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Ronald Poe

WIP "Drum and Elm" ("Newbark Town" remix)

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This is my unique DnB remix of "Newbark Town" (Pokemon Gold and Silver) mixed with my own music. It's also my first DnB tune/remix (it's probably  and despite it not being OCRemix quality, I think it sounds cool. The name comes from a Pokemon fanfic. I used a mixture of Musescore, FL Studio, and Audacity. I know I have a unique and strange style but ...

https://soundcloud.com/dark-ronald-poe/drum-and-elm-newbark-town-remix

 

Tell me what you guys think. Please give constructive criticism (don't be too harsh) and polite advice on how I can improve. Also this is a work in Progress but I'm probably not going back to this piece.

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So I have very little experience with the DnB style... That said, I will try my best to be constructive without being harsh.

The first thing I notice is the mix sounds really muddy. Everything seems to clash and try to overpower each other. Sometimes the lead comes through clear, but it only seems like that is when the bass disappears.

The drums are hardly there and (to me, anyway) sound like they've been super compressed or something.

Finally, I'd say the song is a bit repetitive. There doesn't seem to be much variation besides the fade outs near the end, which sounded really awkward to me.

Hopefully that didn't sound too harsh. I think the piece needs a lot of work, but I hope you do go back to it at some point. If you do I'll be interested in hearing what you decide to do with it.

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Thanks Dragnbreth for your opinion. I can see where you're coming from (except about "The Drums are hardly there") and even I agree about that  awkward fadeout near the end. Do you know any good guides for mixing songs (I want my song to be less muddy and more professional) and EQ? If you or any other remixer has any more advice that could help, please tell me. 

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Production

So, a prevalent issue I'm hearing here is that your volumes are so boosted that it's causing something called overcompression. What that means is that your limiter is rapidly detecting loud instruments and is pushing them down very often. That creates this "pumping" effect which is generally unpleasant to listen to (sorry). That's the "muddiness" that DragnBreth has mentioned (although muddiness really means frequency clutter in approximately the 100~500 Hz range). As for actual muddiness, it's a bit hard to tell, so maybe it'll become more easily detectable once the overcompression is lessened. Also, there's a really weird volume drop at 1:00 for some reason.

 

About the overcompression, I'm just going to take a not-so-wild guess and say that your drums are too loud. Try comparing the amount of pump the track has with and without the drums. Without the drums, I'm highly anticipating that there will be quite a bit less. If so, that's a sign you need to turn them down, at the very least. You should also check your bass instrument, because that's potentially also too loud.

 

Arrangement

In terms of the arrangement, it basically just goes right into using the melody without an intro, and I usually like to give my tracks a logical structure. Instead of just jumping right into using the substantial parts of the source tune, I would try to lead into it, transition out of it, and later come back into it. That's a pretty general (and probably vague) way of saying that you should incorporate more interpretive sections in this track that differentiate it from the original. A more specific way of saying it is to just have an intro, a "main" section, an energy dropoff, a buildup, another "main" section, and an outtro, or something similar. Try to make it so if you close your eyes and listen, you can see that it goes to many places (logical progression) instead of in a circle (repetition), and gets higher energy as well as being more subtle every now and then (dynamics).

 

If you want to learn more about structure and dynamics, I highly suggest closely listening to this track:

http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02488

 

Try picking out the instruments. Whether or not you know what instrument is what, just try to distinguish where they are in space (and where they move), their relative volumes, and possibly their approximate frequency range (e.g. hi hats are upper treble, basses are sub to low-mids usually, leads are generally midrange to upper-midrange, etc). Each and every instrument or sound in this ReMix has its place and role---nothing felt unnecessary IMO.

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1. Let's see a source link so we can compare properly! :)

 

2. This is not drum 'n bass. DnB is characterized by chopped breakbeats, punchy drums, and tight bass, and unfortunately this has none of those things. Here are a few good examples of well-made DnB if you'd like a reference point:

 - https://soundcloud.com/netsky/give-and-take

 - https://soundcloud.com/logisticsmusic/we-need-nothing-to-collide-logistics-remix-preview

 - https://soundcloud.com/madukdnb/maduk-ft-veela-ghost-assassin-vip

 

3. I can tell you're pushing a limiter incredibly hard here--if you're starting from the default place in FL Studio, the Fruity Limiter is automatically loaded on your master channel, and it can make proper mixing very hard to do. You'll want to remove that and then go from there. It's easy to tell there's something there because of the ducking and pumping effects throughout the song when certain things kick in, and it's not helping your sound at all.

 

4. Your synths all occupy roughly the same sonic spectrum. You'll want to separate them clearly by EQing out any frequencies that aren't necessary, such as anything below 120hz or so for anything that isn't a bass instrument. 

 

There's a whole lot more to say, but I don't want to waste the effort if you're going to leave this one alone. If you do want to improve this track, start with those things, and then come back to the workshop--there's a lot of folks in here who can teach you about arrangement, instrument selection, and all kinds of fun stuff like that!

 

EDIT: Whoops, looks like Timaeus beat me to the punch. 

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Thanks guys, I get what you're saying. I guess I should write an intro next time. I heard DnB has drops so that's why I did a volume drop (Seriously what was I thinking). Right now I'm trying to mix "One Winged Angel" with "Birth of A God" (both are from FFVII and I've got a thread about that). Should I just give up with the limiter and focus on EQ and lowpass for the muddiness? The sad thing is that I've been remixing for at least 2 years beforehand. 

 

 

This is the original track (Pokemon Gold and Silver), "Newbark Town".

 

"Drum and Elm" (My remix).

https://soundcloud.com/dark-ronald-poe/drum-and-elm-newbark-town-remix

 

Thread I mentioned.

http://ocremix.org/community/topic/41792-one-winged-angel-birth-of-a-god-why-not/

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I think you should start by finding a new limiter that is more tolerant. I would suggest TLs-Pocket Limiter as a nice free one. I got it 3 years ago and I still use it today.

 

Since you have FL, try using the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 and looking at the visualization more closely. The brighter it is at a certain frequency range, the louder those frequencies are. You always have the option of comparing specific ranges visually to find EQ clashes if you can't hear them yourself.

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Thanks Dragnbreth for your opinion. I can see where you're coming from (except about "The Drums are hardly there") and even I agree about that  awkward fadeout near the end. Do you know any good guides for mixing songs (I want my song to be less muddy and more professional) and EQ? If you or any other remixer has any more advice that could help, please tell me. 

I mostly meant that I found it difficult to identify distinct drum sounds except for the occasional cymbal/hat.

Alas, I am pretty bad at mixing and mastering, so my comments are strictly from the standpoint of what I was hearing rather than any kind of technical position. But it looks like Timaeus and Flexstyle have pointed out some good starting points.

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