JulienMulard

1. work-in-progress Secret Of Mana - The Heavens Fear Me

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Hello everyone!

I'm currently working on a Secret of Mana medley, with heavy riffs and cool orchestration. It is far from finished, but I thought I could do with some fresh and critical opinions to keep me on track, as I tend to over-listen my tracks when I'm working. :)

Regarding the song, there is four different parts, and more to come:

  • The intro, based on "Fear of the Heavens", but with a complete opposite feeling (hence the title). I wanted to turn the earie/mystery inducing feel of the original into something more like a fierce-warrior-marching-against-the-gods kind of epic stuff. I may have managed it (you tell me), but I feel the part still lack something, in the build-up maybe.
  • The second part is made of really cool boncy riffs, based on "Dancing Animals", but I may have been a little to much side-tracked in the end. No orchestration here. As in the source name, I want this part to sound like a giant bear headbanging. 
  • The third part is the exact same thing as the first part FOR NOW, but I'm planning to give it more personnality in the future. I'm keeping the same kind of mood (and the same source, of course)
  • The fourth part is a really lazy draft concerning "Spirit of The Night". I wasn't sure if I would put it here now or not, but then, it happened... ^^ Here, I want to have really emotionnal solos and this source is rather perfect for it (I personnaly call this part "Spirit of Metaaaaal").
  • The transitions are a bit off (mainly between 2-3 and obviously 3-4). I'm open to ideas!

I'm rather confident regarding composition, I'm far less concerning mixing/mastering, so I am reaally open on this subject. 

Thank you for your feedbacks (and sorry for the poor english, it is not my mother tongue)

 

The sources:

 

 

 

 

The ReMix in progress:

 

The old versions:

 

 

 

 

 

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Big fan of this game and the soundtrack, probably my favorite in terms of feel and originality. 

First of all, let me say I love what you have so far. Most people tend to stick to the soft feel of the original track, but you've taken a big step in another direction here. I really like the dirty, low-tone distortion that you've chosen and the almost tribal tom progression you gave the percussion fits perfectly. The orchestration in the background only supports the overall tone and I love how all the tones match. This sounds GREAT.

On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 9:07 AM, JulienMulard said:

The intro, based on "Fear of the Heavens", but with a complete opposite feeling (hence the title). I wanted to turn the earie/mystery inducing feel of the original into something more like a fierce-warrior-marching-against-the-gods kind of epic stuff. I may have managed it (you tell me), but I feel the part still lack something, in the build-up maybe.

What you are feeling is a lack of intro riff. You need a fill after the first four measures, to go along with the bass coming to the table. Something low-tone like the rhythm guitar, but not too fancy, just enough to get the listener into that orchestral bit. Everything else is there, in my opinion.

On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 9:07 AM, JulienMulard said:

The second part is made of really cool boncy riffs, based on "Dancing Animals", but I may have been a little to much side-tracked in the end. No orchestration here. As in the source name, I want this part to sound like a giant bear headbanging.

I like the transition here. Flawless. If you want people to headbang, I have a couple of suggestions: instead of using the main guitar to 'mix up' the melody (second four measures), I would keep the melody by that dirty guitar original and put in another slightly-higher toned guitar fill that plays over top of the melody, then try to get the drums and the rhythm guitar to emphasize the beat together (If you listen to 'Blood Pigs' by Otep, you'll get an idea of what I mean). Not sure the key change fits, but maybe this will sound better with a fill.

On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 9:07 AM, JulienMulard said:

The third part is the exact same thing as the first part FOR NOW, but I'm planning to give it more personnality in the future. I'm keeping the same kind of mood (and the same source, of course)

LOVE how the rhythm guitar supports the melody here. Very powerful. You might want to consider the 'Fear of the Heavens' riff as a sort of 'chorus' to bring the listener back to when finished with whatever other tracks you have planned here - if that fits with your design.

On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 9:07 AM, JulienMulard said:

The fourth part is a really lazy draft concerning "Spirit of The Night". I wasn't sure if I would put it here now or not, but then, it happened... ^^ Here, I want to have really emotionnal solos and this source is rather perfect for it (I personnaly call this part "Spirit of Metaaaaal").

I like it, especially how the percussion and orchestral parts drop off to let the riff play out. If you choose to go for another round of this track, you may consider some gentle high-hat or light cymbals for the beat instead of actual drums, to help preserve the emotional feel you have laid out here.

I really like what you have here, and I want to hear more. If you are looking for suggestions on where to go next, I say percussion is one of the high points of the SoM soundtrack, so take 'Danger' or 'the Oracle' and see what you can do with it - then finish with 'Fear...' one last time. Stretch it out, epic hair metal ending, worthy of Brian May, Slash, or Keith Richards maybe?

Have fun ... and keep writing!

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Hello everyone!

First, thank you for your feedback The Nikanoru, and sorry for the late post! I wanted to answer you with a proper update and it took me more time than I expected to attain a stable version. As you'll notice, I tried to compose more than taking your advices into account FOR NOW. But know that I read it with great care, and that it meant a lot to me!

And now, the wall of text regarding the new version (tl;dr at the end):

So the first part is almost identical. I just gave more punch to the staccato section by layering with another plug-in, and added a impact sound when the orchestral stuff comes in. 

As for the second section, I was not happy with the ending of the "Dancing Animals" part. The riff was too far from the source, and the high pitched harmonic was great and all, but didn't transitionned well with the next part. I tried to add some choir chords, and it worked well regarding the transitioning , but did not solve the source problem. So I listened angain to the SoM OST and found the answer: "In The Dead Of Night" (I'll edit the first post for the source). And so it happened. I'm still not convinced by the bell sound I used, but I'll find something better later.

Regarding the third part (the second appearence of "Fear of the Heavens"), I went crazy on it, discarding the staccato section and writing new parts for both the legato strigns and the choir. But the Horn was a bit lost in all this orchestral stuff, so I brought backup, and added a lead guitar section. At first, the guitar played the main melody, but I found it rather boring (maybe listening to this part more than 20 times a day didn't help). Now it's more like a crazy emotional and epic solo, but still close to the original melody, with nothing too fancy. 

The last part might disapoint you if you liked the old version. I was going for a long melodic battle on "Spirit of the Night". Not anymore. The part went totally Djent, with the first notes of the melody going between the two lead guitars in the low register (I still need to tune their FX). And then, break, tempo change, and a classic Trash riff for over the top soli I have to write now. 

tl;dr: A fierce and original second appearence for "Fear of the Heavens", some impact samples to improve transitions, the end of "Dancing Animals" is now  "In the Dead of Night", and I heavily change the end of the track, leading to unwritten-yet-trashy-and-over-the-top-guitar-soli.

I hope you'll enjoy this new version! Don't hesitate to point out anything you liked or didn't like, any mistake I made or anything! And thank you for your time!

Have a nice day!

 

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I didn't listen to the sources, but played this game for many...years? Did that happen back then?

Anyway, the metal is great. Drum programming is good. In terms of orchestral though I need the horns need some space. By that I mean not so dry. Try adding a room reverb on the horn if you don't have any VST reverb that's substantial like convolution reverb. Then adding a bigger hall verb. That should make your horns more full. Don't be afraid to add too much in this case since you have metal going with it.

The drums do get lost at times. A challenge with this style. You should really feel the toms in a mix like this.

And I may sound like a broken record in the few threads I've responded to today, but...nooooo progressive fade out. It's an old method that just doesn't work that well today.

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Hi Nathan!

Regarding the horn sections, there is something to do, I agree with you. I was planning to reinforce them by layering another brass section, but as I said earlier, I am not at ease with mastering, and I did not thought about reverb! (Well technically I did, but on the orchestral part, wich links strings, horns and choir, in order to make everything more coherent). 

Concerning the drums, well... I did not process them. I am a bit scared to do so and break the balance I thought was there (seriously, all the mics and stuff, it's rather scary when you don't know what you are doing!). I'll have to watch some YT about that :)

And last, sorry for the fadeout! ^^' I am still working on the last part, and it was mostly to smouthen the abrupt ending. Obviously, there won't be any in the finished product.

 

A question for anybody reading. Is there something wrong with the lower end of the spectrum? I'm used to listen to music on my 3DS with cheap in-ear monitors, but I'm working with a rather standard/good quality mixing headset (a closed Beyerdynamics DT770,  80Ohm), and when I switched back to my shitty earplugs yesterday, the bass was everywhere! I may have recreate the low amplification inadvertantly, but I have a really bad ear for those kind of things, so don't hesitate to give me feedback on this end.

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Hi everybody!

New version! Soli are a thing now, with more "Spirit of the Night". And a new source joins the fun: "Leave Time For Love" (the Mana Fortress music, see first post)

I also mixed down the bass, added more reverb on the horn section, layered some more bell sounds during the "In the Dead of Night" part.

Have fun listening!

 

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Once again, love this track. A couple of things:

-1:12 - not sure that the In the Dead of Night part is working for this section. I get the feel you are creating here, but the triplets you need for the melody is really quiet and (IMO) really conflicts with the support the rhythm guitar is giving here. I'd suggest brightening up the orchestral backdrop to this part, but it may make it sound cluttered. Maybe a different rhythm is needed here because I'm afraid to suggest lowering the volume of that drive and losing the overall feel of the song.

-1:31 - the crash adds a lot of depth and it's a great way to jump into the second Fear section, but that depth suddenly disappears once it ends - you may want to try using this crash a bit more in this section or use a cymbal crash instead so you don't leave us audiophiles hanging. WONDERFUL lead overtop of the rhythm guitar, really brings this part alive!

-2:01 - this spot may be better for In the Dead of Night. I'm hearing a bit of Spirit of the Night, but not enough to make it stand out.

-2:38 - I like the speed-up and solo - worthy of Brian May, Slash, and Keith Richards, and probably James Hetfield and Van Halen too! :)

-3:19 - FABULOUS lead-in to Leave Time for Love!

-3:40 - THERE's Spirit of the Night! Great place to put it, driving beat and crazy fill only emphasize the melody. Don't touch this part anymore, aside from minor matering - this sounds AWESOME!

-4:45 - Ends very suddenly - leaves me kind of hanging, but better than the progressive fadeout. I still think it's worth bringing the listener back to Fear to bring the listener back to where you started, but this can work as is. It's just sudden, is all.

This is better than I imagined it. Hopefully getting close to where you want to too. Keep the updates coming!

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Thank you for all the positive feedback! I take note of all the things you said, and will work on everything later on, as for now, I want to finish this track (it may take one or two iterations), because the good new is THE TRACK IS NOT FINISHED YET! Yeay, more heavy metal to come! :D 

I plan on bringing back the tempo down to 120bpm (I still don't now how, but I'll find something), and finish on one last Fear of The Heavens. What's in between? I don't know. Not  much probably, cause I'd like to keep the track under 7', for submission purpose. But I'll try to keep it interesting ;) 

Once finished, I'll work on polishing the composition and the sound design. Then mixing/mastering (working on the drums and so on). Then... Well, it probably won't go as expected, so we'll see ^^

 

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The Nikanoru asked for it, here it is!

In this new version, I worked on going back to 120bpm after the solos. I tried a few things, but this was the best I could do. It make sense because of the story the track tells, but I'll keep that for later, as it is some stupid cliché stuff about oppressive gods and a hero saving everyone using hope and dreams ^^.

So big explosion, and then this quiet and cool riff from the last part of "Fear of the Heavens" I wanted to put somewhere from the beginning ot the project. It ends on a kind of victorious electric guitar riff. And then, Fear of the Heavens, but in a quiet and pieceful mood (this part still needs work).

What do you think about this?

 

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... and after two weeks, I finally respond. Some fan I am!

Well, I've given this quite a few listens, and I really like how you tied the song off. Love the clean guitar cascades behind the main melody, beautiful finish IMO.

My only comment: I think the track may be stretching a little too long now. I think there are parts where you could reduce or remove some of the solo parts to make the song feel a little more concise:

  • 2:02-2:33 - this part sounds a bit like Spirit of the Night, but you have this melody covered later. I think this part could be removed.
  • 3:08-3:18 - I like the mechanics here and intonation is good, but is it necessary for the lead in to Leave Time for Love?
  • 4:47-5:18 - I really like the feel of this bit, but I think it may be too long.

Please note these are only suggestions. I like it all, but if you were to shorten the track a bit, this would be my choice. You may see it differently, depending on your sound design.

Not much to say at this point on technicalities so I'll have to point you to someone else like AngelCityOutlaw or Brandon Strader to give you advice on mixing and mastering, because it doesn't sound bad to me.

I've listened to this a whole bunch of times, and I love it every time I hear it. I'm glad some the things I've said have been helpful to you!

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Damn, this is pretty slick. Just poppin' in to say it tickles my fancy in all the right ways. ;)

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I like the arrangement and performance quite a bit; I think it's mostly the mixing that needs a bit more work. Right now it's kinda "medium metal" in the mixing of a track that's probably supposed to be pretty heavy.

The metal drums could use heavier compression (especially when you compare to the huge hit at 1:30), because they're fairly quiet compared to the cinematic percussion. Also, I hear a bit of overcompression when the cinematic percussion plays alongside the guitar.

You may want to use this as a reference:

 

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Hi everyone! 

Thanks for all the positive feedbacks! I had never mixed drums before, and could hardly apprehend compression so I wanted to keep it for the end, but hey, I tried stuff because that's what everyone was talking about :) So here it is! I'm still working on the ending though, so don't pay attention too much (why is it so hard to end a track?) 

 

What changed: Added compression on drums (mostly kick, snare and toms), on the choir at some places to add more presence, and on the bass. Tried to adjust the levels of the guitars (rythm and solo) and bass dynamically, to improve loudness during the non symphonic parts. Added a cool bell sound for the "In the dead of night" part.

TheNinkanoru: I really like long progressive songs, so I don't feel like this track is too long. And sadly, I think I listen to it way too much to have the courage of either remove or change drastically the composition. So I think things will stay in the way they are (I tried for example to move the "In the dead of night" part from before the second "Fear of the Heavens" to the djenty part after it, but it wouldn't click for me, and I reverted back instantaneously...). I'm really glad you like it though :D

Gario: I am blushing right now ... ^^

timaeus222: Thank you for the track, I listened to it quite a few time, but how it managed to attain such a powerful sound is a mystery to me. Please teach me!

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On ‎9‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 7:29 AM, JulienMulard said:

What changed: Added compression on drums (mostly kick, snare and toms), on the choir at some places to add more presence, and on the bass. Tried to adjust the levels of the guitars (rythm and solo) and bass dynamically, to improve loudness during the non symphonic parts. Added a cool bell sound for the "In the dead of night" part.

I can really hear the compression on the drums, definitely more distinct. I hear the volume dynamics, appropriate to the transitions and changes. I hear the cool bell. :)

Only comment: The guitars need more definition. The volume changes are great for the arrangement, but it's that driving riff that gets me out of bed to hear this. It may be as simple as changing up the EQ a bit, but once again, advice on mixing I'll have to leave to someone else with more experience than I.

Still my favorite WIP to listen to, Julien. Awesome work, keep it up! :)

 

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14 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

Only comment: The guitars need more definition. The volume changes are great for the arrangement, but it's that driving riff that gets me out of bed to hear this. It may be as simple as changing up the EQ a bit, but once again, advice on mixing I'll have to leave to someone else with more experience than I.

I'm not sure to understand what you mean by that, but I'll try stuff anyway! If you could elborate a little more, it would greatly help me! In the meantime, I'll try to get some help from the people you mentionned before.

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4 hours ago, JulienMulard said:

If you could elborate a little more, it would greatly help me!

Once again, I am not a professional mixer or sound guy, so this is a subjective and intuitive opinion.

  1. Listen to the rhythm guitar in the first 17 seconds of version 4, then listen to it in version 5. Do you hear the difference in impact? The guitar is darker and quieter in version 5, even though other parts have become brighter and cleaner. Listen to v4 and v5 at the tempo change at 2:38-ish. Same thing. Now, listen to timaeus222's Shreddage track above. What I'm getting at here is that the rhythm guitar drive is the root of what give this song its energy; to change the tone of the rhythm guitar is, IMO, to change the entire feel of the song. Making the other parts of the song brighter and more distinct has really added to the track, but that rhythm guitar has been tamed a bit as well - this has taken a bit of the focus away from the guitar, which to me, has impacted the energy behind this track. To timaeus222's point of being 'medium metal,' if you can get the sound closer to what we hear in the Shreddage track - perhaps STARTING with EQ, to my point - this would really help define that drive I keep talking about.
  2. The lead guitars are obviously the same guitar, but have been set on the same EQ and suffer from the same loss of tone. The matched EQ is not in itself a bad thing ... but it may come closer to a more defined sound for each guitar if you give the main lead a bit more treble and the harmony lead a bit more mid. Maybe a tad more volume on the lead and less on the harmony when they play together, these sorts of things. As I'm not up on my definitions, I can't be much more specific than that, sorry - perhaps one of the other folks on this thread could give you better advice on this.

My point in making the guitars more definition is to give each guitar part more sound distinction and give them a bit more focus in the track overall. I know my descriptions can be a bit fuzzy, but I hope this makes sense.

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Oh, really nice arrangement!  I was concerned at first when you called this a medley, but the sources are interspersed throughout, and feel largely like one song. 3:19, where Leave Time for Love kicks in, gave me goosebumps.  Really want to see this on the front page.

As you know, those are two really awkward transitions, that seem like the song was supposed to end, and then doesn't (2:33 and 4:45).  The fact that it's 6 minutes long exacerbates this issue.  I'm inclined to suggest just ending it at 4:45, even though I do really like the last minute, and the way it returns to Angels' Fear.  Otherwise, I feel like that transition needs to be smoothed out.  The first transition isn't quite as bad, but definitely could use improvement.

The trick that you tried at 4:45 (to throw in sounds that appear nowhere else in the mix, like SFX, vocals, or unique synths) works best, IMO, when transitioning to a high-energy section.  Maybe you could do something like that at 2:33 instead?  Transitions from high- to low-energy sections usually just trail off (example), with no effect or riser.

The staccato violins in the beginning (0:16-0:28) aren't doing anything for me.  They sound really fake and mechanical.

Keep working on it!

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2 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

The lead guitars are obviously the same guitar, but have been set on the same EQ and suffer from the same loss of tone

What you called a matched EQ is in fact a global EQ. I just moved a lot of things between V4 and V5, and I realized this morning that I had put an EQ on the main track, killing the ultra highs and the super lows.... That was stupid, at least for the highs, so I corrected it after listening to the V4 and V5 one after another. Wait for it in V6!  

For information regarding my guitar tracks, there is 6 guitar tracks (Rhythm L/R, Solo L/R and Clean L/R), each one having their own FX and EQ. There is also a track for both guitar of each type, just for mixing purpose, but not EQ in here!

2 hours ago, The Nikanoru said:

it may come closer to a more defined sound for each guitar if you give the main lead a bit more treble and the harmony lead a bit more mid.

That was the kind of things I thought about when I read your message, so I changed the EQ of the rhythm guitars, scooping some mids to give a more compact sound (plus the hi boost, it is a rather significant change). I am not sure it was what you were thinking about, but you'll hear and you'll tell me. I love the leads sounds (solo playing guitar sounds), so I won't EQ them if it's possible. I feel changing the sound may break the flow of the sequencing, feeling natural but being just Shreddage :)

But I may boost them if I manage to find some room! 

Regarding EQing in general, I bought a pair of speakers today. Nothing too fancy, but I heard some bad stuff when I played my track, so I guess it will help regarding the mixing process! 

31 minutes ago, MindWanderer said:

As you know, those are two really awkward transitions, that seem like the song was supposed to end, and then doesn't (2:33 and 4:45).  The fact that it's 6 minutes long exacerbates this issue.  I'm inclined to suggest just ending it at 4:45, even though I do really like the last minute, and the way it returns to Angels' Fear.  Otherwise, I feel like that transition needs to be smoothed out.  The first transition isn't quite as bad, but definitely could use improvement.

First, thank you MindWanderer for taking the time to comment my track! I am really glad you like this!

When I compose, I tend to build stories around the tracks I work on, and often think about what would be visually happening if it was a movie soundtrack. This piece is no different, and it tells a story:

  • First Fear of the Heavens (FotH) is the exposure. Imagine a large view of a antique city, with a huge mountain near it. You start too understand that this world is ruled by cruel gods, and that mankind is enslaved, with images of people living in slums and looking, terrified, to the mountain, with the clouds near the top magically glowing. Something may have crossed their mystical inhabitants.
  • The Dancing Animals is the wrath of the gods falling upon the city, for a probably stupid and arbitrary reason. A lighting strike fall from the mountain setting the city on fire. Panic follows. The city burns. 
  • From the ashes, amidst the causality, a hero rise. He chose to take arms and go challenge the gods all by himself, Kratos style, to free the inhabitants from their malevolent rule. This is FotH, 2nd appearance. The solo guitar symbolizes the hero.
  • He travels to the entrance of the temple at the top of the mountain. The Spirit of the Night djenty part is here to emphasize the increasing feeling of dread of the hero, about to face the greatest opponents ever.
  • The solos are the bloody battle between him and the gods. Before LTfL he is in a rather bad position. But thanks to the power of love and friendship for his fellow villagers, he manage to turn the tide of the battle and finally smash his enemies (LTfL and SotN). Explosion sound from the gods dying under his rightful power.
  • Now the power of the gods are dissipating and the sky brighten while snowflakes (well, more like gods ashes) fall from above. This is the rising arpeggios from FotH.
  • Final sequence, everything is for the better and the hero is now the natural ruler of the city (last FotH). The end!

(Quoting my friend right next to me as I wrote this: "Wow, you went really far")

Whatever, the sound design was more about storytelling than quality in audio production. If you think this is bad, I will look into this. In fact, it was a nice excuse for me to have this story behind because I couldn't figure some nice transitions out. So thank you!

But I'll keep the last part. As I said to the Nikanoru, I really like long progressive songs, so this ending is not a problem for me. Plus I really like the arpeggios from Fear of the Heavens and I wanted to ReMix them from the begining.

1 hour ago, MindWanderer said:

The trick that you tried at 4:45 (to throw in sounds that appear nowhere else in the mix, like SFX, vocals, or unique synths) works best, IMO, when transitioning to a high-energy section.  Maybe you could do something like that at 2:33 instead?  Transitions from high- to low-energy sections usually just trail off (example), with no effect or riser.

 

I'll try the trail off technique at 4:45 and see where it can gets me.

Regarding 2:33, I think I just lack some nice crash hit at the end of the double bass acceleration. I like the old-school trashy feel of the next part, so I'm not certain a sample would work.

Sorry for the very long post and the stupid story-thing. Thank you for your comments. Stay tuned for the V6 (I think I'll post updates more often from now on, as I lack the hear for mixing and will need some feedback)!

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1 hour ago, MindWanderer said:

The staccato violins in the beginning (0:16-0:28) aren't doing anything for me.  They sound really fake and mechanical

I forgot to react to that. That's too bad. But I think something went wrong during the export, because they seem more "blurry" sometimes compared to the previous versions.

Except that, what would you suggest? I am limited to what I own right now, i.e. Furia from Impact Soundwork and the basic Kontakt libraries, but I'm pretty sure I can get something decent from these. 

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Hello everyone!

I am back with a new version! On the menu:

  • A whole new mixing, with a lot more power (and maybe too much bass?)
  • A cliché ending
  • 6:30 of pure heavy metal trope stuff (well technically, it 4:35 heavy metal, 2:00 heavy ballad, but hey, a story must have a conclusion!)
  • A hawk ('cause metal you know ? (still not totally convinced by it, but I found it funny ^^))

I am waiting for your feedbacks, mostly on the mixing/levelling, and the low end of the spectrum, as I can't tell if there is too much bass or not (and I have neither the ears nor the monitors to test it properly). I will happily hear what you think about the ending too! Or on anything really!

Thank you for your time and have a nice day!

Note: I know the song is very long, but I won't cut anything or change the composition in any major way. I can't. I want it done. I don't want to work on this piece anymore :'( ^^ 

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Nope, there's not too much bass. Besides that, just a few things:

  • It seems to me like the lead guitars might be sharply low-passed at around 7000 Hz? Or maybe it's just how it was recorded. If it wasn't due to the recording, you may be able to ease up on that low pass to brighten up the leads. This is noticable at 3:18, for example, when the leads are exposed.
  • The whole mix never reaches below 50 Hz; not sure if it's because you high passed it yourself or if it's due to the recording(s). 
  • The hawk at 3:19, for what it's worth, didn't really sound like a hawk to me... it sounded like an EDM sweep because it was so resonant at 4800 Hz; may want to tone down the EQ at that frequency maybe 2-4 dB so that it's not so jarring, at least to me.
  • I think if you cut the transition sound at 4:43 at 30 Hz by about 2 dB, you can bear to raise the volume of the entire ReMix by about 3 dB (at which point I think it's at a loudness that more closely matches other modern metal tracks).
  • At 5:38 - 5:57, there seems to be a bit of clipping. Do you have a limiter on the master track?

I love the composition though. What I said above was just mixing advice, not huge issues (though I would still try to raise the volume of the mix by about 3 dB if possible, and I would check the clipping). I think what you may get dinged most on is actually the non-metal portion, where you have the strings, choir, and brass exposed. For example, the brass noticeably has a very similar volume envelope on each note, which can be varied by your own CC11 (or at least, volume) automation. The choir also feels a bit flat in terms of dynamics in this section, and can be more "phrased", if you know what I mean.

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Thank you for your feedback Timaeus! It was exactly what I was looking for!

So I've been checking all your points. Please note: I am using Shreddage 2X for the guitars and Shreddage picked bass for the bass. The drums are EZDrummer Metal Machine. So nothing recorded here.

  • True, low passed at 7kHz, so I tried opening it. As the lead don't have a lot of energy beyond that point, it sound more open without hurting anything. Wich is nice :)
  •  I did put different high pass on all the lower end sounds (guitar, bass, kick, etc...) to kill the unneeded energy. All those sounds happen to have very little energy in the very low band (20-50). I tried moving  the filters towards 20Hz rather than 50, but can't seem to hear or see a huge difference.
  • Ah, the hawk! I couldn't get it to work as I wanted, but let it be anyway, hopping for this kind of comment. I killed the frequencies around 4.8kHz, and it sounds way better! Still not exactly happy about the result, but I will tweak my delay/reverb and try things to get it work nicely, or discard it, as it's more a joke thing than a really important part.
  • So I did that, and tried to calm my drums a bit regarding dynamics to avoid clipping, plus adjusting my limiter on the master track to get a nice saussage :) I think I manage to get to that kind of audio level without to much audio damage. You'll tell me, as I can't really tell if a track is slightly over compressed or not (I don't have the hear training on that end yet).
  • So yeah, limiter on the master track. But I think the ceil was badly set, so I adjusted it. 

Regarding orchestral dynamics, I'll try working on it. I did use comp on every instrument to bring them in front, but kind of killed the dynamic in the process. It's all Kontakt factory samples BTW, so I don't have lots of control over the sound. But I'll experiment with volume automation to give the orchestral part more life and see where it leads!

So here it is! 

 

Oh, and BTW , I think Soundcloud uses internal comp on uploaded tracks, so i may provide a DL link if anyone wants to analyze it in a DAW.

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Hm, I'm now hearing some overcompression coming in after you had raised the volume. How about instead, you try lowering the volume back to how it was, and then use master track parallel compression to raise the volume? (parallel just means half the signal goes to the compressor and half doesn't.) That way, the limiter doesn't overly compress the mixdown, and you have more control over how that works out. I think it's the part that incorporates the orchestra + choir that feels more overcompressed than the pure metal parts.

Alternatively, I could just mix it myself, if you want.

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Hey Timaeus!

Thank you for offering to mix it yourself, I did think about asking for help on this end during the last few months. But when I see where I am right now regarding the quality of the mix, I feel I can try a bit harder and achieve something cool on my own (given some direction) :)

So let me try one more time! I'll be back soon!

And thank you for the quick answers!

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