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Besaid Island FFX Vocal Mix - Which reverb? Pg 3


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I've been wanting to do this for a while, and finally got around to commissioning my friend Georgasmaster (I made him dinner) to create a pop-like mix to Besaid Island from FFX. I'm pretty amazed with what he came up with, and I can't wait to get this finished already. That being said...

http://darlantandragonavenger.googlepages.com/Besaid_Island_DragonAvenger.mp3

I did a very quick recoding of the lyrics (about 2 takes) to get a feel for how this is going to sound. I don't want to go in depth with this yet because my recording equipment sucks, and I will be upgrading once I get about $350.

Intonation/volume/production aside, what are people's thoughts on this? I'm mostly concerned with:

1. Thoughts on the actual arrangement; Georgasmaster wants to know if there is anything that can be improved. I specifically want the ending to be changed, because I don't like the slide at the end. Anyone have suggestions?

2. The lyrics. The quickly turned into a love song, and it sounds very typical of one to me. Anything a little to cheesy? I plan on changing the "Always mirthful" verse. I did try to add some in game referrences, namely describing Besaid a bit, referring to Tidus as a whole, the love scene (Suketi) and of course "This is my story."

3. Instrumentation vs. Voice - Should we take out the instrument doubling the voice? Should I sing those high notes, or leave them for the instrument?

4. What else could be better?

Lyrics

:arrow: Waves that lap across the beach,

The soaring gulls and leafy trees

Sun, oh yea, and so warm...

It doesn't matter where we go,

Just tell me that you love me so

I do, oh yes, oh I do...

Gentle hands and eyes so bright

Please bring me close and hold me tight

Your arms, ooh, are so warm...

Crystal lakes and waterfalls,

Swimming under tiny stars

The night, yea, So calm...

Always mirthful, laughing strong

Nothing ever gets you down,

Please, smile, for me

Tell me what you want to be

Let me be in your story,

Oh yea, uhhuh, I love you.

Thoughts, comments, constructive criticism very welcomed!

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I'm not a huge fan of vocal remixes, almost all of the time they come off cheesy as the remixers try too damn hard to write lyrics to corrospond to the song too much instead of letting it flow naturally. But, I'll give this a shot.

I like the intro, the bells are nice but you ought to maybe try putting them a bit more into the background, aside from that, I love the sounds. It gets a bit repetitive before the vocals. You need them to come in sooner or change things up faster. The drums/percussion aren't bad, they fit the mood but you need to make more than one loop for them, they get repetitive. The vocals, unfortunately, aren't improving my stance on them in remixes one bit. They sound poorly EQed, the recording is crap, you're alright at singing but you don't have the kind of voice to carry a song without any effects, at the very least have some kind of chorus-like effect on your voice to make it seem like there's more than one person. The voice in general isn't anything special though, good for just simple acoustic type stuff with little production, simple things, but for pop-songs you have to have near-perfect pitch (a lot of times auto-tune helps a lot), but not much you can do about that aside from add effects. The lyrics for this are pretty cheap as well, the main rule of pop songs is to try to sound complicated and deep, while in actuality the lyrics are (usually) quite shallow, unfortunately you just kinda went for shallow lyrics in the first place. This isn't bad, but if you're going for a more poppy sound, there's quite a bit of subtleties that needs to be worked on.

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2. The lyrics. The quickly turned into a love song, and it sounds very typical of one to me. Anything a little to cheesy? I plan on changing the "Always mirthful" verse. I did try to add some in game referrences, namely describing Besaid a bit, referring to Tidus as a whole, the love scene (Suketi) and of course "This is my story."

FYI: its Suteki.

I'm sorry, I'm going very brief on this one. The intro is a little too long. Vocals come in at about 2:00 into the track, it's just too long to wait. The vocals themselves lack in several respects. First of all, the singer is a little offbeat here and there. Have her practice a little more with the instrumental, and she should be able to get the timing down. Then, of course, there is processing of the vocals. There are so many different things you can do to make the vocals creative, but the bare minimum is reverb. You could also have her sing it over again a little quieter, or create polyphonic effect by having her sing different notes and then superimpose certain parts of the vocal track.

Keep at it.

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I know all this stuff about the effects and reverb and EQing and stuff, but that wasn't the point of posting here, as I said in my first post. I don't want to do a serious recording until I get better recording equipment. This was just to get the basic feel of the mix, and garner opinions on it before I really get into it.

I know the singing was a little off, and certainly out of tune (again, read, sung in two takes...for the entire thing), but that will be fixed in the serious recording. I do know I have to line up better with the instrument, but that's only really if I desire to keep the instrument doubling the voice in the first place. I do think I'm going to harmonize parts of this the second time around, because it probably will sound rather empty without it. I just have to figure out said harmonies. :)

The intro definately is too long, and I think I'm going to ask Georgasmaster if he can maybe cut it in half or so. I'm not sure if I want to add some scat singing before the actual verse comes in (a'la 4:38). Anyone have thoughts on that.

I'll have to talk to Georgasmaster, and see what he can do with the drums. I know he uses Garageband, and I don't know how difficult it will be to change loops and stuff. It shouldn't be too much of a problem.

As for the lyrics, in defense of myself, I think the referrences to the game add the depth that lacks in the actual words, if that makes sense. I don't really listen to that much pop, so this is a new experiance for me in the first place. I'll probably be tweaking a lot of this as I go.

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Ok. This isn't bad. It gets really tiring quickly.... I could use something like acoustic guitar or something. The pads and drums are nice at first but variation is needed (this is to the remixer himself). Also, don't like the ending... needs something warmer and more final.

As to the singing...

Hmmm... even for 2 takes I'm just not sure on the vocals. You sound a bit like you're doing karaoke not like you own the song. practice it, put lots of feeling into it. I know singing is an intensly personal thing... you have a nice enough, but it is unrefined. You've got some nice vibrato at the edges of your phrase endings. But for the song ... you totally need to a bit more body. It's sounding a little nasal. Don't force those high notes. The whole time you just don't convince the listener of anything... I can totally picture how I'd love this song to sound, something warm, more confident, (better recorded, but you're fixing that). Also, work on being absolutely on pitch.

Don't mean to be a downer, but I'm super super super picky with vocalists. Who do you listen to for inspiration?

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Don't mean to be a downer, but I'm super super super picky with vocalists. Who do you listen to for inspiration?

Hmm, good question. I don't really listen to pop music as a habit, and really I enjoy instrumental music more often than vocal music. I would have to say whoever sang the theme to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has my favorite voice, so I'll go with her.

If you want to hear my life story, I'm an instrumental music education student, and my formal training consists of one semester of voice class with about 25 other students. Basically what I know about voice is what I've overheard and what I can translate from playing the trumpet, so I already know my voice really is nothing that special.

I will definately work on getting a fuller, more open sound though. I did record somewhat late at night without a great warm-up, so that might be contributing a bit, but I know I have a thin voice overall.

Thanks for the comments!

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I dont know why but the intro reminds me of little eyes from Yo La Tengo. I know it's a stretch, but it does.

All in all, it's sleepy. Sounds like something Annie Lennox would sing... and I would promptly change the station on the radio.

I don't like how the synths go with what you're singing. It comes across cheesy. Let your voice pull off the melody, not the synth... unless you want to add some much needed bass with your voice via the synth.

I know you said not to bust on the vocals, but you have a lot of work to do before this is production. If you can't hit the "yeaaah" note, don't sing it. Get someone else to. My advice, contract your throat as you get higher. Do not try to sing the high notes with the same inflection as the mid ranged notes. It'll add a sexy, "grit" to your voice and increase your range. You need to project into the microphone on your next takes. Bigtime. Make it sound like a woman is singing, not a girl. As it is right now, the voice sounds like something you'd hear on Nick Jr. That has *nothing* to do with your voice, but more how you decide to give your voice body and depth. Next time you record, put emotion into it. Sing as though no one is there and you really mean what you're saying. You may feel foolish at first, but when you hear the difference it makes, it'll go away. Also, make sure you stay on key. Practice practice practice, you can do it!

All in all, it's a good first cut. Expect a lot of revision before it's production quality, though. Hey, and when you get that recording equipment, can I borrow it sometime :-P This 1/8th inch mono plug I have ain't cuttin it.

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  • 1 month later...

I posted this at VGMix, but might as well do it here as well, right?

I got an update, with new equipment! *cheers*

http://darlantandragonavenger.googlepages.com/BesaidIslandRemix.mp3

Georgasmaster came through again, removing most of the melodic line doubling the voice and shortening the beginning. I still can't thank him enough for the amount of work he put into this, and how awesome his arrangement came out.

The problem (there's always a problem) is that I don't really know much about how to use all this wonderful stuff yet, so I'm slowly learning through doing. Some of the problem's I've noticed/know about:

-Overall vocals are quiet

-Some clipping on notes

-Intonation (not due to recording, but just some notes here and there)

-No reverb/effects added - just straight, dry voice

So, if anyone has tips/advice on that stuff, or more, please feel free to give (constructive) criticism, please!

If people are having problems downloading this, tell me please. Googlepages has been very finicky about not letting people get a full download in. I can accomadate you if you're really interested in hearing it. PM/AIM me!

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  • 2 weeks later...

on the down side, the vocals seem very dry but good nevertheless and could use some effects like reverb and delay or some shit like that. Also, although i haven't heard the song in a while (last time I played the game which was a several months ago) it doesn't seem very true to the original song and the judeges are REALLY picky about not having the orignal melody in there somewhere.

On the up side, the instruments are truely flawless and the singing is not american idol good, but still good like best singer in your high school good. Overal, i like it but the jugdes aren't as forgiving as me.

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The backing track is perfect, imo, so i'll focus on the vocals, which is what needs the most work.

dry dry dry vocals

it sounds like someone is standing next to me singing the melody along to my mp3 player. It needs some reverb, it sounds like everything else has it, so why ignore the voice?

It sounds like the comping before and around the 3 minute mark is a little unconfident.

The second verse and on sounds much more confident than the first.

The way "smile" is said seems really forced, though i'm not sure how to fix that for you.

The singer has a good contemporary voice, but you need to mix it in with the music, and have the first and third verses sound as confident as the second.

Make these changes and it will have a good chance to be accepted; blow it off and it won't.

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The backing track is perfect, imo, so i'll focus on the vocals, which is what needs the most work.

dry dry dry vocals

it sounds like someone is standing next to me singing the melody along to my mp3 player. It needs some reverb, it sounds like everything else has it, so why ignore the voice?

It sounds like the comping before and around the 3 minute mark is a little unconfident.

The second verse and on sounds much more confident than the first.

The way "smile" is said seems really forced, though i'm not sure how to fix that for you.

The singer has a good contemporary voice, but you need to mix it in with the music, and have the first and third verses sound as confident as the second.

Make these changes and it will have a good chance to be accepted; blow it off and it won't.

Thanks, I can see what I really need to work on now. I'll be recording tomorrow, hopefully I can get it all down without a problem

And, to your response to georgasmaster's track, he says "Thank you thank you thank you!!!!"

:)

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yeah the instrumental is awesome, def pop.

As an example for some of the vocals effects, djp's xenosaga 7yearsBroken is a good example. How he has his voice echo in parts. Especially on those drawn out notes.

Lyrically, the "oh yeah" parts seem a lil cliche :wink: But I get the idea. Maybe try something different there.

Production wise maybe use some similar effects that are on the instrumental on parts of your voice, so your voice blends into the feel of the instrumental more and presents more of an even feel. The two just feel seperate at the present moment.

With the right attention in implementing the vocals this one will be pretty friggin awesome.

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http://darlantandragonavenger.googlepages.com/Summoners_Love.mp3

Ok, so that's a rerecorded version of the first and third verse. Overall the vocals are a little quiet, because I'm in a rush and simply forgot to turn them up a notch. Otherwise, comments, etc, please.

There is no reverb because I've discovered that I don't have any good program for adding reverb to the vocals. I'm asking for someone's help with that, with full credit given during submission time. Any takers?

Thanks for your help!

PS - Prometheus, if you want I can email you a version of the song, if you'd like, otherwise I'll probably throw the song up on putfile or something later tonight if you want.

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I really don't think you need to worry about the volume of the vocals...it sounds just fine to me. As for reverb, couldn't you ask Georgasmaster to do it for you? Or possibly Mythril Nazgul?

Other than the reverb, I think this is very close to being done. The low notes could still use some work, but I don't think they'll be terribly distracting if you leave them alone.

Also, this isn't a big deal, but I personally think it might sound better without the vocals at 4:08; to me it sounds like that section should be more of a peaceful instrumental interlude, so the vocals sort of intrude on the peacefulness and break the mood. The vocals at 4:29 are fine though, since the song picks back up with the drums and such. Maybe you could replace them with the ones at 4:08 or something along those lines.

I do like the additions to the solo at 2:32. The "I love you so" is a little cheesy, but I can deal with that. And the "smile" is much better. :)

This mix gets better every time, and I can't wait to hear the finished version. Keep it up!

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I really don't think you need to worry about the volume of the vocals...it sounds just fine to me. As for reverb, couldn't you ask Georgasmaster to do it for you? Or possibly Mythril Nazgul?

Georgasmaster doesn't have much in the way of reverb himself, sadly. And, no offense to Myf, but he has another mix of mine that he's yet to do something with, and that was back in Febuary! (Mind you, I entirely understand what it's like to be busy, and even be that busy, so I don't blame him or anything, I just want to get this one done a little faster :wink: )

I'll take a look at the other points you mentioned when I'm back at my own computor. Thanks for the comments!

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I really don't think you need to worry about the volume of the vocals...it sounds just fine to me. As for reverb, couldn't you ask Georgasmaster to do it for you? Or possibly Mythril Nazgul?

Georgasmaster doesn't have much in the way of reverb himself, sadly.

I find that odd, considering his accompaniment has a considerable amount of reverb itself. As for Myf...you just have to bug him a little more. :P

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I don't know what it is but this version feels so much better...I don't know haha. Everything seems to flow much better. The last couple verses were great vocally and arrangement wise.

In the beggining the na na na I love you so part. For some reason I think it would sound better if the vocal were less pronounced and sang with a more a "whisper" like voice.

All the work you guys have put into this mix is really starting to pay off, this mix just screams to be in an old john cusack 80's film :wink:

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I really don't think you need to worry about the volume of the vocals...it sounds just fine to me. As for reverb, couldn't you ask Georgasmaster to do it for you? Or possibly Mythril Nazgul?

Other than the reverb, I think this is very close to being done. The low notes could still use some work, but I don't think they'll be terribly distracting if you leave them alone.

Also, this isn't a big deal, but I personally think it might sound better without the vocals at 4:08; to me it sounds like that section should be more of a peaceful instrumental interlude, so the vocals sort of intrude on the peacefulness and break the mood. The vocals at 4:29 are fine though, since the song picks back up with the drums and such. Maybe you could replace them with the ones at 4:08 or something along those lines.

I do like the additions to the solo at 2:32. The "I love you so" is a little cheesy, but I can deal with that. And the "smile" is much better. :)

This mix gets better every time, and I can't wait to hear the finished version. Keep it up!

Dhsu is dead on, as usual. I would add my support for removing the "I love you so" lines, they're just too cheesy.

It's getting better, much better than the original vocals. And the background is awesome. Great background.

The vocals are at their best in the end, somehow they fit better there than elsewhere... or maybe that's just me finally getting used to them. The lyrics are a bit too pap for me to love, but the phrasing is very nice.

In any case, glad to see you're working on this mix still, it's going some good places.

EDIT: You know, despite myself... I actually like the lyrics. So I wouldn't reccomend changing them. Even the "I love so" lines, which used to make me cringe, are growing on me. But only the first one. I think the ending line is too weak as is.

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I really don't think you need to worry about the volume of the vocals...it sounds just fine to me. As for reverb, couldn't you ask Georgasmaster to do it for you? Or possibly Mythril Nazgul?

Other than the reverb, I think this is very close to being done. The low notes could still use some work, but I don't think they'll be terribly distracting if you leave them alone.

Also, this isn't a big deal, but I personally think it might sound better without the vocals at 4:08; to me it sounds like that section should be more of a peaceful instrumental interlude, so the vocals sort of intrude on the peacefulness and break the mood. The vocals at 4:29 are fine though, since the song picks back up with the drums and such. Maybe you could replace them with the ones at 4:08 or something along those lines.

I do like the additions to the solo at 2:32. The "I love you so" is a little cheesy, but I can deal with that. And the "smile" is much better. :)

This mix gets better every time, and I can't wait to hear the finished version. Keep it up!

Dhsu is dead on, as usual. I would add my support for removing the "I love you so" lines, they're just too cheesy.

It's getting better, much better than the original vocals. And the background is awesome. Great background.

The vocals are at their best in the end, somehow they fit better there than elsewhere... or maybe that's just me finally getting used to them. The lyrics are a bit too pap for me to love, but the phrasing is very nice.

In any case, glad to see you're working on this mix still, it's going some good places.

EDIT: You know, despite myself... I actually like the lyrics. So I wouldn't reccomend changing them. Even the "I love so" lines, which used to make me cringe, are growing on me. But only the first one. I think the ending line is too weak as is.

Thanks, glad to know people actually do like it, cheesy lyrics and all :)

What do you mean about the last line? The "I love you..." with the fade? Any suggestions?

I think I might bring down the volume of the 'off' section as Avaris suggested, but I'll have to see, since I did already send out the lyrics to a couple of people, so it might be difficult/annoying to change things now.

Thanks for everyone's comments though, I'm actually feeling confident in this mix!

EDIT: ^That's a lie, I'm still gonna be like the guy in this picture ('cept I'm a girl...)

http://www.ocremix.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=91063&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

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