Ronald Poe

Production tips for FL Studio battle themes

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Hello, I'm Ronald Poe and I write electronic music and remix. I use FL Studio and Audacity for my music and Musescore for the writing/editing of midi. I mix/produce the music myself and it seems to hinder the music itself. Do you have any tips on mixing/production? Here's a couple examples of my work. 

My character theme for Axel (KH)

My remix of "King Ghidorah" (Godzilla NES) from that contest.

Please give both your opinion and some mixing advice. Thanks

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I'm not really getting a "battle theme" feel here. "Bond of Fire" feels like a standby theme, and "Chidora Omega" vaguely sounds like a boss is talking, but not a "battle theme".

In both, there really isn't much in the way of drumwork. It's pretty much a kick drum. Battle themes hinge on rhythmically interesting drums to convey excitement and tension. Furthermore, the leads are "too nice"; they don't make me feel like I'm battling. More like, I'm relaxing.

The melodic writing is also very repetitive; in both songs, I hear at most two short repeated melodies, and little compositional development. As a result, the dynamics don't change. No amount of mixing can fix this kind of issue.

If you try skipping 15 seconds at a time through your songs, can you honestly tell me that you can tell the difference between the beginning, climax, and the loop point? That would be amazing, because I couldn't. :)

Here are some examples of battle themes:

https://soundcloud.com/overclocked-records/zircon-dungeonmans-ost-05

https://soundcloud.com/overclocked-records/zircon-dungeonmans-ost-07

https://soundcloud.com/overclocked-records/zircon-dungeonmans-ost-14

https://soundcloud.com/overclocked-records/zircon-dungeonmans-ost-22

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I understand what you're saying. "Bond of Fire" is supposed to be a character theme, not a battle theme (the looping point is around the 30-second mark). "Chidora Omega" was a remix of a source with very  limited melodic material (there are literally  2 simple melodies in the entire piece) and was done by ear on a short deadline. "Chidora Omega" however has no excuse in the drum department because it's meant to be a battle theme. Do you have any tips on making the drums better and improving production values?
 

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Despite the limited source material, it doesn't mean you can't come up with your own melodies to contribute to the remix. Also, I gave you several examples to compare, and mentioned that the drums should be more rhythmically interesting. Did you try adding something more than a kick drum? Any timpanis, bass drums, snare drums, congas, bongos, darbukas, djembes, taikos, or anything else?

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I've been using a lot of panned bongos (including both pieces) lately (I use an FL STudio preset but am quite fond of the sound) and commonly use closed Hi-hats (pitched up for a nice slashing chime). Anyway do you have any actual production tips that could help me? I got myself in two projects and a competition. I thought it'd be helpful to ask around for constructive criticism and advice. 

I actually appreciate your criticisms, Timaeus222.

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Well, the main thing I can say is to vary your velocities a bit more, because the instruments sound quantized, so they sound like a robot played them. If your velocities are even a little bit deviated from the grid, the instruments should sound a little bit more human and less lifeless.

Other than that, there isn't much else I can say right now, because there isn't much content there. The best I can say is, "I need more to work with", because due to the repetition, about 20% of each songs' length introduces unique content. :(

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