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2manygentlemen

wip Sonic 3&K Flying Battery (Trance-ish)

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Battery 3 is pretty much a glorified sampler, sorta like a drum pad, but digital... It comes with a ton of samples. I don't know for sure if TR-909 is in there but there's so much stuff to choose from, mix and match, and combine samples (like two kicks to make the perfect kick). In the end all that really matters is if you get a good sound. I bet you could emulate some of the big name OCR peoples' drums, like blind or who not, by combining and editing samples in Battery 3. Not exact, but close enough. :-)

close_enough.png

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Wow, what a difference from the first WIP. Now you've got something original and interesting, and not just a cover.

To echo what others have said, you should spend some time getting your samples in order at some point. When I first got started, I spent several days just downloading soundfonts and organizing my sample library based on what I liked. There's plenty of legit, free stuff out there (google away and see what you can find, and check out this thread: http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4556). Just make sure (if you go looking for soundfonts in particular) that you have a way to play them... I believe the soundfont player in FL Studio is around $10 extra... no idea what is required with Reaper or others.

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The opening really reminds me of James bond :P

Immediately whats strikes me is the balance. Everything sound as though its set far behind the drums. The bass needs to come up and you could do with seperating the instruments out more. It all feels very narrow and everything is in the center of the mix. What would improve this more than anything else is just balancing everything up. Start off getting the drums and bass nicely balanced then introduce your leads and other parts. The lead parts could do with a having some more effects. Just a lil more reverb perhaps would seperate them a bit more.

If you can get better piano and string samples, then definitely go for it. Once you have everything balanced though, it'll be easier to determine what samples need a bit of an upgrade and those that just need some better EQ/processing. The arrangement has a good amount of interpretation so far. Perhaps you could even try to make the source a bit more recogniseable when you extend the mix. But good stuff, just keep going :)

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Thanks for the input, man; that's a lot of good info!

I will definitely take the time to re-balance everything. What I think happened was, see, there used to be different drums that were way too quiet, so I brought in different ones that were much punchier. I didn't actually change their track's volume on the DAW. As for the narrowness, you have a good point! I really didn't make much use of the panning, never moving anything more than 60% from center. That will change!

As for next update, expect these issues addressed, as well as some new material. (Speaking honestly, I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here, but I'll get it sorted out. I am set on making this thing a thing.)

(And of course the intro would remind you of Bond. It's meant to be a ripoff of his song. :P )

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I could probably see myself replacing the piano and strings with better patches, yes?

Yeah, for sure. For strings, I got a ton of mileage out of Squidfont Orchestral Strings (free) before eventually switching over to the East West Gold libraries ($$$). Although, if you're going for synth strings, these might not be too appropriate unless you alter them. In any case, you can do a lot with Squidfont. Here's one place you can pick it up (actually, I would grab just about everything on this page-- most of it is decent): http://soundfonts.darkesword.com/

Likewise for piano, I had a few different Steinway Grand soundfonts (don't recall where they came from, but again they were free) that I was pretty fond of until I picked up a Bosendorfer sample library. I'm sure they're still out there somewhere.

Magellanic brings up an excellent point about mixing... a rough mix just to get some basic separation would really help to un-muddy the instruments while also making it easier to hear which of them are weak links (and of course, as you switch samples out, you'll have to adjust your mix to account for that... even samples of the same physical instrument can fill different frequency spaces).

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Ok, as much as I'm hearing, this is what I'll say.

You are most certainly getting closer. Considering where this is going, I'd add in some stronger and dirtier synth sounds in there, and I'd most certainly give the drums more "mmph", if you will.

Also, your panning seems nice, except I normally enjoy the strings being in the center the most, though not like a mono-sounding center. Like the stereo-sound. You obviously get what I mean, yes? It could just be me. I'm just not much for the strings being in one ear. Now, if there are additional parts to the strings, then I may put one of those additional tracks in one ear or the other, but if it's the "main strings", if you will--like the ones that are basically doing the chords and all--I like to keep that in the center. It just fills up space.

This needs to be mixed with probably some more reverb and delay, considering where this mix is going. I could totally mix it for you, though I figure you want this to be entirely your mix. ;)

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to crypto: thanks for the sample recommendations.

G-Mixer: The synths, yeah, I could do more to dirty them up. What I'd like to know is what with? Distortion?

The strings, the current ones (and the piano), they're going to get replaced with stronger samples/vst plugins. I'll also center the strings and make sure that they're adding thickness.

As for reverb and delay, I will add more. One question about that, how do you tell if you've added enough, as opposed to too much or little?

I appreciate the mixing offer, however I really need the firsthand experience of taking it on myself. I've already learned LOADS, thus far, and this thing's far from finished.

And this goes to everyone: As always, thanks for the feedback; your words are always appreciated!

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As for mixing and adding reverb and delay, I've always said that it's what you think sounds best. There is no certain way to do it or a certain volume. Depending on what you want will change the way you adjust volumes and dry/wet notches and stuff on those effects.

Obviously there's a way that is incorrect and a way that's correct depending on what the instrument needs when it comes to reverb and delay, but it's always your choice. There's not really an actual "wrong" decision. Different adjustments will change the vibe, so, again, whatever works best and fits the vibe or sounds the way it should is obviously the way. There's no specific right or wrong. :)

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So, I've got yet another minor update.

What I've done this time is I've added more reverb to the tracks and I've replaced all the synth channels with new patches (all done with TAL-Noisemaker, since I've gotten pretty comfortable with it, thanks to Rozovian's recommending it to newbs such as myself).

As for actual new material and replacing the drums, piano, and strings, I wasn't able to in the bit of time I had this evening before being booted off my PC, but I'll see what I can do when I'm back on it (circa 3 hours from now). Hopefully an update fulfilling those goals should.come within the next 24-48 hours.

In the meantime, would you say this is an improvement over the last version?

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Thought I'd give this some attention after that message. :D

You still have stuff to learn; you'v egot too much bass, raw synths, and your instruments are not separate enough.

The first is easy to fix. EQ out the lows from tracks that don't need it, then see if your bass is much stronger than the bass in other tracks (compared to their overall levels, thatis). If so, you either EQ down the lows on the bass, or you reduce its volume level.

The second is a little trickier. Depending on the sound you want for each part, you'd probably have to do different things. Read up on envelopes and filters and you'll have an easier time doing the stuff that's best solved inside the synth itself. Give background instruments some reverb and EQ down their highs if they're still too bright ad prominent. Use multiple oscillators and detune them differently for a wider and more complex sound (eg the supersaw). Add subtle modulation to pitch or filter (via LFOs) for more variation in the sound. But most importantly, figure out what you wanna do with a sound before you make any changes you don't remember how to turn back. or make backups (always recommended).

The third is about as tricky as the second, depending on how quickly you figure it out. Once you do, it's easy, as it's really just about giving each instrument their own space, their own area. This is done with panning, reverb, EQ, and most importantly track levels. Let leads be leads and background stuff be background stuff. Anything you want to pan, pan it (not recommended for bass, kick, or snare, usually not lead either), just make sure you keep the frequency balance centered with something else with about the same frequency range in the other ear. Use reverb to push some instruments further back. Pads and other backing tracks (eg your strings) do well in the background, whereas lead reverb (if even necessary) should have a reverb that predelayed enough to not muffle the sound much. EQ is used to slightly cut frequencies other tracks need more, so eg the lead can dominate the 2-3kHz area when the other instruments have that area EQd down.

Gah, just noticed I listened to the linked wip7 rather than the more recent wip8. Oh well, all three criticisms are better here (tho you can still improve them). Keep working in this direction, and you'll probably have the production under control.

The writing could use some work, there's some note clashes, there's a lot of repetition, it's quite messy at time (best solved with both writing and production edits), and I can't really figure out where the arrangement is headed. Keep working on it, don't be afraid to rework the arrangement if you figure out a better direction to take it, or if you wanna experiment (just remember to take backups).

Just the difference between wip7 and wip8 shows you're learning this stuff. Keep at it. :D

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Eh, I've cut the intro, for now. If you want it back, I'll bring it back, though.

This update features new content, for once! (As well as new piano and string samples and a better production. Those drums, they'll get replaced sooner or later. Whenever I acquire a copy of Battery that doesn't need admin permission to use. :P )

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The volume is pretty low on this. It also sounds like much of the sounds are residing around the mid frequencies, causing the song to sound crowded at times.

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I haven't been able to hear this at all yet, nor can I right now, but I think the sequencing could be more simple, simply because I've encountered something similar to this before. Don't have so many notes in the melody that it seems unnatural.

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So, should I simply remove some of the excess tracks, or should I do that and make the remaining ones less syncopated and busy?

No, I think you should make the synth that is syncopated before the bass line sync with the bass line (if you understand what I'm saying), and stick in some chords using a pad or something at that point.

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