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Mega Man: The Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet 2013


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[*]Wily Wars... The Punishment Due: MMX and electric guitar, the classic combination, and Solar Man is thrashtastic icing on top. This is an unusual combination of sounds, though: You have a beautiful, crisp voice (despite illness and vocoding) that doesn't mesh with those dirty guitars very well. Could we get the lyrics? The X1/X3 mashup is a little messy, especially in the ending, it gets a bit chaotic there. Otherwise this is an epic arrangement.

How could you not mention how awesome it is that Tuberz just did an amazing imitation of Holy Wars while remaining a mashup of the two souces? I am very disappointed that you missed that. :tomatoface:

btw, your arrangement is fucking awesome for that, Tuberz.

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Your dedication to good metadata is a shining beacon in the bleak sea of "Various Artists."

God Bless America. Anyway, I want to discuss another thing I'm seeing with novice mixers. A bit of a disclaimer: I'm going to talk now about my own approach to arrangement, and hopefully that will h

Oddly, the idea I'm playing around with could almost be classified as aggressive klezmer-step.

How could you not mention how awesome it is that Tuberz just did an amazing imitation of Holy Wars while remaining a mashup of the two souces?

Because this is me:

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Edited by MindWanderer
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new challenge: everyone, somehow make these genres real within the remaining rounds of this compo :tomatoface:

post-grunge chiptune actually sounds pretty do-able, and it actually probably exists already

well hell, nintendocore already exists, and that's pretty close - DusK even has an album of it under a different name: http://fromtheforestitself.bandcamp.com/

EDIT: Tuberz I bet you could do it! :D You're great at rock/punk/metuhlz/what-have-you as well as chiptune

Edited by KingTiger
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post-grunge chiptune actually sounds pretty do-able, and it actually probably exists already

Tuberz I bet you could do it! :D You're great at rock/punk/metuhlz/what-have-you as well as chiptune

Well then. I'll have to see. ;) Might be an interesting thing to try.

How could you not mention how awesome it is that Tuberz just did an amazing imitation of Holy Wars while remaining a mashup of the two souces? I am very disappointed that you missed that. :tomatoface:

btw, your arrangement is fucking awesome for that, Tuberz.

<3 <3 <3

I love you bud. You know just how to make me feel good and giddy inside. :3

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How could you not mention how awesome it is that Tuberz just did an amazing imitation of Holy Wars while remaining a mashup of the two souces? I am very disappointed that you missed that. :tomatoface:

btw, your arrangement is fucking awesome for that, Tuberz.

Yea, i thought it was awesome that he had a near perfect early Megadeth imitation right down to the production choices.

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It's entire possible that I may be paraphrasing Churchill's Speech for my next track. That doesn't break any rules does it?

I think it's a great idea! :)

"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air..."

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I think it's a great idea! :)

"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France' date=' we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air..."[/quote']

That's right! Though it would be modified to reflect the events of this compo. If I do it. Which I might not. Maybe.

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DEM REVIEWZ SON:

Xarnax42: violin sounds a bit thin/quiet. Nice country atmosphere. sometimes the vocals seem like a fraction of a second off. Biggest thing i wanted is a bit bigger/more filled out instrumental section. Dem vocals tho <3

Theory of N: lold at the title. Structure here is nice, as is instrumentation. source usage is well done too. You have an ear/mind for jazz writing that shines out here (as well as your other tracks, but i'm only writing about this one).

SuperiorX: I dunno when you became GrooveLord 9000 but I love it. Instrumentation and atmosphere is awesome. The dirtier bass threw me a loop for a second but on multiple listens i dig it. Only complaint is that the reverse cymbal you use seems a bit odd - it might be the sample or it could use a little boost in the highs/cut in the mid-highs.

Sterling Ortiz: things need some more humanization here. flute is loud when it comes in. mindwanderer already addressed the timpani/tuned perc thing. Soundscape is a bit bare as well. You're improving though, so that's good.

Shrack: Orchestration is nice here, and meshes well with the dnb drums. Progression from ideas keeps things interesting without losing continuity in the piece. Trumpet near the end sounds a bit weird, and the end is a tad sudden.

ParahSalin: you told me to ignore this but TOO BAD MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. In all seriousness, there are still some odd harmony/key things happening but it's less of an issue than before, so nice work and keep improving.

Orion: Holy shit dude. this is long. like, so long i might not be able to make it through it all in this review. Let me just hit some points. make sure that with a mix this long that you really vary up energy and make your piece as dynamic as possible in order to maintain interest. Your piece does well at not repeating too much, but things keep a fairly constant energy that loses my interest at times. Some odd harmonies in places. I dig the chip aesthetic. I'm also legitimately interested in how you managed to pull this off in a week. I'm scrambling to get 3 minutes in!

Obtuse: nice intro, and the structure is pretty nice. pads cover up the melody. things get a little repetitive after a bit. soundscape is bare during the bass solo.

MindWanderer: I'd recognize that Kontact sax sample anywhere :razz: structure and source usage is nice, but sounds need more humanization, and the soundscape seems a tad bare. Drums need moar punch and variance. Love that part at 2:16.

Jakesnake: Things keep a subdued groove that i dig. Drums carry a lot of energy here. neat aesthetic and soundscape. love the source usage and the not-so-subtle nods to your teammates sources.

Esperado: Nice improvement from last time man. soundscape could still use a bit of filling out. transition to the second section was a little weird, also some key issues there i think.

Brandonion: love dat pianer. Sounds are nice, as are the harmonies. lyrics are purty as well.

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MindWanderer: I'd recognize that Kontact sax sample anywhere :razz: structure and source usage is nice, but sounds need more humanization, and the soundscape seems a tad bare. Drums need moar punch and variance. Love that part at 2:16.
Nope, that's the famous Tenor Saxophone soundfont (and its alto counterpart as backup). I'm pleased I was able to credibly imitate an expensive library with a free soundfont.

Good drum sequences take a lot of time for me, and while I did as much humanization as I could (and more than I usually manage), that's time-consuming too.

Can you be more specific about the soundscape? I realized late in that the organ was a bit weak in the low end, but I tried to compensate for that, and I thought the upright bass was fine in that respect.

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Thanks The Rex.

Can somebody give us a quick lesson about the keys and key changes' date=' obviously we still not doing something right. Thx![/quote']

Ill give it a shot.

First of all, you should learn what major and minor scales are if you don't already know. You don't have to memorize each one - you can use references while working, but you should understand what each kind of scale sounds like. Then, you should take a look at each source and figure out which notes it uses. A melody that uses all white notes is either in C major or A minor, a melody with all white notes except for an f# is either in G major or E minor, etc. If you need to, these are easy to look up online once you know which notes are being used. Additionally, the majority of tracks start on the note that corresponds to their scale, so that can be helpful too.

Some tracks use accidentals (notes that are not part of the scale that's being used), so if this is the case for one of your sources, you might have to identify which notes those are. For instance, if a piece uses three notes that are each a semitone apart, you know that one of the them is an accidental because neither of the basic scales has that. Basically, If every other note fits into a major or minor scale except for a couple here and there, then you can ignore them for the moment. Just make sure that you exhaust the possibility of it being in a different key first!

Once you've written out each source and determined which key each one is in just drag all the notes from one of them until they match the other. If you're still not sure, just listen to it. If it sounds off it probably is.

There's more to it than this, different scales and modes and all that, but hopefully this will be sufficient for this competition and will allow you to learn more about it as you gain experience. Stick to the basics for now and eventually you'll start to understand the rest.

Also, someone else might be able to give better advice, these are just some suggestions for trying to quickly determine keys.

Edit: as for key changes, STAY AWAY until you've got this other stuff down :-D.

Edited by Kuolema
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Nope, that's the famous Tenor Saxophone soundfont (and its alto counterpart as backup). I'm pleased I was able to credibly imitate an expensive library with a free soundfont.

Good drum sequences take a lot of time for me, and while I did as much humanization as I could (and more than I usually manage), that's time-consuming too.

Can you be more specific about the soundscape? I realized late in that the organ was a bit weak in the low end, but I tried to compensate for that, and I thought the upright bass was fine in that respect.

The biggest problem with your track was that the percussion was basically just hi-hat and conga drums, and maybe a ride cymbal every once in a while. Where's the kick? Where's the snare? The congas were really quiet and that exposed the hi-hat, which was just this dinky little "tch" sound over and over again.

Thanks The Rex.

Can somebody give us a quick lesson about the keys and key changes' date=' obviously we still not doing something right. Thx![/quote']

Koulema's got a good start, but there's a little more to key than just that. When you listen to a piece of music, you should be able to determine the root or tonic by hearing what's happening in the piece harmonically. Generally speaking, a piece will either start or eventually return to the tonic in some way (like starting and returning to the root's chord). The idea is that when you listen to a piece of music, your mind should "lock" in to certain notes that sound "correct." When this happens you actually should be able to sing the scale of the piece, because your brain has figured out where to start and what notes to use. I don't think there's any other way to explain it than just saying "when you hear it, you get it."

Now, in the case of Nitro Man, that song is in the key of Bb minor. Now let's ignore the Bb part and just focus on the fact that it's in a minor key. You combined that song with Zero's theme from Mega Man X2. The original song is in B Minor; also a minor key! That makes things easier. So what we need to do is match up both songs so that they're in the same key, specifically we need to make sure they share the same root (or tonic).

It doesn't matter what key you put them in. It could be Eb minor, or G# minor, or A minor, it doesn't matter. What matters is that both tunes are matched to the same key.

In your piece, you had Nitro Man in the original Bb Minor, and then X2 Zero in C minor; these two keys are a step apart. That's why when your Zero stuff comes in it sounds off. In Bb minor, D is flat, but in C minor, D is natural, so you immediately start hearing this bad note (D natural) in what is ostensibly a song that should be in Bb minor (because you kick things off with Nitro Man, so the listener is already locked into that key). You run into the same issues with Gb and G natural later.

This is why I really press you guys to learn some basic theory and also to do things by ear. It's also a good idea to start thinking of melodies and harmonies less in terms of the actual notes and more of where they fall in the key. When you look at a MIDI for Zero's theme from X2, you see "C, D, Eb, Eb, Eb D Bb" but what you really should be thinking is "1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 2, 7" (in this case the 7 going down under 1 instead of up). This makes it easier to transpose things too.

Edited by DarkeSword
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Thanks The Rex.

Can somebody give us a quick lesson about the keys and key changes' date=' obviously we still not doing something right. Thx![/quote']

A whole step is two half steps. A half step is the smallest interval between standard pitches in Western music. So going from C to C# is a half step. Going from C to D is two half steps/one whole step. Remember the exceptions that going from E to F is a half step, as is going from B to C. Vice versa, as well, obviously.

So where w = whole step and h = half step:

Major keys are defined as: w-w-h-w-w-w-h

Example: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

All of Western music is based on the major scale (Ionian mode).

Natural minor keys are defined as: w-h-w-w-h-w-w

example: C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C

Alterations to the major scale are made to create new scales, like minor (Aeolian mode) scales, any of the other modes, pentatonics, octatonics, etc. As an example, it's easy to remember that a minor key is just a major key but with a flatted 3rd, 6th, and 7th scale tone. Take a look at the major and minor examples above and make sure you've got that concept down. The same sort of thinking can be applied to deriving every other scale there is.

Try starting a C major scale from different notes in the scale. So play it from D to D (D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D). You just played the D Dorian mode which is based on the C major scale (because it has no sharps or flats, just like C major).

Modes are a fairly advanced concept, and a loooot more could be said about them, but just mastering the two most common (and most stable-sounding) modes, "major" (Ionian) and "minor" (Aeolian) is the most important thing you can do for your music right now. Learn those two in every key. Learn what harmonic minor is (as compared to natural minor). Learn your intervals and what they sound like. Do that, and you'll be set to write and understand 90% of the music on OCR and everywhere else, too.

edit: Key changes work best if you change to a key which only adds one accidental. So changing to a key based on the 4th or 5th scale tone will almost always sound good. In C major, the 4th and 5th are F and G, respectively. C major has no sharps or flats. F major has one flat (Bb). G major has one sharp (F#).

And voila, that's pretty much the extent of how scales are derived and related to one another. Know what I typed to a T because there's a loooooot of value in being comfortable with all these concepts.

Edited by ectogemia
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The biggest problem with your track was that the percussion was basically just hi-hat and conga drums, and maybe a ride cymbal every once in a while. Where's the kick? Where's the snare? The congas were really quiet and that exposed the hi-hat, which was just this dinky little "tch" sound over and over again.
Jazz music doesn't nornally use kicks and snares, but yeah, I know the cymbals needed more variety and better quality. Didn't realize the congas were too quiet, though, thanks for that feedback.

Re: keys: For those of you using REAPER, which I know is a lot of newbies, it has a built-in scale finder. Very handy if you don't have much musical training, especially if you're working with MIDIs. So, for instance, if the scale finder tells me that Toad Man is in G# and Zero is in B, I can just highlight all the notes in Zero, put my cursor over a B note, and drag it up or down to a G#, and all the notes move with it. It isn't a good substitute for actually knowing what keys are, but it gets the job done.

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Jazz music doesn't nornally use kicks and snares, but yeah, I know the cymbals needed more variety and better quality. Didn't realize the congas were too quiet, though, thanks for that feedback.

whoah whoah whoah whoah MW. I like you but i gotta call you on that one. I've played Big Band and I love the hell out of various types of Jazz Fusion and they all used kicks and snares. I can't think of a single example that doesn't have any kick or snare actually.

Except for Victor Wooten's brother who uses a Drumitar but that's loaded with kick and snare samples.

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Being a drummer who has experimented with various styles, I can say that jazz drums often have kick and snare; some jazz styles stick with only hat, snare, toms, & cymbals and leave out the kick entirely; but I don't think I've heard any jazz (except for maybe some crazy avant-garde stuff) that has no snare at all. Like Brandon said, it may be brushes on the snare, which can create a completely different sound depending on how the brushes are used, but it's still a snare.

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Yeah, it's false, but there's examples like this:

Where it's mostly jazz brushes on snare/cymbals/toms (on occasion)

So it's definitely a viable style, haven't actually checked out the entries to know whether he pulled it off

Sure, but that's absolutely not what he was doing in his track.

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I have faint memories of solfege and sight singing. Maybe start with learning the difference between these two:

do re mi fa so (major) e.g. C D E F G

do re me fa so (minor) e.g. C D Eb F G

Sing it over and over again.

do re mi re do ... (C D E D C)

do re me re do ... (C D Eb D C)

do mi so mi do ... (C E G E C)

do me so me do ... (C Eb G Eb C)

Hear it in your head. Sing it out loud. Ingrain the sound of that minor 3rd into your mind.

Believe in it.

Become it.

Then branch out to the whole scale.

hope this helps more than it confuses :/

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