Lampje4life

2. ready for review Mario Kart 7 - Rainbow Road (DnB Remix)

10 posts in this topic

Hi guys!

 

About a year ago I submitted a Remix which got No'd with some constructive feedback.

I went back into my DAW and fixed hopefully most of the complaints and critics. :)

 

I hope someone is able to give me a review on the WIP and see what else needs fixing before I resubmit.

Thanks a ton!

 

 

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I read through the Judge's decisions, gave a listen to your track, and the original. 

So, I feel the track still needs some work on the mix. Now, let me be clear I do really like this track. Lively and lots of energy. But you really should take a step back and try and listen to this from the perspective of a listener that isn't you. For me, I find the mix too bright, the drums lack impact, and there just isn't a lot of depth to the mix as a whole. Take a step back and really objectively analyze your mix. I really don't what kind of advice to offer for this because it really is one of those situations where you have to see before you can offer advice. In general I'd try toning down the highs a bit (2-3dB) and try to work the 300-1000Hz range a bit more to give the track some more body. Past that I don't know where to start. Try this though. Pick 3-4 instruments that you want to be your focal point in your track and mix those together and then add the others as support around those. That may help you finding a clear direction on how to approach the mix as a whole. 

Just my thoughts. 

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I am going to agree with apzx. The track is really top heavy. Maybe it's just me but I am having a hard time picking out what is supposed to be the melody in this track. I like the energy as it's calming but yet still driving at the same time (even though this track is the bane of my Mario kart existence). Good work so far though!

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Take this advice with a grain of salt, as I am using a mono speaker due to not having the proper listening equipment with me right now. But I can say these things:

  • I can actually hear what the lead is supposed to be, but it's only because I know what the melody is supposed to be. The key to writing particularly atmospheric drum & bass is control over your reverb. Try lowering the wet mix in the reverb a bit on your lead and surrounding arps, and raising the low cut within the reverb plugin for both as well (to above 200 Hz). That should clean up some of the mud caused by reverberating low frequencies.
     
  • I agree with APZX that the drums don't have enough impact. The kick lacks some low end punch, but the snare is not that bad (tonally I think it works). You could probably add some waveshaping on the kick to help that, and boost the snare near 240 Hz to increase its punch. I've written a track similar in style, perhaps, and it may help you to reference it for mixing the kick drum and snare.
     
  • When I first listened to this, I did feel the treble was too present; even though the speaker I'm using is not for mixing at all, my ears always tighten whenever there is too much treble.

And I know this is long, but if you get 2-3 hours of free time, it would really help you to watch this, in order to improve your production in general:

 

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I'm gonna be lazy with my typing and just randomly copypaste whatever judges and posters in this thread have said that I think applies.

eval:

Pick 3-4 instruments that you want to be your focal point in your track and mix those together and then add the others as support around those.

The track is really top heavy. I find the mix too bright. Sections like 1:50 get too lost in the noise and distortion (and are a bit resonant as well), and the lead basically disappears in the mix most of the time.

The key to writing particularly atmospheric drum & bass is control over your reverb.

And yes please fix the ending. (Specifically the pops at the very end. Make sure your tracks end cleanly. This means listening not just in your DAW, but to the audio render as well. I've been having weird distortions in my renders that don't appear in the DAW. While I've solved it for the track I was having it in, I'm still not sure exactly what caused it. You never know what the output sounds like until it's actually outputted. So do have a listen to your track once it's bounced to audio.)

I do really like this track. Lively and lots of energy. You've got some lovely purposeful distortion/bitcrushing. This track has some really nice energy behind it, and it never lets up. The textures and synths you use work great against the drum and bass style you've got going, and I'm loving every bit of it. The drums are nice and meaty, too, so great work on the style and presentation.

(/lazy copypaste)

Nice sound design, nice adaptation, nice energy. You've made a track that makes me smile hearing it. So if you get this posted, you're in the same category as The Cynic Project as far as I'm concerned. But the mixing is still too bright and as a result ends up sounding so much more heavily compressed. Chill. Trade a dB or two of loudness for a good clean sound. Ease up on reverb to reduce clutter. Do some more cleaning work on it.

I think this is still in resub territory. Needs a bit more work. But man, what a cool track this is. Nice work.

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Almost a year later. I. Suck. At. Mastering.

First of all, thanks for the constructive feedback. If I didn't fix that thing you took a lot of time to write out and explain: it's because of the lack of skill/time/etc.

But I have moment like these where I am dedicated to get this posted!

 

Anyway, this is where I'm currently at:

 

I've done some mastering and added elements that are rather minor so you probably wouldn't hear much difference apart from obviously, mastering.

 

 

Still not sure what to do with the ending :( It's like, so energetic up until then and whatever I try throwing at it it's such a big contrast to the rest of the song. Blegh. 

Feedback is very much appreciated! Let me know what to fix before resubbing!

 

EDIT: Now topic is "ready for review"

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MOD REVIEW

Hey, good to see this going again!

Alright, let's take a fresh look at this. It looks the judges' main concerns were the lack of clarity in the lead work, the amount of distortion going on, the lack of a justified ending (whether it's a fade-out or not), and the overcompression

  • I do hear that there is less reverb on the lead and an improved amount of clarity. I might experiment some more by lowering the amount of delay on the lead a bit, as the lead work is still somewhat blurry. Is there something accompanying the lead at 0:23 - 0:45, 0:56 - 1:19, and 2:07 - 2:28? I think I might be hearing something with a similar timbre competing with the lead, but it's hard to tell.

    For another reference on the amount of reverb and delay for lead accompaniment on a DnB track, perhaps consider this.

    As a note, I would suggest experimenting at 1:45 with a different and more upfront lead to see what you think. You might want that lead to come out more there because it's relief from the energetic main sections.
     
  • The previous version had a pretty high amount of distortion, and I think it's more balanced this time around (but I can't be too sure because soundcloud doesn't properly encode high treble on playback).
     
  • I think at least that the overcompression is decreased, because for example, at 1:07 the crash did pump the track in the previous version. It doesn't do that nearly as much now, but instead some sounds like the crash are more distant. Do be careful and keep watching out for overcompression.
     
  • I think it's a good idea to work on that ending, because listening through it, there isn't that much of a timbral variety going on; what I hear is mainly saws and other abrasive sounds that have lots of high harmonics. (As a note, whenever I write mixes, the breakdown section and outtro are typically moments where I introduce more diverse sounds in and let them shine.)

    Regarding the ending, I might have started the outtro at 2:32, with no energetic drums, and perhaps made another iteration of the melody you showed in the breakdown at 1:44, maybe with a piano lead instead (something calm with some body, mainly). If you do that, I might also suggest adjusting the arp surrounding it to support the calm lead and be less energetic. By having the drums keep going at 2:32 so far, the track wants to keep going, but if you remove the drums at 2:32, then you can let it start to cool down.

I don't think this is quite ready for submission yet, but it's mainly because (1) you're still working on an ending (which would be quite important), and (2) there could be more clarity between the lead and the accompaniment by toying with the delay and/or reverb on the lead and/or accompaniment. But keep at it! You're almost there.

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Went back to the old ending, since I think it fits best. Yes it's boring but it seems a cooldown is most suited, I've tried toying around with some synths or like a piano but the contrast is too big to the rest of the song (or my skills are lacking) (probably the latter).

Put the leads more on the foreground and did some more balancing. The judges were "okay" with the ending as is I think so apart from that, is there anything I should address before resubmitting? Or are you sure that the ending is going to get shut down like it's Duck Hunt? I never resubmitted anything and am not sure if judges just tackle one thing then another after resubmission... 

 

Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts once more! 

 

(EDIT: Just noticed the crash at 2:32 has some weird bass, I layered an FX Kick over it for testing with different endings, forgot to remove so I'm going to change that back)

 

 

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I think even though the ending is the same, the ending works better now, because of the fix on the production in the low end; now you have noticeable high pass automation, which has more contrast than it did originally. Comparing to the judged version again, this is much improved! It has more bass body, less shrill highs, and leads that are more foreground. The track is also at a good loudness now.

Perhaps one final thing I might do is let the final delay go on a bit longer, and fade it out a bit more slowly. I didn't think it was too short, and would chalk it up to a nitpick, but each of the judges seemed to think so, and it's an easy fix, I think.

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