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ShadowRaz

Sunshine EP

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I would really appreciate some opinions and even better, advice. Uploaded those exact audio files yesterday to loudr for distribution, but as the cover art had the release date, it wasn't approved and just opened the cover project, took it off minutes ago and changed it in the site, but now can only re-finalize it again in the next 24 hours (can't immediately), which allows me to fix some mistakes on the music too if necessary, before they go to Spotify etc and can't change them anymore. I will test the music today myself once more if changes are necessary, but outside opinions/advice would help.

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For "Sunshine", the same sidechained saws were repeated quite a bit, so it got tiring to listen to. The buildup at 0:40 didn't really connect with 0:44. I expected 0:44 to be more interesting, but it's the same textures as before plus a violin and some padding. It just doesn't feel as big as it suggests it should be. I think it was a good starting point, but it still sounds like a work in progress. Not really electro house, by the way. It sounds like house or trance.

For "Daylight", 0:44 was a pretty good dropoff. It could have used a transition, though. 1:15 needed a clearer transition, one that started at around 1:12, because that was actually a good climax. This is closer to electro house, but it's mostly house. 1:45 needed another transition sound, like a snare roll or something. The ending cut off prematurely.

For "Shade", immediately there's a trance-style sidechain. I like the dropoff around 0:40. This is effective. At 1:11, the saw waves confirm to me that it's trance. It's good, but it's not electro house like you had said. The climax is more like electro house, but it took a while to qualify as that. 2:36 - 2:39 gets a little cluttered in the bass. I don't think the vocal clips really added much, but they were OK.

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Thank you for the reply. I do truly have improving to do with my transitions or also on "build-ups" as you said, as well as on everything else. Do you have any particular advice on this matter? As in what i should do to make them more exciting? Like snare rolls as you said.. and maybe adding some other pitch/frequency rising sounds?

Fixed the description with ("...containing 3 house/trance tracks... blah blah..) the appropriate genre as you pointed out. I'm not that eager to classify music into super "precise" genres sometimes myself so i might make mistakes categorizing them, i prefer just making what i can and releasing them. Although some correct terms always help.

Even though i have tried to mostly follow the same basic chord structure (on saw wave melody chords mostly in this EP) throughout the entire track structure (otherwise it would be ridiculously different on several parts of the track sometimes), there should be more modulations during it and especially more exciting build-ups that inform the listener something like "now for the drop" rather than being repetitive and boring. The drops should maybe follow some other chords or notes compared to verse, BUT on the other hand, it should not so it can be one track and not "several" so to speak.. even read on the internet (from several sources) that the melody or lead should be easy to remember.. but then again... i do not like too much repetitive stuff anyways myself so maybe i should compose something totally new for the drop, on the target track 'Sunshine' on this matter for example, if i were to want to make good EDM music.. it's rather controversial though as i wrote.. maybe it's personal, maybe it's not

 

On 'Shade' i did in fact filter out bass (this time mostly with DJMfilter rather than other basic EQ filters (Parametric EQ 2 or Love philter) and filtered out also the saw melody in the 2:36-2:39 point when i started making the "orchestral" part in relation to the vocal meaning in it (made some basic piano, staccato chord violins, pizzicato and legato violins for lead etc).. If you know what i mean. As in sometimes i would rather compose / make orchestral music but sometimes it seems like i should make other types of music (EDM) as well, in relation to my mood and what other people would want to hear themselves also, not just what i would want to make.

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5 hours ago, ShadowRaz said:

Thank you for the reply. I do truly have improving to do with my transitions or also on "build-ups" as you said, as well as on everything else. Do you have any particular advice on this matter? As in what i should do to make them more exciting? Like snare rolls as you said.. and maybe adding some other pitch/frequency rising sounds?

[...]

More often than not, making a buildup fuller increases the anticipation for the drop. So maybe, you might have some prolonged snare rolls, plus a riser, plus the melody during the buildup, and then perhaps a short fill right before the drop starts, if applicable. A recent example of mine is this:

You can tell that 0:33 - 0:48 is a buildup, and that 2:36 - 2:52 is a bit of a larger buildup (due to the more intense sequencing at 2:48 - 2:52).

5 hours ago, ShadowRaz said:

Even though i have tried to mostly follow the same basic chord structure (on saw wave melody chords mostly in this EP) throughout the entire track structure (otherwise it would be ridiculously different on several parts of the track sometimes), there should be more modulations during it and especially more exciting build-ups that inform the listener something like "now for the drop" rather than being repetitive and boring. The drops should maybe follow some other chords or notes compared to verse, BUT on the other hand, it should not so it can be one track and not "several" so to speak.. even read on the internet (from several sources) that the melody or lead should be easy to remember.. but then again... i do not like too much repetitive stuff anyways myself so maybe i should compose something totally new for the drop, on the target track 'Sunshine' on this matter for example, if i were to want to make good EDM music.. it's rather controversial though as i wrote.. maybe it's personal, maybe it's not

Using the same Rollerball example above:

Even though the sound palette is perceivable as consistent throughout the track, it's not so similar that you can't tell where you are in the track at a given timestamp.

  • 0:33 - 0:48 is a buildup, due to the prolonged snare rolls, the riser, and the fuller soundscape at 0:40 - 0:48 adding more hype. 2:36 - 2:52 changes it up at 2:48 - 2:52 and adds more subdivided sequencing for even more hype than the first instance of the buildup.
  • The repeat of 0:48 - 1:19 at 2:52 - 3:23 is noticeably different in the rhythm and melodic contour (if you have to listen back a few times to notice it, that's OK). Even though the sound palette is similar, the composition is varied.
  • There's a low-energy chill solo section at 1:19 - 1:50, with softer half-time drums, greater focus on the e. piano than before, and a more ambient/atmospheric feel.
  • There's a lower-energy breakdown section at 1:50 - 2:21, with no drums except cymbals, greater focus on slow-attack pads, and overall a "slower", even more atmospheric (and cosmic) feel.
  • There's a low-energy lead-in (2:21 - 2:36), with very soft e. piano and bell arpeggios, as well as soft 4-on-the-floor high-passed drums; it leads back to the buildup variation at 2:36 - 2:52.

In terms of energy, it kind of went Low (Intro), Medium (Buildup), High (Main), Low (chill solo), Lowest (Breakdown), Low (leading out of breakdown), Medium (Buildup), High (Main v2), Low (Outtro pt 1), Lowest (Outtro pt 2, without drums). If you draw it out, it's basically 1.5 sine waves.

Take the time to process this. I think this demonstrates many of the things that I expect there to be in a dynamic EDM track (clear sense of intro, buildup, drop, breakdown section [optional], climax, and outtro; diverse-enough textures). Try to pick out the individual sounds that you can manage, and try to understand their role in the section.

5 hours ago, ShadowRaz said:

On 'Shade' i did in fact filter out bass (this time mostly with DJMfilter rather than other basic EQ filters (Parametric EQ 2 or Love philter) and filtered out also the saw melody in the 2:36-2:39 point when i started making the "orchestral" part in relation to the vocal meaning in it (made some basic piano, staccato chord violins, pizzicato and legato violins for lead etc).. If you know what i mean. As in sometimes i would rather compose / make orchestral music but sometimes it seems like i should make other types of music (EDM) as well, in relation to my mood and what other people would want to hear themselves also, not just what i would want to make.

I think I mentioned this before, but writing something that you would like is probably more productive in your musical output. If you keep writing what your audience likes, then if you don't like what you're writing, I don't see why you'd be satisfied with that. Audience tastes can be very subjective, so if you keep catering to them (as selfish as this sounds), you might actually be less productive in your musical output. This is just one man's take on this, but that's what I think.

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Yes, i will try to fix few things on the entire EP and transitions (and already did couple of things on Shade and Sunshine but nothing final yet i guess) before the finalized loudr upload and also decided to make Daylight longer for more exclusive upload, as in make slightly different second verse and drop. It will take some time though, but i guess it doesn't matter all and all. If i were to make more exciting & different build-ups for all, then it will take also more time and become even more different. I'll just have to try and see what i can manage to come up with

23 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

if you don't like what you're writing

I'm not saying that i didn't enjoy making the tracks (even said that had my fun making these on the description in Bandcamp), nor that i made them only for some audience, and would have rather made only orchestral, but, i do prefer making orchestral at certain points more even still, at least nowadays.. don't know.. moods change rather often.. whatever. I will keep on keeping on making all sorts of genres as i enjoy making them all. Music is awesome.

By the way, that's a cool remix song, like the panning and all, really easy on the ears with my headphones as in mixing and mastering seem to be cool too. Awesome over-all structure. Have tried to listen to the details you mentioned on the song and other stuff as well. The ye olde timey slap bass type of sound on chorus is exciting, not sure is it slap bass even but it's cool and the piano is quite fascinating.

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10 minutes ago, ShadowRaz said:

I'm not saying that i didn't enjoy making the tracks (even said that had my fun making these on the description in Bandcamp), nor that i made them only for some audience, and would have rather made only orchestral, but, i do prefer making orchestral at certain points more even still, at least nowadays.. don't know.. moods change rather often.. whatever. I will keep on keeping on making all sorts of genres as i enjoy making them all. Music is awesome.

By the way, that's a cool remix song, like the panning and all, really easy on the ears with my headphones as in mixing and mastering seem to be cool too. Awesome over-all structure. Have tried to listen to the details you mentioned on the song and other stuff as well. The ye olde timey slap bass type of sound on chorus is exciting, not sure is it slap bass even but it's cool and the piano is quite fascinating.

No worries, I just mean in general, as a hypothetical. It's good you enjoyed making them. And thanks with regards to the remix. :)

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Check this out by the way, this is how Shade looks like as a quick sum up:

The amount of stuff in the second drop is hilarious. Went just nuts whilst making it. Still learning to make good Deep House bass lines etc though. The sound design of a good deep house bass line ain't as easy as one could think it is. Also I'm not an expert on lead designs yet either, but the verse lead is Serum design with me just messing around with the drawing tool (a.k.a. modify the wave table yourself),  also the more quiet lead on the drop (more noticeable on the first drop) is a basic sylenth 1 saw lead i designed and added some vibrato in it. Had to render at least one drone and the solo violin into playlist on second drop because my CPU could not handle everything anymore. Also used one old lead in it which i did not design myself in this case but is rather from some vandalism pack or something that i picked up from the times when i studied some other peoples projects. Also added a bit of this and that, basic high pitch glide saw beep design on serum, whistle sound (i have used whistle sound often), one massive drone design from old projects, growls and drones from serum (on this case most of them were also from my other old design projects, i love serum on sound designs though, have designed quite many sounds already i prefer to use often again) and then yes, there are those 3 layer saw melodies and deep house bass lines. I have added the sword sound effect rather often for some reason on my music.. it's kind of exciting small easy tension bringer in my opinion but should come up with something new all the time,  effects you know... Maybe there truly are too many vocals in that drop, they do not sound that good all and all. but kind of do still.. Or maybe should replace them truly with other sound designs, for example when making something similar in the future as i enjoyed making so many sounds on a drop. OR maybe adding even more vocals :D look at all the options one has. But maybe the vocals aren't that good as you pointed out.

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Fun stuff! I love it when I end up having 10+ layers going on at once. By the way, one tip to make it easier to manage is to coordinate the patches (that is, transpose the output inside the synth) in a multi-layer sequence so that you can paste it all into one Layer instance. You have several instances where you put the same notes onto, say, three instruments, when with the Layer tool, you can turn that into a one channel deal that layers all three (or whatever number) instruments.

Here's an example where I'm layering snares:

LayerTool.PNG

 

For tonal sounds, all you would really have to do is to make sure the same MIDI note could play multiple patches on their intended octaves, which you could adjust within the VSTs themselves. The only drawback is that the velocities will all be the same across the instruments. Usually though, it saves time by letting you write only one set of notes instead of multiple sets.

If you really think you need different velocities on each instrument for a particular moment, it makes more sense then to not use the Layer tool.

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On 6/5/2016 at 4:42 AM, timaeus222 said:

with the Layer tool

Man.. i have no idea where i can find such tool in Fl Studio 12? never have i found it necessary but it could help maybe..

Important question about it though! Does it help at all for the CPU load?

 

Also check this out, as you said Daylight cut out short, started making the extended version with all new sound designs and chords (but still using some of the same designs too because it's the same song still and the basic structure remains about the same even though the chords are different and stuff.):

Too messy already? Especially the second drop? Serum is freaking eating out my CPU though, i have rendered so many sounds to the playlist already and turned off those channels after that, and on that video i also turned off several sounds (Serum layers mostly) that will be on the final render though. Serum is really tough on cpu even though it is one of the best sound design plugins for my use at least.

For the second build-up i chose to go with orchestral drums (because i freaking love making orchestral drums for build-ups or even as an ongoing beat)

Also, on the track Sunshine (which was the easiest track of these 3, maybe even too simple.. noticed that one reverb delay piano on the verse was cut out short and maybe too quiet so i fixed that already and tried to enhance the build up slightly with a couple of octaves rising snare and some other hissing sound risers, have to try to fix something good into it, also the deep house bass line was peaking and sounded uneven, will also take out me counting to 4 vocal clip on Shade, maybe even take out couple of other vocals?? i dunno)

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If you have the newest FL already, you can just right-click an instrument channel, click Insert, and find Layer alphabetically. It doesn't noticeably save CPU, but it does make the size of your project easier to manage. That's the main thing.

Serum does take up a lot of CPU (as well as about 200 MB RAM per instance); that's just how its design worked out. Haven't seen any updates about it. I don't use a bunch of instances of Serum because of that (maybe 3 or 4 instances max). I do use u-he Zebra2, though, which is much more efficient with CPU and RAM consumption, and is arguably as good or even better. I used it almost exclusively on the Rollerball remix I showed you earlier.

If you start to wonder whether a song's section is too messy, just try muting each layer and seeing which one doesn't really make a difference. It's possible to get lost in the number of layers you add when you have a lot.

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Ok cool, have to check it out.

By the way in relation to the topic, Sunshine EP, i just wanted to make a fun little mini side project from 'Daylight' via making the second drop as a dubstep version

Turned out.. well not great, but it's something.. maybe should have left the house saws in this version too or something.. but it also sounded weird, original beat and design fits better.. well of course as i build the designs and chords in it. So this is a really rough, ready in a couple of minutes thingie, compared to the original design

Also tried to focus on the video

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By the way, 

13 hours ago, timaeus222 said:

Serum does take up a lot of CPU (as well as about 200 MB RAM per instance)

check out the bridges, had to took a small screen capture while i was rendering Daylight (with today's fixes, got the sound to be surprisingly bright yet balanced and also some sound design fixes and stuff) and monitoring via task manager moments ago:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4f57f2

There are a lot of them, Luckily, i have 24Gb of Ram, so that does not usually create problems even if i had many Serum's and Kontakt 5's in the project, it's always the CPU that's messing with me. Well whatever, someday when i'm wealthier, i will upgrade my motherboard to support 4 freaking Intel Xeons, (the motherboard ain't nothing compared to the price of 4 freaking xeon processors, i was unable to pay up Intel I7 (500€) properly not so long ago which also runs now with the box cooler so it's kind of loud, and... so... how about four, freaking thousanaire (get it? as in millionaire but having thousands instead of a million(s)) processors... Someday, i wish. Would make video processing hella lot easier too, not just music production.)) or something that's more powerful and good option at that point.

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Yeah, that's why I don't use Serum as much as I use Zebra2. I prefer to not bridge unless I have to, since at least for me, bridged plugins have occasionally unloaded on their own when using 32-bit FL. I also checked, and each instance of Zebra2 uses only about 60 MB of RAM (instead of 200 MB for Serum). In terms of CPU, it's definitely preset-dependent. The more voices, the more CPU it takes up.

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Never do i use 32-bit FL myself, usually the project requires much more RAM itself than the 4Gb 32-bit limit, the bridges are automatic when opening new channel on channel rack. Most likely patcher would allow preventing bridges but then everything would play at the same time unless mapped into different MIDI color thingie.. only did i realize while writing that, one can simply layer up sounds via patcher rather easily.. But just tested opening up 3 Serums on patcher, they are still in bridge so it can help layer up a lot but does not help bridges.

Got to look into this Zebra2, you so eagerly advertise

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