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Dancing in the Horror Fortress (MM7 - Shade Man)


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Well, let's ask the question first of all - with the right amount of attention, CAN this be an OC Remix?

Well, for what it is we have a nice interpretive version of the source; doesn't seem to go anywhere aside from working a lot around the organ riff of the original, but if there's going to be future revisions it'll be a good idea to keep exploring and going for more of its development.

However, let me bring in some pointers for future musical endeavours. I've kept a good eye on your music since the B4C2 last summer and I can see some potential if you know where to improve yourself. Here's a start:

- I've studied the waveform and it looks really quiet in comparison to other similar sounding tracks. You've got the right idea with the drum compression, but if you have a wave editor then you can be able to normalise the exported waveform to give it more presence. Bringing it up to around -0.1dB is a good start without sacrificing any loss of audio quality.

- I understand where you're going with the drum writing and the synth selection, but I feel the grooves and the choice of soundfont don't match. You've got four-on-the-floor kicks most of the way plus some nice rolling hihats and breaks that just don't seem to work with the acoustic sound - it would benefit more from going for a more electronic-based groove, similar to what we usually expect from halc's stuff. If you have a VST that can handle sampling, then exploring what Wave Alchemy provides can be a good start. You can also try Maschine Drum Selection if you're a Kontakt user as well. If in doubt, consult the Music Composition & Production area for any further advice.

- In addition, the mixing feels very muddy. Getting around to EQing tracks can be problematic for those starting out for the first time, but once you understand the basics you'd get to understand it more. Let me link you to this chart:


There's some tips there in order to suggest how to cut or boost your instruments for whatever kind of effect you're looking for. But it's usually best to focus more on the effect you want, and then after that start cutting out the unwanted frequencies, i.e. the notes that the instruments aren't playing.

So for example, that bell that plays the melody at 0:59 generally plays a note range between F5 and F6. You're most likely going to get your effect presence in the higher register, so a high-pass at around 675k would be a good start. Provided you're able to compare this with the piano roll of what workstation you're doing, you'd be able to make those unwanted cuts and see what kind of presence your instruments are looking for. Drums can be cut in a similar way, but the cut frequences also depends on the general timbre of the drum piece as well.

I hope these will help you on your way nevertheless. It's not too bad, but it's still a long way off from being an OCR mixpost; however, just keep making music and I can see you getting further ahead in due course. :)

Edited by Rexy
image looked a bit big
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Thank you for the extensive feedback and the tips.

Of course this is a first WIP, so it's far from perfect, I didn't even begin to EQ, so your tips for EQing are always appreciated. I do know my share of using an equalizer, but I still need more practice ;)

Concerning the drums, I did think about using more electronic drums, but I didn't.

Personally I think I'm not ready for OCR yet, even when this will be finished

Edited by Yami
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I pretty much completely agree with Rexy.

I'm finding the textures kinda sparse. In this, you have a bass, drums, a saw lead, and an organ, but that's pretty much all of the elements that have been used throughout (besides the 3o3 arp, which I hear as often quiet compared to the other instruments). The organ, for the octaves in which it plays, covers some high range, the bass covers some low range,and the kick and snare cover the remaining low range, while the midrange is left for the saw lead and the 3o3 arp. Since the 3o3 arp is substantially covered up by the bass and the saw lead feels thin in context, it's like your midrange is actually lacking, even though you actually have some theoretically midrange content in there.

Overall, what I would suggest that you work on, besides the low-end EQing, drum writing, and cohesiveness as Rexy suggested, is the perception of whether or not an instrument contributed what you intended it to do in the midrange. If you want full midrange, it helps to have an idea of when it is full enough objectively, when it isn't, and when it's overly full. Perhaps you could try an experiment where you scoop the midrange on purpose to train your ears on the idea of "hollowness" in an audio frequency spectrum, so that you can avoid having that happening to a significant extent. Something else you could do is to purposefully boost the midrange and train your ears to dislike an excess of the midrange. The purpose of these two experiments is to simply get your brain going on a nice "middle" (not really in the exact middle, per se, just a balance) with regards to an excess and a deficiency of midrange. Midrange is essentially 500~4000Hz (covering low mids, mids, and upper mids).

Loudness isn't as much of a concern to me because in my opinion and with what I've progressed through, an objective perception of loudness takes a long time to develop (it took me about 2 years), and sometimes you have to go through many different headphones/speakers before you get a sense of what's loud enough for you and for everyone. Different headphones and speakers have different impedances, which is essentially resistance to amplification. Voltage = Current*Impedance. The higher the impedance, the more voltage you need to amp the audio system to get it to a particular arbitrary volume, so generally speaking, the higher the input impedance, the lower the output is, relative to a "normal" volume. Since this "normal" volume is more or less relative to what you previously heard, that's why it may take going through different audio systems to find something you like enough that you stick with it. I would also recommend trying out several soft knee limiters and seeing if you like that better than a hard knee limiter. When I switched from Fruity Limiter to TLs-Pocket Limiter, that's when I felt I had more room in my dynamics.

I wish you good luck on this!

Edited by timaeus222
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Thank you for your tips and advice, I didn't even consider trying out different limiters.

Perhaps I should invest in a new sound card soon, because currently I use my internal one, which might not be a good combination with my headphones. I try to listen to some reference tracks, but sometimes as you might know ears tire ;)

And btw, I do know what impedance is, since I come from a technical background, but how are you supposed to know that beforehand :D

And in the last days I did some reworking, which stemmed from experimenting, perhaps I'll post it as well, it might be a better raw track

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