SJTR5

Chaos Factory - Chemical Plant (Zone 2) Sonic The Hedgehog 2

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Mixer: SJTR5
Real Name: Jacob Sohler
Email: spyjakered5@gmail.com

Game: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Arrangement: Zone 2 - Chaos Factory
Song: Chemical Plant Zone

Original source:

 
** Hello! Completely new to OCR, looked at a lot of forums, and ready to improve.
I do realize there's a lot of chemical plant remixes, and they all sound awesome! Once I first played "Sonic the Hedgehog 3" I heard two different versions for one area(which got me excited for new music material!).
What got me questioning this zone is what if chemical plant had a version 2 in zone 2?
Would we explore the insides of the plants, city, and factories; just like Sandopolis finding the hidden temple and starting zone 2?

Please! Bash some good stuff, and terrible stuff. what worked? what wrecked? need suggestions, don't know what to tweak anymore, here is an mp3 I mixed.
I wish to give the best satisfaction and quality! **

***I decided to start over this project (not a whole lot) with different plan than the first, it went from an experiment of progressions to some moments I thought of sharing.

This new approach to chemical plant had me inspired for what i really can't define EDM but also chip tune? complex chords, speeding up slowing down, simple rhythms to hemiola metering,  mixing in that sega synth yamaha and FLstudio 11 harmor, this is a unique take of the Chaos Factory!***
I just wanna say, Thank you All review after review for a year (WHEN IS HE GONNA STOP!!!). I came into OC with a thought of "these mixes are so cool!!" seeing all kinds, and as I tackled this project through out this year I wanted try a different approach to 'Chiptune' with an interpretation if it was "breathing". ?? ... ??? what? I honestly can't stand songs that are loud the entire time or doing the same thing, as stubborn as I'll be doing this project, I wanna be different. I hope my interpretation of Chemical plant is as different sounding as it is from others. key changing, loud to soft/vice-versa, speed up, crazy rudimental rhythms (being a percussion player, Why not!!??). Not against what to fix, or how to stand out!

Recent update


https://soundcloud.com/jacob-sohler-1/zone-2-factory-work the old WIP
 

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I agree some great ideas. I really enjoy some of the synth choices and the way the in-game sound effects have their little "percussive" moments. I just find some of the notes in the beginning either don't fit or are out of tune. Things get much better as the track goes along though. Keep working on it.

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I agree some great ideas. I really enjoy some of the synth choices and the way the in-game sound effects have their little "percussive" moments. I just find some of the notes in the beginning either don't fit or are out of tune. Things get much better as the track goes along though. Keep working on it.

The update - Which Instrument? piano synth or square 

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Final update! unless someones ears pick up something unusual let me know.

I finally got to mess with the production filling some reverb, EQ, and others that made it sound even better.

(sorry, took it down)

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Um, does your bass have reverb? I'm pretty sure I hear something like it at 0:08, and I... don't ever hear bass with reverb, honestly, because it adds extra low end ambience that clutters the mixdown below 200 Hz. Also, and more importantly, the piano in the beginning sounds plunky (in other words, like someone played with one finger the whole time), and the FL Slayer instance coming soon after just immediately makes me wonder, "what did you intend for this soundscape?".

 

There are also some pretty resonant sounds every few seconds in the more energetic sections (pretty much, everywhere except 3:29 - 4:00). You said you have more reverb now? I don't think it really helped enough, unfortunately, because those resonant sounds still hurt. I think you should try reducing the resonance on everything that has a resonance knob, and lower the volume of the entire remix by about 2 dB.

 

Overall, the things I would say are most important are that the guitar and piano samples aren't very convincing as realistic samples (did you adjust the velocity timings or values at all?), and the mix as a whole feels very painful above 2000 Hz. I would suggest perhaps practicing with EQing by sight (brighter on the Parametric EQ 2 means louder), and that may help. You did have some good spots where the energy level changes to relax the listener a bit before getting back into the action, but I had to skip around every time I heard a resonant sound to not cringe, which was every few seconds, so I didn't get to hear much of that. :/ What headphones are you using (e.g. AKG K240, Grado SR-60i, Sony MDR-V6, etc)? That's probably influencing a lot of your EQ and sound-selection decisions.

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On 6/21/2015 at 7:37 PM, timaeus222 said:

Um, does your bass have reverb? I'm pretty sure I hear something like it at 0:08, and I... don't ever hear bass with reverb, honestly, because it adds extra low end ambience that clutters the mixdown below 200 Hz. Also, and more importantly, the piano in the beginning sounds plunky (in other words, like someone played with one finger the whole time), and the FL Slayer instance coming soon after just immediately makes me wonder, "what did you intend for this soundscape?".

 

There are also some pretty resonant sounds every few seconds in the more energetic sections (pretty much, everywhere except 3:29 - 4:00). You said you have more reverb now? I don't think it really helped enough, unfortunately, because those resonant sounds still hurt. I think you should try reducing the resonance on everything that has a resonance knob, and lower the volume of the entire remix by about 2 dB.

 

Overall, the things I would say are most important are that the guitar and piano samples aren't very convincing as realistic samples (did you adjust the velocity timings or values at all?), and the mix as a whole feels very painful above 2000 Hz. I would suggest perhaps practicing with EQing by sight (brighter on the Parametric EQ 2 means louder), and that may help. You did have some good spots where the energy level changes to relax the listener a bit before getting back into the action, but I had to skip around every time I heard a resonant sound to not cringe, which was every few seconds, so I didn't get to hear much of that. :/ What headphones are you using (e.g. AKG K240, Grado SR-60i, Sony MDR-V6, etc)? That's probably influencing a lot of your EQ and sound-selection decisions.

 

in order of questions and fixes:

master track did have reverb Now a select amount. Piano "plunky" did adjustments mostly on attack and release. Fl slayer the instrument was something I liked, but it did wake me up realizing my overall soundscape throughout the track (instrument is definitely different).

Now this time I left the Reverb basic to get input (the idea was the sound inside a machine room).

 

Beforehand I did mess with velocity timing is now messed with not very much, mostly piano I thought was not as convincing (since you mentioned it). EQ was the main fix I focused on! The headphones ... I know something would not end well, I had the small ear buds at the moment. I immediately went on a search for bigger headphones (over the ear preferred, Yamaha is the brand but it doesn't give the model name). of how stupid I feel when I listened to 3.0 ... truth hurts me, but a definite fix.

Anything else I should look at?
Thank you so much! you made my day learning what to fix. This information I know is not for this song, but for future songs I want to share. again thank you so much!

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Here's a summary of the main things I would look at:

- Multiple different tempos (I didn't mention this earlier, but it sounded like you switched tempos a few times without signaling it first)

- Clashing harmonies (again, didn't mention earlier but it's there; it sounds like your backing instrumentation has chords in a different key to the leading instrumentation)

- Loudness of certain instruments (like your synth lead playing the Chemical Plant Zone melody and the slap bass VST)

- Checking reverb amounts

- Minimizing the amount of EQ overboosts

- Checking velocity magnitudes and timing offsets to reduce stiffness and improve realism

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On 6/25/2015 at 10:32 AM, timaeus222 said:

Here's a summary of the main things I would look at:

- Multiple different tempos (I didn't mention this earlier, but it sounded like you switched tempos a few times without signaling it first)

- Clashing harmonies (again, didn't mention earlier but it's there; it sounds like your backing instrumentation has chords in a different key to the leading instrumentation)

- Loudness of certain instruments (like your synth lead playing the Chemical Plant Zone melody and the slap bass VST)

- Checking reverb amounts

- Minimizing the amount of EQ overboosts

- Checking velocity magnitudes and timing offsets to reduce stiffness and improve realism

What I looked at and maybe a question with it:
- Multiple different tempos  | Yes there is a tempo change (110 - 94), now there's a decel to the swing. the build up starts to accel (94 going 160), with the drums picking up regular tempo(110). I'm Feeling stupid again, but signaling? giving the audience time to hear time?
- Clashing harmonies | there was a tuning problem before when I added the pitch track, but I still looked at the clashes (now it's why I started E key instead of Db).
- Loudness of certain instruments | Not only did I turn down the 2 instruments you asked, I also balanced out the samples and other instruments.
- Checking reverb amounts | some samples and instruments got reverb and have been adjusted (again the idea being in a machine room).
- Minimizing the amount of EQ overboosts| Definitely, lowest(20) and highest(10,000) fade out quick. getting more middle sounds than the low or high (without having to cringe)
- Checking velocity magnitudes and timing offsets to reduce stiffness and improve realism| The most time fixing and I do have a question with this. Magnitudes I definitely knew what to mess with, Timing offset I did a little just to get the dirt feel (I'm assuming this is a good thing). question on timing, Is that ok for almost clean downbeats? or am I missing something?

I Think this is awesome, "I do know" there is something else I probably forgot or overlooked. is there anything else (besides what was asked above)?

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With the tempo comment, what I mean is that sudden tempo switches can throw people off guard. It takes time to ease into a new tempo, and I personally don't do many tempo changes because I think it's hard to make it work without raising eyebrows.

 

With timings, YMMV; with nonphysical instruments I don't mind as much, but with realistic instruments, stiff timing highlights how sampled they are, and even slightly random timing in either direction (a few ms) helps.

 

Besides what I mentioned, I don't have anything else to mention; maybe it doesn't seem like much, but I think it's enough to last you if you keep referring back to this list and seeing if any of these still are issues.

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MOD REVIEW

Sound effect! Woot! I likes me some sound effects - not even kidding, I can't make a Sonic mix without em'.

The whole mix sounds pretty quite, though. There just doesn't seem to be anything filling the track past the melody and the bass. The whole arrangement sounds hollow, because of this. That square is quite piercing, which almost hurts in contrast to everything else. The bass actually is really awesome (lots of play with it throughout), but it seems to be fading in and out, which is just distracting.

The fading in and out seems to be occurring throughout the track in almost all of its parts (not just the bass), so the effect is much more pronounced and distracting. Unless you're going for a particular effect, I would leave the larger volume envelopes alone.

The arrangement doesn't seem to have any organization. The source is there, and it's creatively interpreted, but it's just... hard to follow. The lack of structure is distracting.

I enjoyed the bass and a lot of the effects you used, but I don't think this would pass if you were to submit it.

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version 3.3
Mod update - 

 

On 7/16/2015 at 0:12 PM, Gario said:

MOD REVIEW

Sound effect! Woot! I likes me some sound effects - not even kidding, I can't make a Sonic mix without em'.

The whole mix sounds pretty quite, though. There just doesn't seem to be anything filling the track past the melody and the bass. The whole arrangement sounds hollow, because of this. That square is quite piercing, which almost hurts in contrast to everything else. The bass actually is really awesome (lots of play with it throughout), but it seems to be fading in and out, which is just distracting.

The fading in and out seems to be occurring throughout the track in almost all of its parts (not just the bass), so the effect is much more pronounced and distracting. Unless you're going for a particular effect, I would leave the larger volume envelopes alone.

The arrangement doesn't seem to have any organization. The source is there, and it's creatively interpreted, but it's just... hard to follow. The lack of structure is distracting.

I enjoyed the bass and a lot of the effects you used, but I don't think this would pass if you were to submit it.

Fading effect has been simplified to help structure (exceptions in some parts).
Genesis square is messed with, it did have a little bass attack (not anymore) and is also filtered a little (not when ears hurt).
Structure - Melody is placed again here and there instead of a solo. I do have a question though, with the material that's played is there too much Material? My goal for some songs is keep the viewer interested with some new material, rather than drag out a whole phrase playing the same thing. again too much material?

what has changed - 
intro like the ending, melody Not a solo, compression and a small eq boost (around 7.5k) to heighten the compression, a decel at the end (I personally like it).

Thank you so much for this review!
preferred help on structure and others if possible, what can I fix?

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https://soundcloud.com/jacob-sohler-1/chemical-plant-factory-work-40

( really it should've been 4.1, oh well it happened. )

Sound effects have been placed left to right, tempo went up 6 clicks in the 2nd repeat, and the melody is placed here and there for sequencing.

Just like my last posts question -

 

preferred help on structure and others if possible, what can I fix?

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lots of stuff changed and added.
plugins 1st - compressor has been tweeked here and there, not wanting to go too far with low or high mainly mid, a Chorus and Flanger were added for that underwater sound.
sound effects 2nd - ambiance is placed before and after the choruses.
music 3rd - Build up has a slight pause no drums but bass with the release into the bass feature/solo (it feels short but worth it). tempo has a slight change after 1st chorus only 10 clicks from 110 - 100.
The other part musically didn't mention at sound cloud, melody is repeated but the harmony does change. also some features have changed from syncopated Hits to unison hits.
build up is now drowning sound instead of the chemical plant song (and the lead in to 2nd playthrough).

I'm pretty much stuck at this point, don't know what else to fix. my main question is structure, is it easy to follow?
i'm open for suggestions as usual. I'll try mod review again the next 2 weeks or so.

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more like next month, well college is crazy, but not stopping me.
The maximus compressor tweaked stereo splits and merges, and adding stereo shapers for the instruments at hand.
as simple as that, I'm gonna try mod review again, mostly worried about structure.

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Sound effects. Great. Not a fan of them, most of the time. They're annoying. There's some cool rhythmic uses of them here, but not enough to make me like them. Not everyone will.

 

The melodic parts here are really loud. If they're high pitched, they already cut through a lot, so they don't need to be as loud. The many shrill, ringing things could be less so. It also sounds like the track is missing mid-range instrumentation. Though the bass get rather high at times, something in the mid range would probably help with the balance.

 

Sound design seems to draw a lot from the fm synthesis of the original. Cool. It runs the risk of being cheap sound design, but I think it's a cohesive sound design aesthetic, so I don't mind.

 

Structurally, this track is all over the place. On the whole, the sound design and recurring elements keep it together. Source is there, and I like the arrangement. But there are parts where it feels a bit aimless. The big change at 2:02-2:12 is one of the stranger parts of the track, but it soon finds some familiar elements again so I don't think it's a big problem. A more clear direction might help, but that's difficult to create out of an existing arrangement without messing it up.

 

Mixing is a mess. I have concerns about other parts, and I don't like sound effects, but I don't think the other things are problematic to the extent the mixing is.

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https://soundcloud.com/jacob-sohler-1/chemical-plant-genesis-factory

AAAAAAAnd another month goes by. A long break due to learning a lot on music theory (specifically chord progressions), and more coming to mind.
Major changes are the intro, more repeating elements but still new material, a 16 bit layout besides the saw and drumset. sadly still learning my way around mixing (since my 5th song edit), I have an EQ boosting mostly mid range and to help with some phrasing (the chorus high range changes). compression! for stereo seperation: high=25% mid=15% and bass is not separated; also same idea mid range has a boost.

question - what category would this song go in? i put in chiptype, because a lot of mixed reactions were "it's not EDM, but it's also not chiptune"
                 is there something i'm not hearing? please let me know and thank you.

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New song! wow, so much change... I love it, i really am learning a lot. Thanks to all sharing feedback I've grown a lot of knowledge. now for this song, anything i need to tweak? 

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This is marked for eval, and you haven't received one for the most recent version, either because the tag was only recently set, or because we evaluators didn't catch it. Are you still looking for an evaluation?

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For the record, unlike Gario, I don't like sound effects. This is a mess of sound effects. Surprisingly, I don't terribly mind them, once the track gets going. That's successful integration of sound effects into the track.

The sound seems like a combination of sounds ripped from the game and simplistic synth design. It's not mixed well, both in terms of levels and frequency balance and placement. The sound design gets better as the track goes on. Sometimes I wonder if the ripped sounds were mapped to the right key, as parts like 1:25 and 2:13 seems to clash badly, but I can't tell to what extent that's a writing problem or a instrument tuning/mapping problem (either can be solved in the writing). A chiptune-y aesthetic is fine, but it still has to be mixed better. I suggest you work on creating some expression in the leads especially.

The arrangement pretty cool. The beginning, in part because of the mixing problems, sounds newby, and the ending drags on for quite long. That aside, it develops well, and has some really nice moments, many in the intense 3:00-4:00 area. There's bits of the arrangement that bring to mind the tracker scene, little snippets of melody that does very tracker-y things. The writing is full of references to the source, and I think I heard some other Sonic sources as well in there. Arrangement-wise, I'm a little concerned about the beginning and the long end, but the middle is done well.

Still, I wouldn't be comfortable passing this if I was a judge, mostly for the mixing. There's things about the arrangement and sound design to complain about, sure, but it's the mixing that's the big problem here. Get your track levels in order, and use EQ and reverb to give each track its own space in the mix.

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Update!!

On 4/3/2016 at 10:17 AM, Rozovian said:

For the record, unlike Gario, I don't like sound effects. This is a mess of sound effects. Surprisingly, I don't terribly mind them, once the track gets going. That's successful integration of sound effects into the track.

The sound seems like a combination of sounds ripped from the game and simplistic synth design. It's not mixed well, both in terms of levels and frequency balance and placement. The sound design gets better as the track goes on. Sometimes I wonder if the ripped sounds were mapped to the right key, as parts like 1:25 and 2:13 seems to clash badly, but I can't tell to what extent that's a writing problem or a instrument tuning/mapping problem (either can be solved in the writing). A chiptune-y aesthetic is fine, but it still has to be mixed better. I suggest you work on creating some expression in the leads especially.

The arrangement pretty cool. The beginning, in part because of the mixing problems, sounds newby, and the ending drags on for quite long. That aside, it develops well, and has some really nice moments, many in the intense 3:00-4:00 area. There's bits of the arrangement that bring to mind the tracker scene, little snippets of melody that does very tracker-y things. The writing is full of references to the source, and I think I heard some other Sonic sources as well in there. Arrangement-wise, I'm a little concerned about the beginning and the long end, but the middle is done well.

Still, I wouldn't be comfortable passing this if I was a judge, mostly for the mixing. There's things about the arrangement and sound design to complain about, sure, but it's the mixing that's the big problem here. Get your track levels in order, and use EQ and reverb to give each track its own space in the mix.

1st paragraph: Sweet!! Thank You!!

2nd paragraph: Yes, Basically mimicking the genesis. they all got reverb (well some of them), EQ, compression, individual leveling for dynamics as well. I also went and tuned the sound effects (never came to mind, but it really made a difference). Writing was changed in some spots keeping in mind what you mentioned. My big question was *expression with lead* do you mean flavoring, dynamics, velocity timings (or all the above)?

3rd paragraph: my main question- Tracker Scene??? (i honestly don't know what the reference is... i'm too young), should i source reference those as well (it's a little of: title, bonus, chaoz emerald)? definitely tackled what to do for ending, and begining, i just changed them completely if that's all right, also amplified some parts in the middle as well.

final paragraph: overall question-how is the EQ, reverb, compression, and writing in general? I automated the compression for turning on and off for both old and new synths and a little for dynamic purposes.

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