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Somewareman

Pokemon Silver Version: Cruisin' Down the Three Nine

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This is a mix of the Route 38 and 39 Theme, Title Theme, and Bicycle Theme from Pokemon Silver Version.

Link to Remix: http://tindeck.com/listen/xuwwl

Links to Sources:

Route 38,39:

Title Theme:

Bicycle Theme:

I've been working in FL Studio and I'm having some trouble with the violin synth cutting out at parts. It works fine in the program, but not after I render. I'd really like some help with that. Other than that, I'd mainly like some feedback on improving my production quality. (I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to mastering so please use small words.)

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Did you check your max polyphony limit? That just means, did you allow FL to put a limit to the number of voices that can be played at once (an instrument has one voice if it's monophonic, two voices if it's duophonic, etc). You should be able to disable this limit before you start a render/MP3-file-creation.

The issues that are present throughout are overcompression and muddiness.

Overcompression happens when your limiter is hit with loud instruments, and it reacts to push them down heavily. You can address that by lowering the volume on everything on the individual mixer tracks, so that they're quiet enough before they reach the Master track. Check your volume meter if you want to see what bumps 0 dB and makes the meter turn a little red.

Muddiness is happening near the 200 Hz range in the EQ, and it's occurring whenever you have drums with your low bass. It doesn't sound like you sidechained the kick to the bass (assuming it's not an FPC kit. If it is, you'd need to clone your kit instance and write kick drum notes on the separate kit instance and use that as your kick only), which simply means you make the kick duck the bass volume downwards when both play at the same time. That would help with the muddiness. You can do that by selecting the kick drum mixer track, right clicking the bass mixer track, and clicking "Sidechain to this track" or similar, putting a limiter in the bass mixer track, switching over to the window in the Limiter that shows the Threshold, Ratio, etc. You can select the sidechain source in the "[--]" box, and the kick drum should be in that list. It should show up as "1". Then you can turn down the threshold to maybe 10:00 and the ratio up to about 1:30~2:00 to make the sidechaining happen. Turn down the ratio (should be at 12:00 or CW past it, usually) if you want it to be more subtle, or turn up the threshold if it's way below the actual volume of your instrument as you see it in the limiter so your bass isn't crushed.

Edited by timaeus222

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Something you can look into is how the drums are so panned; it's much more conventional to keep the kick and snare center-panned, so the right-panned kick sounds really weird to me. The same with the bass being panned left; basses are almost always panned center.

Something else to note is that your drum tones seem to imply a hip hop song, but your instruments imply a heroic orchestral synth hybrid.

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Well, here's the newer version with bass, snare, and kick centered:

http://tindeck.com/listen/jlmpz

as opposed to the previous version, here:

http://tindeck.com/listen/eakcj

I had the kick and bass panned to try and avoid overlapping the EQ, but I guess since they're sidechained now, it's not such a big deal.

As far as style and genre goes, I didn't exactly have a clear vision of the final product in mind when I started. I did want it to sound exciting, but also somewhat laid back so I thought using the drums in hip-hop style would be appropriate. Honestly, I think the contrast between the drums and instruments works, but maybe I don't have enough experience yet to pull it off effectively. If you think it sounds awkward or something, what would you suggest?

BTW, is the muddiness and overcompression issue fully resolved, or is there more I need to work on?

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?

It still sounds like the kick isn't centered. It sounds slightly different, but not really that different. Or maybe it's just me; are those the same files?

Did you have an idea of about what genre you wanted to try?

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I think getting caught up in genre conventions limits the creative potential of a track. Create what you want to create, don't worry about what "genre" you are going for. We live in a world of ever expanding creativity and crossover. Genres are becoming more and more hyphenated. I really like the tones of the drums and I agree that the contrast totally works. Let your art be your art. People can give advice, which can be helpful, but don't sacrifice what you like about a track. Be confident. You may not feel like you have the experience to stand behind your stuff (I know I struggled with that when I first started posting here) but you got something good going on here. The track is definitely coming together, and I like what you are doing with it.

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Well, it's not specifically genre convention I'm referring to here; it's actual, general drum convention for any genre ever; I've never heard kicks and snares panned anywhere other than center in any situation other than a live recording.

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Yeah, I totally get the centering the kick thing. I actually did forget about centering a secondary kick I had, but when I did, it interfered with the bass. After messing with the EQ and stuff I decided to just get rid of that extra kick.

Here's the revised piece: http://tindeck.com/listen/pqeny

and this is the previous one: http://tindeck.com/listen/jlmpz

I actually noticed a few weird things going on with the bass at about 2:07, so I'll try to clean that up.

Like I said before, I didn't have a clear direction in mind when I started this piece. I basically just built it up from the bass as I went along. Genre-wise, I usually stick to electronic hybrids because I currently have limited resources within FL Studio, and I can't play any instruments besides the kazoo and very basic percussion. I like to work with a lot of styles like jazz, baroque (certain kinds), industrial, orchestral, ragtime, choral, and metal and I love to experiment, which is why I'm a fan of Mazedude. I would really like to work with real instruments, but the only way I could do that would be through collaboration.

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Yeah, the kick sounds centered now. This still sounds weird overall though.

Can you just post your project file? I use FL, so maybe I can take a look at this, clean it up, send you a revised FLP with a list of the changes I would do, and have you take a look through it to see what's different. :) It's hard to tell what you actually did with the EQ, but as a result of what you did so far, the remix as a whole sounds like a strange stereo mixdown that is also a little distant. It almost sounds like you panned a lot of things really far left and right to separate them, but at the same time defied common mixing conventions. :-P

For example, I haven't encountered very many situations where the bass was supposed to be wide, or where orchestral instruments (or orchestral-emulation synths) are supposed to be very far-panned.

Edited by timaeus222

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Yeah, I had a lot of things panned and I know my EQ needs a lot of adjustment. Thanks a lot for taking time to look at this. I really appreciate that. There are a few things to note about how stuff is set up 'cause I've been using the demo of Harmor, a soundfont I found somewhere, and a custom GMS instrument, but I'll have a readme file thing to give you the specifics.

Everything is right here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zua6ojhq6kf9ucj/Remix%20Stuffs.zip?dl=0

Thanks again.

Edited by Somewareman

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Thanks a ton for helping with this. I've been looking over your changes and adjusting my file accordingly. It really helps to have something like this as a guideline to follow. I don't really know why I had all those compressors. I guess I should really learn how to use those before adding them to everything. :)

I'll probably post the updated remix in a few days, but I have a lot on my plate right now. Hopefully I'm on my way to a polished final product.

Edited by Somewareman

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Thanks a ton for helping with this. I've been looking over your changes and adjusting my file accordingly. It really helps to have something like this as a guideline to follow. I don't really know why I had all those compressors. I guess I should really learn how to use those before adding them to everything. :)

I'll probably post the updated remix in a few days, but I have a lot on my plate right now. Hopefully I'm on my way to a polished final product.

Yeah, multi-band compressors are definitely tough to use. I used to have trouble using regular compressors, and I did similar things that you did here, adding compressors to keep things from getting too loud. What should have been done is simply looking at the Master volume meter and seeing how loud that is, seeing what the sum total of the instrument volumes becomes by the time it reaches the Master track, and lowering the volumes of instruments that don't need to be so loud, cutting unnecessary frequencies from your instruments, etc. So maybe high passing non-bassy instruments near 200 Hz, scooping the midrange (500~2000Hz) of background instruments a little bit to let the leads cut through, and so on.

Since multi-band compressors are essentially three compressors in one, separated by frequency ranges under which they work to push down or bring up your sound, I would recommend that you spend more time to figure out how regular compressors work first, before you try out the multi-band ones. With both compression and EQ in one, it's a complicated plugin to use.

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AFTER TEN-THOUSAND YEARS, I HAVE RETURNED!!!

Man, it's been a while. I've been so busy lately with work and job searching, but that aside, I've addressed pretty much all the concerns expressed, adjusting the EQ and such, and I think my remix is 99% complete. However, there may be some slight issues I've overlooked.

http://tindeck.com/listen/eulyz

If there's nothing seriously wrong, I'll be ready to take my chances with the judges. This piece has come a long way since its inception, so thanks!

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