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Final Fantasy VI - "Chill Cryptid" [Umaro]


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The FF6 flood continues! This was another recent entry in the second installment of the Final Fantasy 6: Balance and Ruin remix contest.

I've tweaked the mix a little bit since the competition concluded, and I think it's ready for some peer review. My major concerns are the mix and production values in general, which is where I feel I have the most room for growth. All comments and critique are welcome and appreciated though-- please don't hold anything back! =)

Original Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd0fnITPGPE

Remix: https://soundcloud.com/crypto_magnum/chill-cryptid-v1-2

Thanks!

Edited by crypto_magnum
Status changed from "Finished" to "Work-in-Progress"
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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe people couldn't think of anything and then it got lost.

I think the low pads are a little reminiscent of movie soundtracks.

0:08 - the bells are a bit quiet. I didn't notice they were the lead the first time through. As a result, I think the low pads and strings are too loud or the lead is not an excellent choice.

The kick overall is too quiet and buried.

I'm not sure what's going on at 0:38 or 1:45 in the background. Something sounds like it's wobbling, but it's too muddy.

1:12 - that's probably what I heard wobbling at 0:38-ish and 1:45-ish.

1:26 - where did that piano come from? I didn't hear it anywhere else, I don't think.

Mixing overall is really muddy.

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I second timaeus on most of his points. I didn't have trouble noticing the opening bell line at 0:08, though that could be because I was expecting it. I'm not sure if it needs to be messed with. Fixing some of the general clarity issues might be all it needs.

In general, it sounds like you have too much reverb on pretty much everything, or at least the things that are more prominent. Reverb can be great for creating a sense of space or helping blend things together. The more you add though, the less clear things will become and I think that's what's happening in your mix. I suggest messing around with wetness and delay levels on anything that has reverb (or similar effect), less important sounds should have more while more important sounds should have little to none (generally).

This mix also sounds pretty static in terms of spatial use. You've got a fair amount of stuff going on, which is fine (great even), but it sounds like they're all stereo tracks set mostly in the center. Try pushing less important things further out to the sides (not too far though) and focusing some of the other sounds so they're less wide. Making sure things like the kick drum are really centered while thick pads are more peripheral can really help clear things up.

TL;DR- Less 'verb, more panning (and maybe mess with EQing more).

Also, have you thought about adding some actual glitch effects to the koto that comes in at 0:23? I'm not sure if it would actually sound good, but the way you wrote the part made me think of glitching/stuttering. Random thought to possibly mess with!

Overall, I think this mix has a lot of good things going on, it just needs some clarity. Keep it up!

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I'd lower the strings in the intro to allow for the bells to come out more, I agree with most of what has already been said. The kick is not coming through much. You might have over-done the reverb on a lot of the tracks. The bit that starts at 0:56 for example.

I think conceptually this is really good. I just think the delivery could be improved. It sounds like you put 80% wet reverb on every instrument in the song -- try sidechaining bass/kick, if its already done, try sidechaining it more

I think your higher frequencies need to be brought out more, and you could probably do to EQ each track, and cut some of the low end of those that don't need it.

Just my 2 cents. Again, I think the arrangement and concept of this is really good, I just think the instruments all need work / mixing.

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The kick is not coming through much. ... -- try sidechaining bass/kick, if its already done, try sidechaining it more[.]

Actually, sidechaining something "more" wouldn't really fix anything, it would just add a more compressed feel. What I would recommend instead of sidechaining the kick to the bass with a really low threshold and a really high ratio is just working on the timbre of the kick. Layer on some high end thwap samples and do some really mild compression on the low end kick layer with a dual-band stereo compressor like endorphin or something. You want it to come through better, not compress things more.

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Actually, sidechaining something "more" wouldn't really fix anything, it would just add a more compressed feel. What I would recommend instead of sidechaining the kick to the bass with a really low threshold and a really high ratio is just working on the timbre of the kick. Layer on some high end thwap samples and do some really mild compression on the low end kick layer with a dual-band stereo compressor like endorphin or something. You want it to come through, not compress things more.

Sure good point. I just figured it would bring out the kick more(which it would), but your solution is better considering the current state of the track.

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Thank you all soooo much! This is a ton of great info to go on.

I think I've listened so many times with various elements soloed or muted, that I've kind of gotten used to hearing everything that's supposed to be there... so when I listen back with all of the tracks armed and enabled, my brain fills things in by memory when in fact my ears aren't really hearing them through the muddy mix. One of the many reasons that peer review is very helpful!

'Going to move this back to "work-in-progress" for a while, while I work on each of these issues and try out the suggestions.

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I think I've listened so many times with various elements soloed or muted, that I've kind of gotten used to hearing everything that's supposed to be there... so when I listen back with all of the tracks armed and enabled, my brain fills things in by memory when in fact my ears aren't really hearing them through the muddy mix. One of the many reasons that peer review is very helpful!

Well, there's something else to remember. If you EQ while an instrument is soloed, you only know how it sounds soloed, and not how it meshes with the whole.

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Here is what I do. Isolate the busiest part of the track, 8 bars or so. Play it on loop, with everything muted. Turn on one instrument at a time. Like, each drum element. Balance and EQ the drums. Then, add in the bass. Rebalance as needed, especially for kick and bass to not compete. Then bring in a backing element, then another, then another, then leads etc. and don't move forward until what you are hearing sounds ok and un-muddy.

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