SegaMon

4. submitted Populous - The Battle Between Good and Evil Remix

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I have already submitted this piece but I really, really would love to hear suggestions from other users. I improved the instruments a lot prior to submitting this piece. The game I remixed is Populous released back in 1989.

The original piece can be found on Youtube here:

The remix of the song can be found on SoundCloud here:

Thank you for your time. :D

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I will say, first and foremost, that this is quite an improvement from the version you had prior. The sample quality has improved quite a bit, and there is definitely some attention paid to the phrasing in this (moreso than the last version of this). The snare pops out better, and that trumpet is FAR more impressive this time around.

This is on the panel right now, so I've gotten to hear a few points on it already. One point is how the dynamics are applied; at many points in the track it does sound like the overall gain is being turned up in order to produce dynamics (1:09 - 1:10 is a great example of this, but it occurs throughout the arrangement). In order to get around this issue, rather than using gain to create dynamics for the whole track (or section), utilize the volume envelop of the specific instruments that you want to swell. Many of the instruments really CAN swell in that fashion (strings, brass, woodwinds, etc.), but it's very strange sounding when all the instruments swell in exactly the same way at the same time - orchestras would never be able to so something like that as precisely as this track often does.

I would argue that most of the articulations are at a decent place in this (though the choir sample at 1:36 - 2:13 still has an attack that swells into every note). The articulations aren't perfect, but I don't think they quite sink the arrangement like they did the first time around. The snare is still pretty dry in comparison to the rest of the instruments, though - a little bit of reverb would go a long way in making it sound like it's a part of the ensemble.

It's not quite there yet, but it's much closer than it was. The sample issue was definitely solved (congrats on getting Kontact 11, by the way!), and the articulations and phrasing has been improved, but the use of mixing gain for dynamics at many points is very distracting. That's the big reason for rejection on my end, but if you could give the snare some reverb in order to match the wetness levels of the rest of the orchestra and fine tune some of the articulations so they don't have such a high attack envelope needlessly (the choir sample, some of the brass) that would put this in range of a solid pass for me.

Thanks for revisiting it, and I hope more people will pay attention to tracks like this on the WIP boards, since it doesn't seem like it got any love on here yet.

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Gario, thank you for the time you took to listen and give me pointers on my remix. Feedback is a big reason why I have submitted then re-submitted this piece. I don't have much time to write and remix music so I consider my skills to still be amateur. I still have much room for growth.

You say that you believe that I used gain throughout this song. I did not use gain. I changed the volume using each individual channel volume nob (violin, viola, cello, etc) prior to the grouped channel processing (reverb and EQ). Something that could make it appear that I used gain was that the volume changes are dramatic and done in-sync with each other. I think that humanizing the dynamics would help in this regard. The only instrument that can not naturally change volume dynamically is the organ. I will remove the dynamic changes on the organ and change it to velocity differences between notes.

Regarding the snare drum, reverb is applied to that instrument. However, the Kontakt instruments have a reverb applied prior to the reverb that I applied myself. This probably caused the snare to have reverb that was noticeably less. I can certainly change that.

One last point, the choir instrument swells into each note because that is how the instrument was made. There is nothing I can do to remove that swell without finding another choir instrument. Since you mentioned that it has become more noticeable to me. I will look for another choir instrument that doesn't do that so it won't be an issue anymore.

I am going to revisit this mix later because I do believe it has the potential to pass the judges panel. I am working on another remix that I hope to submit in the future as well. Again, I thank you very much for your feedback and help. Have an awesome day! :)

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8 minutes ago, SegaMon said:

You say that you believe that I used gain throughout this song. I did not use gain. I changed the volume using each individual channel volume nob (violin, viola, cello, etc) prior to the grouped channel processing (reverb and EQ). Something that could make it appear that I used gain was that the volume changes are dramatic and done in-sync with each other. I think that humanizing the dynamics would help in this regard. The only instrument that can not naturally change volume dynamically is the organ. I will remove the dynamic changes on the organ and change it to velocity differences between notes.

One last point, the choir instrument swells into each note because that is how the instrument was made. There is nothing I can do to remove that swell without finding another choir instrument. Since you mentioned that it has become more noticeable to me. I will look for another choir instrument that doesn't do that so it won't be an issue anymore.

Glad I could help a bit on this. Yeah, if you raise the dynamics for multiple instruments perfectly in sync it would definitely SOUND like the gain was being raised and lowered. Humanizing the dynamics a bit more would go a long way in fixing that issue. On the organ, though, it actually IS capable of raising and lowering dynamics mid-note - it's one of it's special features. Organists control how much air is being pushed through at any time using what they call a 'swell'. Ironically, what they CAN'T do is change notes individually (in contrast to a piano), so the organ dynamics tends to sound like... well, the gain knob is raising and lowering. The irony doesn't escape me, there - don't worry about your organ dynamics, they were actually alright. :P

Changing the choir sample would be great, but if you can't another possibility is to have the sampler playback start a little ahead in the sample, then adding a small amount of attack to it (like 20ms attack) to soften the impact. If you have a better sample then use it, but that's an alternative you can use if you need to.

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