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Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Ice Cap Zone


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  • 2 months later...

This is a good base to build off of for sure. I think all the synth leads shouldn't be sidechained/pumping, though, and they could be less piercing in the upper treble. I like sidechaining as much as the next guy, but I just don't like it on leads. Also, the beginning up until 1:27 made me think that it wasn't intentional that it wasn't already full blast. For instance, 0:17 sounded like the drop already. Maybe make the beginning sound more intentional by using lighter drums until the drop (low pass them? Gate them? Both? Lighter drum samples in general?). In other words, I think you should put more work into the dynamics evoked by the drums to increase the dynamic range.

When we get to the actual drop, some of the actual aggressive components don't seem cohesive with the bass. The bass at 1:34 - 1:35 is really narrow and almost sounds like it was recorded with a low-fidelity microphone. Same with the guitar at 1:36 - 1:37. I also think the sidechained detuned synth padding can be low-passed a bit to make it less harsh in the upper treble.

The interpretation of the original is pretty evidently there, but maybe it's too liberal. For example, the chord at 1:40 and the one right after it sound the same, when the original Ice Cap resolved a tension by moving a note in the chord upwards (0:04 - 0:05). Little things like that can make Ice Cap more identifiable. While it's good to incorporate your own writing, try to balance it with the original so the original is still present enough.

Overall, on production, try working more on the drums to create a more nuanced dynamic range, refining the elements accompanying the glitch hop basses to be similar in fidelity, reducing the harshness in the EQ of the sidechained pad, and experimenting with new synth lead sounds. On arrangement, try making it closer to the original in your improvisations.

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Starts off very cool. I've good high hopes for this track. :D

The lows are a bit too loud to be balanced. By comparison, the rest of the track is a little quiet, and trying to up the levels have left the track overcompressed. I can hear the compressor pushing down the other sound to make room for the low stuff.
The right-hand electric piano writing is great. The left not so much. It's an interesting juxtaposition, jazzy epiano and brutal synths. I like the concept, and the variety of synth stuff in here (chip arp!). But the execution leans rather heavily on the synth side of things, making the epiano stand out as a little out of place. Emphasizing it in the mix might help. Emphasizing the juxtaposition might be good for the arrangement overall, too. Right now, the track rarely goes full-on jazz, but certainly goes full-on synthtastic.
I can hear the source through most of the track. Source version, original writing on source chords, source version... It's not the most elaborate arrangement, but it doesn't have to be. Most other iterations of that melody are rather conservative, but I think my favorite take on the source is around 2:05, as it dares to take liberties with the melody without sounding forced. The intro did something like that too. Otherwise, you're straddling the line between verbatim and forced deviation.
It's not easy to figure out what to do with a melody. As a piece of advice for future remixes, dare to mess with the chords and rhythms, since that'll lead you to have to adapt the melody as well. Timaeus talked about this, too. You generally want the melody to be recognizable, but at the same time do something new and interesting. That's a very difficult balance to strike. Some of your deviations from the melody do this well, others not quite as well.
I think this is a pass, given some minor mixing changes to get the lows under control. You could also fiddle with the arrangement some, to emphasize the jazz elements of it. Could.
Nice track.
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