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MnP 81: Crypt of the Necrodancer Stage 2-1 (Fungal Funk)

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6 hours ago, Dextastic said:

Changed the EQ on my mix and uploaded the new version. If I had another twenty minutes I could probably make it better but this is gonna be it for now. Blah, I'm so bad at getting the spectral balance right. I really need more practice on that.

I found the EQ work with the percussion and some of the instruments real frustrating and sort of gave up on it. I need better EQ software - I'm using BlueCats and FL Parametric EQ 2, guess it isn't enough.  EDIT) I didn't notice too much EQ issues at all.  Heavy metal isn't exactly the easiest genre to get perfect imo.  EDIT2) Not that I make too much in the way of metal, but I did notice other OCR people frustrated with it back in the heyday. 

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It doesn't sound all that bad. In fact I rather like the transients on the drums quite a bit. Though if I may make a couple of suggestions. First, while the transient is important on drums in order to prevent the cymbals and the like from being "too" powerful in the mix you may consider actually toning down the sustain portion. You can achieve this in a few ways. Transient Controller can work well in certain situations. Another way is to use a compressor and just crack down on that transient quite a bit and not really use much makeup gain, then apply some EQ (typically 4-8KHz) to bring the transient back. There is also the gate that opens up on the transient but closes on the sustain. You can also play a bit with multi-band compression or even dynamic EQ. Just depends on your desired end result. Second, with the drums you did a solid job of imprinting their space in the mix along with the guitars. However, when things get "fuller" you basically completely run out sonic space in those sections and don't really have separation nor clarity between the various elements. No real tricks here other than good ol' listening and trying to figure out what needs focus and possibly rebalancing the mix on the fly with automation. Bonus bit, the guitars could do with a bit more weight and get on those guitars with some characterful compression. Otherwise pretty darn solid. 

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New remaster, completed start to finish in 20 minutes. I'm liking the spectral balance on this one a lot better. The one I submitted to thasauce was too harsh for my ears. If we had a little extension I could replace my entry on thasauce with the mp3 for this one (I don't like soundcloud compression).

Thanks for the comments, @APZX! In truth I did none of the drum processing, but I've been meaning to learn a bit about drum processing eventually. The drums in my track are just a preset on Superior Drummer 2 for the heavier middle part and MTPDK (free), completely unprocessed, for the beginning and ending.

For this part here: "Another way is to use a compressor and just crack down on that transient quite a bit and not really use much makeup gain, then apply some EQ (typically 4-8KHz) to bring the transient back." - I'm guessing the compressor should be set with a very fast attack, like 2ms or less, to catch the transient correctly? I'm still working out how to use compression.

I've been wondering about how to make my rhythm guitars heavier. I tried quad-tracking them but it doesn't work too well with just one guitar VST. Hah. I'll get some compression on the rhythm guitars next time around. And yes I'll continue to work on separating my parts :).

Every competition I enter I try to focus on getting better at something. This time it was learning my way around synths. I think that was pretty successful, at least?


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With the compressor pretty much, but you'll need to adjust based on taste and even play with different compressors as they're attack and release curves will change the way the sound behaves. Just gotta experiment a bit. I can tell you that for this particular application I really really like vladg's Molot. I know it is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, but there is an English option and I like to do this in the "Alpha" mode because it isn't quite as aggressive. It is preference and I've used different compressors for the application just based on various things from changes to the timbre to fitting better in with the other instruments. 

Compression in general is quite a complex topic and it'd take me way too long to explain in any reasonable detail about how it works or the various ways to use to manipulate space or even forcing one without a sidechain input to react in an almost dynamic EQ kinda way. But with that being said you've really just gotta experiment with it to find something that really works for you. I can tell you that I have a lot of compressors because I find unlike EQs I can get more color out of them and that is typically what I end up doing on a lot of sounds. Rather than using them strictly for mixing. 

I say compression on the guitars because even though distorted guitars are already quite compressed it isn't the end all be all to further coloring them with compression ;) Much to learn about that you do! But some things you can try to give the guitars some more weight. Put on a different hat for distortion for a minute. Think of distortion as a way to generate new and extra harmonics that you can then manipulate to your advantage. For example you could try some frequency selective parallel distortion to add in some extra girth that you can then mix in with the original to give them more heft if they're missing it. Kind of like the old trick of gating a tone generator from a kick to make it beefier in the mix. Since you have 4 guitars in this particular case then I would look at doing something a bit different personally. I'd take two of them and hard pan them and leave them mostly alone (EQ, compression, etc.) but pan the other's about midway left and right then play with distortion on them and make those heavier sounding. This would likely widen the mix with two different guitar layers at two different stereo positions, but would also have the effect of making the center seem "heavier" and leaving the sides "lighter" further adding to width without really sacrificing any mono compatibility ;) 

As for the synths, I mean they kinda work. The brass is actually a pretty good sounding brass stab, but it sounds like it came from a ROMpler of some description. I like the piano quite a bit, and I love the sync lead but it is so buried and overshadowed by everything else in that section that it kind of loses its impact :( While this may sound kind of biased or such, I really really dislike guitars lol. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but just because I'm not a guitar guy and everyone talking about them makes it sound like there are humongous differences between ancient humbucklers and modern ones. Look Solid body vs Hollow Body? Easily understandable differences in sound. But I feel arguing about a 139048 year old humbuckler is like the synth guys saying that there is a huge difference in the way a 50 year old Minimoog sounds versus a clone from like Studio Electronics. Look is there a difference? Probably, but is it worth all that money for it? Probably not. I'm a synth head and I love synths. It is easier to impress me with guitars than it is with synths. Suuns' 2020 (warning epileptic seizure warning) has a guitar sound that I love because I've never really heard it before and plus it is super creepy and unsettling. The bass is a synth and super dark and brooding. Both of those sounds impress me. Mord Fustang's Lick the Rainbow (terrible name I know), but this has quite a few synth sounds that just impress me. Still trying to figure out that bass sound myself. So much breath and life in that. Your synth sounds aren't bad, but if you want something to really show you what is possible with just one synth, then look no further than KVR's One Synth Challenge (I've entered a few myself) and let me tell you some of the sounds people are able to coax out of these synths is simply astounding. 

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Thanks for your helpful posts, APZX! I'm playing around with Molot now.

I grew up playing in rock bands and listening to more traditional rock/metal music, and that's still what I enjoy most. While I'm working on developing the skills needed to incorporate other elements into my songs I'm still going to be focused on writing rock/traditional instrument type stuff.

I think that Suuns song is terrible in every way, hah.

I agree the bass on Lick the Rainbow is pretty sick.

Thanks for the link to the KVR Synth Challenge. That looks really interesting.

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Welcome to the Voting Stage!

  • There are 2 entries this round.
  • There is 1 Bonus entries this round
  • There is NOT a voter bonus this round, due to only 2 eligible entries.
  • Dex has a vote worth 2x
  • Don't vote for Bonus entries please  
  • Participants may not vote for themselves   

Vote ends Oct 19 Thurs @ 11PM


Bit of a slow round, but we do have 3 tracks, even if only 2 of them can be voted upon.  The +3 voter bonus isn't applicable this round for obvious reasons, since it would just be me and Silverpool trading points lmao (Kind of the catch22 for me when I participate in MnP...).  Anyhow, I will submit comments in a mock vote :) - @ Silverpool: though I shant discourage you from submitting your own mock vote.  And since my vote is awash, I would ask that people who didn't participate, especially the last round winner to submit their own votes. 


..sorry for all the edits.  

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I've got nothing against Rock or Metal, heck I love me some Prog or Psychedelic Rock and some Metal stuff. It is just that really most of the time it is the people behind the guitars rather than the guitars themselves that I have an issue with. Not trying to imply anything just a "general observation". 

Also, no problem giving some techniques for dealing with things in a mix. I've done a few Hard Rock and a couple of Metal Mixes and there is definitely some different things than you might think. Something else to consider when mixing is that tricks that you may have used in one mix may come in handy for a mix that is completely and utterly unrelated in both genre and style than where you learned it. You'd think that  I'd never turn to distortion in a non-rock/metal mix, but surprisingly it comes in handy in all sorts of places. In particular I like using it on bass too make it easier the ear to find it in the mix if it is quite dull. 

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  • Silverpool and HoboKa tied with 10 points.  OF COURSE

Silverpool PM me for the round 82 entry! Pick something Howlowe'en-y Silverpool.  It's still Howlowe'en month :D


Since me and Silverpool tied, it means we both get to pick a sourcetune.   This will be fun!

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