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evktalo

finished [PCReMix] Deus Ex - UNATCO theme (Sadevakio)

26 posts in this topic

Part of the PCReMix initiative.

Resubmitted after tiny bit of filter automation changes to one particular lead, here's the MP3 and the Renoise project file.

---

Ok, just tiny tiny tweaks. A candidate for resub here. Going to send this back to panel soon, so get those final comments in! (:

---

Pretty close to resubbing.

Newest wip here

* extended middle part

* lotsa other small tweaks

Concerns: how's the bass (too much bass?), how's the "mastering" (clipping/pumping/discomfort?), how does the extended middle work?

--Eino

--- previously:

So they're trying to make me do a resub, they said NO, NO, NO

Decision thread here (very supportive, that's always nice!)

I got a good, diverse list of crits that I've mostly addressed:

* leads/support clashing, which is hopefully addressed up to the final 3/4 part

* layered the lone crash cymbal with more

* eased on the reverb a bit

* worked on the bass end of mixing (the end was super muddy)

* simplified the overly busy drumming in the end of the middle section (though the toms are still too busy)

I also overall finetuned the mixing, and I hope I'm not draining the life out of it.

Liontamer also criticized the lead sounds for being simple, though Nutritious said it fits in genre context. I might spice them up a bit, but not too much. I still want to use these oldschool trackermusic samples you know. (: Vig also criticized too much screwing with the tempo, which alongside his "overbusy beat" crit is making me consider extending the middle section with a bit of four-to-the-floor beat.

Here's a current WIP

Soo, I'll look at the toms at the end of the middle section, then work on the mixing for the outro, and then perhaps see if I can come up with an extension to the middle part. Stay tuned!

--- previous:

So I finished minimizing the hum, and adding some slight pan/width stuff to the end part. Then when I listened to the mixdown, I realized that the intro sounded louder than the beginning of the middle part. I turned the leads down especially. Then that made me realize some of the leads were really loud in the middle part. Tuned those down. Then the hihat and snare started sounding like they were too loud..

Fixed that (and turned down the ride down a little too) and I'm done now. Let's see if I manage to write the submission e-mail before falling asleep.

Final version

Renoise project file if there's anyone with Renoise & interest.

Thanks for all the great feedback!

--older:

Well, I did a quick fix that I'll review later. There's a slight bass freq boost to bassdrum, lofi timpani and bass. For the overcrowded part, the following kept the lead sound ok: I panned the leads a bit more & differently, and layered one of the leads with the same notes, octave down (and tweaked levels). I think that's a quick fix that helps.

Final candidate 3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7iim851vfrjpa5/eino_keskitalo-sadevakio-fc3-20121003.mp3

--- olldd:

Final candidate 2: here

Applied a little reverb and eq changes and tweaked levels according to mod feedback <3; some other slight tweaks, such as additional panning of instruments, which should help to separate them a little better. The levels changes seemed to make the track sound better.. since I also got a little more headroom (I think) I pushed the limiter on the master channel for a little more loudness. Sounds ok to me - when I try to side-by-side compare them, it makes it sound like the channels that were toned down are as loud as before, and the rest of the thing came up a bit. The sense of space is actually much nicer as a result.

--- olderrr:

Final candidate 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0yy0qbaa698gb9/eino_keskitalo-sadevakio-fc1-20120927.mp3

Several small adjustments. Tweaked bass mixing especially; tried to punch a hole into the lofi-timpani for the bass drum, also tweaked bass EQ to make room for bass drum, also tweaked the high EQ of the bass drum, and levels. Boosted the overall mix about 1db. Adjusted some background pads and stuff. Changed the drums in the "loud snare" section a little (snare/tom interplay).

I'm hopefully done, but am concerned:

  • mixing overall
  • overall eq
  • are the leads solid enough

--- old:

Latest version: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f0ojndwqqijxi0o/eino_keskitalo-sadevakio-20120917.mp3

Just some mixing tweaks. The bass levels, especially the massive lofi kettle drum probably need some attention. My todo/feedback wanted below still applies. Not sure if I should try to make the mix louder or if this suffices. I'm also less sure if the sounds are good enough (I seek to pass the panel with this).

I also came up with a title: "Sadevakio" is Finnish for something like "The Rain Constant", trying to make some sort of a wordplay how it's always raining in cyberpunk settings.

--- old:

WIP

Part of the PCReMix initiative.

I started this one way back in PRC199, a very popular round. I've since extended the structure and spent hours and hours tuning the arrangement, mixing and effect automation in Renoise. For sounds, I grabbed Mazedude's Zombie's Ate My Tracker, he has the .IT file available on the American Album site. Thanks for that! Many of the samples are actually 8-bit samples from various old school modules, which I took as a challenge to make them sound good. Not sure if I'll do such a challenge again. ;) I hope I managed. I like the resulting tracker aesthetic, hope it works to other ears as well.

Source usage:

The main riff from the source is used practically throughout, altered to 3/4 in the intro and outro, and transposed lower in the middle 4/4 part. The melody at

in the source is used from 1:40 onwards pretty much to the end. Also the figure at
in the source is used here and there, usually at an end of a part or some other transition/breakpoint (for example at 00:35, 01:58 and 02:18.. that might be all the cases actually).

I couldn't hear the main riff in the source, so I used the MIDI provided for the compo. It actually has the riff a fifth lower than it should be. Big thanks to Gario for pointing this out during the competition. I was slow to react to the intel though, and had already extended the melody and written countermelodies.. and correcting the riff messed them up. So, I decided to add a part (the intro) with correct pitch and consider the "wrong" pitch a personalisation of the source, if an unintended one. :) And now that I listen to the source, I probably heard the 0:31 bit wrong too. Oh well.

Feedback wanted:

I have a few tweaks in mind, but this is pretty close to a final mix. I haven't mastered this thing yet (just a bit of hard limiting to make it a little louder). I'd mostly like comments for mixing (headphones, so the bass is probably too loud), and if you hear anything funny or awkward going on in the writing, or if the sounds sound plain/boring at any point despite trying to process the hell out of them. ;) Or anything else you might want to point out.

A shout-out to DjMokram for having already provided supportive feedback. <3 Also thanks to all the commenters from PRC199!

--Eino

Edited by evktalo
resubbed!

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Thanks! I'm glad to hear this. :) Do check out my other wips too, the links are in my signature, if you feel so inclined.

--Eino

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Latest version: wippity wip

Just some mixing tweaks. The bass levels, especially the massive lofi kettle drum probably need some attention. My todo/feedback wanted in the first post still applies. Not sure if I should try to make the mix louder or if this suffices. I'm also less sure if the sounds are good enough (I seek to pass the panel with this).

I also came up with a title: "Sadevakio" is Finnish for something like "The Rain Constant", trying to make some sort of a wordplay how it's always raining in cyberpunk settings.

--Eino

Edited by evktalo
link fixed

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Really like this remix (loved the original tune too of course), my suggestion is it could all be a bit louder - but I'm sure that's just because it's not been mastered yet.

I will be looking forward to hearing the mastered version, very much indeed!

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Thanks for the comment! It's nice to hear the mix is appreciated and get suggestions. :)

I have a severe lack of mastering chops, so the thing I'd do would be to push the limiter harder. Or try to even the levels between tracks during the mixing stage. Lots to learn anyway!

This was now about as loud as my previous mix (Clockwork Groove) that I submitted, which I compared to some released ReMixes (Mazedude and TheGuitahHero iirc) and it was ok in comparison I thought, maybe a little quieter. Any tips what tracks I should compare it to?

--Eino

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Final candidate 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0yy0qbaa698gb9/eino_keskitalo-sadevakio-fc1-20120927.mp3

Several small adjustments. Tweaked bass mixing especially; tried to punch a hole into the lofi-timpani for the bass drum, also tweaked bass EQ to make room for bass drum, also tweaked the high EQ of the bass drum, and levels. Boosted the overall mix about 1db. Adjusted some background pads and stuff. Changed the drums in the "loud snare" section a little (snare/tom interplay).

I'm hopefully done, but am concerned: mixing, overall; are the leads solid enough.

--Eino

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Seems like the challenge paid off, this is a pretty cool sounding mix.

Biggest problem I hear in the mix is that the re's too great a difference between loud and soft instruments. Needs more levels mixing. Sound design is fine. Bass and snare are pretty loud, as are some of the lead plucks and things, while crashes and some backing things are too soft by comparison. There might be a need to do some eq work to soften or separate some instruments, I'm not sure it's actually necessary (tho it might help). Best to do the levels first and then see if you need to separate or muffle anything.

I think I hear source stuff throughout, tho it's heavily modified at times. I like it. Flows ok, nice adaptation, good stuff.

So yeah, levels mixing is the main concern I have for this, still needs some work on that. I would expect to see this thing posted tho, once fixed up. Nice work, dude.

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Many thanks for the speedy review! The snare seems to definitely jump out, and when I listened to the track on (bad) speakers, the bass seemed to do so too. The snare(s) are pretty bright which might be something to adjust.

I think the difference between foreground and background instruments creates a certain sense of space, but maybe that doesn't really work, or the difference is too steep. I'll start with tweaking the snare and bass and work from there, rest of the percussion and leads will probably be toned down a bit. Hopefully later today!

--Eino

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The best way to create space is really a combination of a lot of techniques, each applied subtly. Track level, timing, reverb, and eq all work together to create the idea of space. We expect instruments closer to us to be louder, have more lows and more distinct highs, hit our ears before instruments further away, and to have a greater separation between their reverb than instruments further away. iirc, you've mostly only got their level separating them. A touch of eq and reverb can, do a lot for the track.

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Thanks for the additional tips! I went and applied a little reverb and eq changes, but I'm probably not going to remix the whole track to fully realize the space/distance idea I mentioned. It's around time I let go of this one. :D I'll keep that in mind for future, I could do a track where the aim is precisely to create such a layered soundscape.

Other than those tweaks, I did the levels tweaking and some other slight tweaks, such as additional panning of instruments, which should help to separate them a little better. The levels changes seemed to make the track sound better.. since I also got a little more headroom (I think) I pushed the limiter on the master channel for a little more loudness. Sounds ok to me - when I try to side-by-side compare them, it makes it sound like the channels that were toned down are as loud as before, and the rest of the thing came up a bit. The sense of space is actually much nicer as a result.

Final candidate 2: here

--Eino

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MOD REVIEW

As mentioned before by Rozo, the source is in here, for sure, despite the great deal of variation. Very nice arrangement - this version would've taken my track down from second place in that compo, for sure. ;-)

It's a nice, thick style. The only overall complaint that I have is that there is not enough bass in the track (not the instrument, the EQ level). Give that a little boost in one or two instruments and I think you'd have it covered well enough.

At 1:23 - 1:33, you start stacking too many instruments in the same range, and the overall clarity suffers for it. Consider moving one of the instruments up/down an octave - that'll clean up the soundscape and give that section some more impact, to boot.

Other than that, I'm liking the sound of this track. Make those small tweaks and submit it - I'll be expecting it on the front page shortly. :)

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Many thanks for the supportive feedback & comments Gario!

I'll probably have to work hard to check the bass levels with my monitoring options (decent cheap headphones and awful band PA monitors), comparing with other (similar) tracks but I'll do that.

It'll be easier to tweak the "overcrowded" section, I agree about that and it's bugged me a bit. I'm not sure my samples have the fidelity in them to make them go up an octave, but if not, I'll figure something out. :D (edit: ah, you also suggest down. I'll see what works)

I was kind of hoping to submit today (so I could've submitted two tracks with just the three week wait between them), but that's unlikely. No matter, I'll get to those (hopefully last) tweaks as soon as I can.

--Eino

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Well, I did a quick fix that I'll review later. There's a slight bass freq boost to bassdrum, lofi timpani and bass. For the overcrowded part, the following kept the lead sound ok: I panned the leads a bit more & differently, and layered one of the leads with the same notes, octave down (and tweaked levels). I think that's a quick fix that helps.

Final candidate 3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7iim851vfrjpa5/eino_keskitalo-sadevakio-fc3-20121003.mp3

--Eino

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On the first few seconds (strings) and at the 1:58 section (snares), I hear a little distortion. I don't know if you hear it, but you should fix that before submitting. For the snares, I don't think it's because they're overloading. It could be because of some other effect, but it sounds overloaded to me, as if there was some excessive bitcrushing.

I really liked the shift to more electronica at 0:41. Pretty good transition there.

1:00 - Those toms... sweet. Pretty rich drums there. Sounds kind of like you've got some TR snares in there. Rich, but not quite there yet. I think you should look into compressing those drums... on purpose. I've just started using a new compressor recently called Density MKIII... it makes drums sound pretty awesome combined with some saturation effects. Get some more punch on the kick, mainly. You could apply it to all the percussion though. Do some parallel compression; half dry signal, half wet signal, something to that effect. It gives you a pretty cool combination of the original signal plus the new with extra "glue"/oomph.

Aside from those comments, pretty cool track!

Edited by timaeus222

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This is very good! I'm really enjoying the production style. The sound design and vibe is very nice. With the drums.......I suppose they could have a bit more body and oomph but they're fine in the context of the arrangement/mix. Overall, the mix does feel a bit narrow to me. Could do with a bit more width and seperation of the instruments throughout.

I think the bass bit at 2:30 could grow/crescendo a bit more than it does. Also in that section perhaps play with some of the panning. Get some automation going.

With the ending, I feel as though you could perhaps start dropping instruments out a bit sooner. Gradually take instruments away until there's one or nothing left. I think it would create a bit more interest than there currently is.

Overall this is really great. Creative and engaging but also soothing :)

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I like the changes that you made to this. I'm sure people can find more things that could be done better, but in my opinion I believe you should be safe for submission.

Nice work on this one! :)

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Haha, damn you guys for making good suggestions I'm seriously itching to look into, while I would on the other hand badly like to just let go of the thing already! :lol: Been quite ill these few days though, so I haven't been able to even write a submit e-mail (let alone work on the track more). I guess I'm not so pressed for time since I missed that funny three week "deadline". Thanks Gario for that evaluation. I'll see if I'll tweak it some more or just send it forwards when I get better.

About the bitcrushing, there's a lot of samples that are already lo-fi, 8-bit, so the distortion might indeed come from there. I think I fixed a pop/snap from the very beginning but that's probably not what you (timaeus) meant. The very first crescendo is a bit.. grainy. I'll give it a more critical listen, the "loud snare" section too. I already used parametric EQ to try to peel some nasty frequencies from a couple of other instruments. (ah ha hah, it's starting to sound like I'll dive back into this one for a bit more..)

--Eino

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It's only sounded better in every iteration you've posted! This is one of my favorite tracks along with the Hong Kong BGM from that game. With every improvement you've made it's coming closer to passing muster.

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Thanks for the encouragement!

I'm in the middle of final tweaks: I tried to do something about the distortion problems timaeus mentioned, but I can't really hear them (especially the snare), so I can't really fix them either. :/ I did adjust the organ/pad/thing in the beginning's sample loop points, to make the snap/pop associated with it a little less loud, maybe. It's still audibly there. Let's say it's part of the texture.

I won't try the compression idea for the drums for this piece, though it sounds like a good idea. For one, I want to finish this and move on, and another, the samples are so low-fidelity, I think that might present a problem with trying to squish them. But I'll keep all the feedback I won't be applying to this one in mind for future pieces, so it's far from wasted!

I also adjusted the panning overall a little, and am working on the panning from 2:30 as per Magellanic's suggestion. Won't do anything radical, but will adjust it a little.

In the middle of that, I realized there's a really annoying hum in the downsampled timpani, so I'm applying an automated bandstop filter on it. Need to stop working now, but hopefully I'll finish it later today.

--Eino

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So I finished minimizing the hum, and adding some slight pan/width stuff to the end part. Then when I listened to the mixdown, I realized that the intro sounded louder than the beginning of the middle part. I turned the leads down especially. Then that made me realize some of the leads were really loud in the middle part. Tuned those down. Then the hihat and snare started sounding like they were too loud..

Fixed that (and turned down the ride down a little too) and I'm done now. Let's see if I manage to write the submission e-mail before falling asleep.

Final version

Renoise project file if there's anyone with Renoise & interest.

Thanks for all the great feedback!

--Eino

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So they're trying to make me do a resub, they said NO, NO, NO

Decision thread here (very supportive, that's always nice!)

I got a good, diverse list of crits that I've mostly addressed:

* leads/support clashing, which is hopefully addressed up to the final 3/4 part

* layered the lone crash cymbal with more

* eased on the reverb a bit

* worked on the bass end of mixing (the end was super muddy)

* simplified the overly busy drumming in the end of the middle section (though the toms are still too busy)

I also overall finetuned the mixing, and I hope I'm not draining the life out of it.

Liontamer also criticized the lead sounds for being simple, though Nutritious said it fits in genre context. I might spice them up a bit, but not too much. I still want to use these oldschool trackermusic samples you know. (: Vig also criticized too much screwing with the tempo, which alongside his "overbusy beat" crit is making me consider extending the middle section with a bit of four-to-the-floor beat. edit: There's also some great feedback in this thread that I'll read over again.

Here's a current WIP

Soo, I'll look at the toms at the end of the middle section, then work on the mixing for the outro, and then perhaps see if I can come up with an extension to the middle part. Stay tuned!

--Eino

Edited by evktalo

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Thanks! So here it is:

Newest wip here

Pretty close to resubbing.

* extended middle part

* lotsa other small tweaks

Concerns: how's the bass (too much bass?), how's the "mastering" (clipping/pumping/discomfort?), how does the extended middle work?

--Eino

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