, in case you were still working on that.

3:45 - too bare, needs a quiet pad in the background just filling up space.

3:58-3:59 - I think the second note should be softer, and the first note should be louder.

Yeah, the arrangement isn't done yet. That's just where I left off. The guitar will also be totally redone live. This is just a placeholder to show the melodies themselves.

THANKS YOU GUYS! I'll try and update this as soon as I can, I'm so excited to get going on this now that I've got some more direction on where I need to go! :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haha, getting some conflicting opinions here, I see. Currently I think the sidechaining that Timaeus is hearing is really just me overdoing it on the compression, because I haven't processed/mixed the choir at all yet. I agree that they are plain, I plan to remedy that with some automation and actually tweaking the velocities on each note, then turning down the overall volume. It should sit much better in the next update.

Yep, that's it! Gently is totally gentle! :P

Agreed, you have any better ideas for the bassline? I know the writing is bland at this point but bass writing is by far my worst area. I'd love some feedback on that element particularly regarding what you think would fit. Or I'll just get Flexstyle to do the bassline again :tomatoface: That worked well last time!

Somehow, I get that reference. :P Basses tend to be hard to sequence mainly because the lower notes usually mess up the timbre, so a really carefully crafted timbre is needed to make it sound good low enough to give it a strong presence. You gotta be careful if you want to get a good bass sound AND a good presence. A#3 is where most basses start failing. Here are three different bass sounds I would suggest for a bassline spanning so many notes:

Fretless Bass (I synthesized this one! :D), Bass with a vintage filter, Bass guitar

http://www.box.com/s/o95guj2vmj5wnw1jkc8u

I wanna try it out myself first but I'm totally not opposed to collabing on this if I come up short :-D Thanks so much for the offer, I'll let you know after I've had some time to tinker with it myself!

No problem! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Edited by timaeus222

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yo, so I haven't really had time to show my face around here or the Internet in general lately (since my last update here I've stepped down from the Judges Panel, unfortunately, and really haven't been able to hang around OCR at all) but I'm settling into a new routine so I've had a little bit of time to work on music for once... I wanted to get this track off my plate so I took some time over the last few days to expand and polish the track until I can get it to a state that I'm happy with.

https://soundcloud.com/emunator/sub-zero-phendrana-drifts

Still some room for improvements and variation, but I'd say this is about 95%. I'm not totally content with the snare sounds and I need to work a bassline into the last section and generally flesh out the last minute or so of content before the guitar solo.

Getting close though! Let me know what you think. Thanks to everyone who's provided feedback up til this point, you've been incredibly helpful. This track has been a long time coming!

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Sign in to follow this