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jnWake

Super Earth Defense Force - 'Armed Satellite'

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Link to arrangement: https://soundcloud.com/jnwake/super-earth-defense-force-use .

Link to source:

.

I made this remix for last month's DoD and ended up 3rd!

Original song is a tad upbeat and exciting so I wanted to make a remix in that style, which I guess I managed to do (except the calm section in the middle!). I also tried to do a cool bass with the slap sound. Synth leads are all played live by me using my keyboard's samples.

Any feedback is very welcome :smile:

Hope you enjoy it and then listen to more of SEDF's completely underrated soundtrack.

Edited by jnWake

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I wasn't familiar with the source and gave it a listen first-- good selection.

On to the remix: you definitely succeeded in making a cool bass with the slap sound, in my opinion. So sick! I like the choice to take the tempo down a bit and give the bass some space to move around. The way you wrote it, it matches (if not surpasses) the energy and intensity of the original, despite the slower tempo. The live synths pay off too-- they sound very human, as well they should. I love all of the creative ornaments you hung on the source melody, as well as the completely original riffs.

There are a few things I think you could do to improve the song. First, I don't think that the drums are cutting through as much as they could in some places. Mainly, it's the kick that's getting a little lost in certain places, like much of the beginning of the song. The cymbals also sound a little loud relative to the snare, to my ears (which you shouldn't trust too much, by the way, but maybe listen back and see how it sounds to you). The panning on the drum set is really well done though.

Next, some of the synths feel a little thin at times. It might just be because they're so high, I can't hear much in the way of harmonics on the individual instruments. On the other hand, I'm not sure I should harp on that too much since the mix is so clean sounding... maybe you put the leads up in that range for a reason. But I think it sounds a little better and a little more full when you harmonize with it an octave or so lower, like at 0:53 or 2:17, for example. Also, are you utilizing the Haas Effect on them? It's hard to tell, but that's one way you could "thicken" them up without polluting the lower frequencies.

I enjoyed this remix a lot. Great pick, smart tempo change, and over all good production. This probably needs a more qualified ear than my own to take it to the next level, but it is sounding really good to me. Nice work.

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I wasn't familiar with the source and gave it a listen first-- good selection.

On to the remix: you definitely succeeded in making a cool bass with the slap sound, in my opinion. So sick! I like the choice to take the tempo down a bit and give the bass some space to move around. The way you wrote it, it matches (if not surpasses) the energy and intensity of the original, despite the slower tempo. The live synths pay off too-- they sound very human, as well they should. I love all of the creative ornaments you hung on the source melody, as well as the completely original riffs.

There are a few things I think you could do to improve the song. First, I don't think that the drums are cutting through as much as they could in some places. Mainly, it's the kick that's getting a little lost in certain places, like much of the beginning of the song. The cymbals also sound a little loud relative to the snare, to my ears (which you shouldn't trust too much, by the way, but maybe listen back and see how it sounds to you). The panning on the drum set is really well done though.

Next, some of the synths feel a little thin at times. It might just be because they're so high, I can't hear much in the way of harmonics on the individual instruments. On the other hand, I'm not sure I should harp on that too much since the mix is so clean sounding... maybe you put the leads up in that range for a reason. But I think it sounds a little better and a little more full when you harmonize with it an octave or so lower, like at 0:53 or 2:17, for example. Also, are you utilizing the Haas Effect on them? It's hard to tell, but that's one way you could "thicken" them up without polluting the lower frequencies.

I enjoyed this remix a lot. Great pick, smart tempo change, and over all good production. This probably needs a more qualified ear than my own to take it to the next level, but it is sounding really good to me. Nice work.

Glad you like it and, yes, the source is awesome!

I actually agree with most of your points. I tried to bring out the kick with some sidechaining and EQing but I guess I can still do more. I see what you mean about the hihats, I tend to make the hats too loud for some reason...

I see what you mean about the synths. The one that plays in the 0:39 section is maybe a bit too thin, but I'm not sure that having one an octave lower would sound that good either. What is the Haas Effect? :razz:

Thanks for the feedback!

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Glad you like it and, yes, the source is awesome!

What is the Haas Effect?

The Haas Effect is a psychoacoustic effect whereby our ears localize/locate the sounds we hear around us in correspondence to the delay between when we hear them in one ear versus the other. It has many applications (particularly in live music), but it's also extremely useful in regular old mixing, as it allows you to create a greater sense of depth in your mix.

When you use your panning knobs normally to position sounds in the stereo field, you're really just altering the volume at which the sound plays in the left and right speakers. So, if you play a sound with equal volume in each speaker, it sounds centered in the stereo field.

The Haas effect "positions" a sound in a different way; it utilizes time delays in the neighborhood of 1-35ms to trick your ears. So, if you pan your track hard to one direction with zero delay, and then pan the delay to the other side, you can "move" the sound around in a variety of ways. You can make any given instrument/track sound especially deep if you apply this effect, double the track and then apply the inverse on the second track. Depending on how you tweak it, you can end up with a wider, more spacious, deeper, thicker sound. What's nice about this approach is that it is accomplished through panning, volume, and timing, rather than by doubling 8vb/8va or by changing the harmonics and timbre of the instrument. You can get a bigger sound by manipulating the spacial dimension of your mix while leaving frequency distribution alone. However, it's important to note that like frequency, the spatial aspect of a mix can also be filled to the point of being completely muddy, so be careful not to overdo it. =)

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Great mix of timbres you have here.

The beginning pad is a bit dry to me. You have that sort of envelope-routed-to-a-resonant-filter type of sound going on (no attack, normal decay, no sustain, normal release), but it's missing that chorus and rich reverb it deserves. The default (amplitude) envelope release is also too short, whereas the attack is late, so you need a longer release to blend the pad better between notes.

I'd suggest switching out that piano for an e.piano instead. That would fit a whole lot better, IMO, as you have one at 1:26. Unfortunately, that EP just happens to be a little too wet, so I'm not hearing that bark from the keypresses as much as I'd like. Just lower the wet mix about 1-3dB. Of course, it would be great too if you kept the piano after 1:58 as a sort of progressive difference.

2:43 should be re-recorded or quantized for better timing. The ending chord would be nicer as a jazzy 6th or 7th inversion chord instead of just a simple major chord. That kind of ending usually works better as a picardy third effect (easily googled, simple to understand).

Edited by timaeus222

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Great mix of timbres you have here.

The beginning pad is a bit dry to me. You have that sort of envelope-routed-to-a-resonant-filter type of sound going on (no attack, normal decay, no sustain, normal release), but it's missing that chorus and rich reverb it deserves. The default (amplitude) envelope release is also too short, whereas the attack is late, so you need a longer release to blend the pad better between notes.

I'd suggest switching out that piano for an e.piano instead. That would fit a whole lot better, IMO, as you have one at 1:26. Unfortunately, that EP just happens to be a little too wet, so I'm not hearing that bark from the keypresses as much as I'd like. Just lower the wet mix about 1-3dB. Of course, it would be great too if you kept the piano after 1:58 as a sort of progressive difference.

2:43 should be re-recorded or quantized for better timing. The ending chord would be nicer as a jazzy 6th or 7th inversion chord instead of just a simple major chord. That kind of ending usually works better as a picardy third effect (easily googled, simple to understand).

Nice idea with the jazz chord there, I liked my change from minor F# to mayor F# in the ending but what you suggest could sound so much cooler :-P Not sure about the E. Piano though but I'll try it. I like the wet one that comes at 1:26 though, I wanted some mix between E. Piano and Pad there.

I'll check out what I con do with the pad. It's a sample from my keyboard and I don't usually mess much with them since it's a bit complex.

What exactly do you feel I should re-record at 2:43? The arpeggio run that leads to the next section or one of the 3 synths that's playing there (one panned left, one center and one panned right)?

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Nice idea with the jazz chord there, I liked my change from minor F# to major F# in the ending but what you suggest could sound so much cooler :-P Not sure about the E. Piano though but I'll try it. I like the wet one that comes at 1:26 though, I wanted some mix between E. Piano and Pad there.

I'll check out what I con do with the pad. It's a sample from my keyboard and I don't usually mess much with them since it's a bit complex.

What exactly do you feel I should re-record at 2:43? The arpeggio run that leads to the next section or one of the 3 synths that's playing there (one panned left, one center and one panned right)?

Well, it seems like the chords you were playing matched the sound of an EP in my head. An EP, or just a different piano sound would work before 1:26, whichever you want to go with.

1:11 - I just realized how mechanical the slap bass sounded there. Do you have round robins?

You could just find a synth VST that you're comfortable with and make a pad with that. It usually isn't that hard to make a pad. Multi-voice saw wave with some detuning, a slow attack, and maybe an envelope on the cutoff to give a sort of evolving sound. It's basically like a supersaw with a mild low pass that's turned into a pad.

2:43 had a synth run that was a little off-rhythm.

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