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Double Dragon 3 - Mission 3 (Japan) Remix


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Wow, I'd say both the arrangement and the mix are fantastic! Has a really great energy and vibe and the musicianship is flawless. Love the room sound of the mix as well. If I was absolutely pressed to give one piece of constructive criticism, it's that the piano is a little wide across the stereo spectrum for me in a mix like this as opposed to a solo piano piece. But I'm not all that familiar with jazz and that may very well be a common mic'ing and mixing technique in the genre. At any rate, you should be really proud of this and it's nice to hear something so polished from a game that doesn't get much treatment. Thanks for sharing!

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Arrangement sounds great! Has some cool chords and solos as usual!

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The stereo field feels off to me though. Some things feel wider than I think they could be, seeming to be for the purpose of getting the lead and bass to come through. It can work, but in general, a lot of wide sounds could be as similarly problematic as a lot of narrow sounds.

The drums could be a bit stronger because right now some parts of the kit seem unintentionally hard to hear (the toms are a bit noticeable but not very, for instance, but the rides, cymbals, and hi hats sound fine), though I get that it's not supposed to be powerhouse-compressed. I can barely hear the snare (I started hearing it at 1:55 and on, but it seems far back), even though I can kind of tell it's there. Definitely bring that up more, get it more upfront, and try to get more "air" on the tone if possible. Where's the kick drum though?

It felt strange for the chord-playing acoustic piano to be so far to the left at first; and then the shift to mostly right-panned at 0:52 made me feel like the entire piano 'performance' should be narrower in the stereo field. At 1:53, the piano chord makes me think there could be less reverb on it, but I'm not 100% sure how much there is. If there's too much, you could lower it a bit, and then that should bring it a bit more upfront, allowing you to slightly scoop the mids to accommodate for being more upfront and still let the lead come through.

I can sometimes hear some sounds kind of fighting each other when the arrangement gets especially busy at around the 2:00 mark. I like it, don't get me wrong, but specifically, perhaps the chordal piano can have slightly lower velocities there to keep the listener's attention on the lead.

2:09 is where I hear the bass most clearly, and I think I hear a few weird clashes. Not harmonically, but in terms of its polyphony smearing the intonation (like at 2:11 and 2:13).  For instance, I know what you wanted for the chord at 2:13, but you might want to move more of the lower notes to higher registers to reduce low-frequency smearing. This is not a big deal though; just wanted to mention it. Also, I'm not entirely sure, but does the bass have some reverb? If so, it could be lowered just a bit to reduce low-end mud.

At 2:27 - 2:39, I don't really have a criticism, but it's more like a suggestion; I think you have a great opportunity here to put some Jazz Fusion-esque drum fills that keep the excitement going instead of stopping the flow like it's doing now for me, but it's up to you.

And this is more of a nitpick, but right near the end, I wish there was a more obvious drum fill to signal the last note. Right now I just hear straight eighth (or quarter?) note hits. Maybe end on an off-beat hit as well?

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The arrangement is pretty well off already, so no big worries about that. My main concern is on the mixing, where the piano seems overly wide and perhaps a bit washy in the low-mids, the bass oddly seems a tad reverberant (slightly), and the drums can come through more clearly (is there supposed to be a kick anywhere? Can't hear it. Also hard to hear the snare).

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Thanks a lot timaeus!

3 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

I can barely hear the snare (I started hearing it at 1:55 and on, but it seems far back), even though I can kind of tell it's there. Definitely bring that up more, get it more upfront, and try to get more "air" on the tone if possible. Where's the kick drum though?

The snare only plays at 1:55 - 2:08 and 2:26 - 2:53, for the rest of the track i used the side stick. I'll try to bring it up more. Btw, how do you get more "air" on it?

The kick drum? I threw it out of the window 8) No seriously, well yeah it's actually there but i agree, it's too low in the mix.

3 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

It felt strange for the chord-playing acoustic piano to be so far to the left at first; and then the shift to mostly right-panned at 0:52 made me feel like the entire piano 'performance' should be narrower in the stereo field. At 1:53, the piano chord makes me think there could be less reverb on it, but I'm not 100% sure how much there is.

Ok, i think i can narrow the piano a bit. Will check the reverb too.

3 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

2:09 is where I hear the bass most clearly, and I think I hear a few weird clashes. Not harmonically, but in terms of its polyphony smearing the intonation (like at 2:11 and 2:13).  For instance, I know what you wanted for the chord at 2:13, but you might want to move more of the lower notes to higher registers to reduce low-frequency smearing. This is not a big deal though; just wanted to mention it. Also, I'm not entirely sure, but does the bass have some reverb? If so, it could be lowered just a bit to reduce low-end mud.

Hm, i think i get what you mean with the bass smearing the intonation, will try to move some of notes to higher registers and see how it sounds. Yes there is a bit reverb on the bass, but i can reduce it, no problem.

 

3 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

At 2:27 - 2:39, I don't really have a criticism, but it's more like a suggestion; I think you have a great opportunity here to put some Jazz Fusion-esque drum fills that keep the excitement going instead of stopping the flow like it's doing now for me, but it's up to you.

I actually like the stops/kicks there, and IMO it gives the following swing part a bigger impact. But thanks for the suggestion, maybe i'll try it out, nonetheless.

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On 1/27/2016 at 4:16 AM, Nostalvania said:

The snare only plays at 1:55 - 2:08 and 2:26 - 2:53, for the rest of the track i used the side stick. I'll try to bring it up more. Btw, how do you get more "air" on it?

"Air" is kind of hard to describe, but it sounds like there is more of the upper-treble reflections in the reverb. Here's a before-and-after example. I accomplished that by raising the High Cut frequency from within the reverb plugin.

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Nice source choice. Loved it since Joshua Morse's take.

Bass at 00:50 and 1:29 is just going an octave up and down over and over. Is that intentional or just a placeholder? I thought it was a bit strange. Especially with the melody you got in those parts.

While I loved the guitar, I wouldn't mind if took a rest so another instrument is dominant in its place. I think a vibraphone could be appropriate.

Sometimes it feels like your drums are on auto-pilot. A small break from them before going back to the main melody at 2:14 would've been nice.

Soloing 1:54 was a welcome addition. I think if it lasts for a little more it can balance the arrangement a bit, mainly because the source is too dominant. You got the same melody at 0:12, 0:38, 1:16 and 2:14. But there isn't much difference in those sections. Maybe you could trade the guitar for another lead in one of those parts. And/or vary the melody a little, change octaves, etc. 1:42 is a good example of that, as you trick the listener into thinking the melody will be the same as in 1:03. 

Keep it up. Sounds really promising. Incidentally, when I heard your Sagat WIP a few years back, I knew it was just a matter of time until you had a significant body of work around here. 

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19 hours ago, Txai said:

Bass at 00:50 and 1:29 is just going an octave up and down over and over. Is that intentional or just a placeholder? I thought it was a bit strange. Especially with the melody you got in those parts.

Intentional, it's a bass pedal note.

 

19 hours ago, Txai said:

While I loved the guitar, I wouldn't mind if took a rest so another instrument is dominant in its place. I think a vibraphone could be appropriate.

yeah, good point. I think another solution would be when the piano takes over to play the theme.

 

19 hours ago, Txai said:

Sometimes it feels like your drums are on auto-pilot. A small break from them before going back to the main melody at 2:14 would've been nice.

Hmm, i'll see what i can do. Gonna try adding more variation/fills etc.

 

19 hours ago, Txai said:

Soloing 1:54 was a welcome addition. I think if it lasts for a little more it can balance the arrangement a bit, mainly because the source is too dominant. You got the same melody at 0:12, 0:38, 1:16 and 2:14. But there isn't much difference in those sections. Maybe you could trade the guitar for another lead in one of those parts. And/or vary the melody a little, change octaves, etc. 1:42 is a good example of that, as you trick the listener into thinking the melody will be the same as in 1:03. 

Will try to vary the melody some more, and maybe one more solo chorus.

Thanks for the feedback, also thanks to T-Ape for the kind words!

 

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It's slight, but I am actually hearing the bass itself more clearly; for instance, if you A/B compare 1:20 - 1:21, there's a touch less low-end clutter from the bass's reverb. :) The snare's just about the right volume now without stealing the spotlight. Also some really nice new note choices near 2:13. The piano sounds a little clearer now too; it's easiest for me to hear the difference at 2:01 ~ 2:10.

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Much better. 

My intuition tells me the guitar note at 44:00 should be the same as the next one. As it is, it's slightly unsettling.

For more variety's sake, I think the guitar could play something along those lines on the ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlxPj9P3ztU&t=3m21s

Piano could make a short entrance in the previous bar, before 1:17. This would add some spontaneity.

On 02/02/2016 at 0:23 PM, Nostalvania said:

- Added some stops/kicks at 2:20 before the theme comes in again, (not so sure about that one).

I think if it lasts for only 4 bars it'll be enough. Make the guitar do a short entrance before going back to the main melody, too. For the same reason as I stated above.

I like how the guitar works as a rhythm instrument as the piano leads. More rhythm guitar through the piece could be neat if you feel there are other possibilities for that.

Again, nice updates so far.

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I think there could be a more obvious transition into 1:17; I do hear a snare fill and that cymbal hit at 1:17, but maybe the piano could have some leadin notes to signal 1:17, so I agree with Txai on that. Same at 1:54.

I love the break at 2:20. I think that it might be even cooler if you had the bass do some filler runs as well (increasing in complexity on each subsequent fill?), kind of like what you would hear from Jaco Pastorius.

And then maybe sweep through the track to see what variation you can add to repeated sections. I'd say that's my main crit at this point. I hear a lot of that already; some of it is more subtle, like extra octave notes, but even that works!

Other than that, this is a seriously advanced arrangement. I see no reason why it wouldn't pass on arrangement. I'd say you're good to go whenever you're totally happy with it.

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On 4.2.2016 at 4:49 AM, Txai said:

My intuition tells me the guitar note at 44:00 should be the same as the next one. As it is, it's slightly unsettling.

I think your intuition is right, changed it back.

 

On 4.2.2016 at 4:49 AM, Txai said:

Piano could make a short entrance in the previous bar, before 1:17.

Nice pointer. Done!

On 7.2.2016 at 4:10 AM, timaeus222 said:

Same at 1:54

Added a short piano fill before the solo.

Edit: Sorry, didn't really like it and removed it. The idea was good but everything i tried just sounded bad :sad:

On 4.2.2016 at 4:49 AM, Txai said:

I think if it lasts for only 4 bars it'll be enough.

First i thought it should be longer, but i think it works too. I added a tom pattern as well, to make it a bit more exciting.

Thanks again for the feedback guys!

I think i'll do a few tweaks and then i'm gonna submit it.

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