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Mega Man: The Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet 2013


DarkeSword
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I don't know about the other fellas, but by the time I'm done recording EVERY part, I might have 6 hours into my next round's song. I also think it's my best remix to date. :-) But I've been thinking that a lot lately with each new song. :cry:

Usually it takes me 20~30 hours including arrangement and mixing/mastering. It's held true so far too.

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I normally create a concept mix in a single night to gauge if my idea is viable/doable, I then spend the rest of the week slowly refining and evolving the track. This process usually equates to adding moar noises, but on a more serious note involves changing things around that become boring to me during that period, to make things more interesting for the audience (including fills, breakdowns etc).

The mixes here in WCRG2013 have taken a little longer as I've been exploring genres I don't normally touch, so that has involved some research each day to get a feel for the style, and for these vocal mixes - to get an idea how I want to sing the thing. While on the topic of vocals, these are written on the fly shortly before I perform them, they tend to write themselves. Impromptu vocals when the urge hits at 2am in the morning usually brings stellar results. ;)

I should mention that this whole process from start to finish is usually interluded with bouts of laughter.

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According to FL Studio, the working time on my round 1 remix was 19 hours and 30 minutes, and 12 hours and 50 minutes on my round 2 remix.

For me, my round 2 was 29 hours and 18 minutes, and my round 4 was 21 hours and 5 minutes. I tend to overdo things and make them really intense though.

Edited by timaeus222
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I suppose I could also mention that time spent at my computer isn't all I do: during my commute, and as often as I can manage at work, I'm listening to relevant music: either the sources, or one or more pieces I'm specifically trying to emulate the style of, or Pandora's best guess at the genre I'm going for (which works really well in some cases, like my waltz, and really badly in others, like my horror piece). If I hear a snippet I like, I may pause the music and run a few bars in my head of what my source might sound like if heavily inspired by what I heard. So that adds several more hours of quasi-productive time a week.

And on top of that, I actually came into this particular compo armed with a half-dozen versions of Toad Man done in different styles, that I gathered instruments for in advance. For my last entry, that saved me a lot of time, but it's time I won't have to spend again next time I try an orchestral piece. This week, it saved me only an hour or two because I've used this genre before (albeit badly).

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Mine take between 12-20 hours, usually, but if you've followed my music over time, you've probably noticed, that I almost never write two tunes which sound even remotely alike, so I'm constantly operating outside my comfort zone and constantly experimenting. That adds a lot of time to the creative process.

Edited by ectogemia
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Mine take between 12-20 hours, usually, but if you've followed my music over time, you've probably noticed, that I never write two tunes which sound even remotely alike, so I'm constantly operating outside my comfort zone and constantly experimenting. That adds a lot of time to the creative process.

Awesome!! What did you do, Celtic? ;-)

Also-- my song seems to be mostly the Zero theme, but Commando Man is in there too!

Edit 2: Ahh crap, I might as well map this out while I'm at it...

0:00 - 0:16 - Commando Man

0:39 - 1:11 - Zero Theme

1:11 - 1:42 - Commando Man (

, seems loose now though, listen to the piano)

1:42 - 2:15 - Zero Theme

2:15 - 2:42 - Commando Man (on the glockenspiel) / Moonlight Sonata

2:50 - 3:39 - Zero Theme

3:39 - END - Commando Man

Hmm the perfect symmetry of switching back and forth was not intentional or preconceived at all. I hope you judge it as a cohesive piece rather than the distribution of sources. :cry:

Edited by Brandon Strader
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derpius maximus

Here's a couple more little assets for my song, which you won't get to hear until... Sunday?

Ending vocal layers (6 here, 7 in the song including lead vocals)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13741915/wips/tidbits/mychoice_endvocals.mp3

Lyrics:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13741915/wips/tidbits/My%20Choice%20Lyrics.txt

You see, I put the lyrics up early so people can't find them when the songs are released.

Here:

I kind of doubt you guessed exactly that.

You're right. I got it wrong. Hopefully the example is put in first post next time, I can't find anything in this thread!

Also I already told Garpocalypse this a couple days ago, but I'm going to release the stems for my entry, so people can practice mixing I guess, or just mess around with them and see how they sound. Maybe make your own mix of the song and compare it to mine, a learning experience. :-P

Edited by Brandon Strader
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Also I already told Garpocalypse this a couple days ago, but I'm going to release the stems for my entry, so people can practice mixing I guess, or just mess around with them and see how they sound. Maybe make your own mix of the song and compare it to mine, a learning experience. :-P

Great idea, I wish more people would do this.

This is going to be a long couple of days, I can't wait to hear remixes with these zero themes.

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Also I already told Garpocalypse this a couple days ago, but I'm going to release the stems for my entry, so people can practice mixing I guess, or just mess around with them and see how they sound. Maybe make your own mix of the song and compare it to mine, a learning experience. :-P

Actually, that sounds like fun. DO IT.

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Can we have some reviews, plz, cause since I'm still unable to get at least one vote, I wonder what you guys think of my track this time, din't have the time to really finish it, I rush the last minute of the track but, I think it's my best so far

Hope there's no key change problem in this one

I like the groove, but it's the same groove over and over again--the phrase in the bass and drums doesn't change much at all over the whole track, try adding variation. Other instruments come in and out but the bass and drums stay the same. The snare sound gets buried. I like how the track changes at 00:45 and 01:21, but it sounds off at 2:31, I'd guess it's problems with the key but I'm not sure.

Keep at it :D

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Can we have some reviews, plz, cause since I'm still unable to get at least one vote, I wonder what you guys think of my track this time, din't have the time to really finish it, I rush the last minute of the track but, I think it's my best so far
It is better, and I can tell that you took Darke's advice about maintaining the four main lines. But it's pretty monotonous, with just the same three instruments throughout (one bass, one lead, one pad), except for two brief respites in the second half. The bass in particular just doesn't vary at all, and gets fatiguing. You have maybe a minute worth of content here, stretched out for four.

The instrument selection also isn't great. None of them are bad, but they aren't sufficiently interesting to carry a whole mix. You need layers, multiple voices, chords, octaves, something. The brief Heat Man instruments are particularly poor-sounding. I found the volume LFO on the pad to be a bit much, too.

I did like the climax arrangement (3:38+), although it drags a little, it has a lot of energy and mixes the two sources nicely. However, it took me several listens to even realize it was the climax because it's too similar to the rest of the mix. Changes in bass or percussion can help create separation between parts that are meant to be different. So can specific instrumental techniques such as risers and crashes.

Next time I should try to use an equalizator, I guess cause I never touch this yet and I know all my track kinda need it
For EQ, I recommend the following resources to start with:

For FL Studio: http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/introduction-to-eq

For REAPER, Ableton, and any other VST-supporting DAW: http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2011/06/24/bpb-freeware-studio-best-free-spectrum-analyzer-vst-plugins/ (check out the SPAN video at the bottom)

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Can we have some reviews, plz, cause since I'm still unable to get at least one vote, I wonder what you guys think of my track this time, din't have the time to really finish it, I rush the last minute of the track but, I think it's my best so far

I also wonder, how many time(hours) you guys can put for a remix

Next time I should try to use an equalizator, I guess cause I never touch this yet and I know all my track kinda need it

Hope there's no key change problem in this one

I don't consider myself qualified to be giving out advice but I think mixing wise it couldn't hurt for you to experiment with automation. Delay, Reverb, and light panning are fairly basic and used by most everyone one time or another. Add some delay to your lead instrument track at different parts. Add light reverb to some of your instruments and listen to see how the depth changes. Lightly pan the higher octave instruments say left 20% and right 20% over time. Just play with that stuff for now and you can move on to toying with the actual synths (envelopes, atk, delay, sustain, etc.)

Edit:

I'll post general mixing stuff here.

Composition and Arrangement

-----------

1) Transpose all sources so they don't step on each other.

2) learn chords or notes that sound good together.

A) You can play them all at the same time in the case they are strings (Vertical arrangment)

B) You can play them in progression if you want to create a melody or transition between sources (Horizontal arrangment)

3) Try to pick instruments that sound good / complement each other (Timbre).

4) Reverse cymbals are good to use in order to transition between parts of your song.

Mixing

------

1) Learn to use EQ with each instrument and cut unwanted frequencies using a narrow band. Think of it as chiseling a sculpture. This one requires a good ear.

A) Low Pass and High Pass filters like EQ affect the frequency range of instruments. These are good for building up the beginning and toning down for the end of songs. Experiment on the percussion and other instruments. In Jake's mix he was able to vary the drums by automating either their attack or using low/high pass filters. Check out 0:34 Stone Cold Rock and listen for it. The composition is unchanged but he applied automation for variation.

2) Compression. Watch some vids on this. Ecto can fill you in as well. This can make instruments seem louder. It can also be used to sidechain other instruments to produce a volume pumping effect. A typical example would be routing a kick to your bass via a compressor using sidechain.

3) If you can go into the synths you might be able to automate wave form changes for your instrument to make it change as your song goes along. For example you could go between a square waves, to triangles to sines.

A) Here's a WIP that illustrates this technique. https://soundcloud.com/darrencsmith/dopplerganger. Listen to the lead.

Mastering

----------

This usually goes last and requires great mixing skills. Some people use different plugins like adaptive limiters, multipressors, and different frequency analyzers to tweak their song. Ask others about this because I can't master and only just learned about some of these ideas.

My advice is to ask people here in the contest and watch videos of people explaining these techniques for your DAW.

Hopefully all this stuff will help. Just try each idea when you're ready.

All, Correct me for when I make totally wrong assumptions and prevent me from misguiding SilvernixSP.

Edited by shadow24
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