Best Dude55

Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire - Surfing Theme Orchestration

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Hello everyone! I decided to make an account here so that I could really get serious about improving my remixes, so I'm starting off by posting a recent orchestration I did of the surfing theme from pokemon ruby/sapphire.

 

Mainly, I'm looking for feedback about the quality of sound. I'm still not very good at making unique arrangements, but I've been trying to work on it. I think I could use work on things like mastering/dynamics and such, but tips on anything would be appreciated!

 

Here's a link to the newest version of the remix: http://tindeck.com/listen/xfank

 

..and here's a link to the source in case you haven't heard it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMumv8yML-Q

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I like the vibraphone section! This is one of my favorite source tunes.

What sample libraries are you using? Your brass and percussion seem off. 

When writing parts for different instruments, try to keep in mind how an actual person would play that instrument--particularly in regards to things like breathing patterns, hand motions and the strength of each note as a result of those two.

I don't know about starting an orchestration with a synth, and never having that synth play again until the end. In an atmosphere of what's supposed to be real instruments, the lone synth stands out. I'm sure you could make it work, but right now it feels out of place, at least for me.

Keep working on this :-)

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Thanks for the feedback!

 

As for libraries, I'm using what I have in Nexus for everything but the tom and cymbal roll. I'd like to upgrade to a more suitable vst for orchestra, but I just don't have the money to upgrade right now and Nexus is the best I have.

 

I'll also definitely look at things like phrasing and adding more dynamic contrast. Listening to it again it does feel kind of flat and stagnant. Maybe some subtle accents on count 1 since it is in 3/4?

 

As for the synth, I suppose I was trying to get a kind of gentle intro that leads to the strings, but I could definitely replace it with another mallet instrument to get the same feel that will keep it consistent.

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There's muddiness in the bass from that... clicky percussion sound. What is that, a kick or tom drum or something? In general there's reverb washiness and bass muddiness overall, and kind of an overuse of the cymbal. Also, I don't hear any automation swells on the brass or strings. Everyone wants to play at a constant volume I suppose. It's unrealistic that way, though.

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I had some time to work on it a bit more today! Here's a link to the newest version: http://tindeck.com/listen/fkbgb

 

In the beginning I changed the synth to a piano to keep the orchestral theme. The drum is indeed a tom, it was the most fitting drum I could find in my (pretty bad) collection of drum soundfonts. I tried making it so that it has a better sound, but I'm not sure what else I can do besides adjusting the equalizer for it. I also tried toning down the reverb a bit in some of the instruments to see if that helped. Also went through and tried adding a bit of dynamic contrast here and there with the velocities and volumes. Lastly, I took out some of the cymbal crashes that seemed to frequent the the latter half of each section.

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It does sound improved! :) It's not super realistic, and it sounds looped, but it's definitely one of the better free-soundfont orchestral remixes I've heard. As for the cymbal, I kinda wish you could have found some sort of cymbal roll to vary up the type of cymbal hits you have going on. That way it doesn't sound like the cymbalist is waltzing around playing like he/she was in a marching band. :lol:

 

What if you just replaced the tom with an orchestral snare?

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Yeah, actually the strings and brass are from the nexus vst, but they definitely don't sound as real as I would like. It's probably the most frustrating part of making remixes for me, since I really want better sounding strings and such but don't have the money to get a good orchestra vst because of college payments.

 

I do have one cymbal roll that was used at the beginning that I could potentially use in other places to vary it up, I'll try it out. Also, I could switch the tom over to a snare, but I might have to change up the rhythm because the one I have now would probably sound pretty boring played on a snare. Might be a while 'til I get a new version done, since finals week is next week and I've gotta study, but thanks for the feedback and suggestions!

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I really like this! If you don't mind me asking, what is your DAW? inb4 "FL Studio"

Yeah, there could be a little more humanization on the percussion (coming from a percussionist :P). Like many things, trying to humanize percussion parts can be a pain in the ass, especially rolls because often, rolls aren't exactly in time (a roll lasting two beats might consist of twelve individual strikes of a marimba bar, or maybe only ten. Maybe a roll will speed up at the end, or slow down in the middle. Yay, expression!). However, this is a very, very good start. Keep this up!

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Thanks! I've used FL studio for all of my stuff, it's a good program!

 

Also, I'll be going home from college soon so I might stop by my high school and talk to the percussion instructor that taught my band. He might have some tips on what makes good percussion performances that I can implement into my remixes!

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Hmm, seeing how I keep working on this track maybe I shouldn't have tagged it 'finished' :P

 

Anyway, I've been procrastinating on studying and worked on it some more. Here's a new version: http://tindeck.com/listen/vcepv

 

Some things I've changed:

-I changed the tom to a snare drum. I feel the rhythm definitely still needs work, and the roll sounds a bit awkward as it's really the only snare roll I could find. But like I said above, I'm gonna talk to my high school percussion instructor and get some percussion tips to try and improve it.

-I also changed some parts in the second half to try to get some more original arrangement out of it. It's not much, but I figured I'd give it a shot and step out of my comfort zone.

-Messed with some more general equalizer stuff to try and improve the sound a bit more (Like I said in the OP, I'm still not great at mastering so hopefully it helped, but please let me know if it sucks now)

-I put in some cymbal rolls to try and add some to the buildups into new sections

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Ah, no wonder the notes don't sound that detached; synth strings/brass are fairly good about that. :) While it's not particularly realistic, it does help you avoid the lack of realism you would get if you had notes that sounded like they didn't connect, and that's a fairly common issue from what I've heard.

 

I agree with Anorax, I think the snare rolls worked. I also hear that you reworked the melody on the repeat, and you had some new and good chord progressions near the end of it too, which is definitely a step forward. Nice work!

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Cool, I'm glad you like the snare change!

 

Just a quick question though, as I'm still new to the whole 'upper level' remixing. What do you think I should do to take this to the next level? I know you had said the changes are a step in the right direction, but I'm kinda lost now as to what I could work on to really make it polished and great. I really wanna make these remixes the best they could be, but I just feel like I've hit a wall with where to go next :/

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The next "level" would be to decide what orchestral library best suits you and your budget, if you want to keep doing more orchestral music, and what you would need to use them (Kontakt 5, for example, is necessary to run Kontakt 5+-only orchestral sample libraries).

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Ah, that's what I was kinda afraid of hearing :/

I'm in a position now where every dollar I make goes to my school tuition and housing, so probably getting those nice VSTs isn't gonna be viable for a while. 

 

I suppose I'll just have to make the best of what I have for now then, thanks a bunch for all the previous tips though!

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Hello again! So I ran across some good fortune and managed to get the philharmonik orchestra VST! So with that, I took another stab at this thing. There are some pros and cons. 

 

Pros: the instruments actually sound realistic in this VST, so awesome!

 

Cons: I'm still getting used to using it, so there's a good chance that there will be more issues in this WIP than in my last post. However it would be super awesome if you could help me out! I've also had a kinda long break from music, so that might show in there too :/

 

Anyway, here's the link to the newest version: http://tindeck.com/listen/yllnk

Thank you!

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Sooo I was on my computer today and decided to work on this a bit more. I tried to add just a few woodwinds in some sections that sounded mainly string dominated to try to give a more complete sound, and I also reduced the reverb in the bass instruments because it seemed like it was making it sound kinda... ech.

 

Mainly little touch ups, but hopefully it moved it in the right direction!

http://tindeck.com/listen/xfank

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Nice touch ups! This is coming out very nicely. I can't see the timestamp on tindeck, but in the second section after the first pizzicato section you can hear the rigid automation in the strings, particularly during the faster bits.

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