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Pokemon Silver/Gold - Route 27


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https://soundcloud.com/tesonael/pg-en-route27

 

 

Just something I've been working on for a bit. It originally started as a light orchestration before turning into a violin and trumpet duet. It leans on the conservative side, with the goal of staying close and true to the source while developing a personality of it's own. To that end, I decided to keep it relatively short and to the point.

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Updated the mix. I've made quite a few changes, including:

 

*Panned the violin a bit closer to the center - it felt a little too distant.

*Various timing adjustments - the whole mix feels a bit tighter now, but (hopefully) not stiff

*Added a couple new counter melodies to help certain parts of the mix stand out a bit more.

 

The trumpet seems a bit quiet to me, so I may turn it up a bit. The cymbals vary a bit, but usually seem too loud and/or stand out. I'll have to look into those as well. I believe I'll expand some of the brass elements a bit more to even the mix out a bit. The lower end(low bass specifically) is lacking and needs some attention too, I think.

 

 

Thoughts or opinions?

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The orchestration is somewhat hollow-sounding. It kind of has a hole in the low-mids. There's already timpani there, but it's not enough to make this sound full enough.

 

That aside, another concern I have for this is that there is a lack of cohesion between the instruments' reverb. The trumpet in the intro is quite dry, and the violin is a tad dry too (the harp is fine). As a result, they stick out too much and it doesn't really sound like they're in the same room. The percussion is OK, but I think tightening up the rhythm made it too stiff.

 

1:52 is also weird. I can hear the trumpet somehow phasing. 2:01 is quite bare, and you can hear it's pretty much trumpet + timpani + violin. It needs more of a low end padding to fill the soundscape, like with legato cello and contrabass. Maybe some viola in there would help.

 

Lastly, the arrangement is rather conservative and follows the original pretty closely (at least, besides 1:39 - 1:51, for example).

 

Overall, I would say the main issues would be conservative arrangement, the low-midrange is not present enough throughout the mix, and the trumpet and violin are too dry and are sticking out too much. The arrangement can be more creative and incorporate more interesting directions (just try not to stray too far away from the source).

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You're right about it sounding hollow - it was originally going to be pretty bare-bones, but at the moment I've left plenty of room for other parts. Too much room, more likely. It comes across as a decent enough soundscape on standard headphones, but I've now noticed that on pretty much anything else(from higher end stereo headphones to PC speakers) it's lacking, so that will likely be the next thing I improve. I'll most likely incorporate a low brass ensemble to help out a bit. Right now there's a lead trumpet with a small trombone and trumpet ensemble that are a bit too quiet. I'm partial to keeping the first verse/chorus a bit light, though. The ending was intentionally bare, but there's really no reason to leave it that way.

 

I'll be going over the violin and trumpet and adjusting the reverb to blend them in a bit better. The violin's volume was also a bit high, which only made that issue more noticeable. Regarding the phasing, the issue appears to be with the trumpet portion of the brass ensemble coming in behind the lead trumpet. I've toned it down a bit and the phasing seems to be gone now - that's something I should've caught earlier.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to give me some constructive feedback - A lot of this is stuff I'm still new to, and it really helps me out.

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Updated.

 

https://soundcloud.com/katallen-12/pg-en-route27

 

I've adjusted the reverb a fair bit to help blend certain instruments better. I've also adjusted some of the counter melodies, harmonies, etc along with the volume of some of the lesser heard parts. And given my poor trumpet player a rightful turn in the limelight. Most of the mixing has been done on a pair of BX5a studio monitors alongside a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones. I have yet to test this on a variety of devices(outside of a cheap pair of earbuds, which sounded about as good as cheap earbuds will sound).

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At the very beginning, to me it feels odd to have the trumpet playing, but no other brass (as far as I can tell). I recall that you do have other brass samples, and I hear some of that at 1:14 (trombone and french horn could work there). Perhaps work towards making this part more of an ensemble sound in the intro. I'm guessing that's a solo trumpet, which could explain the apparent feel of it being one voice instead of multiple voices. I understand if you want it to be like a violin/trumpet duet or something, for balance purposes.

 

I do like how the trumpet trades off with the violin on the melody at 0:40 - 0:55. I think you could play with that a bit more and have the trumpet harmonize with the violin at 0:45 - 0:55. ;) At 1:01 - 1:04, perhaps change those 4 descending notes, because I think it's out of the key (seems like you are playing a major scale over a minor chord?). At 1:12 - 1:28, I might be hearing a... is that a chanting choir? xD

 

Does your trumpet sample have any other articulations? I think if you use the "blatty" tone (the strong one you are using most right now) less often, it could help on the realism since it seems like a tone you get when you blow hard. For example, you could use a softer tone on softer parts, like at 1:44 - 1:58, or blend it a little more with the ensemble brass. The phasing's gone! :) I have that violin library, by the way, and I like how it sounds here.

 

So, this definitely improved! Sounds fuller too. I still like that harp!

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At the very beginning, to me it feels odd to have the trumpet playing, but no other brass (as far as I can tell). I recall that you do have other brass samples, and I hear some of that at 1:14 (trombone and french horn could work there). Perhaps work towards making this part more of an ensemble sound in the intro.

 

 

Yep, I've actually been thinking about that. It was originally like that because of the lack of any brass presence outside the lead trumpet, and it felt odd having a strong brass intro followed by a complete lack of brass. In hindsight I should have thought "Why not add more brass?" instead of "There's not enough brass for that to work". It'll probably be the next change. I think I'll go for a more bombastic intro.

 

 

 

I do like how the trumpet trades off with the violin on the melody at 0:40 - 0:55. I think you could play with that a bit more and have the trumpet harmonize with the violin at 0:45 - 0:55. ;) At 1:01 - 1:04, perhaps change those 4 descending notes, because I think it's out of the key (seems like you are playing a major scale over a minor chord?). At 1:12 - 1:28, I might be hearing a... is that a chanting choir? xD

 

Haha, yeah. I've been having a terrible idea with creativity and that's exactly what I did. Major over minor. While it clashes somewhat, I (at the time) enjoyed how it sounded and wanted to get a little feedback. I personally think it works to an extent and doesn't clash enough to harm the melody, but I'm open to feedback and realize It could still use some adjustments.

 

And yes, that is indeed a chanting choir. Still trying to blend it in and out, though. It was there before, just not prominent enough to be noticeable. I'm not sure how much I like it at this point. I feel it does add a certain amount of epic to that segment, but I get this feeling that it's still missing something.

 

 

 

Does your trumpet sample have any other articulations? I think if you use the "blatty" tone (the strong one you are using most right now) less often, it could help on the realism since it seems like a tone you get when you blow hard. For example, you could use a softer tone on softer parts, like at 1:44 - 1:58, or blend it a little more with the ensemble brass. The phasing's gone! :) I have that violin library, by the way, and I like how it sounds here.

 

Quite a few. Crescendos, flutes, mordents, graces, staccatos, valve flutters. You name it and it's probably there. I'm still getting down all the keyswitches though. That's always given me trouble. I should certainly put it all to more use, though. The most common articulation used in this mix is simply called "sustained warm". So far I've only used a few key switches in the song - Most notably the flute trills during the intro, and the more obvious staccatos throughout the song. I should be able to spice it up a bit more.

 

 

 

I still like that harp!

 

Indeed! I do love me some harp arps! Advanced Orchestra's harp sample is pretty awesome as well. And the Friedlander Violin is probably the best purchase I've made. The amount of detail and quality(when I use it right!) is insane for the price(and the Kontakt Player compatibility).

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Updated again.

 

As suggested by timaeus I've made the brass a bit more prominent, along with giving them a bigger part in the intro. There is more brass presence throughout the song as well, along with a contrabass ensemble to help fill it out a bit. The percussion had a few tweaks in regards to rhythm, but nothing too noticeable at this point. I'm open to suggestions to how the current percussion could be improved and expanded, as it's currently lacking quite a bit. The cymbals in particular aren't quite as I'd like them, and I'm having trouble finding a suitable VST or library that fits the sound well.

 

Still working on improving the lead trumpet and violin harmonies. I haven't had much inspiration in that area yet.

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