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Jorito

wip Castlevania - Vampire Killer

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So... lately I have been working on a kind of dance track version of Castlevania's Vampire Killer song with some nice retro bleeps and (an attempt at) complextro basslines in it. The track needs some polishing but is near to being finished. I would really appreciate some feedback to make it the best track I can :)

Without further ado:

Remix: http://www.jorito.net/files/Vampire%20Killer/Vampire%20Killer%2020140220.mp3

Original:

(PS: I still need a name for this track. Apparently all my creativity went into the music so I'm a bit dumb struck atm. Any suggestions? ;))

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The intro is pretty cool, the source is audible but it's different enough to be interesting!

The "drop" doesn't hold much weight. I say "drop" because I'm not sure if that's what it is, but since you mention complextro inspiration, I figure that's what it is. The basses have no power, they hit as hard as the high synths and there's just so much going on that it leaves the deep bits high and dry, ya know?

I would recommend minimalizing the area around the drop section. If you're going for that staple Porter Robinson/Zedd/Madeon type of sound, you'll want to take some of the instruments out of the mix to let the bass really shine through. I would also suggest during that buildup, modulate the instruments used and reduce their low-end gradually so that just before the drop, there's much less in the low channels, this will make the bass after the drop stand out a lot more!

Just some suggestions, it sounds really good aside from that bit, but feel free to experiment in other ways to bring out that punchy sound a bit more :)

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Thanks for the great feedback, very useful! I'm not much of an expert on complextro and was just experimenting a bit. This is also the part of the song I wasn't 100% about, so really appreciate the detailed feedback on this part!

I'll play around with your suggestions and check some more reference material :)

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Worked a bit with the suggestions from Kanohi, and I think it worked out pretty sweet. Also made the drop a bit longer, added some (subtle) variations of the bass line and a sub bass and did some general polishing. In short... time for a new version!

http://direct.jorito.net/files/Vampire%20Killer/Vampire%20Killer%2020140223.mp3

As I'm nearing the finished version of this song, feedback is highly appreciated. Especially about the mix, because I'm no good at mixing :)

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I find the near-hard-panning throughout awkward, as if you wanted to do so simply to separate sounds. You could just do some stereo shaping to widen particular sounds and narrow certain sounds with stereo reduction. Instruments should be placed in the stereo field in a sensible way, rather than in a way that accomplishes the end you want.

The bass starting at 0:28 may not actually be muddy, but it would probably sound muddy to many people, including me. It's one of those cases where it's not mixed optimally for everyone, just you and people with the 'best' systems. It'll help to use a clearer bass that'll be more universally clear.

Some sound effects like the thunderstorm at 1:22 are nice, but sound narrow. Nice dulcimer. The electro house bass at 1:50-2:19 sounds very narrow too. Widen it, and it'll sound fuller. Of course, then you'd have to re-pan the arps, but those don't necessarily have to be *that* wide, so I think that can work.

Also, the lead guitar at 3:12 sounds too sequenced. Too many portamentos. Try adding in pitch bends with pitch wheel and perhaps tapping mode for the fast runs. Sounds like Shreddage II, so if it is, try making use of the string selection engine too, so you can make the fret hand range realistic and the note intervals natural.

The arrangement is good. Overall, the stereo field is just wonky IMO, and the guitar can be more realistic. Here's an electro house reference. Good work so far. ;)

Edited by timaeus222

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Hahaha what the fuck is that german sample from!!

(Sorry, not much to say about the mix. Sounds pretty good to me but not my style.)

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Hahaha what the fuck is that german sample from!!

(Sorry, not much to say about the mix. Sounds pretty good to me but not my style.)

I have to admit I blatantly ripped that out of the intro of the PC-Engine version of Dracula X. Not sure if there's an OCR policy that disallows that in remixes, I just added it because I thought it'd fit nicely. :)

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Dang! The drop is so much more powerful now, I'm really impressed! I have to agree with Timaeus that a lot of the basses feel either thin or empty around that part, and there's some more work to be done to make them feel thick and full, but this is definitely well on its way!

As for the sample of the German voice, I know that OCR prefers when people don't sample audio directly from the game, but I seem to remember that their policy is as long as it's not excessive you're ok? So I'm not sure, it fits but it's also a little cheesy, I think it would sound good with or without it :)

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Thanks again for the very helpful feedback, guys. Spent a lot of time with the song again today, and I think it's as good as done.

The only things that would probably need another look are the guitar part (sequencing lead guitar is quite tricky) and the mix (at which I'm no good). Anyway, another day, another version, hopefully one of the last:

http://www.jorito.net/files/Vampire%20Killer/Vampire%20Killer%2020140224.mp3

So... is it indeed almost finished or did I make it worse? :)

As for the sample of the German voice, I know that OCR prefers when people don't sample audio directly from the game, but I seem to remember that their policy is as long as it's not excessive you're ok? So I'm not sure, it fits but it's also a little cheesy, I think it would sound good with or without it :)

I'll check the rules for this. Like you said, it's a bit cheesy and the song doesn't really need it. I might try and add some nice vocoded speech in stead.

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Hm... this does sound fuller, spatially, but is that bass starting at 0:29 sidechained? It feels like it's sustained for a long period of time, rather than leaving some room for the leads to breathe. Also, while widening the stereo image is good, if you widen everything, it's almost like narrowing everything; anything that overlaps in the stereo field will blur the notes together, so try to leave things in their own space.

At 1:51, IMO, the wide bass can be automated to be narrower, and the electro house wobble basses can be wider instead. It's up to you what you pick to be wide there, but I think picking the wobble basses will make it feel fuller in comparison to now.

I like the lead at 2:19. Nice and expressive. I'm glad that I can hear it up above everything else. :)

The lead guitar sounds a little bit better, but it's good to know you're gonna look at it some more! =)

Getting closer! The only other thing I'll say right now is to make sure the source usage is more than 50%. I think there's a lot of original sections, but I wouldn't be sure if it's too much unless I check.

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Basses are sidechained to a silent kick (a first for me), but you are right about the sustain. I was already looking into the releases of the bass and some of the synth stabs.

Also, while widening the stereo image is good, if you widen everything, it's almost like narrowing everything; anything that overlaps in the stereo field will blur the notes together, so try to leave things in their own space.

Since I'm still learning to listen and mix, care to point out some specific problems or example? That'd be really helpful!

About the lead guitar... I'm not sure if I can get it much better than this. Maybe it was a dumb idea anyway, I'm considering replacing it with a screaming synth. Would also fit the song and style better. The other option would be to get a real guitar recording, but that might take a while.

Lastly, your remark about source usage has me kinda worried. The only real original parts are the speech part and the wobbly bass part, the other parts are either the original (2 loops of about 40 seconds) or beavily based on it (the intro and outro). Still, the song is 4 minutes, of which about 80 seconds clearly source material...

Awell, maybe it should just be a nice song to listen to in stead of my first OCR submission if that's a reason for rejection ;)

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Basses are sidechained to a silent kick (a first for me), but you are right about the sustain. I was already looking into the releases of the bass and some of the synth stabs.

Since I'm still learning to listen and mix, care to point out some specific problems or example? That'd be really helpful!

About the lead guitar... I'm not sure if I can get it much better than this. Maybe it was a dumb idea anyway, I'm considering replacing it with a screaming synth. Would also fit the song and style better. The other option would be to get a real guitar recording, but that might take a while.

Lastly, your remark about source usage has me kinda worried. The only real original parts are the speech part and the wobbly bass part, the other parts are either the original (2 loops of about 40 seconds) or beavily based on it (the intro and outro). Still, the song is 4 minutes, of which about 80 seconds clearly source material...

Awell, maybe it should just be a nice song to listen to in stead of my first OCR submission if that's a reason for rejection ;)

Well, 0:29 and 0:37 would be some of the bassiest parts in this. I think 0:59 - 1:12 are more controlled, and sections like that are great!

And yeah, OC ReMixes should have recognizable source since this community is catered to honor video game music, and 50% is a guideline. If you have 51%, it's borderline OK, but I would recommend higher than 60% just to be safe.

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This is good, feels fresh and really soothing and pretty nice with the vocals you put in, pretty much a full drag from start to finnish.

Thanks! Not sure if I would call it soothing myself, but I like it :)

Hopefully I'll have an updated version addressing the last few things I want to change in a few days.

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Thanks for posting this!.. I usually don't like electronic remixes of videogame music. I'm from a rock background so I guess I'm ruined that way, hehe. But this version was soooo good. I've downloaded it and will enjoy it again and again on my jogg 15 min from now.

If you want to hear my bands remix/re-arrangement on Castlevania hit this link

https://soundcloud.com/nestunes/castlevania

I'm looking forward to hearing more of your work :)

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That German part is awesome. German is like demonspeak anyway, so nice going! :nicework:

I'm digging the track but find that I'm waiting for it to take up the pace, which I thought would happen after that speech. An extra instrument might help out there! I'd like to refer to it as a little bit more "epicness" 8-)

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The good thing about this topic hijacking is that it brings my attention to this track again :)

I really should give it a bit more TLC and submit it to the judges. So keep the feedback coming ;)

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