Furorezu

work in progress Hyrule's Deadly Palaces! (Zelda II Palace theme/LttP Castle theme surf rock remix)

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Hi everyone, this is the work in progress that I've been focusing on mainly for the past month or so. I've taken the palace theme from Zelda II (known more widely as the Hyrule Temple theme from Super Smash Bros Melee) and the Hyrule Castle theme from Link to the Past and created a heavy surf rock remix focusing mainly on the Zelda II palace theme. My biggest concern is the production of the recordings, such as whether I've EQed my instruments in a way that you can hear them all, whether one instrument's volume is too low, etc. Feedback on drums is welcome as well, as this is the first time that I have used a MIDI instrument (in this case, Sennheiser and NI's Drummic'A). Any feedback would be more than welcome. Thank you! :grin:

Remix: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3oA-7V8SI0mVG1SbXo3Njk5LWM/view?usp=sharing

Source materials:

 

 

Feedback scale

PRODUCTION
[ ] Too loud
[ ] Too quiet
[ ] Low-quality samples
[ ] Unrealistic sequencing (particularly acoustic instrumentation, e.g. notes use the same velocities, mechanical timing)
[ ] Generic/cliche sound choices
[ ] Drums have no energy
[ ] Overcompressed (pumping/no dynamics)
[ ] Mixing is muddy (e.g. too many sounds in bass, middle or treble)

PERFORMANCE (live recorded audio/MIDI parts)
[ ] Timing not tight enough
[ ] Wrong notes, general sloppiness
[ ] Poorly recorded
[ ] Bad intonation

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE TRACK
[ ] Creative arrangement ideas
[ ] Good production quality
[ ] Good live performances
[ ] Instrument choices
[ ] Improvement from previous submission(s)
[ ] Source tune choice(s)

PERSONAL COMMENTS (positive feedback, specifics on checklist criticisms, any other thoughts)
[write here]

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I think it's very cool and a rather unique remix. My only complaint is that it doesn't really sound like either piece (almost sounds like an original Surf Rock instrumental). Could you point out how it's similar to either? That being said, it's very good.

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@Ronald Poe I mainly based the track off of the Hyrule Temple theme, with the remix using the Castle theme as part of its ending solo. I feel like I didn't twist the original that much, I took the melody from Temple and increased the tempo a bit. I mainly used this version of Temple as my base.

 

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Sorry, I forgot to check out "Hyrule Temple (melee)" before posting. I can definitely see the resemblance now. Good remix by the way (no really noticeable problems here).

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Well, I still have almost the same criticism as before:

- The guitars are too far back in the room. Either record them more up close, or use raise their volume and lower their reverb.

- The drums are lacking punch in a rock mix, when they should be quite punchy. It's supposed to be energetic, so practice adding parallel compression on those drums.

- There isn't much bass, even with a bass instrument. I can barely hear the bass instrument. Raise the volume, or record it with a mic that can actually pick up bass.

Cross-reference your mix with this, and you should hear a huge difference in bass presence, guitar closeness, and drum punchiness. I also would not add post-mix reverb. What you probably meant to do with that was to put everything in the same room, but putting reverb on a bass just makes the mix muddier, so you should route your non-bass instruments to a send and place the reverb in a send.

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Ditto the Tim criticisms, but I feel I can add to it.

- Drums. You could parallel compress it, but I'd rather just layer the kick and snare with punchy one-shots so that you get the sharp transient of the one-shot, but the body and tail of the kit. Also, the snare rolls sound really machine-gun like.

- Not sure how you're recording bass or if it's a VST or what, because I too can't really hear it. If you're not doing so already, DI it rather than mic it. You might also want to give it a go with replacing the low bass frequencies of the bass guitar with a low sine wave instead - just be sure to keep the sine out of the way of the kick drum. I'd actually clip-off the start of the MIDI note rather than sidechain if you opt to go that route. If you go more oldschool with it, bring up the bass's volume, maybe add some tube compression and lightly sidechain the bass with the kick.

Not that I have a problem with Tim's link, but that's a metal mix...I'd rather use something like these for reference. As it has similar guitar and bass style 

 

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@AngelCityOutlaw What do you mean by replacing the low bass frequencies of the bass with a sine wave? I recorded the bass with a bass guitar directly, not mic'ed, only VST in the recording is the drumset. So some of my volumes are low because when I was listening to the recording in reaper, the master volume was indicating that the end recording would have a ton of peaking that would cause clipping (dBs were occasionally hitting +2). I'm not sure if I'm communicating that right. Anyway, if you understood that and know of a way to get around it, I'm all ears.

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Just chiming in to say, while I agree with the mixing tips above, I like the vintage sound you've got going. Most of the suggestions are how to make it sound more modern, but I feel like you could embrace the the lo-fi vintage elements for something even more interesting. However, the drums definitely need to be featured more prominently and that Tom around 1:28 is rubbing me the wrong way and goes on for a bit too long and the kick (~1:05 and some other points) sounds a little too mechanical and droning. The Bass, Wheres the Bass? I think I hear it, but it should be a little more prominent, and in a twist, Surf Rock it about the reverb except, on the Bass...literally everything else could be drenched in that reverb, except the bass and you'd be set-to-jet. So IMO work on those drums,  listen to some Duane Eddie  ( though he's more Rockablilly, but still relevant) The Ventures , love that reverb knob ( except on the Bass) and stay away from the Beach Boys...that's a different kind of Surf Rock...the less cool version 8-) 

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3 hours ago, Furorezu said:

@AngelCityOutlaw What do you mean by replacing the low bass frequencies of the bass with a sine wave? I recorded the bass with a bass guitar directly, not mic'ed, only VST in the recording is the drumset. So some of my volumes are low because when I was listening to the recording in reaper, the master volume was indicating that the end recording would have a ton of peaking that would cause clipping (dBs were occasionally hitting +2). I'm not sure if I'm communicating that right. Anyway, if you understood that and know of a way to get around it, I'm all ears.

You high-pass the sub-bass from the bass guitar and double the bassline with a sine-wave in the sub range. Done correctly, the result is a really solid low-end. I'm not sure what your listening equipment is like, but you'd of course need something that can go low enough.

Sounds like you need to put a limiter on your master channel.

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6 hours ago, Furorezu said:

@AngelCityOutlaw What do you mean by replacing the low bass frequencies of the bass with a sine wave? I recorded the bass with a bass guitar directly, not mic'ed, only VST in the recording is the drumset. So some of my volumes are low because when I was listening to the recording in reaper, the master volume was indicating that the end recording would have a ton of peaking that would cause clipping (dBs were occasionally hitting +2). I'm not sure if I'm communicating that right. Anyway, if you understood that and know of a way to get around it, I'm all ears.

I don't know what OS you're using, but if you have any sort of "loudness equalization" feature in your Windows Sounds settings (or the MAC equivalent), it might be messing with your Sound playback volumes. It doesn't jive well with us music producers---we like to hear what we write as we expect to hear it.

badloudnessequalization.PNG

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I've been messing around with parallel compression the past few days and the results are already pretty noticeable. I also rerecorded the guitar tracks dry and am applying reverb and delay in the DAW so that I don't have to rerecord again if the reverb and delay are too much. I've also changed the EQ settings for the bass and kick as suggested by @AngelCityOutlaw but I'm not sure if I understood the concept correctly so I've attached a screenshot of what the EQ settings for them look like. Bass is also now being parallel compressed as are guitars. 

 

Bass and kick EQ screenshot

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3oA-7V8SI0mMklOVjFpMGZ2MDQ/view?usp=sharing

WIP

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3oA-7V8SI0mMmJ1TTdmUE8xNDA/view?usp=sharing

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My recommendation for EQ was if you were using a sine wave in the low bass. In that case, you would high-pass the extreme lows from the bass guitar.

The second method, which is more natural sounding and doesn't involve the sine wave, I would not EQ the bass or kick, but I would sidechain the kick to the bass. What this means is that compression is applied to the bass guitar whenever the kick drum hits - thereby reducing the volume of the bass guitar momentarily to allow the kick to be heard clearly.

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I don't really see why you've high-shelved the treble on the kick downwards; that dulls the kick, when in a rock track the ~4000 Hz "click" of the kick should be heard (it's the distinctive "thwap" you hear in some metal music with double-pedal kicks). Also, the kick doesn't really need a boost at 20 Hz; it can't or can hardly be heard at that frequency. Furthermore, I get that you want to cut at 50 Hz in the kick to bring out the 50 Hz in the bass, but 6~8 dB is a lot in either case. Try toning it down to a less drastic compensation in the EQ, and then try the sidechaining advice @AngelCityOutlaw gave.

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22 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

My recommendation for EQ was if you were using a sine wave in the low bass. In that case, you would high-pass the extreme lows from the bass guitar.

The second method, which is more natural sounding and doesn't involve the sine wave, I would not EQ the bass or kick, but I would sidechain the kick to the bass. What this means is that compression is applied to the bass guitar whenever the kick drum hits - thereby reducing the volume of the bass guitar momentarily to allow the kick to be heard clearly.

I messed around a bit with sidechain compression, now the kick is very prominent but the bass is practically non-existent.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3oA-7V8SI0mYVVuYTNwYjVvY0E/view?usp=sharing

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For the sidechaining, we are not asking you to put a high release; that would crush the bass presence too much for too long at a time. Try lowering the release and raising the threshold some.

Also, currently the entire track is quite quiet. I do hear the kick better than before, though it's still lacking in low-end presence. The snare is also very mechanical in the rolls, and it would really help to vary the velocities on the rolls to make it more realistic. The rhythm guitar can be wider in order to fill the stereo field; right now, you do have lead guitars panned, but the rhythm guitar doesn't have to be so narrow. If you add delay with a very short Feedback time (a bit less than 15 ms) and have it echo left and right (Ping Pong), then it should make the rhythm guitar wider without giving it a noticeable echo. If that is hard to do, try simply doubling the rhythm guitar track and panning one left and one right.

By comparison, you should see that this has a wider stereo field.

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I lowered the release and increase the threshold sidechain-wise, I replaced the compressor on the master track with a limiter and I've dup'ed the rhythm guitar track and panned each to 85% left and right, since that sounded about right. For the drums, I varied the velocities a bit more.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3oA-7V8SI0mejN4cnhWZWlFZFk/view?usp=sharing

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I wasn't liking the way the limiter was causing the track's volume to oscillate so much so I decided to take it off the master track and instead played around with putting a limiter on the parallel compression track where I'm sending my snare. It seems to alleviate the clipping and not have volume oscillations as nasty as the WIP I posted above. I also decided to change some double bass parts to use toms, ala Surfaris' Wipeout and tried to work with making the snare rolls sound less like a machine gun but I'm not very sure about how it sounds.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3oA-7V8SI0mMnYxRmNlMFp5WFE/view?usp=sharing

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